Have you ever heard of D.I., or Destination Imagination?
I had only heard the words in passing from an extended-family member whose kids were involved, and I didn’t understand what the heck it was.
Now, here it is January, and I find myself in charge of a team. And I’m still not exactly sure what the heck it is.
What I can gather from what I’ve read, the videos I’ve watched, and the day-long information seminar I attended in December, D.I. is a team competition where the adult managers are constantly warned of the dangers of “interference”.
Ahhhh, interference. This is how I found myself managing a D.I. team. This idea that the kids have to do all the work themselves, with only my guidance—to keep them from cutting off a finger or punching a fellow team member— was appealing to me. In other words, I am discouraged from doing any of the work for them, and even giving them suggestions on how to approach their challenge is a big, fat no-no.
Little did I know that my team of four kids, ages 7-9, would pick one of the hardest, most complicated challenges to do for the big competition this spring. I’d explain it if I could do it justice, but let’s just say it involves creating a skit that involves golf balls, while also building a weight-bearing structure out of wood, glue and hope. The addition of golf balls to this year’s “structure challenge” is new and I think it was added just to shake things up and insure each manager goes a little grayer before the year is up.
My own daughter Jilly is on my team and is the biggest goofball, something I am slightly proud of at times. The other times, I want to wrap her up with duct tape, sit her in the corner and let her teammates work.
Our debut of this idea that exists only in their imagination is the 17th of March, a mere two months away. If the kids advance from regionals, we move on to states on the 31st. I refuse to even consider that they will go to the national championship.
Especially since there has not yet been any consensus on their overall idea and no development of a structure yet. I am half expecting them to enter the competition with a few handwritten notes, a structure of popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue, and costumes made out of the remnants of our dress-up box.
Wish me luck. Actually, wish them luck. I don’t want to interfere.
Destination Imagination: A journey to the unknown
January 16, 2012