Getting Started with Odyssey of the Mind

Getting Started with Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind gives students of all ages the chance to indulge their creativity, think critically to solve new problems, work with a team and build valuable respect for individual strengths. Creative problem solving skills and teamwork come together – and the best part is all the fun Odyssey participants have doing it.

We are always interested in bringing new teams, coaches, parents and volunteers into the Buc Bay family. A school or community group focused on children may start a program, after purchase of an Odyssey of the Mind membership. The complete rules and membership registration are available online at:

NEW! One Stop Shop. We know there are a lot of steps involved with registering teams and participating in tournaments. Our One Stop Shop provides a list of links and critical dates to help your team through the process.

A good first step in starting an Odyssey of the Mind team is to talk to your school’s principal and get approval for the extracurricular activity. Find out whether the county or city school system already sponsors the program. Explain what might be required in terms of sending flyers home, having a meeting for interested parents and students, enlisting a faculty sponsor (if you are a parent and not a faculty member), and perhaps soliciting teachers to judge at the Regional Tournament.

To start a team at your school (in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Hardee, DeSoto, Manatee or Polk Counties), contact Laurie Filardo, Buccaneer Bay Regional Director, to arrange an Awareness Session. Awareness sessions are presented to a group of persons who would be interested in beginning a program at the school.

Awareness sessions are approximately 2 hours of information, including some hands-on activities, to get your group prepared for the commitment to conduct the program. (There’s more to it than “buying” the membership and getting kids together!) Your group is investing money and needs to be aware of all that will flow from that investment.

If you live outside of our region, go to, the Florida state website. You can find the contact information for your local region there.

Next, go to, the official website of the Odyssey of the Mind Program. You can register for a membership on-line.

For a more detailed look at what is involved in starting an Odyssey of the Mind team, please see our “Starting a Team” page here.


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