One of my favorite school trips was going to Destination Imagination’s Global Finals in Tennessee. This was not a class trip but a competition that Berlin High School’s Destination Imagination team made it to. In order to go to Finals, we had to go to the Regional competitions and place either 1st or 2nd, then move onto the State competition and again place 1st or 2nd to move onto the next level. We took 2nd in the State competition.

In order to attend the Finals in Tennessee, we had to raise about $15,000, which is a lot to get from a small community. But our excited team of seven students and two coaches was ready to dive into fundraising. We had a bake sale, a road toll, a Krispy Kreme sale, and a GoFundMe page. The school did a lot to make it possible for us to go, and small businesses gave monetary donations as well as gift cards to raffle off. Clubs like the Kiwanis Club gave large donations, and so did Cents for Kids and City Hall. All the support from the community made it so the trip cost the whole team almost nothing out-of-pocket.

This trip was amazing. I was able to meet people from China, Singapore, South Korea, Caymen Islands, Poland, Guatemala, plus people from other states. We performed in front of a large crowd, got ideas for this year, and made tons of friends. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that was made possible by the community.

—Berlin High School