Sunday, November 16, 2008
Seneca Drug Squad
This weekend we opened our farm and home to 21 junior and high school students from Tabernacle, NJ. Random? Not really. Our daughter, Erin, is an addiction's counselor at the high school located in South Jersey. One of her roles is running a prevention program. Drug Squad, the only one in the nation, is designed to challenge students in how they are living their own lives, if they're making an impact within both school and community and conveying these powerful messages about substance free living to their peers. They are, in a matter of words, role models to the other 1,400 students that walk the halls of their high school each day.
These 21 kids spent 7 weeks training on social issues and substance abuse trends pertaining specifically to their school and community. From there they participate in an annual retreat and this year they headed to Faith Farm. On 95 acres they were allowed to sort of hit the pause button in their own lives and just be kids and learn about themselves and their peers. One of the issues addressed was methods of communication. Erin was able to use communication via shifting the chickens roaming grounds. Twenty one kids working together with mind and physical strength to not only lend a hand, but gain a sense of accomplishment and realize there is power in numbers when communication is effective.
It was really awesome seeing these young people discussing how they personally felt compelled to make an impact within their school and take on the responsibility of being held accountable for their own actions and the manner in which they live their own life. So often we hear of the negatives associated with teens, but this weekend totally blew those stereotypes out of the water. What a wonderful experience that these kids had and will now take the lessons learned here back home to their own community. Life is short, but if lived with open arms and heart it can be a beautiful journey.