[WRRF]: Thank You to our 2006 Cal Games Volunteers

Thank You to our 2006 Cal Games Volunteers
By: Ken Leung, 06’ Cal Games Manager

I would like to ask everyone to take a moment to look at the credits of the 2006 California Robot Games.

We can, of course, never thank the Cal Games Volunteers enough for all the time and effort they put in the past six months planning, organizing, and running the incredible event we have yesterday.

It is hard to believe 6 months have gone by since the day we said, “We will have Cal Games this year.” It was still harder to believe we’ve recruited 200+ volunteers through out the various phases of the planning process. And it was hard to believe so many individuals from all over the Bay Area attended every planning meetings
since our kickoff on June 28th, 2006.

I must admit I was very anxious about whether we will be able to pull it off this year. But the moment I step off my car at the WRRF storage space for truck loading, the moment I step into the door of the Pioneer Gym for Friday setup, and the moment I went into the Pit Area Saturday morning and looked around, I knew we are in good hands.

Going beyond their ways to make sure every details are taken cared of, continuing tirelessly to work together as the Bay Area WRRF community, each and everyone of our Cal Games volunteers deserves our utmost gratitude.

Being a college student, still learning the way of life and pursuing the means to reach the things I want later in life, there is only one thing I can do to express my appreciation to this incredible group of folks:

I can only say thanks and shake their hands every time I see them at a robotics competition, and in whatever paths that follows in the years to come.

2006 California Robot Games Volunteers, Thank you so much for putting together a wonderful event!

Cal Games 06 Credits 1.4.pdf (76.3 KB)

Cal Games 06 Credits 1.4.pdf (76.3 KB)

The amount of planning and preparation that went into this event allowed for just an outstanding level of coordination between all the volunteers. I was quite impressed. I believe this event kick started the WRRF into a long future of success to come. I cannot emphasize enough how important each and every volunteer was to this event. Every job, big or small; the Cal Games could not have been the awesome event it was without the help and support of YOU. Give yourselves a good pat on the back, you’ve earned it! :slight_smile:

Last week we recognized the competition volunteers and the planning volunteers. This week we are going to recognize another group of volunteers who are instrumental to the success of California Robot Games 2006, the setup/tear down volunteers!

Without their tremendous amount of hardwork and resilience for the entire week from October 23rd all the way until October 29th, this event would not have happened. Let’s hear it for all the setup/tear down volunteers!!!

Folks across the country, if you want a top notch off-season event, if you want to know how much folks you need to pull off one of the most successful off-season event across the country, just how the names in the credits and you will know ;-).

Cal Games 06 setup-teardown Credits.pdf (84.9 KB)

Cal Games 06 setup-teardown Credits.pdf (84.9 KB)

Psh, that was nothing. I was still fresh that day–all I’d accomplished that day on the east coast was cramming my clothes and such in a suitcase, driving up to Charlotte, eating, and getting through security.

I just realized that I hadn’t done two things I had been meaning to do: post pictures on CD (c’mon, there’s far more of them out there!) and say a few thank-yous of my own.

First off, thanks to Ken Leung and the entire WRRF for doing an amazing job with Cal Games this year. The amount of communication via CD and other means was the best I’d seen of any off-season I’ve been to, and quite possibly beats FIRST regionals. Now take all that praise and double it for taking a chance on a nut from South Carolina for one of the most visible positions on the field. It was a great time, one I hope to make again.

Further thanks to Mauri and Connie Laitinen of 115 for the place to stay during the event. When I was making plans to go, I was hopeful to find a couch somewhere out there. They certainly overdelivered on that, making me almost awake for the event. (Hey, all you East Coast folks–if you go out west, you feel like you’re sleeping in even though it’s normal time!)

Big props to Mark Leon for emceeing the event and handling Paly’s attack gracefully. I’d met Mark before on Curie in 2005, but working together on the same field was a great experience. Mark really could do this job blindfolded. (Well, maybe not–but that’s another story for another time.)

Further appreciation to David “sanddrag” Black for being a great partner on the microphone. Easy to work with, always willing to help, and really needs to come out East one of these days. :wink:

I’d be remiss to forget about Cory McBride for the lift from SFO, even if it scared me about as much as being in front of 604’s shooter on the field. (I got the nickel tour of 254’s shop as we loaded Cory’s SUV up. It’s a really great facility.)

