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Unread 09-05-2017, 04:12 PM
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[FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

Posted on the FRC Blog, 9/5/2017: https://www.firstinspires.org/roboti...ST-even-better

Quote:
Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better
Written by Fiona Hanlon, FRC Volunteer Resource Coordinator

Hi FRC Teams and Volunteers,

The Volunteer Resources Department has been hard at work this summer improving many resources to enhance our volunteer’s experience with FIRST. At the FIRST Championship events, we held feedback sessions with our volunteers to find out how FIRST could improve and one of the things we kept hearing was that the volunteer roles did not accurately represent what the responsibilities were. We took this feedback and revamped the volunteer role descriptions; taking the time to put them in the same format and adding details to make it clearer what the volunteer time commitments are, the role responsibilities, and the minimum experience and skills needed for each role. You can see the updated roles here.

You may notice that all key volunteers now have a minimum age requirement. This is because these roles have a higher level of responsibility. While a minimum age requirement does not guarantee a volunteer is ready to take on a higher level of responsibility, it does help, in the same way having minimum driving and voting ages help ensure people are ready for those significant responsibilities.

We also received helpful feedback over the past few years on how volunteers register with FIRST. You may be happy to hear that our new Volunteer Registration has launched as of August 22nd. We believe this new site will provide a better experience for our volunteers. Volunteer Registration is now accessible under the www.firstinspires.org dashboard. If you previously had a volunteer account, you can use your same username and password to access Volunteer Registration. To access the dashboard, simply go to www.firstinspires.org and click the ‘login’ or ‘sign up’ button in the top right corner of the page. This means team mentors and event volunteers can now log into a single system! FRC events are still not live, but you can login, update your volunteer profile, and see the improvements that have been made. You may notice in the top right corner a number in a red circle, this is indicating action items you have to complete including things like agreeing to our YPP Policies and our Terms & Conditions.

We hope these enhancements improve our volunteers experience and help make our events more consistent for the teams. As always, if you have any volunteer questions please email: volunteer@firstinspires.org.
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Unread 09-05-2017, 04:26 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

Kind of wish they changed the requirement for CSAs and FTAAs* to just be post-high school. I understand where they're coming from, but if this were in place last year it would have meant I wouldn't have been able to volunteer as a CSA. I'll just pass the cutoff by a month this year, but that could have easily been two less year of my volunteer service even though someone else who happened to graduate high school at an older age would have been just fine.


*and others, those are just the ones I care about and looked at
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Unread 09-05-2017, 04:33 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

I'm holding a lot back in this reply, but what bugs me the most.

I am in awe that an FTA is 19 (23 preferred) and a VC must be 23.
I know many younger who have AMAZINGLY filled in this role, in fact, much better than their older predecessors.

If I were FIRST Volunteer Staff I'd make the FTA and VC the same req; both run the event in different aspects.

23 is an interesting decision in fact, especially with the expansion of district events and more and more alumni wanting to give back in other ways then mentoring.
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Unread 09-05-2017, 04:43 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pauline Tasci View Post
23 is an interesting decision in fact, especially with the expansion of district events and more and more alumni wanting to give back in other ways then mentoring.
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Unread 09-05-2017, 04:45 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

Thanks first for locking many people like me from volunteering in positions peers of the same graduating class can take.

For context I am currently 17 (turn 18 in november) and I am a freshman in college. Why couldn't simply saying 18 and post college age be a sufficient age restriction instead of setting it at 19. Seems pretty ridiculous to me.

Unfortunately this will probably keep me from volunteering this season as im not going to subjected to roles like the safety glass table. Ive reffed 2 offseason events (one being iri) and scorekept another and was really hoping id finally be able to dive into some of the higher responsibility roles at official events this year but I gusss not.
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Unread 09-05-2017, 04:48 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

It's interesting to see that FIRST thinks the difference between a post-high school 18 year old and a post-high school 19 year old is so significant that they're limited to different jobs. Seems rather arbitrary to me.
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Unread 09-05-2017, 04:51 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cothron Theiss View Post
It's interesting to see that FIRST thinks the difference between a post-high school 18 year old and a post-high school 19 year old is so significant that they're limited to different jobs. Seems rather arbitrary to me.
It'll be interesting managing the volunteers in Bison Robotics this year. We'll have members that turn 19 during the competition season, meaning they'll be able to serve as a CSA/Referee at Minneapolis, but not at Duluth/Whatever other regional that is seemingly taking forever to officially post.

