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2006 World Finals

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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 with a warm welcome and support as they arrive in the USA to participate in the World Finals, many for the first time.

We would like the Buddy Team to welcome its International Team upon arrival at Iowa State University, escort them around campus to meals and 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 our 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 postcards, pins, maps, brochures or tee-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, the day each team is competing, and ages and gender of team members.

Buddy Teams find their experiences richly rewarding. Here are some comments from coaches and team members after previous World Finals:

Lauren, a coach, wrote, "Some of our team's best memories are connected to our (International) Buddy Team. The kids had a great time cheering for them as they did their long term, and being asked by their coach to hold their school flag. We had a pizza party for dinner one night at the food court, and we lined up one long table with our team on one side and our Singapore buddies on the other. As I went down the table pouring soda, I was amazed to hear the bits of seven different conversations--what's your school like, what stations do you get on TV, do you go to amusement parks--and I thought this is an experience like no other! Where else could these kids get such an opportunity to learn about another culture?"

Marci, also a coach, wrote, "Having a Buddy Team was one of the highlights of our World Finals experience. What we enjoyed the most was that it gave us the opportunity to meet kids from a totally different background with whom we share this common interest. I don't know that my kids would have gone outside their comfort zone otherwise, to meet another team, if it hadn't been assigned to us."

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 that it also serves as a barrier breaker between countries. We had an absolute blast with our Buddy Team from Berlin. Would I recommend this program to other teams attending World Finals in the future? With 100 percent of my being! I wouldn't go to World Finals again without at least trying to pair up with a Buddy Team. It just made the whole trip even better! Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet such an awesome group and share something as wonderful as Odyssey with complete strangers from another country. All I can say is WOW!"

To participate as a Buddy Team, your team must register for World Finals and for Iowa State University housing. Complete the Buddy Team Form found in your World Finals Packet and return it by April 21, 2006 to:
Odyssey of the Mind
c/o Creative Competitions, Inc.
1325 Route 130 South, Suite F
Gloucester City, NJ 08030
Or fax to (856) 456-7008
Or email as a scanned attachment to info@odysseyofthemind.com

Late applications will be accepted from those states whose tournaments are April 22 or later. For more information please contact Buddy Team Coordinator, Paula Mittner, at pmittner@comcast.net

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