Parents often ask what they can do to help. They want to assist, but are afraid of going over the line. (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
PSSST … ODYSSEY OF THE MIND TEAM
PARENTS, FRIENDS, 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 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
|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
|Pack props for the team for easier use on stage|
|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 leaningskills, helping get materials, providing moral support, supplementing workingbrains with nourishment, and generally facilitating the logistics of a workingteam. Without your encouragement, your child will not develop the selfconfidence 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 local Odyssey of the Mind program also relies on parents and guardians for help. We welcome friends, relative, and office associates, too! No experience is necessary, just a good positive outlook and the desire to help. We guarantee you’ll have a great time.
Here are the opportunities for parents, friends, and relatives to help make the 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. Each membership is required to supply a judge/official, OR two volunteers to assist at the State Tournament. Please consider a request from your school coordinator to:
- Be an official (Involves a training in March on a Saturday to learn to be a judge and working on Tournament Day) OR…
- Be a volunteer (To work at registration, concessions or in the spontaneous holding area for on Tournament Day.)
We on the all-volunteer, non-profit, Vermont Creativity Quest, Inc. State Board firmly 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 participating in 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 volunteers!!