First off, welcome to FIRST.
I don’t think I Can cover every thing you need but I will give it a try. Also I’m sorry, I’m a Paramedic not an English major.
Its crazy how the rookies are in the 5000 number range now.
When I started my team 10 !! years ago we where in the same boat as you.
Not knowing where to start from.
Can we get some info on your team. Where are you located, number of Students vs mentors, and what is your workshop setup like, and what team will be mentoring you. And what events will you be attending?
Kick off is only a 11 days away so you don’t have much time. It all depends on how many students and mentors you have. Spend as much time with your mentoring team as you can, before the kick Off ( the start of the season and reveal of the game). They can help you the best.
I would go onto the FIRST website and read as much information as you can about the past games, to get an idea of what is a ahead of you. http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/resources
As soon as the game is revealed, read the manual and watch the kick off animation a few time’s. To start brainstorming ideas. Your mentoring team should guide you through this process. They should help you set up a time table of when you need to have a task completed by, the 6 weeks go by fast.
With were to start it all depends on what you have to work with. It doesn’t matter if you have 5 students or 50. You will should break in to small groups of students and mentors to manage the different parts of the game. This is so you get as many students involved as you can and that they don’t get overwhelmed with this whole process.
Have a student or two study the game manual, so the others can refer to them if they have a question of what is legal and not. You will need to have an overall team strategy, to know how you will be playing the game.
Once you have a strategy, you can have a group or two work on the overall design of the robot. Then you can have a another group who does the building. This can even further and have sub groups within the main groups. To do more tasks.
I know I did not cover every thing and there is so much more to cover, I know other people will fill in the missing gaps, but to get you started your best sources of information will Be your mentoring team and the First website and the Chief Delphi forums. There are so many people willing to help all you have to do is ask.
Also this is your Rookie year, you are bound to make mistakes but that is OK. You will learn from them and do better next time.
The biggest thing I can stress is to HAVE FUN.