This month my column will be a bit different. It’s about the best sack lunch my mom ever made for me and everything that came with it.
Friday, April 11, started like any other day with my mom getting me up really early, ready to drive me to school.
But this time we went by the school and she was dropping me off at the VFW where we were greeted with smiles, hugs and cheering people…so much happiness. We said our goodbyes, my mom handed me my sack lunch and I was off on a journey that I will never forget.
Through my good friend, Nick Norman, we were told about Operation Snowball, which is a leadership program in substance abuse prevention that helps youth build self-esteem, develop responsible decision making skills and create positive peer influences. The bus ride seemed like forever, but we finally arrive at Camp Henry Horner.
We were divided into small groups and that would be our small family for the weekend. Our larger family consisted of 120 kids from School Districts 203 and 204. We had small workshops and large group activities.
The skits were amazing and very emotional dealing with all the hard choices teens have to make every day. Since the skits are written and performed by the youth leaders, every camper could really relate to them—at one point I looked around and saw teens hugging one another and consoling their neighbor. One girl later referred to the hugs as a huge “cuddle puddle.”
By the time Sunday came around and I had collected a lot of fuzzies, strings that you pass out throughout the weekend to campers and you say something positive to them. While we were finishing up with our last small group and preparing for our parents to arrive, I thought I did not want this weekend to end. The new friends I made and the lessons I learned will live on though, and I will be back next year. And my mom will again make me the best sack lunch to repeat another great journey at Operation Snowball!
Thanks, 360 Youth Services for caring for us! And for making this journey a “snowball” experience.
For more info on 360 Youth Services, visit www.360youthservices.org.