Thanks to 968 for coming up from Los Angeles for the event. It was great meeting the whole crew–they’re a world-class team.

I’ve also got to show my appreciation to 1351 for their performance in the last finals match. As you’ve probably read by now, 1351’s alliance partners (192 and 840) didn’t move for the whole match. They’re pitted against 254, 968, and 1516, and they still put up 18 points single-bottedly. That never-say-die spirit is one of those reasons I love coming to these competitions.

Finally, thanks to Bill Gold and his entire family for hosting Ken and myself on Sunday afternoon following Cal Games. I might not have been the best conversationalist (as I was still recovering from the event and the time change the night before) while there, but the dinner was amazing. (The only down side was having to get back used to campus dining 24 hours later…but I can handle that. ;))

There’s more people I probably should be thanking but have forgotten–you know who you are. Next year, it’ll take something big to keep me from going back to Cal Games.

It has been a week since the Cal Games at Pioneer High school and some of us are only beginning to wind down from the event. Putting on the Cal Games this year was a Herculean effort by a huge cadre of volunteers. The planning for the event started near the end of the past school year and continued through the summer. A significant amount of work went into building field elements, augmenting a field loaned to us by NASA and adding functionality to an electronic scoring system loaned to us by members of the SCRRF community. The electrical power of the building used for pits was enhanced to provide enough circuits. Volunteers worked on awards, on publicity, on registration, on the concession, on set up, and on clean up. Teams contributed their mentors, and a number of students, who stuck with us through the long planning period. Teams contributed work crews to support the event. These rotating work crews worked into the night on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then Sunday morning to finally put all of the gear back away. Volunteers came from afar to contribute to the event. Members of non-participating teams worked as volunteers at the event. All of these things were huge contributions that were essential to the success of the Cal Games. Everyone involved contributed more broadly than at any prior Cal Games event and are to be congratulated.

I would particularly like to thank the members of the planning committee who worked tirelessly over a six month period to cause this event to take form, those who made a special effort to pitch in and help resolve problems, fill gaps, and supported our event through the day, and those who loaned us custom controller hardware that made the task of operating and scoring the game possible. An extended list of credits can be found at:
One can never succeed in tracking the very significant efforts of so many people perfectly, and we have most likely left significant contributors out of the credits. I would like to encourage the members of the WRRF community to remedy any oversights on our part by issuing a public thank you note on the Chief Delphi thread below:

In addition to providing an important event for veteran FRC teams to galvanize around, the 2006 Cal Games provided a demonstration of what FIRST is all about to nine rookie teams in Northern California who have registered for the coming season. We warmly welcome these rookie teams: 2035 Carmel, 2063 Turlock, 2073 Pleasant Grove, 2035 Vacaville, 2141 DeLa Salle - Concord, 2135 Presentation High - San Jose, 2144 Sacred Heart - Atherton, 2156 Hirham Johnson - Sacramento, 2159 San Leandro High. I would like to encourage veteran teams to mentor these rookie teams, sharing what they know and offering their help where it is needed, as is the custom in our community.

The WRRF will host workshops on December 9, at Santa Clara University. These workshops will cover many important topics, in response to popular demand from those who register for them. I would like to encourage team members, and in particular members of our new rookie teams, to attend these workshops to learn about topics that they will find useful during their build season.

Again, I offer my thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of the 2006 Cal Games, and thank in advance those who will lead at workshops in Santa Clara. I look forward to seeing you at the WRRF workshops, at the coming events in 2007, and in particular, at the WRRF Cal Games in 2007.

Eugene Brooks
President of the WRRF

After spending a whole week of catching up to everything else, I finally had a chance tonight to sit down and have a relaxing meal tonight. Even though the steak was terrible, and stayed terrible despite all the A1 sauce I poured on it, I had a good time having a quiet meal without a whole bunch of craziness happening around me.

Needless to say, I am glad that the burden is finally off my shoulder and we’ve yet again enjoyed another successful year of Cal Games.

Even though I still haven’t had the chance to really reflect on what happened the past 6 months, I was able to think a little bit about this whole experience, and the one thing that sticked out the most are the people whom I have the pleasure of working with for Cal Games.

I’ve tried my best to put include every name in the credits attached above, but even then I won’t be able to list everyone I need to thank for contributing to this one day competition. So, I am going to rely on the rest of WRRF community to help remind us just who were there to help us out when we needed the help.

