Cool days at Operation Snowball

Marianna Garza, staff writer

Operation Snowball, a prevention program geared towards keeping teenagers away from alcohol and drug related substances, will be taking place this year beginning February 13th at eight in the morning and running until three in the afternoon on February 15th.

The retreat will be located this year in Oregon, Illinois at the Lorado Taft Field Campus. About 60 adolescents from Joliet West Township High School will be attending Operation Snowball. Attendees will be charged $125 and will need a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian.

Jackie Deschamps, a junior at Joliet West, stated, “Even though it costs a lot of money, it’s worth it. You learn so much about yourself. You bond with people you never expected to bond with.”

Luckily, the No Name Club will be able to offset the costs with a fundraiser. They will be hosting popcorn sales with a variety of flavors and quantities.

The program first took place in 1977 in Rockford, Illinois. Participants from the Illinois Teenage Institute, now commonly known as the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute, had a notion that the program could take place in their own communities.

Two years later, Operation Snowball Inc. was founded to specifically help the program grow in number and strength. The corporation’s main goal was to prevent substance abuse amongst teens and help them build healthy relationships.

Debora Burroughs, lead sponsor of No Name, highly encourages students to attend this weekend retreat. She believes operation snowball is a great opportunity. She urged, “You have to do it before your senior year.”

The program focuses on resiliency, leadership, friendship and coping. At the retreat, students will be able to participate in team building exercises and become well acquainted with each other.

Burroughs relates that “Sponsoring such amazing programs and students is among my greatest joys.” She and the rest of the No Name troupe are looking forward to this retreat, as it’s definitely a weekend worth spending.