An Open Letter to DI Teams

Dear NJ DI Team Member,

We know that creative problem solving provides great educational experiences, including many lifelong skills and friendships. We recognize the importance of focusing on your experience and how it enhances your overall education. This is one reason we hold World Finals on a university campus. The costs of running a creative problem-solving program are significant, but are not as great as you might think. Let’s use Odyssey of the Mind, the longest running and largest program of its kind as an example.

An entire school can participate in Odyssey of the Mind for $135. This one cost covers 5 to 15 teams, including an unlimited number of Primary (K-2) teams. There is a modest registration fee to participate in our local tournaments ($75 in NJ) that is lower than what most pay to participate your local DI tournament. In addition, New Jersey features a significantly larger program with a lot more teams participating in our 3 regional tournaments and NJ State Finals.

Our World Finals teams are offered packages that include on-campus rooms and meals from dinner on arrival and breakfast on departure. These range in cost from $545 to $655 depending on your arrival date –and youcan mix packages. A team of 7 with 2 coaches would be $4,905. Alternatively, if a team wants to stay off-campus, on its own, there is a registration fee of only $3,000.

At the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals friends and family can attend the Opening and Awards Ceremonies. Teams receive a complimentary team photo. Everyone is invited to participate in our Creativity Festival and International Festival. Friends and family can watch their favorite teams perform, and we encourage teams to watch other performances. These activities and events are free. There are no additional or hidden fees. In dealing with large groups of peoplesafety is a concern. We provide a complimentary shuttle that never leaves campus, dining halls where you eat, and rooms on campus where you’re surrounded by other teams from all over the world. At World Finals all you need to think about is presenting your solution, trading pins, making friends, and having fun!

We do not want anyone to miss out on the benefits of creative problem solving and, for those teams that advance, the sharing of creativity in an international group on a university campus, especially because of the cost. Odyssey of the Mind is willing to step in and step up. If you provide proof of payment for your Team Number for this year and a letter announcing that you wish to switch to Odyssey of the Mind, your school will receive a complimentary membership in Odyssey of the Mind for 2018-2019. Simply mail, fax, or email those two documents along with a completed registration form. We will process your membership and provide you login information to access the current long-term problems and other team materials. Due to the timing of tournaments, we’ll also waive our “late registration” fee for NJ Regional tournaments, allowing you to register for a NJ Regional by January 17th, still for only a $75 tournament fee (earlier registration is greatly appreciated).

Odyssey of the Mind has spent more than 40 years putting the educational benefit of our participants first. Our problems are created and authored by developers with more than a combined 100 years of experience. Problems that “challenge” creative thinkers require a great deal of experience and skill. Our focus on the quality of the problems demonstrates our commitment to the experience and benefits of participation.

Now is a great time to join others from all over who are making the change to Odyssey of the Mind!

If you have any questions or want to learn more, please reach out to us at questions@njootm.org.

Thank you,

NJ Odyssey of the Mind Board of Directors

— read Comparing Odyssey to DI