PSSST….. ODYSSEY OF THE MIND TEAM
PARENTS AND GUARDIANS!
(Yes, you, the ones who are driving the carpools, forking out money
for pizza, opening closets for major scavenging, waiting while the team cleans
up after a meeting, postponing dinner because one more prop needs finished, and
generally watching from the sidelines while the team "gets creative!")
DID YOU KNOW…
You are the team’s secret weapon for success??
You are the "wind beneath the wings" of the team and the coach??
You are a vital part of Odyssey of the Mind??
DID YOUR CHILD TELL YOU THAT YOU MAY NOT HELP??
That is absolutely wrong!
That is absolutely right!
(Well…… which is it???)
BOTH! You may do many things to help the team, but there are also things you
might want to do that would cost the team penalty points. So... how do you know
the difference? Here is your own handy, dandy, just-for-parents guidelines!
WHAT PARENTS CAN
WHAT PARENTS CANNOT DO:
|Transport the team to buy
||Suggest what to buy
|Transport the props
||Repair props if broken in
|Teach the team members a
IF the team asks, such as
····Principals of simple machines
Suggest to the team which
skills to use to solve a problem
Suggest to the team which skills would result in a better-looking or
better functioning solution
Give the teams any ideas for their problem solution
Sew anything, paint anything, do anything to contribute to the team’s
|Help provide snacks
||Analyze why something
|Bring spontaneous problem
||Expect perfection from a
solution not done by adults (or from a solution done by adults,
for that matter!)
|Help get props into the
building for the Tournament, even to
the staging area
|Open attics, closets,
basements for "garage sale value" materials
materials to get from the attic, closet or basement
|Provide lots of
|Provide a place to
||Fix anything that breaks
|Get everyone and
everything to the Tournament
||Criticize any part of a
|Applaud A LOT and help get
props offstage afterwards
||Put emphasis on scores
instead of fun
As you can tell, parents ARE important, as resources for leaning
skills, helping get materials, providing moral support, supplementing working
brains with nourishment, and generally facilitating the logistics of a working
team. Without your encouragement, your child will not develop the self
confidence that Odyssey of the Mind promotes.
- What parents may not do is provide the dreaded "Outside
Assistance", for which the team will receive penalties at the
tournament. Just remember that all ideas for the long term problem
solution, as well as all of the implementation of those ideas, must come
from a team member.
- However, there is NO "Outside Assistance" in Spontaneous Problem
Solving, so feel free to assist the coach, practice at home around the
dinner table, and have fun with your family doing spontaneous problems with
your child and/or other children. (Everyone loves spontaneous!)
PARENT or Guardian RESPONSIBILITIES
On Tournament Day
Your Odyssey of the Mind Regional Board also relies on parents and guardians
for help. We welcome friends, relative, and office associates, too!
Here are the opportunities for parents, friends, and relatives to help make
the regional tournament possible. We feel certain you will enjoy helping, and
few volunteer opportunities directly benefit so many children in an educational
WE NEED YOUR HELP on Tournament Day to:
We also ask you to fill out an emergency care form for the coach to have on
hand, to help the team get props in and out of the building, to move your car
from loading and unloading areas as quickly as possible, and to bring a sense of
humor to the tournament (because Murphy’s law is an Odyssey of the Mind
We on the Regional Boards and the Virginia State Board all
believe that this program offers something unique for your children. We believe
that they will learn teamwork, creative problem solving, divergent thinking,
persistence, practical skills, and many other abilities through Odyssey of the
Mind. Please remember we are all volunteers working together to make this
THANK YOU for your support, for your child, for his or her coach, and for the
regional and state volunteers!!
We wish you creativity in your own life, and fun watching
these wonderful problem solvers at work!!