Summer Recap

Hello all,

It’s been a while so here is a recap of our summer fun!

Live Long and Prosper Thank You Event

Our annual thank you event was this may and it was a blast! There was a custom cake from Pheobe’s bakery, special stands, student and mentor speakers, and, of course, parents, sponsors and volunteers. Over the course of the evening we handed out custom stands and signed poster boards to our sponsors, spoke about the year, then enjoyed the delicious viddles.

Nova Discoveries Camp

Over the summer NOVA middle school held its anual discoveries camp, a camp where 4th-5th graders can enroll at engaging camps from board game design to geology. Presented for the first time this year was a robotics course, which a team member helped mentor. We supplied kids with knowledge and a field from the Amazon Girls Initiative camp. Hopefully we can continue to work with NOVA and other middle schools to better engage our students with robotics from an early age!


Every year ORF runs a crepe booth at Lakefair, Olympia’s annual fair festival beside Capitol Lake. Last year we raised a record amount, and we sold over 600 crepes! This year however we had a lot of bad luck, but thanks to our stellar community we still came out making profit, but only made about half of the profits from last year. The following are the three main reasons we struggled this year.

1.Coldharted Refrigerators

On the first day of Lakefair we were shut down for health code violations. Really only one violation, our food was all room temperature, because our fridge broke. The reason was that we drove it on its side, which messed up the distribution of the coolant, causing the fridge to not cool things, just blow hot air around. Thankfully a team alumni was able to pull some strings at Lowe’s and they loaned us a fridge for the rest of the week, so we were able to sell crepes and store cold ingredients.

2.Inferior, Non-Robotics Related, Life

People have lives outside of ORF, and sometimes the schedules don’t like up. We run the booth for 12-13 hours every day for five days, and we need 4-6 people at the booth at all times. Currently we have roughly 20 people on the team, most of whom have summer jobs and trips planned during July. About a week before Lakefair we didn’t have enough people to run the booth. Lucky for us team 4925 Aldernating Current agreed to send some of their team members over to help run the booth during the week for a portion of the profits.

3.Mother Nature

In mid July even Washington gets hot. We had highs of 95 degrees Fahrenheit and hot griddles running all day in an stuffy tent. When it’s almost 100 degrees out very few people want food, much less hot food. We had very few people come mid day to the fair this year on the weekend, most people opting to stay in air conditioned or shadowy places. But, thanks to a stroke of genius by a team parent we were able to capitalize on the heat. Using strawberry juice from the process of making our strawberry mix and adding a little lemon lime soda the Summer Strawberry Sparkler was born. Served with ice it proved to be a huge success.

Harbor Days

Harbor days this year ran on a skeleton crew, but thanks to our mentors, alumni parents, and team members we were able to man the booth all weekend. The event saw major technical difficulties with the robot, but even without the robot running for nearly two full days, we were still able to reach out to many in our community, and from all across the northwest as people from outside the state on visits came down to the pier. Special thanks to Larrissa for letting us use her work office to store the robot and other expensive equipment during the night, and all of the people on the team who gave up their weekend and friday to man the booth.

That sums up out summer. Stay tuned for more regular updates, new blogs, and a fresh Captain’s Blog next week!

Live Long and Prosper,

Llewyn Merrill