The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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Snowball makes comeback

Club increases attendance since last retreat
Snowball staff posing for photo outside of the Vaughan building before leaving for fall retreat (photo courtesy of Snowball Facebook account).

The international youth initiative Snowball that works to empower young leaders to make a positive difference through prevention education, community advocacy, and leadership development has had their first increase in attendance since November 2022.

In March 2022, they had one of their record low attended retreats, with only 160 participants, which was under their goal of 195. Snowball made a comeback this year on Nov. 10-12, surpassing the 195 requirement, making this year a success. 

After Snowball’s decreased attendance in the past year, the leaders of the program decided that there was going to have to be more preparation and cooperation with the student participants to make sure they met the requirements to attend.

“I think we looked at it together and brainstormed ways to get messaging out in better ways to make the process more streamlined for individuals to get in,” advisor David Stormont said. “Last year they got names of individuals that we thought of from other teachers that have been involved in the program or admin that works with leaders that may not have been traditionally people who would’ve thought of coming to Snowball or even knew what Snowball was.”

One of the main reasons that leaders of the youth program wanted the continuation of their trips is because of the message they believe Snowball spreads. Not only the high school participants who attend, but also adults, are impacted.

I actually did [Snowball] when I was in high school,” Stormont said. “It was an organization I was involved in from my sophomore year in high school through my senior year. It offered me opportunities and growth and then when I came back to be a teacher I saw what the program had given to me and I wanted to give it back to my students and to the school community at large.

It wasn’t just the adults trying to get more attendees, staff member Eric Roemer ‘25 said. High school participants were asked to try and encourage other students to join Snowball retreats not just because they need more people to join, but because of the reasons why Snowball could help people. 

“It’s a safe space for anyone who needs it and it can give people the support that they might not have in their lives,” Roemer said. I’ve made a ton of new friends both on the Snowball weekend and during the staff meetings we have each week. I’ve also learned to be more sympathetic and understanding towards others and what they’ve gone through. Hearing other people’s stories has helped me to see life from a different perspective than I used to.”

Snowball is an open door for anyone wanting to try something new and be welcomed into a new community of friends and trusted ones, Stormont said. Any student interested in joining their next trip in March can apply on their LTHS club homepage in the weeks coming up to March.

“I think this is an organization that can appeal to everybody. This is a place where you can talk about the things that you don’t normally talk about,” Stormont said. “You get a chance to meet people you wouldn’t maybe normally meet. You get to make friends, you get to have new experiences, [and] kind of take a break from your normal everyday life. [Snowball allows attendees to] get a little reset and think about the world in a different perspective.” 

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Ray Klaczynski, Reporter
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