California Destination Imagination Child Safety

We work every day to create a safe, fun environment so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life. We have ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, including child sexual abuse or misconduct. California Destination Imagination continually updates and innovates robust safety policies, programs and training for staff and volunteers, that are designed to protect young people from threats that are present in our society.

CALDI Volunteer - Student Interaction Guidelines

Our plan to protect every student participating in the CALDI program starts with our Volunteer – Student Interaction Guidelines. This policy is for the safety of students and volunteers at all CalDI events and activities in which volunteers and students are present together.

CalDI recognizes the sensitive nature of interactions between volunteers and students and ensures student safety is free from real or perceived inappropriate behavior. Interactions between volunteers and students will be in settings that are observable and interruptible and occurs in a place and manner that is known by another adult volunteer.

Complete Policy Statement: Policy

Destination Imagination Inc. - 
Youth Protection Plan

Destination Imagination, Inc. provides educational experiences where team members can thrive, learn, and have fun in a safe and caring environment.

We have systems to inform everyone involved in our educational experiences about our Youth Protection Policies and Procedures and provide assistance to help our volunteers and Affiliates in meeting our standards.

The purpose of the Destination Imagination Youth Protection Policies and Procedures (DI-YPPP) is to provide all Destination Imagination participants (to include Team Managers, Appraisers, Challenge Masters, Affiliate Directors, Regional Directors, employees, others working with Destination Imagination, team members, parents and guardians of team members) with knowledge, policies, procedures, and guidelines to create safe experiences for everyone participating in Destination Imagination Educational Experiences.

Complete Policy Statement: Youth Protection Policy

CALDI Background Check

As part of our youth protection plan the California Destination Imagination (CALDI), the Board of Directors has decided to require all Staff, Team Mangers, and Appraisers registered with CalDI to obtain a background check from Verified Volunteers.  This background check must be renewed annually.

Noncompliance will result in removal of a person from their position or denial of any position in CalDI.

Policy Statement: Policy

All CalDI Board Members, Affiliate and Regional operational staff, Team Managers, and Appraisers are required to order a background check from Verified Volunteers and to share the results with CalDI. CalDI recognizes only Verified Volunteers criminal history background checks. This must be performed annually with the individual paying for each check.

Any person who does not pass their background check will be notified and can contact Verified Volunteers for an explanation and further possible actions. Otherwise, persons not passing the check will be considered not eligible resulting in immediate denial of the right to hold any position in CalD

Background Check FAQS

Question: Who is required to have a background check?
Answer: All Team Managers, and Appraisers will be required to obtain background checks. Additionally all California Destination Imagination Staff (Affiliate Directors, Affiliate Board Members, Affiliate Challenge Masters, Affiliate Operating Committee members, Regional Directors, Regional Committee Members, Regional Challenge Masters) will also be required to obtain background checks.

Question: Will Assistant Team Managers also be required to obtain background checks?
Answer: Assistant Team Managers are Team Managers so they also need to obtain background checks.

Question: Why is California Destination Imagination requiring backgrounds checks?
Answer: The is part of our commitment to provide a safe comfortable environment for the youth in the program.  Background checks are only one part of our ongoing youth protections efforts. Education materials and additional policies along with training in youth protection are in development.

Question: Where do we obtain these background checks?
Answer: Background Checks must be obtained from Verified Volunteers.  When you login to  MyCALDI, you will be sent an email which will contain instructions on how to obtain the check.  There will be a unique link to Verified Volunteers to obtain your background check

Question: Where can I find more information about Verified Volunteers and how will my background check information be handled?
Answer: Detailed background check information will be housed at Verified Volunteers.  The only people at California Destination Imagination with access to this information will be the California Destination Imagination Executive Director and the Associate Executive Director.  For more information about Verified Volunteers background checks go to

Question: How much will it cost?
Answer: Staff members and Team managers are required to obtain a Level 3 background check for $26.00.  Appraisers are required to obtain a Level 2 background check for $17.00.

Question: Who pays for background checks?
Answer: The person obtaining the background check pays for their check.

Question: How often will we be required to renew our background check?
Answer: Your background check need to be renewed annually.  When you pay for a background check you are actually paying for the initial background check plus monthly rechecks for a year.

