District 218 students participate in Operation Snowball
June 7, 2012 2:32PM
District 218 students present a skit as part of the Operation Snowball weekend. Each group of students developed a skit based around an inspirational quote to present to the rest of the students. | Supplied Photo
Updated: July 11, 2012 6:02AM
Free from television, the Internet and other distractions, more than 100 student leaders, teachers and guidance counselors from Community High School District 218 recently spent a weekend together examining personal development, goal attainment and wise decision-making during the Operation Snowball program.
Designed by staff members and teen leaders at Shepard, Richards and Eisenhower high schools and Delta Learning Center, Snowball engaged students in activities, forums and small group discussions designed to make them consider their futures.
“Operation Snowball is an awesome place for students to learn and reflect in an environment that promotes healthy, positive decision-making,” said Jacki Frederking, a dean at Shepard High School.
“Students hopefully learned a little bit about themselves and others,” said school social worker Meghan Hurley. “We hope they develop leadership skills and apply what they learn to their lives. We talked about life after Snowball and encouraged students to take a leadership role at school.”
Many moments illustrated the purpose of the weekend, but Hurley felt the opening — a skit developed by students who helped plan and organize Snowball — set the mood.
“The teen staff’s opening skit was very memorable for me,” Hurley said. “After all the hard work that the teens and adults put into preparing for the weekend, the teen staff really set the tone.”
Students presented a skit highlighting some of the themes of the weekend, such as “Respect others,” “It’s OK to be different,” “Be yourself” and “Have fun.” At the end, they held up posters with the slogans.
“I was proud of our teen staff for putting together the skit,” Hurley said. “It was funny yet sent a great message and it was a great way to start the weekend.”
Frederking first encountered Snowball as a student, and the experience influenced her career path.
“When I was in high school I attended Operation Snowball,” Frederking said. “When it became time to go to college and graduate school, I realized how much I liked to facilitate groups and help support other people.”
Working as a volunteer with Operation Snowball proved decisive, Frederking said.
“I found social work to be a good fit,” she said. “So basically I have Snowball to thank for giving me the initial practice and support in finding my path. I enjoy continuing with the program because I love to see people learn, play, reflect and grow, and I always learn something new, too.”
Provided to the SouthtownStar