This year has been tough for us with the new systems put in place since our oldest kids aged out and our youngest child became old enough to participate. FLL has instituted a new system for parents that isn’t easy to use. Our old team number was under my old email that I don’t have access to, so we have a new team number, and the paperwork still isn’t all in the system for all our parents. We have some filled out by paper that we downloaded, yet the local person sent us last years copy of the consent form… So it became a question of use this years that we downloaded or last years.
Most of our kids have special dietary requirements and some are special needs, so the local regional’s rules about no food brought in (not to mention the exorbitant prices) looked pretty tough for kids that are seeing a schedule with them busy from 7 am to about about 3:30 in the afternoon. Despite the downtime that is mentioned, I’ve been at tournaments before and the kids are generally hyped, trying to fix robot flaws, talking to other teams, and end up with no time to go run out to some local place to eat. Luckily an email resolved this with a bring food for any dietary needs. Having a child that has the same lunch and same dinner every day frequently isn’t understood – mine even makes me pick out all the veggie straws that aren’t the right color… so I’ve dealt with the funny looks and comments before, I just like to shield my little one from dealing with them.
We are also dealing with scheduling issues that were made more difficult by conflicting schedules we seem to be seeing. Hopefully it will all be cleared up when we arrive at 7 next Saturday.
To get ready, our kids have toured a water treatment facility (thank you Bowling Green Water!), gotten matching t-shirts, done water tests with different water filters, and learned a lot about programming their robot. Being their first year and with none of them having even seen FLL before, we got off to a slow start, but the kids have been starting to get it and are getting excited. With one week left they are starting to plan a play to show off their research. Tomorrow will be our last meeting and the kids will finish up everything they can and make their plan for next Saturday.