we are a team from central new jersey and we weren’t planing on going to Atlanta unless we earned our way there. well we just won the engineering inspiration award in Boston but now we have no way of getting there due to funds and travel cost (mostly bad planing on our and our mentors part)

so here we are, we are extremely desperate we have been asking local teams we know if they are busing down and if they have any room for any of our team.

we have already shipped the robot there and paid our registration, all we need now is to get our team there.

if ANY one any where could help please contact me or any one on our team.

thank you.

One of our members can’t make the trip with the team so he is taking an 18 hour train ride from NYC. From what I gathered it isn’t that expensive and if your team doesn’t have the money maybe the students can pay for the trip (a lot of teams including mine does that). I’ll have him pm you with the details sometime tomorrow.

Why not just have the students pay as jblay said?

Our team also has students pay travel costs. Obviously the feasibility of this depends on the trip costs, as well as your team’s structure and whether this fits with it. If you continue to work on fundraising for the trip but don’t manage to meet the total cost of it, you could consider subsidizing as much as you can, and having students pay the remainder of their travel costs.

Unfortunately, I’m not attending the Championship this year nor do I live in your area, so I can’t really help much beyond that. However, I wish you the best of luck in your fundraising efforts and travel arrangements. I saw your team in Boston and you are truly an impressive group. Good luck at the Championship!

Have you reached out to all of your sponsors? We have also found that companies are willing to help out. We’ve gotten 2 new sponsors in the last week by calling and describing our situation and need for funds.

Another resource our tea,s uses is It has worked wonders for us, and might come in very handy.

we do usually make the students pay their own way. but at almost 1000 dollars per student for flights and hotel most of the team would not be able to make it.

We have never made the students pay for any part of the trip! They have worked so hard all year long, it is our way of rewarding them.

In situations where it cannot be helped it might be better to ask for contributions from the students, but $1K is a bit too much.

Is your school willing to help subsidize the cost in any way?

We pay close to that much ourselves(probably as a result of poor planning) and our mentors pay too.

I myself am paying 700 dollars to attend.


I’m going to make a few phone calls tomorrow and see if one of the teams local to us is going and has any bus space they’re willing to give up. About how many people would you be planning on sending on the bus?

Also, seriously consider taking fewer kids like we talked about earlier. If you’ve already made the investment to send your Robot down to Atlanta you may as well send some kids to compete with it, even if you can’t send the whole team.


(Also, you should really look into cost cutting measures while you’re down there like staying in a cheaper non-FIRST hotel etc… I’d imagine you should be able to shave a bit off of your $1000 total to do it…)

(Btw, poor planning ftl - I’ll be paying about $1200 to go to the Championship when it’s all said and done and I booked stuff a month and a half ago.)

Our policy is if you put in the work the team will pay a portion. For ATL we’re having the kids pay half seeing we’re only bringing a small crew. The kids paid for our week long Florida trip, but we saved them a lot. For Florida trip that would normally cost a person $1,300 we got it for about $900 a person. Note that the kids fundraised to get their $900 cost down, same with the amount for ATL. I think by this time in the season most teams bank accounts are drained. I agree with Stogi. Just my two cents.


Is that with the cheapest hotel possible?

I’m paying $500 for my flight+ Omni.

Have you calculated costs with the train option?

Haha yeah me too. I mean we’re just staying at the Marriott Marquis. I’m with you Stogi. :slight_smile:

The students on 1923 are paying their own way. The issue is that because of the unforseen expense many people don’t just have $1000 sitting around. Matt’s been trying to find some way that they could go at a lower cost, even if this meant piggybacking on a bus with another local team. They’re currently in a position where their mentors want as many kids to go as possible, which makes short notice fundraising difficult.

Btw, Matt the team that I know of that usually charters a bus to go down each year isn’t going… :frowning: I’ll keep an eye out though.

Don’t worry; you can do it. We just booked last week. Days Inn, 300 Spring Street has 2 double beds for $130 night; split it 4 ways and it’s more than reasonable. Embassy Suites also had rooms available if you were a gold card holder; they were more expensive but you can fit more people per room so check it out.

Air Tran and Delta both fly direct. We got ours for less than $180 per person. We are flying in to Atlantic City for the trip home; it was a bit cheaper. Amtrak is inexpensive per person but be warned that a 16 hour train ride really messes with your head. It’s better for the trip home! If driving is your thing then check the website for Penguin Rentals in Pennsville NJ. We rented a 15-passenger van from them for our trip to Rochester NY. It was $400 with unlimited mileage. Tell them South Jersey Robotics sent you! :slight_smile: If you have a van then you can check out the hotels outside of Atlanta, or near the airport. Also look at to see if they have cabins available.

So for our trip, planned last week, for 3 people we came in right around a $1000.

Keep us posted! See you all in Atlanta!

If you are trying to send people and are trying to keep costs down to the students, I would think about sending the 7 or 8 people that need to go instead of the entire team. Yes, the entire team will not be there, but it is a cheaper alternative for the team. Also, if you send only the people that are needed, the team can focus on raising enough funds for a smaller group, making the challenge seem more manageable.

One way to obtain the funds it to have students on the team go out and try to collect (if it is a larger team) $200 each in donations. $20 from Grandma and Grandpa, another $50 from Aunt Jill, $30 from Uncle Sam. It adds up quick. If students ask for smaller donations from more people, they’re more likely to be able to get the funds to be able to go. Hope you are able to make it to Atlanta!

Better yet, assuming that you can get by without a van: Stay near the airport in a hotel that has an airport shuttle. Hop on the shuttle, then hop on MARTA at the airport. When you’re done at the venue for the day, reverse your steps.

It’s less convenient, but it does get the job done. MARTA passes are pretty cheap, too–IIRC, it’s about $15/person for a week-long pass, or something like that. Then you save because you’re away from downtown (airport hotels tend to be cheaper), airport hotels tend to have a continental breakfast of some form, and you don’t have to deal with gas costs to get to and from the venue every day. If you need to go somewhere that isn’t in walking/MARTA range, you find one of the local teams and ask them if they can help you–if they can’t, then they’ll know who can.

I think it was $12 the last time unless prices went up. Besides riding the MARTA is an experience in itself. :slight_smile:

Thank you to all that have replied and offered suggestions.

Unfortunately, it’s not just issues of cost and transportation, nor is it one for lack of effort and planning from the students and the mentors (It’s been a whirlwind of activity since BOS). What the team has been weighing is what’s in the best interest for the team, what % of the team would be able to travel and benefit from the experience, what % of the team would be able to attend if we went next year, chaperone/mentor availability, and working with the school for the necessary out of state overnight excursion approvals. The logistics have been challenging in such a short time frame.

We are very proud of the growth of our little garage team, the accomplishments of our students, becoming a more well rounded team both in the community and competitively, and rebuilding our affiliation with the West Windsor-Plainsboro District Schools. We will continue working with the school and FIRST to make the right decision regarding competing at Championship for the team.

Thank you again.

This was a major problem for us (In Australia) so we got a LOT of sponsers. For us the students had to pay $1000 towards the airfare and team Phoenix (2342) put us up. The rest of the airfare was payed for by sponsors.

For Atlanta or spongers committed to funding the trip for a skeleton team in two days. This meant that we could go to Atlanta with no extra expense.