Testimonial from Team Member:
My name is Cara, and I’ve been a part of Destination Imagination for about 14 years. I have done about every single job someone can do with DI. I’ve been on numerous teams, I’ve appraised and I’ve managed teams and I can honestly say, DI is one of the best things that I have ever done. I started DI when I was 7 and I still remember the first challenge I ever did: If Music Be the Fruit of Life, Play On! After that first year, I was hooked. I remember taking apart my mom’s old washing machine in the middle of January to see how it worked, I remember learning how to sew so that we could make our own costumes, I remember taking accordions and marching down the street by my house playing them as loud as we could in the middle of our DI meetings. I learned that success isn’t just if you win or not. Success is learning new skills, making new friends, having confidence and finding your voice. I didn’t win many medals, and I have only competed at Global Finals once, but that is not what I remember most. I started DI as a team member and once I graduated high school, I started appraising, and managing. The best memory I have of DI isn’t when I went to global finals or when my team came in first place. My favorite memory is from the very first year I competed. I remember the awards ceremony, and sitting on the floor of the gym, impatiently waiting to hear how we did. Of course I don’t remember how we placed, or what our score was. I remember sitting there with my friends, proud of what we had accomplished, having fun dancing and running around before the awards started. I couldn’t even begin to tell all the stories and memories that have come from DI, but I can say that I will continue to be a part of Destination Imagination and I will continue to make wonderful new memories every year.
Being a team manager has allowed me to see the amazing abilities that my children and their teammates possess. These are abilities or skills that do not show in traditional academic environments, but skills that will make them better employees, employers, and community members when they become adults. DI is a way of rounding out their education in a fun environment and as a team manager I am able to share in that incredible experience.
As a team manager, I try to teach my teams skills and help them learn to work together, but in the end it is the team that teaches me even more!
DI has given my children an opportunity to explore, learn, fail and succeed in a safe environment which makes them each a better person and gives them a stronger future.
My Family’s Journey with Destination Imagination
If I had to say I have a passion, it would be a program my family has been involved with for 3 years now. It is an afterschool program called Destination Imagination (DI for short, www.idodi.org, Colorado website www.extremecreativity.org). Kids from kindergarten through even college age, gather together into teams with their peers to solve a multi-level problem or challenge, over a span of several months. The teams are led by an adult (preferably two!) who are called the Team Managers.The kids choose from the following 7 types of challenges: theatre/arts, science, improvisional, mechanical engineering, structural engineering, or a community service project. Only the students decide what ideas they will use to solve the challenge. Only they can build whatever is required.
Three years ago our 2 boys were both introduced to the program. Teams may consist up to 7 team members. Our younger son was on a team where the competition level was for kindergarteners through 2nd graders. They had to build a structure out of newspaper that could support the weight of as many as their team members as possible, create a skit, & costumes to go along with a simple story line. This level of competition is called Rising Stars. They present their challenge at a regional DI tournament in March. All Rising Star team members receive a medal & high praise for what they’ve done.
Our older son’s team competed at the elementary school level for 3rd - 5th graders. He competed with one team for 2 years. Their team always chose the mechanical engineering challenge. Every year has been rewarding, as we as parents watched them build with power tools, create these amazing mechanical devices & structures, props, & costumes. To see them go through the year long process & compete at their regional DI tournament, advance to the state competition held at the Auraria campus in Denver in April, & last year advance to the final level of competition- Global Finals at the University of Tenneesse campus, has been one of the big thrills of my life. No matter how a team does at the competition, the real winning for each team takes place throughout the course of the year, as each DI team learns to work together in a group, speak up & share ideas, work with different personalities, become a leader, be creative, think outside of the box, uses hand tools or power tools & actually build something that moves, discover how much they can really do as individuals, & bring it all together. The skills that students learn in DI carry over into their adult lives, as they confront problems within their workplace & even problems of our world. And for those adults who have the privilege to work with these amazing children, they too, learn these same skills. I have learned so much through DI. I have a more open mind. And I let my children try to solve their own problems without me immediately wanting to interfere or say what I think they should do.
This year my children are at a new school which did not have a DI program. I feel so strongly about DI as an chance for all children who may be seeking this kind of an opportunity, I have started the program at their new school. We hoped to have enough student interest for at least just one DI team. Well, we have 2 DI teams! Our teams are hard at work doing the“Assembly Required” & “Hold It!” challenges.
I invite you to attend one of your local area regional tournaments. Tournament info can be found athttp://www.extremecreativity.org/tournaments Feel free to come anytime on that day, sit in the audience, & get ready to be amazed at what our FUTURE citizens are… doing right now!