Question: I already have had a background check from other agencies.  May I send you a verification of that background check?
Answer: No, California Destination Imagination only accepts background checks at the appropriate level from Verified Volunteers.

Question: I already have a background check from Verified Volunteers.  May I share that with you through Verified Volunteers?
Answer: Yes, as long as the background check level is appropriate for your role in California Destination Imagination.

Question: I went to Verified Volunteers to obtain a background check and was asked for a “Good Deed Code.”  What is that?
Answer: A Good Deed Code identifies to Verified Volunteers the organization for which you are obtaining a background check along with the level required.  Go to MyCALDI and click on the Background check link on your homepage.

Question: What happens if I do not either get a background check or I am deemed to be ineligible?
Answer: You will not be allowed to be a volunteer associated with or hold any role in California Destination Imagination that requires a background check. Your Region Director will be notified of you ineligibility.

Question: What if I disagree with results of the Verified Volunteers Report?
Answer:   Verified Volunteers will provide you with a detailed result of you background check. If you disagree with the results, you have the right to contest the findings.

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IC Links

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Start Meeting With Your Team

2-4 Weeks

Attend Training in your Region
The Region  workshop will help new Team Managers prepare to start their DI journey. This training is packed with ICs, Team Builders, tips and HELP! Come ready to dive in and learn, share your experiences, and get ready to have FUN!

Start Meeting with your Team


Team Rules

Introduce the Challenges

Instant Challenge – The Instant Challenge portion of the DI competition is a chance for your team to show off its creative problem solving skills as they work together and “think on their feet” in a very short time frame to solve a problem. ICs are usually 5-10 minutes long.

Volunteer Today!

If you would like to Volunteer in California or need more information fill in your details and we’ll get back to you in no time.

The Destination Imagination (DI) Experience!

Destination Imagination (DI) is a global program that promotes problem solving, teamwork, and creativity in students. Teams of up to seven students choose a challenge to work creatively and collaboratively to find a solution. Teams present their team challenge solutions by performing a skit in front of an audience and appraisers. The team challenges emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). In addition, the DI experience exposes students to instant challenges that give students practice in rapid thinking, design, planning, and executing. In DI, the solution belongs to the team members and the team members alone. All ideas, scenery, scripts, and props are created by the team members. No one outside the team may help in any way with the solution to the challenge. Team members sign a contract prior to every tournament stating that the solution is theirs and no one outside the team helped. Rising Stars teams have modified guidelines for interference rules.

Connect with Us!

To Find a Team, Start a Team or Volunteer in our Region,
Please fill in your details and we’ll get back to you in no time!

Get Organized

1-2 Weeks

Review your Resources 

Review Program Materials 

Your membership number allows access to the challenge program materials which are available for download . As soon as you purchase a team number you may download your Challenge Materials from MyCALDI

  • Team Challenge Previews 
    • Use these to help your Team choose their challenge
      • Challenge Previews
      • Challenge Preview Videos  
      • First Look Documents
  • Roadmap
    • Roadmap is a Team Manager resource developed to assist you in guiding your team members as they design and execute a Challenge solution. Section three (Guiding Your Team) explains the roles you will fill as a Team Manager, gives examples of how to begin solving a Challenge, introduces project management, and provides example meeting agendas. Section three will also point you to other resources available in Roadmap.
  • Rules of the Road
    • Rules of the Road is a document that contains all of the rules, procedures, and some of the forms required to participate in a Team Challenge at a tournament. Regardless of the Team Challenge a team has selected, it is very important for the team members to review Rules of the Road to learn the details of the Challenge experience, to prepare for tournaments, and to make sure the Team Challenge solution complies with rules and procedures found in Rules of the Road.
  • Team Challenge Materials
    • As soon as your Team has chosen their challenge, download a copy of the full team challenge

Child Safety & Youth Protection Guidelines

We work every day to create a safe, fun environment so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life. We have ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, including child sexual abuse or misconduct. Complete Policy Statement.

Background Check

    • It is IMPORTANT to use the same legal name and email address that you use to register at MY CALDI!
    • Obtain a BackGround check BEFORE you begin meeting with your Team. Caldi Background check policy can be viewed HERE
    • Click on the button at the top of your MY CALDI home page to apply for a background check . 
    • Background Check FAQ can be found HERE

Please note only a CALDI approved background check will be accepted. 

