This article was created by Lisa Love of Virginia Odyssey of the Mind and is directed to Odyssey of the Mind parents. A Word document to for easy printing is available here.
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 YOUR CHILD TELL YOU THAT YOU MAY NOT HELP??
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 do:||What parents CANNOT do:|
|Transport the team to buy things||Suggest what to buy|
|Transport the props||Repair props if broken in shipping|
|Teach the team members a skill IF the team asks, such as: sewing, woodworking, calligraphy, art, electronics, engineering, principals of simple machines, welding||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 problem solution|
|Help provide snacks||Analyze why something failed|
|Bring spontaneous problem supplies||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||Suggest what materials to get from the attic, closet or basement|
|Provide lots of encouragement|
|Provide a place to meet/store props||Fix anything that breaks|
|Get everyone and everything to the Tournament||Criticize any part of a team's solution|
|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 learning 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.
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 program!
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 condition!) We on the Regional Boards and State Boards 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 happen. 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!!