Can anybody share their experience with getting the Kit of Parts shipped instead of attending a kickoff? It should get a bit less expensive this year with the smaller kit, especially for teams that choose the voucher.
How much has this cost in the past? How long did it take?
I like the idea of sending people to a local kickoff, but I also like having the entire team together to watch it at home in Iowa. The cost of gas and hotel might be more than the shipping for us.
For the past few years, our team has met in our shop and watch the live stream of the kick-off. We send one representative to the local event to pick-up the kit and bring back to the team immediately after the event.
For at least the past few years our lead mentor has driven to Chicago (I believe with one other mentor or student) while the team has stayed behind to watch the kickoff here in Iowa City. Maybe there is an opportunity for us to car pool?
If we continue to add a few more teams maybe it’s worth pushing for an Iowa kickoff in the next few years.
Rochester is interesting - it’s at the high school I graduated from and my family is in town. That would require me to ditch the team on the game reveal day, though, and I want to stay back here for some really nerdy strategy time. We’ve always had somebody get our kit at one of the nearest kickoffs, but before I do that it would be nice to estimate the shipping costs. If I take into account the mentors’ time and the money it costs to buy gas and hotel, shipping the kit might become attractive.
Yep, that is why I am asking what peoples’ experience has been. I am not terribly concerned about getting the kit a week late, because we will have materials on hand to build a drive through FIRST Choice and the AM voucher. During that first week we will be trying to design manipulators, so if there’s something in the kit we’d use for that, it’s unlikely that a short delay will hamper us. If it’s multiple weeks, that’s different.
Sending one person to pick up the kit means spending somebody’s entire day to drive somewhere and back. I ask a lot of my mentors already and would consider paying $100 or $200 to ship the kit of that’s what it costs. I think the mentors’ efforts are better spent in other ways.
Keep in mind that the kit always contains game pieces. Sometimes you can go out and purchase them from a store, but they are frequently custom made for FIRST, or not easily found locally. Personally, I wouldn’t want to spend a week designing a manipulator without having an official game piece to play with…