How to Start an Odyssey Program at Your School

A Roadmap for Beginners

1. Contact Jason at Maine Odyssey of the Mind (; 207-251-2347) and let him know you are interested in joining.

2. Talk with your principal about starting an Odyssey of the Mind program at your school.

3. Find out who will support the program financially. This might be your school itself or your parent-teacher organization.

4. Invite interested parents, students and, perhaps, teachers to an Awareness Meeting to tell them about Odyssey of the Mind and how to form teams. The information about this meeting may be sent by a flyer, newsletter and/or announcements. Given enough notice, Maine Adventures in Creativity may be able to send a representative to help with this meeting.

5. Recruit coaches by explaining that a team cannot be formed without a coach. Coaches can be parents, teachers, community members – anyone over 18 years old who is interested in devoting time to work with groups of energetic students.

6. Distribute interest forms to help develop teams. You’ll want to know student names, date of birth, contact information and, possibly, what problem they are interested in solving to help place students (putting the problem synopses on the back of the form can help students make decisions about their choice of teams). Teams may be organized in any way the membership prefers. In some cases, coaches select their own teams from those who have expressed an interest and/or students who they feel are compatible with the coach or other team members. In other groups, the coordinator assigns students to teams according to their expressed interest. It may be helpful to note that teams frequently benefit from having a variety of talents: artistic, acting, mechanical, leadership, and other skills will strengthen your group.

7. Send in membership form and registration fee to Creative Competitions, Inc. They will send you the full text of each problem. Make sure each team has a copy of the problem and the program guide, which gives important rules the teams will need to follow.

9. Read your e-mail! Maine Odyssey stays in touch with its members primarily through electronic means. We send out periodic newsletters, keep you aware of upcoming training opportunities, and answer your questions through electronic mail. If you do not have access to e-mail, we will send you hard copies of newsletters and other information.

10. Ask questions! If you’re wondering about something, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’re here to help you have a successful experience with Odyssey of the Mind. Good luck and happy problem solving!