Our VC has been extremely easy for me to work with in the past, so I'm guessing things will work out!
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Unread 09-05-2017, 04:57 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger Power View Post
Our VC has been extremely easy for me to work with in the past, so I'm guessing things will work out!
I wonder how much wiggle room will be afforded to the VCs. The website says
Quote:
Must be post-high school or equivalent (minimum age of 19 at time of service).
The "must" makes it sound like it will be strictly enforced. Maybe even not let people under age sign up in the new system. I would love to see the VCs get wiggle room to allow under age volunteers (especially if they had volunteered in the role before and are now not allowed).
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Unread 09-05-2017, 05:04 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

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Originally Posted by AriMB View Post
I wonder how much wiggle room will be afforded to the VCs. The website says The "must" makes it sound like it will be strictly enforced. Maybe even not let people under age sign up in the new system. I would love to see the VCs get wiggle room to allow under age volunteers (especially if they had volunteered in the role before and are now not allowed).
I'm pretty confident that VC's will be afforded wiggle room, especially when it comes to students that are on the border. It wouldn't make sense to disallow one student from the same graduating class as another accepted student purely based on their age. Maturity isn't directly proportional to age.
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Unread 09-05-2017, 05:39 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

Quote:
Originally Posted by AriMB View Post
Kind of wish they changed the requirement for CSAs and FTAAs* to just be post-high school. I understand where they're coming from, but if this were in place last year it would have meant I wouldn't have been able to volunteer as a CSA. I'll just pass the cutoff by a month this year, but that could have easily been two less year of my volunteer service even though someone else who happened to graduate high school at an older age would have been just fine.


*and others, those are just the ones I care about and looked at
Completely agree. Looks like I'll be confined to CSAing at offseasons for the next two years...
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Unread 09-05-2017, 05:51 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger Power View Post
I'm pretty confident that VC's will be afforded wiggle room, especially when it comes to students that are on the border. It wouldn't make sense to disallow one student from the same graduating class as another accepted student purely based on their age. Maturity isn't directly proportional to age.
HQ will be the ones doing the wiggling, I think.

Honestly, you want to contact your VC NOW and let them know that "Hey, the new requirements block me from a job I did last year, here's the info on who to contact to verify if it isn't you". Let the VC and RD argue things out with HQ as need be. (See also: grandfather clause)

I agree that a lot of stuff here doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense, but they've been quietly cranking up the requirements since last year. (Last year they changed them mid-volunteer-registration.) I can understand the 19-year-old requirement on the refs (and I think I know where it came from)--they want to be really sure that they don't have a high schooler on the ref crew.

The 23-year-old requirement for other positions is likely so that they don't have to replace, replace, replace critical KVs--in a KV role, I think they're looking for stability, and if college is ~18-22 or so, restricting critical KVs to 23+ means that that person will likely be around for at least a few years instead of leaving the area to go with a company to work elsewhere.


On another note, I was confused by the volunteer login when I checked earlier. I'm now really happy, partly because there doesn't appear to be a character limit on the "previous experience" box... It is a really clean interface.
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Unread 09-05-2017, 05:58 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

Field Reset: "Adults preferred, older teens may be considered".... Rip all the 13 and 14 year old freshmen on so many teams that volunteered for field reset, and did the job competently................

I feel like this may be First's response to the like very few "horror stories" people had with volunteers. The thought process may be "the older, the more mature and nicer".

Edit (forgot to add this): "even though all the volunteer negative stories I've heard are about older volunteers".
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Unread 09-05-2017, 06:11 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

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Originally Posted by dirtbikerxz View Post
I feel like this may be First's response to the like very few "horror stories" people had with volunteers. The thought process may be "the older, the more mature and nicer".


I've rarely had a negative experience with a young volunteer.

Negative experiences often from older volunteers on power trips.
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Unread 09-05-2017, 06:16 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

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Originally Posted by AdamHeard View Post
I've rarely had a negative experience with a young volunteer.

Negative experiences often from older volunteers on power trips.
I forgot to add a sentence to that post, "even though all the volunteer negative stories I've heard are about older volunteers"....... I thought the sentence in my head, but didn't write it 😂. This is what happens when you run 3 all nighters in a row .
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Unread 09-05-2017, 06:19 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] Making Volunteering for FIRST Even Better

I have generally negative feelings about this, but I'll wait to see how this is implemented. I'd say VC's generally know what their event needs better than HQ, so if they're able to make exceptions to this relatively easily, I suppose it'll be fine.

The last thing I'd want to do is turn away FIRST alumni from volunteering, especially those in college who don't necessarily have the time to mentor a team.
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