NEW SHARON — The Talkin’ Travelers, a Destination Imagination team of seven students, learned lessons recently about art, history, creativity, imagination and teamwork. They also learned to never give up hope, they said.

Most of the Cape Cod Hill School’s Talkin’ Travelers members who participated in the state Destination Imagination Tournament in March had nearly given up all hope of winning. Once the third and second place teams were announced, some thought for sure they were out of the middle-level Talk ART Loud Challenge.

So when they heard their school and team’s name called as the first-place winners, they were on their feet and heading up to receive their award at the University of Maine in Orono.

“It was super exciting when we heard our name called for first place middle level,” student Emma White said.

It is the first time the school has earned a first-place Destination Imagination award in the more than 20 years students have participated in the tournament, teacher and team manager Lynn Wells said Thursday.

Team members are trying to raise about $15,000 to allow them to participate in Global Finals on May 21-24 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. There, they will compete against teams from 45 other states, Canada and 13 other countries.

The team chose to research artists Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. They also used a photo by artist Lee Duguid as a model for their backdrop and they made a telephone booth out of cardboard, student Katie Holmes said.

They looked up pictures and chose Duguid’s photo from his online gallery called “Telephone box Westminster London England UK,” student Charlie Eng said. They lost the picture but found it the week before the competition, he said.

Students used shower curtains to draw their backdrop and cut windows in them, student Erin Ladd said.

Their presentation included stepping into the booth and going back in time.

For the ARTifact they needed to create, which was inspired by the artists’ artwork, they made a mobile with a miniature telephone box on top, student Chelsie Berkey said. They used a piece of artwork they created to represent what each artist was known for and also attached the art history book they made, she said.

They had eight minutes to get their presentation set up and performed before the judges. They practiced their timing, student Emily Holmes said.

They also had to create a Caption Contraption in another challenge in addition to comic strips, student Makayla Gross said. They need to make a one-minute video that will include Scotch Duct Tape and L.L. Bean boots prior to the global challenge. They stand to win $5,240 to put toward their trip to Tennessee, Ladd said.

They have a number of fundraisers planned, including a tag day from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, April 4, at Douin’s Market on Route 2 in New Sharon. Mad Louie, who promotes positive behavior and exercise, will give a presentation from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. April 17, at the school. The team has not decided on an admission fee yet.

They will have a benefit spaghetti dinner at Calozlaio Pasta Co. restaurant in Wilton at the end of April, with a date to be set soon. They also have 70 letters to distribute to businesses to request support.

Another tag day is planned April 17 at Verso Paper’s mill in Jay and a bottle drive is being planned.

Gross said she has learned that you can use your imagination anywhere.

“I learned to be true to your beliefs and just have fun,” White said. She said she thought all along, “We shall win.”

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Donations to support the Talkin’ Travelers team in a Destination Imagination Global Finals in Tennessee may be made at fundly.com/cchs-destination-imagination-global-finals. Checks payable to “CCHS DI team” may be mailed to CCHS, 516 Cape Cod Hill Road, New Sharon, ME 04955.


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