Elementary team is filled with personality

11 years ago


By Natalie De La Garza
Staff Writer

    LIMESTONE — They may be the youngest elementary level Destination ImagiNation team to come from Limestone in the past eight years, but enthusiasm dictates that they’re more than ready to take on the world during Globals later this month.
    And they’ll do it without uttering one word.

    “Our Destination ImagiNation problem is ‘In Disguise,’” explained team member Kennedy Bencivenga. “We have to do a problem that has to have two individual masks, one tha

DI-rebecca-dc-ar-20 DI-Isabella-dc-ar-20
Rebecca Pahel Isabella Ward
DI-smith-dc-ar-20 DI-Berry-dc-ar-20
Mason Smith Barry Tucker
DI-Kourtney-dc-ar-20 DI-Kennedy-dc-ar-20
Kortney West Kennedy Bencivenga

t morphs and one that is just all decorated — and we can’t say any words and not even letters!” she added.
    This group of six elementary students aren’t particularly known for their silence around the school grounds, but they’ve learned that there are plenty of ways to communicate without talking.
    “Facial expressions, gestures, body language, movement, music, sound effects, physical actions,” listed teammate Barry Tucker.
    Tucker plays an important role in the skit with teammates Bencivenga, Kortney West, Isabella Ward, Rebecca Pahel and Mason Smith — “in the beginning, he’s our friend, but he hits his head and thinks of us as food,” Pahel explained. In an incredibly brief synopsis of the play, a group of butterflies plus one moth flutter across the stage; one butterfly hits his head and gets a concussion, making him think he’s a praying mantis — all of which is acutely conveyed to the audience without using words.
    Pahel cited two particular things that will make this young elementary group stand out among all the other teams:
    “Our costumes … and the fact that we’re insects.”
    While the State Champions excelled at their last competition — they’ve revamped their performance in preparation for Globals.
    Their costumes are perfected down to tiny details, like adding sequins to their wings in order to reflect the scales of a butterfly’s wings, and improving their props — and they weren’t even afraid to omit portions of their skit entirely.
    The best part about the creative process is that they did it as a team.
    “Like today,” said West. “There were three of us and we had to paint a sky on our backdrop. We were sponge painting with the same color blue and we each had a third of it to do,” she described. “We had to sponge our third, and if someone else needed help we had to go over to their side and sponge the brown [unpainted] spots that were there.”
    On a scale of 1-10 of how much better their skit is now than when they first showed it at States, the group agreed that it ranks as eight.
    Aside from team-building skills, the students immersed themselves in the library to learn more than they ever thought they’d learn about butterflies.
    Even though they’re just elementary students, they dedicate anywhere from 11-15 hours a week working on their DI skit and helping fundraise for their trip to Tennessee. Despite the long hours, the group agreed that it’s a lot of fun.
    “I like being part of Destination ImagiNation because it’s fun and I get to try out things I’ve never done,” said Smith.
    “When you go on trips to Bangor and Tennessee, you’ll get to see new people and new friends, and it’s a good way to learn what a team is,” said West, “they work together and they don’t fight and they help each other.”
    “They’ve all learned special skills and special talents,” said one of their coaches, Alva King,  explaining that for the instant challenges, the group splits into two different teams — one to build necessary props and one to create the skit.
    “We’ve learned to work together but separately in order to get more done,” she said, with the group’s little heads nodding in agreement.