Still, there are some folks I need to thank, and I will do them right now without ruining the little notes I am going to send to each of them this week ;).

Ceal Craig of 1120 is the reason why all of us got together and started the whole planning process. Without her there wouldn’t be Cal Games. Without her we wouldn’t have come together to form the planning committee. We owe her the deepest gratitude for her determination and energy through out the past 6 months.

Tim Craig of 1120 is the other half of Ceal. Though Tim is not as visible as Ceal in the planning group, he is always there at every meeting, and worked tirelessly all Friday and Saturday of Cal Games on the field and other things. We need to remember that Ceal and Tim’s partnership is what makes them so great to work with.

Eugene Brooks of 1280, President of WRRF, took care of field and pit area power and pretty much everything else that needs to be taken cared of during the past 6 months. You need to remember that I am a Mechanical Engineering student, which means I have no clue what so ever about power, voltage, amps, circuits. Eugene took care of that so well that all I had to do was nod and smile everytime he start going on and on about power :D.

Mike Schmit of 1351, another BOD of WRRF, took care of the floor protection/carpets, the match list, the pit area signs, the field, and countless other things. Believe it or not he has been thinking about all these since Cal Games 2004. And sure enough when we said we need help putting this together, he step up to the plate and ask What can I do to help? I learned a lot from Mike.

Phyllis Schmit of 1351 is the other half of Mike. She did an incredible job taking care of registration for us, and was there with us the entire time starting on the Thursday before Cal Games. Without her work, we won’t have so many teams at the competition.

Dave Sheridan is an amazing person to work with. He is simply the nicest guy I’ve ever met. And the first thing he volunteered to help with was the field elements, which we all find out later just how much work it takes to finish. Dave worked all day Friday to make sure the goals, ramps, and everything else fit together with the NASA playing field, so we owe him a lot of thanks for that.

There are still many more names I need to mention in here, but it is now 2:04am in the West Coast, and I need to get some sleep so I can wake up early tomorrow morning. So, this is where I will stop for now. Those of you I haven’t gotten to yet, don’t worry, I will ;).

Stay tuned for more tomorrow!

Ah! I was going to finish this the day after I posted the last thank you notes, but I forgot. So, let me just finish this really quickly…

I want to give a big thanks to **Lonny Weissman ** and the rest of team 668 Apes of Wrath for being a wonderful host.

Mark Leon, Joe Hering, and Cory McBride from NASA Ames for providing us a playing field.

Michael Neary and Terry Wells from SCRRF for providing us the field controller system.

And I know it will be impossible to name all the names, so I am just going to tell everyone what I remember the most from Cal Games this year…

I remember tons and tons of people came to our planning meetings over the summer…
I remember Thursday night after two of the teams helped us loaded the truck up, team 668 and a small group of folks helped us get started on flooring at Pionieer High School until 9pm that night…
I remember the same small group of folks plus a few other willing volunteers came early Friday morning at 10pm to help us lay down and hot seam the carpets… There was Michael from 114, Laura and Marc from 100, Gary from former 972, Ceal, Alvin, Tim, Mike, Phyllis, Lonny, Dave, Cory, David, Tim, and others…
And I remember there were so many teams who came to help us setup all Friday…
I remember Team 114 stayed pretty much all day Friday until very late at night to help us with everything…
I remember team 1351 stayed until 11:30pm to help us test the playing field.
I remember Gary, Mauri, and Lonny stayed until past 1am to get the field system finished…

Then I remember Saturday morning when I got in so many teams were there ready to help us run the event…
I remember when the field system didn’t work on the first match team 968 came rushing to us to help us figure out the radio problems…
I remember seeing the 60+ volunteers so willing to do the work to make sure the event was successful…
I remember when some of the core people like Ceal, Eugene, Mike, Lonny, Alvin, and others getting so tired because it was a long day and we had matches until 7pm…
I remember team 481 so willing to help us when we needed volunteers…
I remember team 100 helped us with so many volunteers too…
I remember Billfred and Sanddrag did an incredible job with Mark Leon being announcers…
And I remember everything get cleaned up so fast by 9pm with tons of people staying behind to help us…

And I remember team 192 helped us unload the truck the next morning with just the 7-8 of us, plus Billfred…

I remember all of that, except I don’t remember exactly what happened anymore. So much energy, so much excitements, so much generosity… This is the best Cal Games yet since 2000!