On Tuesday, May 24th, the 7 West Side Christian School middle schoolers on the Odyssey of the Mind team and their coaches Julie Rodenhouse, Karen VanHouten, and I (along with some other siblings, parents & grandparent supporters) head to the OM World Championship at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. Three of these students are veteran OM World Championship contenders, having attended Worlds in 2013. At ISU, our team will compete against teams from around the country as well as teams from China, Korea, Singapore, Poland, Switzerland, Mexico, and others.
In case you’re unfamiliar with OM, Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving adventure. All OM teams are presented with long-term “problems” and they spend their months of practice trying to solve them. Teams choose from five problems: vehicle building, structure building, technical (building gadgets as part of a small skit), classic, and humorous.
WSCS middle-schoolers are taking their “humorous” events to Worlds. The “humorous” performance had to include a mammal, a fish, a bird, and a door had to represented physically. Students have to write a story and come up with solutions to problems totally on their own; adults cannot help them solve it.
It’s a huge honor and accomplishment to go to OM Worlds! At the regional competition at Martin High School, our team placed 1st in long term, 1st in spontaneous, and 2nd in style behind Grandville Public. We competed against over a dozen teams in our age bracket – all size schools combined! We ended up placing first overall, and the 1st and 2nd place teams advanced to state along with Grandville Middle. Among the 11 teams at the state competition, we came in 2nd in spontaneous, 3rd in long term and style, and because of our high spontaneous score we took 2nd place (beating even Rockford, who won nearly every problem and every division!). 1st and 2nd places again head on, this time to World Championships!
We view this as an opportunity to bring glory to the Lord, who gifts us with the creativity and problem-solving abilities that we put to use in the OM competition. We’re so excited to represent West Side Christian School at OM World Championships!
A trip to Iowa for this many people (and all of our stuff!) comes with some costs that we are trying to cover. Our room and board is provided, and we’re working to raise funds for transportation to get team, coaches, and all of our sets & supplies to Iowa. A huge thank you to Westend Church for the use of their van (and their office basement for months of practice!). If you’d like to support our OM team with a financial contribution to help offset our transportation costs, please or send a check to the school office and designate it Odyssey of the Mind and to the attention of Gord Bylsma or I.
Stay tuned to Facebook and Instagram during the week of May 23! We’ll provide updates and pictures from Ames, IA. We’d appreciate prayer for safe travel, health, ability to focus on the events that week, and opportunities to share the love of Jesus with all of the other teams we come into contact with!