Destination Imagination: where fun meets innovation


HURON — To quote that late great James Caan in the college football film “The Program”, ‘When was the last time 80,000 people showed up to watch a kid do a damn chemistry experiment?’

In the opinion of Destination Imagination parent, coach and volunteer Arin Winger, not nearly enough.

“That line is in reference to how funds should be spent a fictional big-time Division I school with a winning football team,” Winger notes. “Now, as a former athlete, coach, and athletic director, I see the point.”

Winger shared that often teams he coached had apparel sales, 50/50 drawings, concessions, and ticket sales to help fund the budget.

“However, when it comes to some of the other teams out there, opportunities are few and far between.”

Meet Huron Destination Imagination.

A group whose soul mission is to imagine, innovate, and create solutions through hands-on learning.

This “Club Team,” formed with students of all grade levels in the school district, work on science, technology, engineering, fine arts, service learning and the art of extemporaneous performance.

“The long-term goal is to grow overall experiential learning and problem-solving skills, while building the same life lessons I learned in the skating rink and on the diamond,” Winger said.

“The short-term goal is to have fun, make new friends, and build some cool stuff!”

But, even with a total of 44 students and nearly twice as many parents and volunteers, this group is struggling where so many others do....the financial mystery that is funding.

While they have tried the traditional Very Brady Bake Sale, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and even a Jerry Lewis style Call-A-Thon, the struggle is real.

Above are dozens of fundraiser packs of cookies and some wearing parents and coaches.

Last season, Huron S.D. Destination Imagination brought a total of nine teams to the State Tournament.

And, in true Tiger fashion, they dominated by having seven of those nine teams from Huron qualify for Global competition.

The Global Finals is the culminating tournament for each season of Destination Imagination’s Challenge

Experience, with the top teams from around the world competing in their respective Team Challenges.

However, win and you’re in isn’t enough.

“The cost, excluding travel, for each Huron team is $5,500,” Winger said. That is the equivalent of a small army pulling $38,500 out of thin air in a six-week window.

This year Huron S.D. Destination Imagination has added three more teams, and another successful run at State run could add another $22,000 to the challenge.

Currently, the program is running a fundraiser to drive the cost of innovation down to the point of pocket change.

In true team fashion Huron SD Destination Imagination teams are all working together for the greater good, with all proceeds being spread to each participant and team equally.

If you would like to help this amazing group of young minds, please visit this link to donate:

“Your contribution gives me and my team a chance to continue to innovate, grow and create through hands-on problem solving,” Winger said  

“Your gift allows us to offer a greater opportunity to our local teams, and get more teams started – if kids can see the power they have to make a difference – they can be a huge catalyst for change. “

Donations by check may be sent to:
c/o Huron Destination Imagination
1045 18th St SW
Huron, SD, 57350