Odyssey of the Mind®
2010 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 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 Michigan 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:

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 U.S. Citizens, but 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% 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 Michigan State University housing and fill out the back of this Buddy Team form by April 30, 2010. It can also be completed on-line at: 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 after the deadline.

For more information please contact Buddy Team Coordinator, Paula Mittner at pmittner@comcast.net

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