Operation Snowball


Operation Snowball Stevenson High School

Contact the author: Sara Cahill

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 that there is much to life that they have not tried that is healthy and can be enjoyable. Many 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 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.
Details... 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 retreats 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.
Contact the Sponsors Sara Cahill
Michael Cullen
To Apply for Staff or Participant Leadership Program Forms are currently available to download from this site!


Authored by:

Sara Cahill
Science Teacher
Operation Snowball Sponsor
Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Lincolnshire, IL 60069






Download applications here and return to Student Activities!  Please return forms by Tuesday, April 20th.   Applications require teacher recommendations to be submitted. You do not need to fill out both applications if you would like to do the Participant Leadership Program if not selected for the 2010-2011 staff.

Download the Staff Application here.

Download the Participant Leadership Application here.

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