View Full Version : The FIRST Historians Mission

Jeff Waegelin
09-08-2003, 09:48 PM
Have you ever wondered what FIRST was like before you joined? Well, Keith (Replic) of team 25 and I have your answer. Starting today, we are going to be running a recurring feature here on the Chief Delphi Forums called FIRST Historians that should shed some light on the great stories of the past. I could go on, but here is what Keith had to say on the “mission” of FIRST Historians:


FIRST has been changing the lives of highschoolers long before most of us have ever posted on these boards. Even before CD existed teams worked together to form what we now know. For many, like myself, FIRST is not a program but a lifestyle. I pay great attention to other's stories of how their team overcame challenges. I've listened quite literally for hours as other FIRSTers told me of intense matches from years before my time. To understand games before 2002, my rookie year, I could easily go to the US FIRST website and download all of the game rules. But this is a cold method of learning. I know from my experience that this game meant sweat and blood spilled. I know these games at some time meant alliances formed, hearts broken, miracles made.

Yet they are gone, the people who experienced this. Save a few of you.

Will my team's Cradle Robber be remembered in the year 2010? Will 103's well deserved chairman's victory be known to rookies? Will the sound of MOEsticks echo in every FIRST stadium? What of 71's speed demon of a flailer? The infamous MOE stick kidnappings? Shall all this hard work, time spent, these echoes of experiences be forgotten when we leave? Of course we could write it all down. FIRST has already done part of this for us! I need only log onto their site to see the winners for any given year. But this isn't enough.

The art of storytelling is a difficult one to master. We all remember superb tales told by horrible tellers, emphasizing the wrong detail, exaggerating beyond the limits, and befuddling listeners with a twisted plotline. Yet a weak story in the hand of a master teller could easily be a memorable tale, one to stick in your mind long after you leave the campfire, or in this case, FIRST. It is only in stories, told by the senior members of FIRST and our CD board, that we can relive and experience the emotions of FIRST years previous to our own. We owe it to ourselves to chronicle the events that have passed before us and our own time, so the freshmen on your team that you will never meet know what FIRST truly is.

The new feature, FIRST Historians, will hopefully provide all that I dream it to be – stories that will take 15 minutes to read, but stick with us all for a lifetime.


Now, what exactly is it we’re looking for? Any story about past FIRST competitions, be it the build season, competition season, or anything else related to FIRST, are welcome. Stories need not be novel-length, but anything between two and four pages should be acceptable. If it seems too long, this may be revised downward.

Starting today, there will be a new forum for FIRST Historians. We ask that you don’t post any new threads there, but rather, send the stories you have to me (Jeff Waegelin) or Keith (Replic) for publication via PM or e-mail. Now, that being said, we would appreciate any stories you have to offer, no matter how long you’ve been in FIRST. Preference will be given to stories that are not in the past two years, but we will consider any story that is submitted. We will attempt to publish a new story every two weeks. Once the story is posted, feel free to reply, add comments, or even tell your own related story. We’d like to give people a glimpse of what FIRST was like, so anything you have to offer is welcome.

We’d like to see this become a popular feature of the forums, so while you read Andy Baker's first story (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=21845), start thinking of your own. Anybody can have something published, so don’t hesitate to submit your own story!