DI stands for Destination Imagination, where by students work together in teams to solve open-ended challenges designed to teach the creative process. The creative process is a step-by-step approach that helps students better understand problems and ask better questions, come up with solutions, learn from failure, and celebrate their achievements. Teagan participated in DI one year and Latah participated this year as a fifth grader. Students choose a challenge from one of the following categories:  Technical, Scientific, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning, and Early Learning Challenges. Latah’s group chose the arts. For their challenge they decided to choose a classic story but change it making one of the lesser characters into the main character. They chose The Wizard of Oz and made the lion the main character instead of Dorothy. There was a whole series of criteria they had to follow in developing their story. Latah was the lion. Last weekend they attend the DI Tournament in Richland, WA and Latah’s group’s performance made it to the state tournament to be held in a couple weeks. Heather, Teagan and I accompanied Latah to her tournament.

Latah’s group with their coach and her baby

We drove to Richland the day before the tournament where Heather had procured a room for us at the River Front Hotel.

The hotel had a great outdoor pool that was closed for the winter.
We played Slap Jack in our room.
Dinner at the Tap & Table

We enjoyed dinner that evening at a little sports bar called, Tap & Table. It was a strange place with indoor swings and 99 cent beer on tap when you ordered food.

I thought the swings were an interesting touch for a sports bar.
The girls, of course, missed out on the 99 cent beers.

Our hotel was located along the banks of the Columbia River. I am an early riser so I walked along the river while the others slept in. It was a dark morning but pleasant with the sun rising, the ducks quacking in the river, the temperature refreshing, and I had the place to myself.

Soon we were finished with breakfast at the hotel and off to Richland High School for the tournament. The school is huge and I stuck with my group for fear to becoming lost with hallways going in every direction and missing Latah’s performance. Navigating with a school map we arrived where we were suppose to be nearly every time. My first concern was finding a bathroom whose location I could trust. It all was great fun and “Thank You, Heather,” for inviting me along.

The cafeteria was available for snacking or resting.
The judges immediately discussed each groups performance with the group they judged
Games in the gym while waiting for final placements

While waiting for the results of the group performances all the Trout Lake people enjoyed a barbecue in the parking lot of the school.

Trout Lake Barbecue with an amazing amount of food
With their tummies full Teagan and Latah went off to play with their friends.

To make a long story short, Latah’s group came in third qualifying them for the state tournament. We were all very excited as this was their very first participation in DI.

The kids had prepared a bubble machine to go off when Lion fell asleep but id didn’t work that day.

Although the performance wasn’t long it met all the challenges such as music must be included, there must be at least one change of scenes and so forth. Lion who was scared of bees falls asleep in the poppy field and dreams of being chased by a bee who is afraid of lions and thinks he is the one being chased. Haha! Students were required to take care of all aspects, such as costumes and scenes without the help of any adults.