Youth Conference

A Note from the Conference Director November 20, 2016:

Our last youth conference in a string of 25 years straight was in 2014, not enough funding to carry on. But I would think that the conference leaders and participants are carrying on as healthy lifestyle models for their families and friends. It is especially important with alcohol continuing as the most abused drug and binge drinking. It is unfortunate that Colorado has been the target of marijuana use being viewed as a normalized behavior with huge commercialization. Be extremely wary of the use of prescription drugs/opioids and Heroin availability, frequent complications leading to death. I hope you are continuing to update yourself about how many harmful drugs are out there as the names keep changing. Watch our website for drug trends. Our youth conferences served a great educational and fun purpose and thank you to all who were involved.

Sincerely,

Eleaner and the C.A.A.T. Board


A Note from the Conference Director on November 20, 2015:

This weekend would have been the 26th Annual Youth Conference for our middle and high school youth, learning about drug prevention and resisting related risky behavior. We were not able to have a conference this November due to lack of funding. We have been supported by Adams County School District 50, Adams County Sheriff's Office, Westminster Police Dept., students, parents, alumni, and many other organizations for this traditional effort.

I started thinking about it last Saturday that we would have been at training that day. This last week would have been very busy doing all the finishing touches for tonight and tomorrow. The C.A.A.T. board members all have wonderful memories seeing all the people involved over 25 years, all the creative themes and planning committees and all the friendships that have reached over many years, even before District 50 conferences when we were going to Rocky Mt Youth to Youth conferences. We did have a very successful Red Ribbon Week and with several National Guard fly-ins to schools and voluntary efforts at schools K-12. C.A.A.T. is busy providing requested educational material for parents, especially elementary parents on how to talk to their kids about no drug use. A conference of some kind is not out of the question in the future; if funding would be identified, still looking, writing grants, etc. God Bless you all for everything you gave to the conferences over the years.

Sincerely,

Eleaner and the C.A.A.T. Board


Youth Conference History

Local teens and adult sponsors attended and help staff the summer and winter statewide Rocky Mountain Youth to Youth drug free conferences which used the Youth to Youth International model from Columbus, Ohio. It is an evidenced-based drug prevention alternative activity strategy under Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  In 1990 Adams County School District 50 began sponsoring an local annual conference with Westminster C.A.A.T. overseeing the planning and facilitation of the conference.    There have been twenty five years of pro-social and leadership skill building conferences for teens of District 50 with invitations extended to other schools who came with their adult sponsors.

Survey data has shown over 25 years that participants have been influenced in their decision making skills for a healthy drug free lifestyle without becoming involved with related risky behavior.   Middle and high school students (6th-12th grade), were provided an opportunity to be united with other drug-free youth or to be influenced to move toward a drug-free lifestyle.  A youth planning committee from four middle and high schools met weekly for seven weeks identifying the proposed outcome of the conference, current teen issues (used for workshops and speakers focus), planning the theme, t-shirt graphics, activities, plus one post conference evaluation meeting. Teams from each school advertise and generate registrations.  Up to fifty students were accepted through an application process as staff members and are trained to lead the 21-23 small discussion groups accompanied by an adult leader.  Graduate alumni return and assist with logistics, speaker's bureau and serve as friendship group leaders.    


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