Poland is this year's winning Association for membership
growth. It has added new teams in the hundreds this year
and has steadily increased its memberships for over 12
years. The association is an inspiration to others as one of the largest
OotM organizations in the world and is the fi rst international
association to win the Max Mansfi eld Award.
Co-Director Wojtek Radziwilowicz believes the hard work of growing an Odyssey of the Mind Association is important. "As Odyssey of the Mind people we can make a REAL difference. Any child participating in the program will learn life-lasting lessons. It depends on us, though, whether we stay content with seven kids only -- or three or more thousand students from our state, province, or country. The effects are there for sure; the scale of it depends on the Associations," he said.
Wojtek's advice for growing an association is simple but effective, " Maintain quality in everything you do at all times -- it WILL pay off; rely on word of mouth -- in a world of constant informational noise, one-to-one recommendations of students, parents, and educators is everything; and Think Big! There is no reason why Odyssey could not be on nationwide television, receive support from federal authorities, get funding from the top-of-the-line companies, or become a benchmark for any educational initiative."
He also said, "We are a program of indisputable ingenuity, proven effectiveness, and incomparable energy (ask any OMER) -- make use of it!"
Wojtek, along with Association Director Darek Wyzykowski and the rest of Poland's volunteers have worked hard to make the association strong and serves a model to Associations around the world, "We feel honored, as we realize we're only one link in a chain of torch-bearers who pass the Nobel-sized idea of Odyssey of the Mind on to the next generation of creative problem-solvers. We also feel happy -- for each and every Polish smile, question, and spark of creativity makes our country and our world closer to this dream of ours."
Creative Competitions, Inc. created this award in honor of Max Mansfi eld and rewards membership growth. Max will always be remembered as someone who selfl essly volunteered for Odyssey so that as many people as possible could experience creative problem solving. This award is CCI's way to honor his years of dedication and hard work as well as all Odyssey associations attempting to do the same.