Full title: Has your team ever found itself limiting female drive team members due to lack of female travel chaperons? School rules dictate that female chaperons are required, of course, with female members.
Background: This year FRC3548 qualified at MSC to go to St. Louis. Our drive team was composed of a male driver, male operator and female human player. We did not have a mother volunteer to attend as a chaperon to attend Worlds. We made a team decision to not go to Worlds due to student logistics so the female chaperon issue became moot. Our team is only comprised of 10 members and does not rely on school teacher support.
Significant Potential Issue: Our sister team, FRC1188, did not qualify for MSC and hence Worlds. But, if it had, this team has a female driver and female operator for this year. Without a mother or adult female to volunteer to spend 14 hours to travel by train and to spend nearly a week with students and return 14 hours on a train as a chaperon, our trip would have been forfeited because it makes no sense to me to participate at Worlds without the existing drive team members who now have over 36 matches worth of experience. FRC1188 also has only ten student members.
I am thinking about next year and solutions to this possible roadblock for having female drive team members in regards to the Worlds Competition. Fortunately, we are a suburb of Detroit and we will not have this issue in 2018. BTW, this is the first time FRC3548 qualified for Worlds.
This thread can appear one-sided. As a FRC coach I select the most qualified drive team. For FRC3548 at ROHS, I had the same female driver and female operator for two years in 2013 and 2014 when we qualified for MSC. Upon graduation two years ago, the next season I had a male driver and female operator (2015). The female operator moved over to our sister team, FRC1188, this year and became the driver. I replaced the female operator (So) with a male operator (Jr) this year. FRC1188 and FRC3548 build in a common workspace and we break into two teams when we attend district events.
Identify female adult chaperons at beginning of season that can attend both MSC and Worlds. I have a hard time believing that this will be successful based on this years experience. The two mothers of the 1188 drive team did not attend MSC or were ever present for any mandatory team parent meetings. We were very fortunate that a previous team member’s mother who remains active with the team went to MSC and we were able to have the female student members attend.
Pay for adult female chaperon. This results in more expenses and fund raising.
Create a female driver / operator adult chaperon requirement for MSC and/or Worlds? In this regards, it could be someone other than a mother (Aunt, older sibling (>21) ) that could fulfill the role.
Perhaps bringing this issue to bear at the beginning of the season will help and the issue magically goes away but I would rather be much more proactive. We do have a significant number of male mentors on both teams.
So, has your team had this issue and how did you resolve it? Is this issue somewhat unique to our small team member status? Am I missing an obvious solution?
Feel free to PM if you think that is a better way to respond.
Trying to be proactive and solution based for next season,