DI Domination : the Crummy Cookies return


While the name “Crummy Cookies” may come off as, well, crummy, this Destination Imagination team is rich with subtle flavors: an original recipe for success. This team knows the perfect mixture of flour and sugar to concoct a victory. Over the last eight years, the Crummy Cookies have relied on creativity and teamwork and continue to succeed.  

Destination Imagination is an organization centered on creativity and problem-solving skills. The organization awards teams for correctly satisfying the conditions of a chosen “challenge.”

Challenges typically center around a certain topic such as service learning, fine arts, or improvisation. “We usually print out the guidelines for the technical challenge just to burn it,” says junior Colton Urbanski, a member of the Crummy Cookies since the team first started in third grade. 

While most points are accumulated during the main challenge, tournaments also include an instant challenge that teams go into totally unprepared. These challenges may involve building a structure, creating a skit, or even a combination of the two in only a few minutes. When scores are close, it is usually the instant challenge that determines a winner.

It was the instant challenge that inhibited the Cookie’s advancement to the global tournament two years ago.

Last year, the Crummy Cookies advanced all the way to globals, held at the University of Tennessee, where DI teams from across the world compete. At the end of the five-day event, the MHS Cookies placed 5th in the world. Their performance used intricate chemical reactions, three musical instruments, and a group dance at the end to finish it off.

Griesmer, Dodson, Weinland, Urbanski, Abby Ewart, Monica Wuertemburger, and Alex Copetas celebrate their victory at state with coaches Ted Copetas and Jeff Ewart (Marcy and Marie as the team calls them)(PHOTO BY COPETAS).

“The last time we went to Globals was in 5th grade, so it was a totally different experience the second time around,” says MJ Griesmer. “The overall hype of Globals is incredible, but what’s probably the coolest part is meeting with people from all over and who speak completely different languages.”

Most Cookies would admit that this time was somewhat stressful due to the fact that Globals occurred during exam week last year.

This year, the Crummy Cookies have taken on the fine arts challenge once again and intend to make it just as far as before. In typical Cookie fashion, the team has taken on quite a load of work in order to prepare for their first tournament. “We are super ambitious,” says Abby Dodson.

Since the challenge called for a story about how the disappearance of color changes the world, their skit, set in medieval Europe, revolves around a man with a set moral code whose innocence is dirtied by the devil. As an added effect, the entire script rhymes. 

Some examples of their lines include, “I’m not tryin’ to be mean, maybe a little obscene, but I’m a kingdom butt-kickin’ machine,” and “Is it worth it to try and stay true, when the white around me seems askew”.

The Crummy Cookies used this same effect last year and scored very highly, so they decided this was something they should use again.

Copetas, Urbanski, and Weinland all play strings instruments that give their performance an ominous tone (PHOTO BY WEINLAND).

To make their performances even better, the Cookies often like to include music. “We usually use music that we already have the sheet music for, but this year we’re trying to write our own,” shares Zach Weinland. Weinland himself plays the cello and has been very involved in the process of composing the music.

Although writing the music has been difficult, Weinland believes that in the end, the final product will not only be impressive but earn a lot of points for its creativity.

Teamwork is also an important factor in the success of a team. Even after 8 years of working together, Griesmer believes the rapport of the team has only grown. “We all get along really well,” he says. “Teamwork has always been a strong point.”

Dodson commented on the diverse talents of the team. “We look for challenges that highlight all of the stuff we have to offer,” she says.

Dodson herself was new to the team two years ago after one of the team members quit, but she has fit right into her new environment and the Cookies all agree they are glad to have her.

The Crummy Cookies will be competing March 18 at Three Rivers High School for the regional tournament. From there, they hope to move on to the state and eventually global competitions.

“This year is going to be really good and really difficult,” says Dodson. “That being said, I’m super excited for the way our performance is turning out!”