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Odyssey team preps fundraiser performance

Freshman Bailey Ham and Sophomore Emily Adamson sort through materials for long-term problem. Photo by Kalei Owen

With the success of Bear River’s Odyssey of the Mind teams in the past, the two competing teams this year have a reputation to uphold.

In preparation for the regional tournament, Magnolia Intermediate is hosting the annual Dip Dinner, a rehearsal and fundraiser event, at their big gym. The Cottage Hill, Magnolia, and Bear River teams will be there on Wednesday, February 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The entire community will have the chance to not only enjoy seeing the teams’ solutions and performances, but also to enjoy several different small servings, or “dips,” of food.

The money earned during the fundraiser will benefit all Odyssey programs, assisting with tools, materials, and travel to the competitions.

The regional tournament will be held at Natomas High School on Saturday, March 2.

One of the two coaches at Bear River, Kyle McDaniel, described what Odyssey of the Mind is all about.

“[It is] an amazing program which focuses on developing students’ creative problem-solving skills and preparing their ability to identify solutions towards twenty-first century problems.”

Although this is Coach McDaniel’s first year coaching at Bear River, he has had two years of prior experience competing in the program when he was in elementary school.

Bruins, or BR’OMers, as they are called, expressed their readiness for the fundraiser and regional competition.

“[My team is] having a tough time with scheduling, but we have some good ideas,” said Connor Ronka, a member of the junior team. “Regionals and Dip Dinner are coming way too soon.”

“It’s been slow moving so far, but I’m confident that my team will do the best we can and have fun,” said sophomore Annabelle Owyoung, another Odyssey member. “Unfortunately, two of our seven team members won’t be able to attend Dip Dinner, so our team has to somehow make a way around that hurdle for one night.”

A fellow BR’OMer, sophomore Maddie Pratt, talked about her perception of the team’s readiness.

“[My team is] having fun coming up with scripts and brainstorming,” said Pratt. “We are nervous for how fast Dip Dinner is coming up, but excited to share our solutions [with the community].”

Coach McDaniel describes how difficult and stressful the program can be.

“Each year, with new unique long term problems to solve, teams can have difficulty in estimating how much work and energy is required to creatively solve each of the many aspects of their problems,” he said. “The stress starts to kick in when time-management becomes the largest hurdle to overcome. Once that is resolved, and while we’re not there yet, that’s when the excitement and anticipation really starts to take over and drive everyone over the finish line.”

BR’OMers enjoy all aspects of the program.

“I love how fun Odyssey [of the Mind] is, especially when it is done with friends,” said Pratt. “You can just be yourself and have fun!”

“Odyssey of the Mind provided a great way for me to learn about the creative process,” said Jacob Knox, another member of the junior team. “I feel like I really learned about time management and how to coordinate with different members of a team, and that will be very helpful later in life.”

“My favorite part about Odyssey is when we are just about done with the script and major planning, then we get to build everything,” said junior Whitney Lybbert, fellow Odyssey member. “It’s so satisfying and fun to be able to actually build after almost months of planning. It makes everyone feel good as a team and [about] the work we put into it.

Good luck to all of the Bear River Odyssey of the Mind teams!

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Odyssey team preps fundraiser performance