Find a meeting Location

    • Meetings can be held at the home of the Team Manager, but can also be held elsewhere at parent’s homes, school or community rooms.
    • Your team will need a space in which to store the materials they are using and the things (props, scenery, gadgets, costumes, etc.) that they make.

Choose a Meeting Day and Time

Choose what works best for you. You are volunteering to help guide the kids every week. 

Hold a Parent Meeting

Before you meet with the kids you need to get organized. Make sure you have the help you need before your first Team Meeting

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Get Started

2-4 Weeks

Attend Training

Start Meeting

  • Typical Meeting outline
  • First 5 Meeting Plans

Teamwork & Team Building

Instant Challenge – How to Teach your Team

Discuss Challenges 

  • Watch Challenge Video
  • First Look Document


Choose a Challenge

2-4 Weeks

Team Name Selection – DI Team names are often DI punny or unusual. Teams often choose creative names that relate to their challenge or presentation in some way or just make them laugh. Let the Team go wild with their choice.

How to get your Team to choose a Challenge

How to read a Challenge

Big Ideas 

Team Choice Elements

Make A Plan

4-6 Weeks

Dissect a Challenge

Brainstorm Ideas 

Research Information – the hardest for teams to complete is the research phase because many kids aren’t super interested in pushing through this drier part of the process. Make sure that everyone has a copy of the Challenge at each meeting and that they keep referring to the things that they have decided that they need to learn in order to solve the Challenge. Refine Ideas 

Create a Plan

Get Ready for the Tournament

2-3 Weeks




1 Week

Tournament Day

Be the Team Cheerleader!

Typical day at the Tournament

Set Expectations of Kids & Parents

Paperwork & Contact Forms

Tournament FAQs



IC Information

Teams need a basic understanding of what Instant Challenge is and what to expect. Start off by watching a video and then try a simple IC. Make it FUN!

IC Skills

Material Skills

Team Skills

Task Based Instant Challenges

General Information

Training for Task Based ICs

Tips & Tournament Preparation

Attend Region IC Events

Tips to Improve Team Scores

Instant Challenge Tournament Procedures



IC Basic Information

The Instant Challenge portion of the DI competition is a chance for your team to show off its creative problem solving skills as they work together and “think on their feet” in a very short time frame to solve a problem. ICs are usually 5-10 minutes long.

Basic Information

Teaching Information –


A team is a group of people, united by a common culture and purpose, who are cooperating to achieve quality results.

The challenge we have as Team Managers – helping kids develop healthy and effective interpersonal skills and processes so they can work cooperatively.

Teaching Teamwork

Teaching Listening Skills

Dealing with Team Conflict

IC Materials

Having a common vocabulary and a way to categorize the properties of the materials you have been given will allow your team to jump into the planning and executing stages of the Instant Challenge more easily. ​​

IC Training Plan

FUN is key!
If your team isn’t having fun they won’t master the skills! Be enthusiastic and crazy, help your team relax. You are their Cheerleader.

Promote a sense of camaraderie, and collaboration. Praise the kids when they take risks even if it doesn’t work. Teach them to learn from failure, embrace it and improve.

Training Guide

Teaching Information –


IC Tips & Tournament Prep

Tips and advice on ways to help your team  improve in Instant Challenge.

Start by attending the Instant Challenge workshops offered by your Region. These workshops  give your Team a chance to practice all the skills they’ve been learning in a non-competitive environment. It is FUN and helps teams figure out what they do well and what they need to work on before Tournament day

Find A Team

California Creativity Essay Scholarship

2010  Caryn DeFrees

2012  Alexander Guy

2013  Alexis Klopack

2015  Emily Mair

2016  Heidi Kevalevsky

2018  Savita Balaji

2019  Kaelyn Ong

2020  Caroline Liebe


Justin Kissel Scholarship

2010  Walter Scott Campbell

2011  Erica Grant

2011  Christopher Piotrowski

2012  Zachary Campbell

2013  Mark Rinkel

2014  Crystal Piotrowski

2015  Diana Terrin Spray

2016  Griffin Berlin

2017  Alexis Franklin

2017  Justin Yeung

2018  Rebecca Yee

2019  Sara Smith