WLC’s Destination Imagination team heads to states

WILTON — After taking first place in their category in a regional competition in Nashua on Saturday, Wilton-Lyndeborough’s Destination Imagination team is headed for a state competition next month.

Wilton residents Michael Manning, Gianna Mercier, Katie MacDonald, Raven Bartlett and Olivia McGettigan make up the team, known collectively as Krafted-Insanitee. Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative Middle and High School was one of four secondary schools competing in an improvisation challenge during the regional competition. After placing first, they’ve earned the right to carry on and represent their school at the state competition in April.

It’s nothing new for the all-freshman team, said team manager Laura Manning. The group has had the same core membership since they first formed six years ago, in the third grade. That was before WLC even had an official Destination Imagination team. But that didn’t stop the kids from getting to state their first year, and many of the years since it first formed, said Manning.

In Destination Imagination, teams can chose among eight different challenge types. The WLC team likes to do improvisational challenges, which fits in with their personality, she said. “They’re more a fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants team, that’s why they do improv,” Manning said with a laugh. “I think they even came up with the team name the night before.”

That can sometimes give them an edge at the regional level, because not many secondary school students can tackle improv successfully. It’s never been a problem for her team, said Manning.

“It’s difficult,” said Manning. “A lot of teams struggle with it, as opposed to this group of clowns that like to just wing it.”

This year’s regional challenge, the team had to create a scenario where the world has undergone a dramatic change overnight. The team had to create a 5-minute improv skit about life after a dramatic change and integrate different communication techniques into their skit. Their only props are white t-shirts, washable markers and themselves.

With limited time to prepare and almost no props, the team was able to quickly concoct a scenario where they were door-to-door computer salesmen, faced with the sudden disappearance of the world’s computers.

After landing first place, Krafted-Insanitee will be competing at the state level on April 6 in Salem. From there, if they qualify, they would head to the national competition. And while the group is well versed in state competition, they’ve haven’t yet made it to the national level, said Manning. Although fundraising to attend national or global competitions would require a significant commitment on the kids’ part, Manning said she knows they would love to make it to that level.

As for Manning, she said she’s just glad to see the group grow. When the group was first formed, they often experienced severe nerves before going on to perform for the NH Destination Imagination assessors at competitions like the one this past weekend. Now, she said, it’s practically old hat.

“It’s been nice to see that change in them. To see them grow in confidence and ability,” said Manning.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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