Is there anyway to get the EasyC Autonomous function to execute without the competition dongle?
Your best bet is to create another function and call it operator control. Then when you finish testing it drag it into autonomous.
Is there a template available for the 2008 FRC competition?
You don’t really need a template (like Vex) since the field tells the robot whether it should be in Autonomous or OperatorControl. Just create a Competition Project using the File / New Competition Project menu item. Then just add your code to the Initialize, Autonomous, and OperatorControl functions.
You may want to check out the getting started tutorials in the help file.