Wow, what a season we had! From a very different FRC game that had its own unique strengths and weaknesses, to running over 10,000 matches at nearly 100 events, to the addition of two new Districts, to significant changes to awards, to all sorts of changes at Championship – and I could go on - we’ve had a wild, and fun, ride.
I’d like to thank the incredible FRC Staff for all they did this year. As I’ve said in earlier posts, the community doesn’t know the names of most of them, but they work very hard to deliver the best possible experience to the teams – and when something goes wrong, they take it personally. This isn’t ‘just a job’ for them, it’s something that really matters, and we’re incredibly lucky to have this team.
I also want to thank our many thousands of volunteers and mentors. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you! I recognize with this year’s game and award changes we stretched some of you, depending on your role, past the point of comfort. For 2015, we’re looking closely at how we can keep some of the positive changes we’ve made, especially with respect to awards, while easing back on the burden on our wonderful volunteers.
While I’m thanking the volunteers and mentors, I also want to thank their families! I know the many hours our volunteers and mentors put in is not without cost at home. What your family member or significant other is doing is truly appreciated, and we thank you for allowing them to contribute in such a big way.
Of course, I also want to thank all our sponsors, at every level, from the smallest pizza shop sponsoring a local team, to our largest FIRST-wide sponsors, you are all truly making a difference in the lives of our students.
Finally, I want to thank the teams themselves. I love how open you are when we try ‘something new’. Working together, I’m confident we’ll continue making improvements in FRC! I love you guys!
With the season coming to an end, it’s a great time for reflection. Some moments during the season were ones of great joy, others of deep sorrow.
As our FIRST family grows, it’s inevitable that the number of family members we lose each season will continue to grow as well. I’ve sent out more condolence letters this season than I care to think about. And for all those I sent out, I’m sure there are other losses I heard nothing about.
I would encourage everyone to take a few moments to think about what has happened over the last year, and include those we’ve lost in your thoughts. These people will never be replaced, but we can keep their legacies burning bright.
Next year at the 2015 FIRST Championship, we’re planning to have a quiet remembrance area, at which we’ll be able to post photos and other information about those we’ve lost. Championship attendees will be invited to take a few minutes from their very busy schedules to come to the remembrance area and spend some time in quiet contemplation.