The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

What you thought I meant Christmas? Obviously I was referring to Botball…

Yes, it’s that time again. It’s time for a few members of the dedicated youth of the Northern Virginia area to come together every sunday to build robots. First thing first I’d like to introduce you to our tentative team for this year. Our returning members include Greg, Albert (or Allison, I can’t remember what I was calling her), Kelly, Alanna, Mary, Alex, and me. However we have quite a few people in the Botcave today who have shown interest in joining the team. This list includes: Joe, Mikey, Ryan, Kevin, Justin, and Jason.

Let’s get some quotes from the new kids. When asked for a quote about his experience in the Botcave so far, junior Joe Griffin said “I’m having the time of my life!” For real, that was a direct quote. Ask him about it. Sophomore Mikey Luciani (yeah, he’s Kelly’s baby brother, I guess robotics is in their genes) said “I’m enjoying myself to the fullest!” As I was walking around collecting quotes, returning member and senior Greg Kurnos couldn’t help but exclaiming, “I love Botball! I love it more than life itself!” We’re lucky to have such enthusiastic members this year.

Something I’ve been witnessing, this week and last week, is a few competitions within the team to do some hardware jobs. Mr. Gras breaks everyone up into teams and gives them a few mini-challenges. The teams build little bots to complete the task Mr. Gras has assigned and then each team’s robot is put to the test. It’ gets pretty competitive I’m not gonna lie. They cheer during the runs, they clap after success, and they weep after failures. Okay maybe not weep, but they get pretty emotional.

It’s been a magical experience watching young people come together to make something as beautiful as a chassis. Don’t ask me what that is, I can’t even pronounce it. But seriously, from what I can tell everyone is having fun and I think we’re gonna have a really good team this year. No, of course I’m not biased.

Before I end this ceremonial first blog of the season, I wanted to take time to thank our mentors Mr. Grasmeder and Mr. and Mrs. Newcastle. This might sound like a line from a bad, Oscar-esque speech, but none of this would be possible without them. We appreciate the time and resources they willingly dedicate to us, so mentors if you’re reading this, you’re the best!