Archives for Christine Symons

ARDI Virtual Updates

A Note from Christine…
I am deeply saddened by the abrupt ending of our DI season due to COVID-19, however, with each passing day there are new opportunities to practice your creativity and innovation as you learn to do school online or interact via social media with friends and family. With this week being our “Spring Break” here in Arkansas, when many of you would have traveled, I challenge you to find a way to take your family on an adventure (while practicing “social distancing”, of course).

·         Go for a walk … on the moon.

·         Take a virtual vacation (We’ve been making meals from various countries, including Germany, France, Italy, and Mexico.)

·         Visit a museum in each of the locations you visit

·         Turn your living room into a camp ground

·         My niece in Illinois has set-up her “weather pod” and is having a sleep over with her stuffed animals. (She’s 8 years old.)

When things are so uncertain, we can find comfort in community.  We have a marvelous ARDI Community! I hope that you can take a few minutes each day and practice Service Learning and find a way to help someone in their time of need.

Some ideas: Make masks for your local hospital or doctor’s office. Tutor a student that is struggling with online learning. Reach out to a friend and have a phone or video chat. Reach out to your local nursing homes (call them) and see what they might need. Offer to grocery shop for an elderly neighbor.

For those of you missing DI, we’ve planned a few virtual activities that we’ll be announcing below.  Join in the fun….

ARDI News & Things to Do…
While we wait to hear exactly what this new virtual Global Finals event will be like this year, I thought we could have a little fun to stay connected as an ARDI Community.

 

1)    Online Virtual Team Meetings

2)    Volunteer to help Plan ARDI 2020 Celebration Event

3)    Purchase your ARDI 2020 Pins & T-Shirts

4)    Participate in Pin Trading with the Global DI Community (Facebook DI Pin Traders and Collectors Group)

5)    Participate in DIHQ challenges/events posted on the Destination Imagination Facebook and Instagram accounts.

6)    Seniors – Submit your application for $1000 ARDI Scholarship

Online Virtual Team Meetings
If you’d like to get together with your team, to hang-out, practice an instant challenge, or just swap stories, please send an email to with requested date/time.

ARDI will then make available a link for your team to meet via GoToMeeting. ARDI has only one account available so we can only host 1 meeting at a time. However, you can also sign-up for free Zoom meetings if you would prefer to use that platform. Zoom meetings are free for up to 100 participants for 40 minutes. You can schedule these anytime. If you don’t have a Zoom account, you can set-up one at the following link.

https://zoom.us/pricing

ARDI 2020 Celebration Planning
Once life begins to get back to normal, we’re looking to host an ARDI Celebration event. Date/time/location are TBD, but we’d like to start now on planning for the event.  The first session will be held on Thursday 4/2/2020 @ 7:30 pm via GoToMeeting. If you’re interested in joining, please email me at and I’ll send you the meeting login information.

Team Managers, ARDI Students, Parents, Alumni are all invited to participate.

ARDI 2020 Pins & T-Shirts
AD’s across the Globe agree that we will use this year’s pins for next year.

ARDI Pins and T-Shirts purchased for the 2020 season will also be used for the 20-21 season.  We will likely add a pin or two to add to the set next year. We may also add something to the t-shirts.

However, you can still purchase your 2020 pins and/or t-shirt and trade online with the Global DI Community.  The Facebook DI Pin Traders and Collectors Group is actively trading this year’s pins and previous season pins. Check it out!

ARDI Pins & T-Shirts will be available to Arkansas residents through April 25, 2020. If you’d like to order pins or t-shirts, simply send me an email at . I’ll review your order and send you an invoice via PayPal.

Please include how many sets you’d like. If you’re ordering t-shirts, please include the quantity and sizes.

Orders will be packed using gloves. You can choose to pick-up your orders in Greenbrier by contacting me and arranging a time. We will use appropriate Social Distancing strategies for the delivery.  If you would prefer to have me mail the pins/t-shirts, pricing will include shipping.

Pins: $15 per set (5 pins)     Shipping: 1-5 sets, $7:  Shipping: 6-10 sets $12

T-Shirts: $15 each ($18 for 2x or 3x)   Shipping: 1-3 shirts, $5

Other quantities, I’ll check shipping costs with the PO, if needed.

ARDI Scholarship
ARDI will offer a $1000 scholarship to one ARDI high school senior who is a current ARDI team member or volunteer. You’ll find the scholarship application form on the ARDI website at the following link:

http://arkansasdi.org/index.php/get-involved/ardi-forms/

or you can go directly to the Google Form: https://forms.gle/fmv2ZAPN75UekUgY9

Submission Deadline: May 15, 2020

Candidate Announcement: July 15, 2020

Note: Payment for the scholarship will be paid directly to the winner’s college for the fall term.

