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This was our second consecutive year hosting a district-level FRC tournament. We won't lie, it's a lot of work. It has its rewards though too. There is a sense of pride that comes with having 37 other teams from around the district come to your school to compete.We have one of the larger teams in FIRST Chesapeake, currently totaling about 75 students. That gives us a significant worker pool to draw from. Everyone got the heads-up in advance that they were expected to be available for whatever task was required from after school Friday until late Sunday night. Students helped assemble and dismantle the field, gave ambassador tours, handed out safety goggles, picked up trash, staffed the concession stand, and did whatever else was asked of them. It was the first tournament for our rookies and we were very impressed with how quickly they jumped into the metaphorical pool and started to swim.We also had about 15 alumni who came in to mentor or volunteer over the course of the weekend. Many of them are pictured above. We are so proud to have such a large, dedicated group that appreciates the importance of giving back to the FIRST community!Blue Cheese played key roles in two new events on Saturday morning. First, we hosted an Advocacy Breakfast for teams that were interested in learning about the National Advocacy Conference or tips about local or state advocacy. Chris Dovi, from CodeVA was the guest speaker. There were also presentations from FRC students with advocacy experience. Blue Cheese, MechTech Dragons, and Vae Victus shared their stories and lessons learned. One of our alumni spoke about how his advocacy work during his time on Blue Cheese has impacted his life since graduation.Second, we provided most of the staff the FIRST Chesapeake open house, sponsored by Dominion Energy. The team took care of the food purchases, venue setup, and provided students, parents, mentors, and alumni to staff the event. They spoke with parents, students, and visitors who were interested in learning more about FIRST.We'd like to take this opportunity to thank the parents and mentors to volunteered all weekend as well. They kept the concession stand up and running all weekend and put together an incredible spread of food for our team dinner Saturday night. So much food. So much cheese. You really haven't lived until you have tried Mrs. Kutz' cookies or Mrs. Jessani's biryani. We don't know if we will host again next year, but if we do, we know that our team is up for the challenge. See the NBC-12 News story about the event here.