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The Impact of DI

Melissa Hendrickson

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 Destination Imagination, while not very well known in the Carl Junction High School, is an activity that has helped shape a handful of dedicated students through participation from as early as kindergarten.

 DI consists of a team challenge and an instant challenge, and it gives children the opportunity to learn how to work with a team on a long-term project without any outside or adult influence.  For the team challenge, the team works for months ahead of time to create the best solution for the challenge that they chose.  The instant challenge is presented to the team at the competition, and they have somewhere between five and 15 minutes to come up with a solution as a team.  

 To those who are passionate about the program, however, DI means so much more than just learning to problem solve. “I have been doing DI for nine years,” says Amber Jason, a senior.  When asked what year made the largest impact on her, she said “Eighth-grade year.  We had a lot of fun, had a totally crazy solution, and got first place in the entire world on instant challenge!” Kaylee Myers, a senior and five year DI participant, said: “I think I grew the most during [sophomore] year because I was forced to go outside of my comfort zone and perform in areas that I hadn’t before.”  Hope Gardner, another senior, reminisced about her nine years of DI by saying, “All of my years have had ups and downs, but my favorite year was my junior year because of my team.  They helped remind me that DI is supposed to be fun and enjoyable even during the stressful times.”

Zak Brown, a senior and eight-year participant of the program, said that one of his craziest memories was during his freshman year when “we got to meet Buzz Aldrin and then witness his drunken rant on stage.”  Along with the crazy moments, there have also been great moments of friendship throughout the years.  “We made memories that I will never forget,” Gardner said. “My favorite memory with my team is from the wee hours of the morning before State competition, laughing and having fun, even though it was a stressful time.”

 This year, DI is bringing a whole new set of challenges to the table, and it is impossible to guess what all the teams will come up with.  “The challenges have deviated extremely far from their original purposes to the point that I can’t even fathom the potential solutions!” said Jason.  “The challenges this year aren’t my favorites,” added Gardner, “but I’m looking forward to the musical challenge and seeing what it will be like.”  

  “I want to remember to enjoy this year and not get caught up in the stress,” Gardner told us.  Myers expressed her goal to improve upon herself, saying “I want to continue to grow and expand outside of my comfort zone.”  Along the same lines, Jason said that the words she wants to live by this season are “Destroy the comfort zone! Adventure can only come when you go out exploring.”

 Destination Imagination has made a huge impact on the people who are dedicated to it. It helps them grow into successful leaders, and it is clear that the program will continue to push students out of their comfort zones for as long as Carl Junction is eager to push boundaries of the imagination.  

 

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