Both of the teams that I mentor - 190 and 228 - are year-round teams; however since I am primarily involved with 228 during the summer months, I’ll keep my comments to their activities.
Team 228 meets at least once a week during the entire year (although a lot more during the build season ;)) for normal team meetings. We also have fun team events at least once per month, like a team barbeque, everyone going to see Wall-E, or mini golf and bowling tournaments. Outside of the FRC build and competition season, we attend at least three other FRC offseason competitions; this year it will be Beantown Blitz, BattleCry@WPI, Bash at the Beach and hopefully River Rage.
This season we have also been exceptionally busy fundraising (so far, selling pulled pork and our can and bottle drive) and working out a sound business strategy, as well as incorporating as an official 501©3 non-profit organization to make recruiting sponsors easier (as opposed to using the school district’s tax exempt status). Once we get all the final work done and receive our tax exempt status, we will begin an aggressive sponsorship recruitment campaign, as well as looking (and writing proposals) for local non-profit grants to help fund large capital improvements to our team, such as TIG welder or a CNC milling machine and CAM software.
Another thing keeping us busy for the past few seasons has been a lot of small to medium size capital improvements to our team and our workshop. Last year we repainted our machine shop to match team colors (before and after), and this year we’ve been adding tons of new storage space, cleaning out and resorting all our stuff, taking inventories of our raw materials/hardware and purchasing or seeking donations of more, rebuilding our robot cart, keeping our new vinyl cutter constantly busy, building a mobile cart for our sheet metal bend/brake/roller with this 3030 80/20 extrusion that was donated to us years ago by Bristol-Myers Squibb, designing and building a powder coating oven, teaching the students SolidWorks, prototyping ideas for a new modular chassis, all while taking the time to have huge team water balloon fights after meetings on particularly hot or humid evenings.
But FRC is not our only annual competition; in the fall months, we used to be involved with FVC/FTC as well as Savage Soccer, although this year it will most likely be IFI Vex Competition and Savage Soccer. (We’ve invested too much money in Vex to move to another platform). In addition, we also like to participate in local parades and community events, such as a local Autism Walk (with our robot of course!).
Yeah, in other words we are busy.