BE A "BUDDY" TO AN INTERNATIONAL TEAM PARTICIPATING AT WORLD FINALS.
Odyssey of the Mind offers World Finals teams from the United States and Canada the opportunity to serve as "Buddy Teams" to International teams participating at World Finals. It is our wish to provide each International Team a warm welcome and support as they travel to the U.S. to participate in World Finals, many for the first time.
We would like the Buddy Team to welcome its International Team upon arrival at the Iowa State University, escort them around campus, to meals, special events, and perhaps even schedule some group activities for them. Though the degree of interaction varies from team to team, the International students will be most interested in learning about where you live, what your school is like, and the differences between cultures. You may eat some meals together, plan an excursion off campus, go swimming, play soccer, or just hang out together. They may need assistance in finding the various sites on campus, or materials and tools for last minute repair of props. Most Buddy teams and International teams exchange small gifts with each other. We suggest these items be representative of your area of the country such as post cards, pins, or T-shirts.
Many variables are taken into consideration when matching the Buddy Team with an International Team, such as: Time and date of team arrivals, problem and division of both teams, and ages and gender of team members. This year we will be looking for Buddy teams that can arrive on campus on Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Buddy Teams find their experiences richly rewarding. Here are some comments from coaches and team members after previous World Finals experiences:
Gina, a coach, wrote "I just wanted to write to say Thank You for providing us with a WONDERFUL buddy team experience! This was our 4th year at WF, but we'd never had a buddy team. It was the highlight for all of us! Throughout our WF stay, we shared meals, greeted each other like old friends in the halls of our dorm, attended each other's performances where we cheered wildly for each other, & exchanged gifts. On the last night, we hosted an ice cream social including music, line dancing, and limbo! Our kids all indulged in the Singapore style of eating ice cream on bread! What a great memory for all of us! I expect both of our teams will stay in touch with both of their teams throughout the coming year, and we if are fortunate enough to represent Vermont at WF again next year, we'll definitely request a buddy team."
Mike, also a coach, wrote "First THANK YOU soooooo much for pairing us up with our new friends from China. I hope our Buddy Team feels the same as we (our team, our coaches and our parents) do. It was an "AMAZING" experience.While the Fushan team is from a half way around the world and a culture that might be considered very different we could not have been drawn closer thanks to the buddy team program and Odyssey."
When asked what he liked most and if he would recommend the buddy program, Trey, a team member, responded "What did I like the most? Realizing that Odyssey of the Mind is not just a common bond among US Citizens, but also serves as a barrier breaker between countries, we had an absolute blast with our Buddy from Berlin. Would I recommend this program to other teams attending World Finals in the future? With 100% of my being! It just made the whole trip even BETTER! Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet such an awesome group and share something so wonderful like Odyssey with a team from another country...all I can say is WOW!"
To participate as a Buddy Team, your team must register for World Finals and Iowa State University housing and fill out the Buddy Team form by April 25, 2009. It can be completed on-line: www.odysseyofthemind.com/buddy_teams. If you're not using on-line registration, mail this to Odyssey of the Mind, c/o Creative Competitions, Inc, 406 Ganttown Road, Sewell, NJ, 08080; or Fax (856) 256-2798. Late Applications will be accepted from those states whose tournaments are April 25 or later.
For more information please contact Buddy Team Coordinator, Paula Mittner at firstname.lastname@example.org
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