One of the joys of this blog is connecting with people from all over that I would likely have never met if it weren’t for our connection with the Naval Academy. That can go for anyone from fellow Mid parents, Mids themselves or folks like Kristin Cronic, the amazing artist who is still painting The Yard.
Well, anyone who has had a child enter Bancroft in the past few years has had some sort of connection with Grant Vermeer. Even if his name doesn’t ring a bell, mention Academy Insider, and you’re sure to see a knowing smile and nod from a Mid parent. What started as a basic resource for folks confused by Academy life has flourished into a full-blown community.
Check out the AI Facebook page and you’ll find more than 12,000 people have followed it. Amazing! And there’s more exciting stuff to come!
We’ll get into his new stuff in a moment, but first I’ll tell you how we reconnected and go over some of the excellent resources he already has available.
I first came in contact with Grant when I came across an AI blog post that featured his now-famous first letter home. In huge letters, he scrawled: “I HATE THE PLACE. I JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY. MOM, PLEASE HELP ME.” To see how his story turned out gave me hope during an incredibly stressful Plebe Summer.
I was surprised to see someone share a post from AI since I hadn’t seen it on my own timeline. So I dropped a Facebook message asking why I wasn’t seeing his posts anymore and got an automated reply. Well, I thought, guess Grant’s not really doing this stuff anymore. WRONG!
Within a day or so, he replied. And in typical Grant Vermeer fashion, went the extra mile.
“Based on my Navy schedule – I was deployed for 6 months, I was not posting at all. I am back and working on a lot of things academy insider as best I can,” he wrote. He went on to explain that his brother is an engineer at Facebook and shared some tips on seeing the stuff I want to see – yep, that’s extra mile stuff! And, of course, when I asked if I could share his note, he agreed.
And, like a lot of Facebook page owners, he’s discovered that Facebook continues to throttle back organic reach, so he’s found that good ol’ email is the most effective way to stay in touch.
What’s he been up to?
” I am currently in Mayport at All-Navy Basketball training camp playing basketball for the Navy on a TDY from my job at Fort Meade,” he wrote, adding after sharing reams of useful information, “Sorry for the delay and I hope that answers your questions.”
Like he doesn’t have something more important than answering my trite questions.
So, what’s he up to? A lot. An awful lot.
You may notice that the AI website hasn’t had any blog posts recently (December 2017 to be exact). But he’s been busy … really, really busy.
First off, he’s doing a podcast on Spotify – you can check it out here. He launched with a handful of super-helpful episodes about Plebe Summer. Definitely worth a listen. He hinted that he’s been planning a book review segment and, of course, I’m excited that we may actually get to talk about the Academy and my book!
He’s created a five-module course for surviving Plebe Summer – you can learn about that here. He’s already posted that he’d be happy to share a coupon code that will provide free access. Nice!
Of course, parents always want information, so he created a FREE cheat sheet for parents, really a must-have – you can learn about that here.
But wait, there’s more. Yes, more. He also created a FREE checklist for young men and women who are wondering if the Naval Academy is right for them. You can learn about that here.
It’s awesome to have former Mids like Grant paying it forward and helping frantic Plebes (and Plebe parents) navigate those tricky waters over the next four years. Don’t know about you, but I’ll be tuning in and can’t wait to see what’s next!