An email was sent out to all registered participants. All registered students are entered into Infinite Campus so you will see the activity listed there. If you registered but did not receive an email, please contact us at SHSSNOWBALL@GMAIL.COM. If email is not an option for you, please call Sara Cahill at 847-415-4409 to arrange an alternative solution.
What is Snowball? : Follow the link to findout!
What ways can you participate in Snowball? (Snowball Participant, Participant Leadership Program, Avalanche, Teen Staff, Teen Directors)
For more information about the weekend events, please see our information page
For more information about the new Avalanche program for juniors and seniors ONLY, please see our Avalanche information page
A question often asked is, "What is Operation Snowball?"
The answer is hard to give because Snowball is a lot of things. The themes of the weekend are to make healthy choices and take smart risks in life, to build and have a high-self esteem and positive attitude, to set your goals high and persevere to overcome failure.
So what do we do to support these themes?
A lot of things need to take place on the weekend in order to accomplish all of these goals in less than 48 hours. The weekend consists of team building activities to learn how to work together and respect others for who they are and what they bring to the table. There are team discussions and team activities that allow for everyone to get know each other as well as possible as quickly as possible. We also teach students that stepping out of your comfort zone can be rewarding when it is making a healthy decision to try something new. We encourage participants to sign up for activities that are new to them and to be willing to try something new and different on the weekend. Participants that do this realize there is much to life that they have not tried that is both healthy and enjoyable. Many people end up learning new things about themselves through their willingness to enjoy life and live it to its fullest.
Do students have fun?
For every participant, the experience of the weekend is unique. They enjoy different things and take away from the weekend what speaks to them personally. It is hard to know what each individual will think when the weekend is over, but overwhelmingly the thoughts are positive and enthusiastic.
Who should attend the weekend?
Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, Females, Males, ANYONE! We encourage all students in the school to attend the weekend because we think everyone can benefit from meeting new people, listening to speakers and learning to respect both others and themselves for who they are. One common lament from seniors who attend the weekend is their inability to experience Snowball again. Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors have the opportunity to apply to be staff members after attending one Snowball weekend. This is a great leadership opportunity and source for community service hours.
The weekend retreat takes place at YMCA Camp McClean in Burlington, WI. Students travel by school bus leaving directly after school on Friday and returning around 12:30 pm on Sunday. More details for planning for the weekend are available during a parent meeting that is held before every Snowball for parents of the current retreat participants.
From the Operation Snowball and Illinois Teen Institute Website
"Operation Snowball (OS) is an alcohol and drug use prevention program focusing on leadership development to empower youth to lead drug-free lives. The name originates from the idea that "If I have a positive impact on you, you can have a positive impact on someone else and the effect snowballs." Out of this concept emerges "A Community of Caring" - the success of Operation Snowball.
PROGRAMS WITHIN THE PROGRAM:
Participant: This is open to all grades, all experience levels, everyone! A participant in the weekend takes part in small group, mini workshops, the team course, open mic, etc. If you’ve never been on snowball before, or want to go again to participate, but not strictly lead signing up as a participant is the right fit for you!
PLP (Participant Leadership Program): The PLP group is for interested sophomores or juniors (typically) who have been a snowball participant at least once before but are interested in more of a leadership role over the weekend. PLP members meet with their adult staff at one Saturday training before the snowball weekend as well as one-two staff meetings after school before the weekend. They then meet with their PLP small group over the weekend and take on more leadership roles throughout our snowball weekend. If you have been on snowball before as a participant, are not old enough or ready to be staff yet but have interest in taking more of a leadership role—the PLP program is for you!
Avalanche: This is a new program this year for juniors and seniors ONLY. You must have participated in at least one snowball weekend before attending Avalanche.However, if you are a junior or senior who has not attended snowball before you can go to the December 2012 snowball as a participant and then go to the March 2013 snowball as an Avalanche member. Avalanche members leave period 7 for camp, arriving early and having their first small group before everyone else arrives to camp. They will use the foundational skills that they learned as a participant to jump into a journey that focuses more on transitioning to a new part of their life (college/beyond high school) and also exploring who they are as an individual, what their unique strengths are, and how they will build the puzzle of their many roles in their lives.
Teen Staff: Teen staff members are leaders on the weekend along with adult staff. They receive 9-10 weeks of training before the weekend, once a week after school focusing on group dynamics, leadership qualities, and how to facilitate a variety of group situations and structures. You must be a junior or senior to be teen staff, and must apply the year before. Staff applications typically come out a month or two after the March snowball weekend. To apply for staff, you must have participated in at least one previous snowball weekend. This year, teen staff may attend one weekend as staff and one weekend as avalanche.
Teen Directors: The teen directors take a large part in planning many of the programs and activities throughout the weekend as well as mentoring teen staff and facilitating communication between snowball staff, participants, adults and sponsors. This is a large time commitment, leadership responsibility and collaborative project. Teen Directors have to apply the year before, the same time as staff applications, and must fill out an additional application to their staff one.
If you have ANY questions about the various roles, how to apply for them, or if you are eligible for them—please email
Contact the Sponsors
Please use this email address for all questions concerning Snowball. Thank you.
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