Duluth Northern Lights

Updated 1/26/2017

Our first regional competition is Northern Lights Regional in Duluth, on March 1-4 2017. This page covers schedule, packing list, lodging, transportation and more. Contact Toby with any questions.

In general, students will have a high degree of independence. We are staying in a hotel, and students will be 4 or 6 to a room. Mentors/coaches will share rooms as well. Behavior expectations are high, and anyone not meeting our team’s code of conduct will have to return home.

All team members going to Duluth must:

  • Complete the Sign Up Form.
  • Send in payment (or make arrangements for the payment)
  • Submit academic release forms, signed by each teacher.
  • Be on the bus at 4 pm on Wednesday, March 1nd, 2016

Sign Up Form


$200. As always, families should pay on a sliding scale. If you can pay extra – we thank you! If you should not pay that amount, please do not. Checks get made out to Great River School, and get handed to Toby. The fee covers most of the hotel cost, which is a huge help. Other team income pays for the rest of the hotel cost, the bus, the food, and the $5,000 FIRST registration fee.

Grade Check Form


The team will travel by school bus to Duluth.

  • 4 pm, Wednesday, March 1st: Load bus at Great River School. Depart around 4:30 pm.
  • 10 pm, Saturday, March 4th: Approximate arrival time back at Great River School – Students should call you as we get close to the cities.


The team will be staying at the Comfort Suites, Canal Park. Each room has two queen beds and one pull-out couch, housing 5-6 students. There is a heated pool at the hotel, and refrigerators/microwaves in all the rooms. The competition is at the nearby DECC convention center, in easy walking distance.


There will be regular meals, snacks and water breaks. Students can bring snacks or other food from home if they wish – there are refrigerators and microwaves in the rooms.

Breakfasts: The hotel breakfast includes: eggs, meat, yogurt, fresh fruit, cereal and more, including your choice of hot waffle flavors.

Lunches: Two lunches will be sandwich bar in the hotel room. Bread, meat, cheese, vegetables, etc. One will be hot dogs/not dogs.


  • Wednesday: sandwiches on the bus
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:
  • Saturday: Students can pack a dinner bag at lunchtime for the bus or bring money to buy food at Wendy’s – or both!


Stands/Home Base:

Our team home base during the regional is in the stands. Our team will stake out a purple unicorn spot, where we’ll maintain a presence throughout the competition. We’ll be doing scouting, video, photos, resting, sharing information, and cheering. Parents are encouraged to join us in the stands. Team members are also encouraged to use the stands as the home base. Visit the pit, work there as needed, but remember that it’s a very small space!


Unlike a regular school trip, please bring your cell phone and charger – they are critical for communication during the competition.

Packing List:


  • NoMythic t-shirt
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 3 pairs socks
  • 3 pairs underwear
  • Sleepwear
  • Indoor shoes + outdoor shoes
  • Outerwear in layers – we’ll be walking 1/2 mile to DECC each day, regardless of weather. And the convention center may be hot or cold.
  • Bathing suit
  • Pillow (optional)
  • Sleeping bag/pad (optional – good if you don’t want to share a bed)


  • Deodorant – stick, not spray, please!
  • Toothbrush/paste – please!
  • Medications
  • Other toiletries, as desired


  • Water bottle!!
  • Backpack to carry your things
  • Some sort of photo ID
  • Cash – Small amount of cash for snacks at the convention center or the candy store in the evenings, plus $5-$10 for dinner on the way home.
  • Snacks – there will be some group snacks, but students may prefer to bring their own (cheaper than vending machines at the hotel or the concession stand)
  • Phone + charger, if you have one (see above)
  • Electronics – please leave laptops and gaming devices at home. They are distracting and encourage staying up too late.

***No late night anything allowed – there will be a lights-out time – we need our sleep!

Prescription Medications

Any medications necessary for this overnight trip must be listed on the medical form turned in for the FIRST Robotics trip.  Please enclose all necessary medications in original prescription containers in a sealed plastic bag labeled with your child’s name.  Bring medications to practice Tuesday, February 28th.