Eric Melanson remembers when his daughter Lorrin wanted a spot on her college’s Mock Trial team. “The scenario was, ‘You are an ant and we are anteaters,'” he said of the test question. “‘You need us to convince us not to eat you.'” Lorrin spun the question a different way, thinking on her feet and changing the term from “ant” to “aunt,” and she won a spot on the team. Melanson credits her participation in Destination Imagination as a key to her quick thinking.
Two Londonderry Destination Imagination teams will attend the DI Global Finals in May in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The teams, both consisting of high school students, are part of four Londonderry teams that competed in the New Hampshire state finals
“Five Guys,” an improvisational team, consists of Ben Dionne, Julia Fitzgibbons and Trevor Melanson. Eric Melanson is their coach.
The Technical Challenge Team is composed of Ian Goodspeed, Jillian Fitzgibbons, Jim Fitzgibbons, Hannah Brown, Gillian Lynch and Brittney Fernandez. Bill O’Connor is the coach, but has taken a break for health reasons and Kimberly Lynch has stepped in as spokesperson.
In a phone interview, Eric Melanson said he has been involved with DI for 17 years. “My oldest daughter dragged me into it when she was in second grade,” he said. That was Clarice, who is now going to medical school and has used DI skills throughout her academic career. Lorrin is second and his youngest, Trevor, is on the current team going to Globals.
“It is the best school-related activity my kids have ever been involved with,” Melanson said. “It allows them to shine, to show their creativity.”
Melanson’s team did the Improvisational Challenge. A scenario is given with a stock character, stock situation and one of three genres, from which the students have to craft an improvisational skit.
“You have to think on your feet to combine all the elements,” Melanson said.
Lynch’s team participated in the Technical Challenge. Their assignment was to move one of their team members without touching anything.
“We rehearse two times a week, Friday nights and Saturdays, with more meetings the closer to the event,” she said.
Her team is also an experienced DI team, with one student on its second trip to Globals, one on its third, and one having qualified a whopping six times. But that didn’t diminish the excitement, Lynch said. “I think we were the most excited team there,” she said
The Londonderry Middle School Scientific Challenge team finished fifth in the stte and the Matthew Thornton Elementary School Engineering Challenge team finished seventh.
The two high school teams will attend the Globals May 22-27. Though the Improv team has gone to Globals before, Melanson said they are still “psyched and excited. When they announced our name at the state meet, the kids screamed and jumped up and down.”