March 2022
Happy March!

As we approach Spring and all that the season has to offer, we invite you to look back on what you have accomplished so far this school year. For many Snowball Teams this was a year of rebuilding, starting from the ground up to train students on what Snowball is and the impact that can be made. For some Teams, it was the first year returning to in-person programming and learning new precautions that came with it. No matter where you and your Team are at, there is a lot to celebrate.

Don't stop now! The remaining months of the 2021-2022 school year leave you with many opportunities to hold one-day prevention campaigns, prepare de-stress tips & kits for second semester standardized testing, and so much more. You can find information about upcoming prevention campaigns below.

We hope you'll join us for our upcoming trainings (remember they are FREE), and we are excited to continue watching everyone achieve their goals and make an impact with your events. As always, please let us know how we can support your Team programming throughout the year.
Operation Snowball, Inc. Trainings
Our 2022 spring training catalog is finally here! You can click the link below to find the titles, descriptions and registrations for our upcoming trainings for the 2022 spring semester. These trainings are free and open to all. Please forward these on to your students and OS leaders.
March Trainings
Culture is Prevention! Youth Prevention Strategies for Diverse Communities (LGBTQ, POC, etc.)
March 22
4:00PM to 7:00PM CST

In this session participants will:
  1. Review data that identify populations at higher risk for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  2. Understand how certain groups have been historically marginalized in public health and how that has impacted communities today
  3. Identify culturally-appropriate strategies addressing youth substance use.
April Trainings
Giving Effective Feedback
April 13
10:30AM to 12:30PM CST

Feedback. We’ve all given it; we’ve all received it…and we know that how we do it makes a difference in how it is received. In this small-group-based and highly interactive virtual session, participants will learn the “SBI” method of providing feedback.
QPR: Ask A Question, Save A Life
April 20
10:00AM to 12:00PM CST

Gatekeepers can be anyone who are strategically positioned to recognize someone at risk of suicide, and work with them to receive help (e.g. parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, coworkers, etc.). This presentation will eliminate the myth that only someone who is clinically trained can prevent someone from completing suicide.
The Three-Layered Approach to Successful Team Action Planning
April 21
5:00PM to 7:00PM CST

Making a positive impact in your community takes time, drive, and passion, among so many other things. This event is open to youth and adults involved in Operation Snowball Teams, CGTI Action Teams, and is open to the prevention community.
OS, Inc. Training Highlight
We are so thankful to Hinsdale District 68, District 228 and Stevenson High School OS Teams for attending our regional training last week.
Game On! Snowball Showcase
Youth leaders across the state joined Operation Snowball, Inc. for a fast paced, hands on, and tool-filled INTERACTIVE, FUN, and MUSIC-FILLED training experience! They left the training having learned more than TWENTY new activities, games, apps, and resources that they can use with their Snowball Teams.
CGTI Mid-Year Recap
THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for Mid-Year 2022! The event was a great success, and we are so grateful that we were able to be in person. We were so excited to welcome 12 Operation Snowball Teams to the Mid-Year Conference, many for the first time.

From workshops to discussion groups, action planning to team building, and celebrating our accomplishments, the weekend provided a great opportunity for all of us to join together in learning, growing and healthy risk-taking.
Student Engagement & Retention Toolkit
Simply put, our programming doesn't exist without our student leaders! Therefore, keeping them engaged, inspired and at the forefront of what programming exists is paramount. This toolkit's purpose is to support Action Teams in engaging more youth in joining programming!

This toolkit focuses on student engagement and retention. Operation Snowball, and the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute, are student-based programs that use adult partnerships to give them a voice to create positive change in their communities!
Problem Gambling Awareness Month
One of the main goals of Problem Gambling Awareness Month is to increase public awareness of problem gambling and availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services.

