Team effort is focus for Triton DI students

BOURBON — This weekend, six teams of Triton students will travel to Kokomo for the regional Destination Imagination competition. They’ve been practicing, creating, and rehearsing all year, and it’s time for them to go up against more than 60 other teams in a contest that will explore their abilities at improvising, building, and multi-tasking. From first through 12th grade, the students know that their best effort can only come from group unity. When asked if they have a leader, the “E is the Only Vowel” team shakes their heads fervently, eyes widening at the thought.
“Noooo,” they chorus, and fifth grader Jenna Swihart adds, “We’re a team.”
She meshes her fingers together to emphasize the group’s unity.
They show their willingness to work together as they practice part of a skit that involves creating an airplane out of their bodies.
“E is the Only Vowel,” a team of mostly fifth- and sixth-graders, will be doing improvisational skits using newspaper headlines. They have 10 minutes to create a short skit using two different headlines — one that they provide and one provided by the judges — and act it out, working in a one-minute problem such as “all team members are wearing high heels” or “dogs are attacking you.”
Another team, “Awesome People” will also be doing improvisation.
“The hardest part is figuring out what we are going to do,” said third-grade student Hadassah Chupp.
Chupp joined Destination Imagination because she wanted a challenge. Her teammate, fifth-grader Sidney Pfueger said her sister signed her up for the group without her knowledge, but that’s OK with her since she’s had fun so far.
The youngest members in the Destination Imagination bunch are twin brothers JayMason and JonMichael Deaton, who are both in first grade and members of the “Tinkering Elves” team. They will be participating in the Rising Stars category, which is non-competitive. For their performance, the Elves will use handmade cardboard set pieces to tell a story about building the best toy ever.
Even at their young age, the first-graders are learning how important it is to work together.
“As (the students) get older, they learn about working in teams not only in DI, but also in life,” notes Triton Destination Imagination directer Lisa Eiser.
She continued, saying that she believes another benefit of the program is that it teaches time management. Most of the older Destination Imagination students are involved in sports or work part-time jobs, and must learn to balance those commitments with Destination Imagination practice three times a week.
Saturday is the big day for the 33 students as they will put everything they’ve learned to the test. They will compete all day and find out how they did at an awards ceremony that night. Teams that placed highest at the regional level will have the opportunity to compete in a state-wide contest.