ARDI News Special Edition YPP & Background Checks Nov 2019

YOUTH PROTECTION POLICY: Overview & Requirements
You may have read DIHQ’s blog about our new DI Youth Protection Policy(YPP). If not, you can find the blog post here.  As an organization that provides programs and events for youth, the commitment to safety is a top priority for Destination Imagination (DI) and we strive to provide every team member with the safest possible experience. In Arkansas, we believe this is extremely important and have adopted the policies set forth in the DI Policy.

To comply with the ARDI Youth Protection Policy, Team Managers must do the following things:

·         Read the Youth Protection Policy

·         Complete the Online Training Course

·         Complete an annual Background Check

·         Discuss the YPP with Parents and provide them with a copy

·         Know what to do if you observe situations where YPP is not followed

Deadline for Completion: January 10, 2020, but please complete as soon as possible!

YPP Policy & Training Links
The following page contains a link to the Youth Protection Policy & Youth Protection Information for Parents.  Team Managers: You may provide electronic links of the information to your parents. You do not have to print hard copies.

http://arkansasdi.org/index.php/youth-protection/

To complete the required YPP Online Training Course, login to your Adobe Captivate account. You should have received an invitation to the system when you signed up as a Team Manager.  If you don’t have a login, please contact  

https://captivateprime.adobe.com/DestinationImaginationInc

There are some AWESOME training courses that you can take advantage of to become a Certified Team Manager. You can also share the classes with your team members at team meetings, especially useful for the just released challenge specific training courses.

Getting a Background Check
Like many volunteer organizations, ARDI requires Board Members, Challenge Masters, Program Officials, Team Coordinators and Team Managers to undergo annual background checks.  This year, the background checks will be performed at NO EXPENSE to our volunteers. Note: Appraisers will not be subject to a background check this year.

We have 3 options for you to submit a Background Check to ARDI.

1)    If you are an employee or volunteer of an Arkansas School District and have undergone a background check within the last 12 months (on or after 11/1/2018), then you may submit a copy of that background check via email to . Please provide proof and date of check. (If you need to request this information through your District Coordinator, please have them submit the information on your behalf for all district teams.)

2)    If you went to Global Finals last year and completed a background check through Verified Volunteers, login to your account and simply share your previous background check with Destination Imagination, Inc. – Arkansas

https://app.verifiedvolunteers.com/en

Note: Verified Volunteers is now Sterling Volunteers

3)    If you need a background check, fill out this Google Form and we’ll enter you in the system. You’ll receive an email from Sterling Volunteers to complete your background check.  https://forms.gle/XzvZsakGTmZFqwiA6

ARDI will pay for your background check through Sterling Volunteers. The funds to cover the costs are coming from dollars we would typically use on tournament activities. So, please consider paying for all or a portion of the fee for your background check if it doesn’t cause a hardship for you. We know you already give generously to ARDI really appreciate your time and dedication to the program.

ARDI News September 2019

Welcome to the 2019-2020 Season!
ARDI would like to focus this year on “leveling-up” the affiliate DI experience!  What does this mean:

·         We will offer DI to more students than ever before.

·         We will offer Team Managers and coordinators more support.

·         We will work to surprise and delight volunteers and students alike throughout the season right here in Arkansas.

If you have ideas, we’d love to hear them!  Just drop us an email at or give Christine a call at 815-878-2597.  You can also reach out to your school coordinators to provide feedback.

Season Kick-off Meetings / Awareness Nights
Each year ARDI offers to attend or present materials about DI.  We have volunteers and alumni versed in all things DI to share information with your schools, administrators, parents, students, team managers, and other volunteers.

We currently have events scheduled with Greenbrier and Bryant and are working with the Little Rock School District to schedule their event(s).

If you would like to schedule a customized “All About DI” meeting, just let us know and we’ll set-up time with you.

TRAINING & RESOURCE OPPORTUNITIES
ARDI Webinars will be offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Webinars will be recorded.  The series of topics will be offered 2 times in the fall:

Series 1: 9/3 through 10/10

Series 2: 10/15 through 12/3

For a list of topics, dates, times, please check out our Team Manager Webinar page.

Team Manager Certification is available online through DI Training. Training as been updated for this season.  So, even if you’ve taken the courses in the past, you’ll learn new things relevant for this season. To Login to the Learning Management System (LMS), click here.

