DI in the Volunteer State is made possible by our very special volunteers. There are many ways to get involved with DI, regardless of your experience level. Whether you have a lot of time or a just a little, you can make a difference! Here are some ways people get involved in our program. When you’re ready to get started, contact your regional director!
Tennessee DI tournaments are exciting and fun. Officials attend a casual training on a Saturday in February. The regional tournament takes another Saturday, and is usually in late February or early March. Some officials choose to participate in the state tournament as well.
No experience is necessary! At the training session, the program is fully explained. Based on each individual’s preference, roles are assigned. Each person is only responsible for a few things, so there’s very little pressure.
There are a number of ways you can be involved at the tournament. Teams of Appraisers are responsible for awarding points to teams. We also need Announcers, Timekeepers, Doorkeepers, Number Crunchers… and more!
DI alumni living in Tennessee are especially encouraged to help. See the “Alumni” section below!
Each DI team needs an adult Team Manager to be in charge of meetings, planning, team registration, Tournament logistics and team safety. Team Managers are in high demand and are key to the success of any DI program, and while most are volunteers, some receive stipends or some degree of compensation for their time.
A DI Team Manager:
• Has a good sense of humor.
• Appreciates creativity and innovation in all its forms.
• Enjoys working with children and young adults.
• Is interested in helping young people learn about creativity, teamwork and problem solving.
• Wants to join the DI community and share with other caring adults.
• Has a positive and friendly attitude.
The degree of a Team Manager’s involvement will depend upon the team’s schedule, Tournament progression, and the overall goals and needs of the team. In any case, the team does the real work – the problem solving – and the Team Manager facilitates the process, which allows the team to have the best educational experience possible.
Some Coordinators find Team Managers through an Informational Meeting held for parents, potential participants, administrators, teachers, and other interested people. Some have said they find Team Managers by asking parents if they would “work together with the team.” Team Managers could be:
• College students
• Team member’s older brother or sister
• Community members
• School paraprofessionals
Team Manager Training Workshops
Destination Imagination, Inc. provides training instruction and help to Regions and Affiliates so that they can present great Training Workshops for the Team Managers and Coordinators. Check with your Affiliate and/or Regional Director for information regarding Training Workshops. The importance of these training sessions cannot be emphasized enough.
Tennessee DI is enormously proud of the number of DI team members who continue to volunteer with the program after their graduation. Destination Imagination Tennessee especially invites adults who competed in any DI tournament (no matter how long ago!) to sign up as an official Destination Imagination Alumni Ambassador. After submitting your information to HQ, you’ll get a prized, limited-edition pin, special offers for socializing with other creative folks, and unique opportunities to help ensure that DI in Tennessee continues to be a treasure for future generations of learners of the creative process. Learn more about the program here.
Tips for Parents
- Understand the Rules of Interference. DI Challenges are all about allowing kids to create on their own without help from any adults or non-team members.
- Share your skills! Learning new skills is a big part of the DI process and can help teams in solving a Challenge. From acting to engineering to learning how to use a power drill, parents are encouraged to share their skills and talents with their team. You can also help coordinate field trips or outside skills workshop.
- Host the team or at your house. DI teams need a space to have their team meetings and work on their solution.
- Provide snacks. Between idea generation and building a solution, kids often get hungry at team meetings. Provide them with healthy snacks or purchase them for the Team Manager so that he or she can provide them at upcoming team meetings.
- Become a Tournament Appraiser or other volunteer. DI is a volunteer-run organization. Without our amazing volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to develop Challenges or host tournaments. Even giving back for one day helps!
- Help out as a Co-Team Manager. One of the biggest gifts you can give is to become a co-Team Manager. By having more than one Team Manager, you can split up some of the work and alleviate some of the pressure. For example, one of you can oversee the Team Challenge while the other oversees Instant Challenge.
Also see our FAQ for more information about how parents can help!