Odyssey of the Mind

Quinn\’s Odyssey team won their division in the regional competition!  Such a huge accomplishment for Quinn and his team.   Now they go on to the State Competition on March 24.
But to back track….

Earlier this year Quinn\’s buddy Dan convinced him to join the 4th grade Odyssey of the Mind team.  Don and I were adamantly against it because Quinn\’s plate was already full.    But Quinn persisted and we relented.

So glad we did.
Odyssey of the Mind is a creative, problem solving competition.  The kids are given a problem and they work for months on creating a solution.  The kids must do everything themselves — parental assistance is not welcome!!  The coach is there to guide them, make sure they meet all the requirements, and also make sure they don\’t lose any appendages in the process but the coaches can not do any of the work.  It\’s a huge time commitment for the coach.  
Each team selects one problem from a choice of 5 and this is the problem Quinn\’s team chose:

Problem 5: A Stellar Hangout
Divisions I, II, III & IV
In the outreaches of the universe, there is an Intergalactic Hangout where all sorts of creatures from different worlds stop, eat, refuel, and relax. Teams will create a humorous performance centered on this science fiction hangout that includes original creatures, foods, and a search for space treasure. There will also be a worker character, entertainment, and a futuristic map at the hangout.

It probably still doesn\’t make sense, I know.  (Division I is grades 3 – 5, Division II grades 6 – 8, etc, etc.)  
The team meets at least twice a week to work on building the set, creating costumes, writing the script, problem solving, etc, etc.  They also have a bare bones budget so they must use alot of recycled and donated products and make their own creations.
Saturday was the Odyssey Regional competition for the LA Basin.  We were lucky it was held at our local high school.      We get there at 8 am and stay all day.  
Each team participates in 2 events.  They have their \”long program\” where they have 8 minutes to present their solution to the problem and they also do Sponts (short for sponaneous).  In Sponts they are given an on-the-spot problem and they have 3 minutes to come up with a solution.  
We have been asked not to post any pictures from the Long Program and only kids are allowed in for the Sponts.  
Here the most awesome Coach Juli is playing follow the leader with the kids before sponts to work off the nerves.  

As the judges score the Long Program, they make little post it notes with positive feedback.  Coach Juli was pleasantly surprised to see so many post it notes and read them off to the kids.

The kids and Coach Juli.  The competition was at Westlake High School.

What a great bunch of kids.  So supportive and encouraging of each other.  They all bring something special to the team.

Waiting for the awards ceremony.  Dan and Quinn were feeling nervous.

There were 11 teams just from Lang Ranch Elementary School.  Here they are doing their School Spirit chant.

Quinn\’s coach and team were beyond shocked and happy to take the #1 spot.  Tears of joy!

Such an amazing achievement for these kids.   There were 23 teams competing in their division.

Presidents Day Weekend the team probably spent 15 hours over the course of the weekend working together.  At the end of the weekend I asked Quinn how he felt about Odyssey and he said he LOVED IT!

Hayden\’s sister also competed so Hayden was there to cheer her on.  Unfortunately her team didn\’t place but their performance was really creative and funny.

The dude that got Quinn into Odyssey.  Still sticking together.

Proud is not a big enough word to say how we feel at this moment.

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