Idaho Drug Free Youth (IDFY) held their 26th annual conference at Camp Lutherhaven, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in June. A team of 29 individuals from Eastern Idaho attended, to bring back new skills to share with their communities and have fun. Throughout the week teens watched peer led skits about substance use, participated in small groups designed to connect teens, and discuss topics related to substance use.
During the event, they built connections with other peers, attended workshops on dangers of vaping, underage drinking, and marijuana use, listened to professional speakers, participated in challenge courses, and enjoyed some recreational activities. The conference was super high energy and provided fun ways of engaging in prevention activities. Teens who attend the conference come from all types of economic backgrounds and lifestyles making IDFY a unique place for teens to learn and grow.
This year’s theme was DISCOVER YOUR TRUE NORTH which is about loving yourself, being the best self you can be and pointing your life in the right direction by making wise choices in life.
One teen said. “I love that there are so many other people like me at IDFY who care about preventing substance use, it is nice to have a way to connect and learn other ways to have fun than drinking, and to bring those ideas home and do something about the problem.” PB
Teens from East Idaho are currently making plans to implement skills they learned from camp in their individual schools and build more peer-to-peer substance use prevention efforts. They are collaborating with their local health district and coalitions to build capacity, and do prevention programming. One teen who attended camp plans to host safe parties for her friends and wants to change the norms around teen drinking by showing that it is fun not to drink. Another group that attended IDFY plans to host a large community event and town hall meeting focused on substance abuse, and are planning October red ribbon week activities to mentor elementary and middle school students on a large scale. These teens plan to make a difference.
Written by: Marco Erickson
Eastern Idaho Public Health
For more information about Idaho Drug Free Youth check out their videos on YouTube, or visit IdahoDrugFreeYouth.org
To learn more about Substance Abuse Prevention in Idaho check out: CommunityCoalitionsofIdaho.org