>Why are the kits sent out prior to the kids having a chance to arrive at school?  We >don't even know who will be on the team until the first week, let alone practice all >summer.  Am I missing something here?

 Teams are set up differently. Some teams do know who is on the team already; especially community teams not associated with schools. Other coaches set up the field so time spent on missions and research instead of building.  If you set up the field, it will give you, the coach, time to examine the skills (are their lots of lines? are their colors? or objects that would need lifting?) necessary to teach your kids so they will be  successful and have a good arsenal of strategies in their "toolbox".
It's no the worst idea to create a team at the end of the year, with a good number of alternates (like 4), so if someone moves or drops off, you can easily replace them in early the process.  That way you can begin next session with your team helping build the kit in August.

Good luck this coming year! 

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