Have you begun a discussion with your youth leaders about youth problem gambling yet? There is still time!
Looking Ahead
April Prevention Activities
Day of Action is
April 1, 2022
Take Down Tobacco Day
On Kick Butts Day, youth leaders and health advocates organize events to:

  • Raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use in their state or community;
  • Encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry's deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free; and
  • Urge elected officials to take action to protect kids from tobacco.
Alcohol Awareness Month
Alcohol Awareness Month was started in April 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

Throughout the month, the movement focuses on sharing facts, ending stigma, and sharing resources. Anyone can get involved!
May Prevention Activities
For inquiries and scheduling requests please contact Riley Cleary.
Amplifying Youth Voices
Youth Advocates on the OS Board of Directors write articles, create resources, and engage our snowball community online as part of their role.
Second Anniversary of the Pandemic: Finding Opportunities
Casey Leone
Hinsdale, IL
March 13th marked the two-year “anniversary” of most schools transitioning to remote learning after discovering the coronavirus was more severe than many of us had anticipated. It was and still is a scary event to cope with, especially considering how many things we’ve lost. Many people missed out on milestone experiences such as graduation or starting a new school, others mourned the loss of years of meeting new people and learning about the things they love. Regardless, it is pretty safe to say finding new opportunities after two years of constant changes has been difficult for all of us. There is hope, though. It appears our rainbow at the end of this storm is approaching for District 86 as an all-day retreat has been approved to bring back some energy to Operation Snowball.
Beloved Operation Snowball Director of Hinsdale South, Nancy Betker, retired last year after many years of leading the program and creating unforgettable memories with her students. Upon entering this school year, it is sad to come to terms with the fact that the upperclassmen are the only students to experience what Snowball truly means. As one of the few remaining upperclassmen at my school who has been to a retreat, it breaks my heart that some people have not been able to experience such a unique program.

Since the new chapter of Operation Snowball began in my district, predicting the future of the club’s success has been worrisome for me. I had many fears of people making quick assumptions of the club and turning away from it without discovering the true meaning behind it. Luckily, back in December, my school hosted an assembly that featured one of our favorite motivational speaker duos who have been a part of our retreats the past few years. You could literally feel the energy within the room; not a single frown was in the crowd. People were allowed to be themselves with their friends and explore anxiety-inducing opportunities in a safe space. That moment was a revitalization of why I love this program so much. 

I am so grateful to be able to say I am a new member of the Youth Advocate Committee for the Operation Snowball Board of Directors. I cannot wait to grow my knowledge of the program and share my ideas to make the Board even better. In the few interactions I have had with my fellow board members, I am very hopeful for the future of Snowball. We have so many interesting ideas to advocate in various ways and bring back the community that once was. I love the togetherness that Snowball promotes and I hope being a part of this committee will help me extend this club to more people for the remainder of this year.
I never realized how important the message behind Operation Snowball would be for me this year. Empowering the generation of the future to make positive choices is the core belief of Operation Snowball and it has motivated me to step up in my own organization and make better decisions in other areas of my life. I have been doing my personal best to advertise the club and come up with new ideas to put energy back into Snowball so it can continue to flourish as it once did prior to the pandemic. Becoming a part of the program shows our desire to be leaders, so as we navigate through life and adjust to having these new opportunities, it is important to allow ourselves to branch out.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! There are so many activities out there that you would never realize that you’d love. Regardless of the changes we’ve seen this year, no matter how big or small, keep trying to expose yourself to new things. District 86 had a bit of a challenge with new leadership, but just with the energy of newcomers to Snowball wanting to see what this program is truly about, we’ve restored some normalcy with a retreat. Operation Snowball has a lot to do with exposing yourself and creating new memories. So, the next time someone invites you to try something new, say yes. You’ll never know how you feel about something until you try it!
We Want to Hear From You!
Operation Snowball, Inc. wants to continue to highlight OS Teams each month in our newsletter. Please continue to share with us the amazing work that you are doing in your schools and communities.

This may mean sharing photos of your events or weekly meetings, graphics and videos your group has created for your prevention programming, maybe it is a write-up from one of your students reflecting on a project you all completed. In other words, we want to celebrate YOU!

Be proud of all you have accomplished!
MISSION STATEMENT: Operation Snowball is an international youth program that empowers student leaders through prevention education, community advocacy, and leadership development to a create positive impact.

937 South Second Street | Springfield, IL 62704
217.528.7335 ext. 27