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My son will be graduating from Navy Bootcamp, Great Lakes, IL in March.  Any suggestions on hotels, good pizza places, anything I need to know before going. What can I bring to him. How many people can attend the graduation??  Thanks for any information.

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There are TONS to read on here about all that! You just have to read. I suggest you join a group of boot camp moms. Also you probably can find some moms with kids in yours division.

If you need more help, just let me know.
merlin80 here is the link to the 12/3 PIR group http://www.navyformoms.com/group/pir12310 just click on the http address then click on "+ join group"
also Merlin look at the dates on these comments
What ship and division is your son in?
We stayed at the Residence Inn in Waukegan. It was great!!! I highly recommend their facility in part to the fact that they have a shuttle service you can use to get to PIR and back, a free breakfast buffet (One of the better ones we have eaten at), a very courteous staff, and clean rooms.

We ate pizza at Gino's East and it was really good, but expensive. They have a pizza place by Gurnee Mall that is supposed to be one of the best in Chicago.

Make sure you take a pair of binoculars (something I regret not taking!!! : ( ) and your parking pass to get on and off RTC.

As far as things to take him, just make sure he doesn't try to take it back to his ship--it will be deemed contraband and he may be punished in some manner. Someone in my Sailor's div got into trouble for returning with a watch.

Very important!!!!!! Make sure your Sailor gets back to RTC in plenty of time to return to the ship. One Sailor was late in my Sailor's div and his liberty for the next day was revoked!!! Drop them off all the way at the end of the parking lot for the base chapel so that walk time is reduced.
Do you need the parking pass even if you are coming by shuttle?
I still didn't see an answer to my original question. Do you need a parking pass if you are taking the shuttle?

Thanks
I would print them just in case. We weren't asked for them until we actually checked in once we got inside one if the buildings.
Debbie, I noticed on your page that you aren't joined to many groups and I thought I'd let you know of 2 that you can join. One is called Leaving for BC in Jan and the other is Jan BC Families. Since you have your Recruits div/ship # and PIR date, you can see if there are groups for those too. I am positive that they have already been formed. I highly recommend joining these groups. You will be able to meet others in your div and ones that will be at the same PIR. I am in the Nov BC Families group and the 1/8 PIR group. It was nice to be able to talk with family members who were going through BS late nighters the same time I was and great to be able to sound the alarm when calls were coming in from our Recruits. Since your son left in the latter part of Jan., you can see what all the earlier Jan members have gone through and read all about their PIR journies. All this site's wealth of info is here for the taking. Please let me know if I can answer anything else for you. Someone on here will know the answer, of that, I am sure! : )
We just returned from my sons graduation this weekend. We stayed at Homewood Suites in Lincolnshire and thought is was a fabulous place to stay. M-Th they offer a *welcome home* dinner/snack. We arrived on Thursay afternoon and they had a baked potato bar with Chili and broccoli and cheese. They also had beer and wine available, at no charge I believe (not a drinker). They also had a continental breakfast that was very nice.

As for graduation, leave EARLY the morning of graduation. The line to get in from the road is very long. It took us over an hour just to drive 2.8 miles. Stay to the middle lane as the right lane ends just prior to the entrance gate. We were told me all needed ID, plus vehicle registration and insurance (current). Only one person from our group was asked for id and no one ever asked for the proof of insurance or vehicle registration. I was acutally surprised they did not ask all members of our group for id....very shocked by this.

After graduation be prepared to wait a while if your recruit has to walk back to pick up his pictures...it's a long walk. Also it took us a long time to be able to exit the parking lot. Allow yourself plenty of time. It's a long time to sit for the ceremony (waiting for it to start) so I would not bring little ones if you can at all help it. It's difficult for the little ones to sit still for long and a lot of people around us were quite rude to some of the people who had crying little ones.

Day after graduation gates did not open up for us to get our son until 7:15 am....we were told the night before it would be earlier than this. Our son did not get out to the parking lot until almost 8:00am, so check your times if you can.

I hope this helps you some.

Good luck and congrats to your graduate!
you are going to freeze so bring lots of warm clothes
I stayed at a little motel near the base
There are good places to eat in Gurnee. Bring warm clothes, I live near the base so believe me when I say you'll need them. There two new hotels somewhat near base a holiday inn and Marriot. Whatever hotel you decided on call and ask if they offer anything for families coming in for naval graduations. I know that the Marriot one was offering a special for about $79 per night. But it was not on their website I had to call to find out. Depending on where he is going to be for 'A' school his time might be limited after the graduation. So enjoy him for whatever time you get him. If you have any other questions about the area feel free to ask. =)

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