Team Meeting Visits are available to any team manager may sign-up to have an experienced team manager/challenge master/training director attend your team meeting as a guest. During this session, you can get hands on advice for you and your team.  Our experienced volunteers will provide you with all the tips you need to lead a successful team, without interference, of course.

New Team Success Program is new this year. Essentially, it is a mentoring program for new team managers. New Team Managers will be assigned a specific experienced DI volunteer to help guide you throughout your season. That person will be your GOTO resource for all your DI questions. In addition, a check list has been developed to help guide you through the season.  For those experienced Team Managers out there that would like to volunteer as a mentor, let us know and we’ll connect you with a New Team.  (If you’re already doing this within our own school district, reach out to us at and we’ll arm you with the check-list and sign you up as an official DI mentor.)

YOUTH PROTECTION POLICY & BACKGROUND CHECKS
You may have read DIHQ’s blog about our new DI Youth Protection Policy. If not, you can find the blog post here.  As an organization that provides programs and events for youth, the commitment to safety is a top priority for Destination Imagination (DI) and we strive to provide every team member with the safest possible experience. In Arkansas, we believe this is extremely important and will be adopting the policies set forth in the DI Policy. Specifics for the Arkansas Destination Imagination Policies will be published by the end of September. I think you can agree that the protection of our children is a priceless endeavor!

As part of the new policy, like many volunteer organizations, ARDI will be requiring Board of Directors, Challenge Masters, Program Officials, Team Coordinators and Team Managers to undergo annual background checks.  This year, the background checks will be performed at NO EXPENSE to our volunteers. We are in the final stages of selecting a background check provider. I can assure you that the vendors we are currently evaluating are easy to use and very quick… It’s all an online process which will require very little of your time. I know it is just one more thing we need to do as volunteers, but it is paramount to ensuring the safety of our children.

THANK YOU!
I would like to personal ly thank you for being a part of an organization that invests time and energy into the future generation with such passion.

DI’s vision is to inspire and equip participants to achieve anything they can imagine in life!  Thank you for being part of that vision!

 DI is focused on helping affiliates stay relevant in a world where students have more opportunities than they have ever had before. We need students to embrace the Destination Imagination educational experience…Strike that… Students need Destination Imagination.  It will set them apart from their peers when planning for a future we haven’t even imagined. 

Here’s to an awesome year!  Thank you for taking the ride with us!

Sincerely,

 Christine Symons, Affiliate Director

November 2018 Update

I’m thankful this week for many things, but chief among them is that I get to work with such a great group of dedicated volunteers within the Destination Imagination organization.
Below are just a few updates and upcoming activities:
Creativity Day Registration is now OPEN on the ARDI website.  Deadline for registration is Jan 11th.  Get your registration done before Christmas break so you aren’t rushing after the Christmas break.  Creativity Day is January 19, 2019.
 
ARDI Registration deadline is December 21st, 2018.  Registration details and instructions can be found here.
ARDI BLOG has been started to help you keep current with ARDI Important Information.  If you’ve missed an email, just check-out the Blog entries on the ARDI website.  We’ll be posting the content from the emails in the blog.
ARDI Pins 2018-2019 Preview – A preview of this season’s pins are posted on our website.  We are very excited to share the concepts with you. We are also asking for any feedback and a general estimate on how many sets you would be interested in.  We’ll use your feedback to make final adjustments and finalize the initial quantity we order. Check ’em out here.

ARDI Accessing your Materials & Registering your Team

Thank you so much for volunteering for Arkansas Destination Imagination this year!

Let’s get started!

Now that you have your team number, you may access all of the program materials on the DI website and register your team for Arkansas tournaments.

To access program materials: Login to your DI account on destinationimagination.org and navigate to the Resource Area.

Detailed instructions can be found here: http://arkansasdi.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Access-Resource-Materials-on-DI-Website.pdf

To Register for Arkansas Tournaments, please follow instructions on the ARDI website at the following link: http://arkansasdi.org/index.php/ardi-registration/

To help teams decide which challenge to select, you may use a variety of resources:

  • Challenge Preview Videos
  • First Look Document
  • Team exercises in the RoadMap

https://www.destinationimagination.org/challenge-program/2018-19-challenge-previews/

The Arkansas deadline for Registering is December 21, 2018.  Registration instructions can be found on the ARDI website at the following link: http://arkansasdi.org/index.php/ardi-registration/

Good luck and have a fantastic season!!