Check out the compiled list of frequently asked questions! Click each question to find out more about the answer and available resources. You can find more FAQ pages geared towards teams/coaches, educators/admin, and students/parents.
How much time am I committing when volunteering?
It depends on the role you have volunteered for. Typically, it is a full day of volunteering for judges and referees. However, if you are unable to dedicate a full day, we still have roles for you and would love your assistance! Depending on the role, there may be a little pre-event training to help get you ready for the fun!
What is the age requirement to volunteer with VA+DC FIRST® LEGO® League?
Volunteers vary by age depending on the role:
– Referee volunteers: 16+ years of age
– Judges: 18+ years of age
– Any other role, 14+ years of age
What if I don’t know what volunteer role to sign up for?
How do I register to become a volunteer?
I can’t commit to coaching, but have skills or knowledge that could help a team during the season.
Is there a role for me?
Yes! More than ever, our FIRST® teams need mentors to help ignite curiosity, empower, and guide the collective skills needed to make a positive impact on each other, and the world. Mentors can be parents, teachers, professional engineers, veterans, and can be a person of any age who brings technical or non-technical expertise to the team.
The FIRST® Mentor Network allows mentors to easily find one or multiple teams to work with virtually or face to face, locally or across the country, for a few hours or a season. Create your profile and get started today!
Can I volunteer at an even if I am a coach or parent of a team?
Yes! We encourage coaches and parents to volunteer at events. It gives coaches and parents a better insight to how an event works and how the judging process take place. Many times coaches and parents only get to see their own team so it can also be very helpful to see what other teams look like.
To avoid any conflicts of interest, we do ask coaches/ parents to let the tournament director know if they are volunteering at the same event their team plans to attend. Coaches and parents can still volunteer but we will make sure that they are not judging their own team.
Do volunteer events occur throughout the year?
No, VA+DC FIRST® LEGO League volunteer events, as well as other FIRST Program events, occur during the months of November through June.
Teams are looking for mentors year round though. So if you have skills or knowledge that you are willing to share, consider being a FIRST® Mentor. The FIRST® Mentor Network allows mentors to easily find one or multiple teams to work with virtually or face to face, locally or across the country, for a few hours or a season. Create your profile and get started today!
Who does VA+DC FIRST® LEGO® League serve?
VA+DC FIRST® LEGO® League inspires kids in grades K-8, in the sport of science, technology, and teamwork! Using competitive robotics as a learning platform, kids experience the thrill and excitement of playing a sport, while developing skills needed to become part of our future workforce.
Can I sign up for more than one volunteer event?
Yes! We welcome all the volunteers that are willing to help.
Do I need experience to become a volunteer?
No! You just need to come with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard to make the kids experience awesome! If there are any volunteer roles that require additional knowledge, training will be provided.
What is the FIRST® Youth Protection Program (YPP)?
The purpose of the FIRST® Youth Protection Program (FIRST® YPP) is to provide Coaches, Mentors, Volunteers, employees, others working in FIRST® programs, team members, parents, and guardians of team members with information, guidelines, and procedures to create safe environments for everyone participating in FIRST® programs. You can read more about this program here: https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/youth-protection-policy
The FIRST® YPP sets minimum standards recommended for all FIRST® activities. Adults working in FIRST® programs must be knowledgeable of the standards set by the FIRST® YPP, as well as those set by the school or organization hosting their team.
FIRST® expects all teams in the United States and Canada to adhere to all provisions of the FIRST® YPP.
Will I have to get a background check to become a volunteer?
Yes. To ensure the safety of our students, VA+DC FIRST® LEGO® League requires all volunteers to complete a background check before attending events. Volunteers are not responsible for any costs or fees associated with background checks, but you do have the option to donate those costs back to the organization. To find out more about the volunteer screen process, check this guide.
What should I wear to an event as a volunteer?
Something comfortable! VA-DC FIRST® LEGO League will provide you with a Volunteer t-shirt, but make sure you wear comfortable shoes – you might be standing/walking a lot!
Optional: An Awesome Hat of fun costume item! If you have ever attended a FIRST LEGO League Challenge event, the energy-level and the costumes definitely stand out. Consider bringing a fun hat or accessory to help celebrate with the teams!
If I have questions, who should I contact?
Please contact email@example.com for any questions pertaining to your volunteer role, or event. You can also reach out to your tournament director who should have contacted to you if you have been assigned to an event. They sometimes have more of the event specific information.