Perks for Graduating Seniors?

As a third-year team, this will be our first year with a significant number of graduating seniors. I was wondering if some of the more established teams represented here do anything special for their graduating students. Do teams provide any special recognition to Seniors, whether it be a special uniform, going-away presents, etc ? Any feedback is appreciated.

Not particularly a gift per say, but our team will have a “Senior Sign Off” every year at the last event of our season. Usually we have atleast one away event that requires our team to stay in a hotel. The last night that the team is together, sometimes at the hotel, sometimes at a restaurant, our lead mentor will have all the graduating seniors line up and speak one by one about what being part of team 869 and FIRST as a whole has done for them, what they’ve learned, the relationships they’ve forged etc.

It’s just a feel good moment for everyone, the seniors get to voice their appreciation and share some of the favorite memories, the younger students get a chance to reflect as well, and we as mentors are motivated even more by the impact we might’ve made.

Word of caution though, sometimes it can get kind of emotional, some students just love robotics so much!

My old team (1261) has an end-of-the-year picnic every year. At that picnic, we take time to honor all who helped, including our leaving seniors. They usually receive a nice little gift package along with some kind words from mentors.

  • Sunny G.

We provide our graduating seniors with a nicely framed set of team photos from each of the years they were involved.

358 has a potluck dinner at the end of each year where seniors receive their graduation cords. Typically our team’s adviser will say something about each individual’s time on the team and their future plans.

Our team actually thought of creating a scholarship pool from leftover funds for graduating seniors. We still aren’t sure about how we would divide up the funds, or if we would divide any funds at all. Just a thought for other teams.

We have team scholarships for graduating seniors. Upperclassmen also get priority when we have limited travel space. They also have more choice over who they get roomed with during travel.

Same for us - plus they get “awards” which are always quite funny, like the “blood, sweat & tears award” for a kid who used more band-aids than the rest of the team combined.

During the season seniors also get to eat dinner first.

[note: surely you mean “Perqs”, short for Perquisites, right?]

Our seniors receive awards at our annual season wrap up banquet along with a rookie of the year award and an overall most helpful award.

We do the same, like our programming lead received an award for writing an awesome game simulator for 2011 while operating only on soda.

On my team, we have a cookout at one of my moderators house. ( mostly cause she was a pool) Its a lot of fun and it was a good way to say goodbye and hey to everybody during the summer. They also give out certificates to all of the students and mentors.

Yes, you are correct, and I (re)learned a “50 cent” word today. Can’t remember if I saw that one on the SATs thirty-some years ago. I certainly wasn’t suggesting that we “percolate” our seniors. :smiley:

Good ideas everyone, keep 'em coming.

2815 hasn’t done anything yet, though I’ve toyed with the notion of issuing challenge coins to the rising seniors. I was issued one in AFJROTC back in high school, and I still carry it in case someone issues a challenge. (Unlike the article, our challenges were usually one-on-one and limited to a $1 drink.)

At the year end banquet, the seniors get to make a short statement saying what they have learned over the years & so forth. They also get recognized for their accomplishments. Occasionally they are roasted, but only the ones we like. :] Seniors are generally in top leadership rolls if they have earned that. They get what respect they have earned. Hopefully they take with them lessons they have learned.

I’m personally surprised FIRST hasn’t designed any coins like this… I see potential for a yearly challenge coin to be made and be sold with the potential for teams to personalize it. I have some really neat coins that I bought from NASA made with medal from the space shuttles, and can’t imagine the cool coins they could come up with. It would also be a memento for the kids to have and say “I did this season”… What do you all think?

I think that could be cool indeed, although having to carry around four (or nine, for me!) such coins to cover oneself in a challenge might get a little heavy :wink:

For display, though? Giddyup.

Like several other teams, we hold a banquet/potluck every year, where, among other things, we hand out letter patches and talk about the seniors. We’ve done it a bit differently every year I’ve been on the team, but I’m a fan of what we did this last year particularly. We had thirteen seniors graduating, and one of the mentors from each of their subteams spoke a few words about their contribution to the team. We also gave them some memorabilia, such as a CMP booklet signed by (if I remember correctly, which I may not) Dean, which were obtained through the efforts of a few of our mentors at the Championship event. I think we also gave the leadership a team coffee mug or waterbottle (joking that they should have had it during build season). I’m curious as to what we’ll be doing when our now-junior class graduates (there are like 30 of them!).

I love the giving back to the seniors-- just about every one on our team has put blood, sweat, and tears into our team, so we like to let them know we love them!