Dear Northeast PA Odyssey of the Mind:

Many of you have reached out to me to offer opinions on the status of our tournament scheduled to go off this weekend. I appreciate the arguments that each of you made both for and against keeping the tournament as scheduled, however after many emails and telephone calls with experienced school administrators and others whose judgment I trust, I have decided to postpone the Northeast PA Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament.

This was not a decision that I took lightly. I spoke to Dr. John Bell, Delaware Valley superintendent to learn of the extent of the devastation that people are facing in the Dingmans Ferry and Shohola areas of that district. I also was in communication with Dr. Cathy Sweeney, assistant superintendent for Pocono Mountain School District. Pocono Mountain is also facing very similar issues with downed trees and power lines. I have immense respect for both of these individuals and it started to become clear that we needed to consider postponement. Now with a second nor’easter in less than a week, there remains no other option. The Northeast PA Regional Tournament will take place on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at Pocono Mountain West High School.

I have already been made aware of conflicts with four teams. Please notify me by the end of the day tomorrow if your team has any conflicts with other events next Saturday. We will make necessary adjustments to the schedule to allow all teams to compete next Saturday. If that is not an option, please email me privately at nepaodyssey@gmail.com by the end of the day tomorrow and we can discuss options.

Please remind your judges and volunteers that while the use of our snow date has only ever occurred once prior to this year, we still require them to judge at the tournament. Problem captains will be contacting judges to reconfirm times and places for meetings. If there are extenuating circumstances, please share those with your problem captain and with me and we will evaluate what we can do.

This is a time when we all need to come together to support one another. Many people in the Pocono region have now been without power and running water and other modern conveniences for five days. Many areas saw more than two feet of snow and they are expecting to see nearly double that with the storm that is about to hit. Please keep these OMERs and their families in your thoughts and be thankful for all that we are fortunate to have in our lives.

I look forward to seeing all of you at Pocono Mountain West next Saturday, March 17, 2018. If you have any questions about anything, please let me know and I will get you answers that you need.

With warm regards,

Philip Patterson
Regional Director
Northeast PA Odyssey of the Mind

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