like most regionals around the country your right they require volunteers. well for the NYC regional team members of participating teams or non participating teams may assist with field resetting mostly and a few other small side jobs.
I remember back in 2001 My friend Ray was on 522 w/ me and he was field resetting. In 2002 and 2003 he played human player and well 2004 hes an alumni just like me. Oh the memories they won’t go away easily & they’re there for a reason and their there to stay!
Our team (854) hosted a booth at the International Hobby Show at the International Center in Toronto to promote the Canadian regional. We basically set up a projector, soundsystem and display, and played promo videos, and drove robots around. People seemed really interested.
We show up. Just the presence of 696 makes the whole arena a more lively place. We are the most unorganized whacky bunch of folks and I think the whole event really benefits off us being there. Anyone who was in Phoenix or LA last year should be able to verify this.
Our team generally has a lot of adult chaperones who end up being on the field as volenteers, even one of our engineers did it once (it was kinda weird) sometimes kids that are on things like animation, can volenteer at a regional. Our team will do almost anything you ask of us at a regional, we most definetly have enough people!
For our team, one of our mentors is the president of the Southern California Regional Robotics Forum. And they are going to be using the parts of the field that we built for practice in the pits at the LA regional.
At regionals in the past 103 has provided volunteers, performed national anthems, helped/mentored fellow teams, promote the events through website and newsletter, and encouraged potential sponsors and potential future teams to attend. I’m sure we are up for the same again.
Our current VP was an inspecter last year and he had a rockin’ good time. So I think that I will be an inspector at GLR this year. And also a compatition with out team Lightning would be like a stick of butter with out frosting.
Though I’m not talking about my team here, I wanted to post about the joys of volunteering at competitions.
Volunteering is so much fun! This coming from a girl who used to volunteer in the time period when you had to know someone to get a volunteering job (side note: that volunteer form makes me feel so old)
Jobs I have held over my FIRST volunteering career:
-Media Tent volunteer…where I met Jeb Bush
-Dean’s “watch” (I have no idea if he does now, but Dean wasn’t wearing a watch at all in 2000…and because my old team required watches on at all times, I was assigned to follow him around and tell him when his appointments were)
-Dean and/or Woodie fetcher (as you can tell by going to a regional or nats, Dean & Woodie like to wander off…and it was my job to track them down)
-Media Scaffolding control…gives you the best view of the field in the entire place
-FIRST Place front desk attendant…with the lovely Lora Knepper!
And you get cool stuff too! I have volunteer tshirts dating back from 1995 b/c FIRST was clearing them out one of the last times I volunteered. They also used to give you water throughout the entire competition. But my favorite gift was way back when in 2000 when Sandra Darah used to work as FIRST’s media rep…and one random day in May I recieved a letter of recommendation from her in the mail to use as I wished. I like to believe it was one of the things that helped me get into Babson
So my point is, by all means, get into volunteering at competitions. I started doing it because there’s sometimes not much for a student not working on the robot to do during Nationals…I wanted something more out of it, I wanted to see a different side. And I got more out of it than I ever want to admit.
Our team has made volunteering part of what our team does. One our stated goals when the team was formed in 2000 was to see a regional in our home state of South Carolina. To that end, starting in 2002 we offered members of our team to serve as volunteers to build a knowledge base to draw from for running the SC regional. One of our adult members is actually the volunteer coordinator for both the Palmetto (we succeeded! we have a regional in SC) and the Peachtree Regionals. We will also be supplying volunteers for nationals.
As a more personal response I have been a volunteer in the past, as a field coordinator (not sure if that’s the correct title? I made sure teams got on and off the field in orderly fashion), as an inspector and as the Pit Announcer at the Nationals. It really brings you close to an extraordinary group of people, the FIRST staff. I have really enjoyed working with these people. I also really enjoyed the chance to meet so many of the participants. This is such a great way to be part of something that I see as the birth of a new and exciting direction for teans around the world. This year I will also be volunteering.
For those that read this and wonder, “How can I get involved?” Contact FIRST through their web site www.usfirst.org or if you would like to volunteer for the Palmetto or Peachtree Regionals visit our team’s site, www.metalinmotion.com and post a message stating that you would like to volunteer. We’ll get you in touch with the coordinator! You can also PM me and I’ll put you in touch.
Be a volunteer! Give back to FIRST! Get a whole lot more than you give!
P.S. FIRST takes care of the volunteers. There is always plenty of great food and refreshments
Team 698 Chandler, Arizona
Its not what are team does for the phoenix regional its what our sponsor does. Microchip (our main team sponsor) started the Phoenix regional.They got some companies in Arizona to help sponsor the entire regional. And to back them up every year at Hamilton High Team 698 always invites all the teams in F.I.R.S.T. to come a mock competion. Team 60 and Team 64 always helps us out.(Thanks) Now just if we could get every team in the U.S. to host a mock competion we could have a little more fun through out the whole year not just 6 weeks and a few Regionals and mabye a National compition.
Team 25 works hand in hand with the NJ FIRST regional committee. We do our very best to support the growth of FIRST teams in our area, and work with a NJ FIRST program called RINOS, Rookies In Need Of Support, to provide mentorship to new teams.
The Georgia Tech mentors and our team the CircuitRunners have done a lot to help FIRST grow in Georgia including helping the regional event. A few of us sit on the planning committee and have been in charge of recruiting GA teams. We have done tons of demonstrations, hosted a 10 week series of workshops in the fall, run a help desk for GA teams, run a remote kickoff and a scrimmage, mentor several rookies, and much more. One of our big problems this year was finding good strong mentors for already existing teams as well as new ones. Our team was able to find sponsors and match them with local teams that needed help.
There are lots of things that need to be done to run a successful regional, and not just for the three days of competition. I encourage all teams to contact their regional coordinator or some of the regional committee members and see where they can help. Don’t hesistate to pass on good ideas to them, it helps. And don’t forget about Lego League either, it takes a lot of work putting those competitions together as well.