Three Destination Imagination teams compete at state tournament


By Becky Thompson | Destination Imagination

Three Pagosa Springs teams competed at the Destination Imagination tournament on the Auraria campus in Denver on April 2. Two other teams chose to turn in videos at a later date for appraisal. 

The teams that traveled to Denver were two elementary teams, Dragon Bunnies and Tricky Tricksters coached by Julie Ashbaugh and Jill Witting, and one secondary team, Bombulum Draconis coached by Kristin and Jesse Morehouse. The two teams who will submit videos are The Great Escape and Smooth Speedy Smarties, also coached by Kristin Morehouse. 

The Dragon Bunnies competed in the scientific challenge. They had to create a micro-world, discover a mysterious object and do research on microscopes. 

The Tricky Tricksters competed in the fine arts category. This team had to have a “trickster” attempting to overcome a tricky situation. They also had to have a costume that transformed by a technical method. 

The third team that was at the senior level and a returning team, Bombulum Draconis, is sadly in its last year, with one graduating. They chose to compete in the improv challenge this year. This challenge explored festivals and told a story in two acts, only using boxes for props. The highlight of the awards presentation for Pagosa was David and Ruth Ann Morehouse receiving a Compass award. This award was given out for the first time this year to any DI participants who have navigated through all six types of challenges through the years.

This dynamic duo has not only participated in every challenge, they have also volunteered for the teen leadership team, giving back to the organization that gave so much to them.

This year, the DI Teen Leadership Team planned and staffed the opening celebration for everyone attending the tournament. They also put together four escape rooms that were challenging and fun for the hundreds of DI kids during the state tournament. Seeing David and Ruth Ann transition from participants to participant- volunteers has been impressive the last couple of years.

Destination Imagination is a creativity competition that rewards creativity, cleverness, execution, teamwork and problem-solving. Teams of up to seven students select one of the six challenges in the fall, work on them through fall, winter and early spring, and then compete against other teams of similar age in their geographic region.

Destination Imagination, unlike a lot of student involvement activities, did not shut down during the pandemic. It looked at the pandemic as a challenge to meet. The national leadership team figured out a way to still do DI completely virtual. It was not easy and it was very different, but it worked and it gave kids a creative outlet during a difficult time in our world. This year, the organizers of the tournament were unsure if it was going to happen in person, but it did, with the option of still being virtual.