Duluth – Northern Lights Regional – 2022

Updated 1/31/2022

Our first regional competition of the year is Northern Lights in Duluth, MN, on March 2-5, 2022. 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 3 to 6 per room. Mentors/coaches will share rooms as well. Behavior expectations are high, and anyone not meeting our team’s code of conduct, or having COVID symptoms and testing positive will need a parent to come get them.

Students have already been asked to indicate if they plan to come, if they are currently passing all of their classes, and who they would prefer or not prefer to room with.

All team members going to Duluth must complete these item by February 8th.

  • Parents complete the Permission form (watch for an email when it’s ready) by February 8th.
  • Send in payment. Sliding scale, recommended $200. Make checks out to GRS Foundation and hand to Toby by February 8th
  • Submit grade check data by February 8th – either passing, or a plan before Duluth.
  • Be on the bus at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, March 2nd. The bus will leave with or without you!


Recommended amount: $200. As always, families should pay on a sliding scale, with the only requirement of a payment for EVERY student traveling with us. If you can pay extra – we thank you! If you should not pay that amount, pay what you can.

Make checks out to GRS Foundation, and hand them to Toby at practice or use PayPal to pay the fee. The fee covers about half the cost of the trip.

Grade Check Form – Due February 8th

Students are expected to be in good academic standing in order to miss school for a trip like this. That means having a C or better in every class, and have no overdue projects. If students cannot meet those standards, we will work them on a case-by-case basis to try to get them up to that level in time to take the trip. Along the way, students MUST complete each grade check each time.

  • Great River students provide a screen shot from Power School to verify their grades.
  • Avalon students provide a screen shot from Infinite Campus to verify their grades, plus send an email (copying the team) to their advisor to verify their projects and due dates.


We will be wrapping our team members in layers of protection as we go into this large event. We are serious about every layer of protection.

  • Vaccination. All team members are vaccinated. By Duluth, anyone going must also be boosted.
  • Masks. All team members will wear high filtration masks at all times unless outside or in their own hotel rooms. This includes the bus trip and all time inside the DECC.
  • Exclusion. Any team member who starts having COVID symptoms will be given a rapid test. Anyone who tests positive must go home – their parent must come get them!
  • PCR Pre-testing. Team members must have a recent negative PCR test before leaving on the trip, just like our weekly testing.
  • Eating. Team members may eat outside or in their own rooms.


Expectations are high for students on this trip. Students will sign up for jobs and shifts, and will be expected to meet those responsibilities without much assistance. The event is loud and chaotic – and not for everyone. If a student is not able to follow the same basic guidelines as they would in school, they will need to be picked up from Duluth. Any behavior not appropriate to a school setting is not appropriate here.

  • Come to Robotics to do robotics
  • Meet your commitments – or let people know when you need to change them
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Read team emails
  • Be Safe!
  • Practice gracious professionalism

Parent at Competition

Parents are always welcome to attend any of our competitions. They are all free and open to the public – you can come and go as often as you like with no need for tickets. If you wish to attend the Duluth competition, a few rooms have been set aside at the Comfort Suites. Reserve and pay for them directly to the hotel – but call and tell them you are with the NoMythic block.

At competition – parents help cheer wildly for our team from the stands (which the kids say helps them compete better). You can also be available to help students if you wish.


The team will travel by school bus to Duluth.

  • 4:00 pm, Wednesday, March 2nd: Load bus at GRS. Depart at 4:15 pm sharp. We are sharing a bus with the Robettes, so they will be waiting on the bus for us, and we will be PROMPT this year.
  • 10 pm, Saturday, March 5th: Approximate arrival time back at GRS – Students should call with updated times as we get close to the cities.


The team will be staying at the Comfort Suites hotel or The Suites hotel in Canal Park. The competition is at the nearby DECC, in easy walking distance. Students will be placed in rooms based on the people they are most comfortable with, not necessarily by gender, as that has become a difficult criteria.


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: Team members will pack pack bag lunches that team members can take outside to eat.

Dinners: Dinners will self-catered at the hotel

  • Wednesday: Sandwiches from Nelsons when we arrive at the hotel
  • Thursday: Thai chicken/tofu wraps
  • Friday: Pasta
  • Saturday: Bring money for a stop for fast food on the way home. Students are welcome to pack extra food at lunch for dinner, but most prefer not to.

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 (bring extras if you have them)
  • 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 the DECC each day, regardless of weather. And the center may be hot or cold.
  • Pillow (optional)


  • 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  (if desired), 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 that your student needs help with 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, March 1st.