Start a FIRST Team
Do coaches need robotics/tech skills? All coaches need is to model a can-do attitude to encourage girls and role model girl-led and girl-empowered mentality about tackling tech challenges. Learning with your team is an excellent way to role-model that this is a skill-building program—that not knowing is the first step to learning how to do something!
Can men be coaches? Anyone of any gender identity can be a coach. If both coaches are men, a third background checked adult female volunteer must be present at every team meeting.
Can married/partnered/related people be co-coaches? Yes, if a related pair are serving as co-coaches, a 3rd background-checked adult must be present at every team meeting.
How are teams coordinated? Team coordination is mostly self-directed and done at the individual and group level. STEM Program staff cannot guarantee participation but will work to connect Girl Scouts looking to join with teams in their area that have open spots so that the maximum number of girls can have access to this amazing opportunity.
Can I coach more than one team? Yes, teams can share coaches, meet at the same time, and share insights. However, each team will need their own materials, robot, and will complete their own unique challenge projects. Depending on demand and to have equitable opportunities across all our regions, we may limit the number of teams per coach we can support financially. Check with the STEM Program Manager before planning multiple teams.
Can Girl Scouts of Western Washington find my team a coach? We’ll work to connect forming teams with other partially formed teams in the same area. We can also connect single coaches with other single coaches where possible. Unfortunately, we do not have a pool of coaches to place with teams. The best bet is to recruit another adult you work well with.
Can non-Girl Scouts be on the team? Girl Scouts of Western Washington sponsored teams are comprised entirely of Girl Scouts. Team members do not need to be from the same troop (or in a troop at all), but all must have current Girl Scout membership. Team members are welcome to join Girl Sctous in order to join the team. Membership in Girl Scouts is $25 a year and financial assistance is available. Non-Girl Scouts can serve as team support, fans, or mentors, but they cannot be on the official team, appear on the team roster with FIRST, or participate in competitions. (We will take all the cheer leaders we can get!)
Can Girl Scouts of Western Washington place my Girl Scout(s) on a team? We will try and connect interested Girl Scouts with teams that have open spots in their area. However, teams rarely have open spots. We require a minimum number of members per team, but we do not require teams to accept members up to their capacity. Sign up for our Individual Interest List.
How Girl Scouts of Western Washington Supports FIRST Teams
- FIRST registration and competition fees
- Use of a laptop with software
- Use of robotics kit
- Challenge Kit (yearly challenge parts and field mat)
- Custom team t-shirts
- Reimbursement for materials, snacks, some travel expenses (max amount varies per level—additional team fundraising may be required if advancing to competitions)
- Coach support & handbook
- Network of Girl Scout Teams, experienced teams and coaches as well as access to FIRST mentors and experienced teams.