Keeping the snowball rolling: First two-day Snowball event since 2020


Courtesy of Johanna Rodeck

Participants, leaders and directors smile for a photo at the 2021 fall Snowball event.

Abigail Culcasi, Editor-in-Chief

For the first time since 2020, students will be able to attend a two-day Snowball event at YMCA Camp Duncan in Ingleside, IL from Nov. 18-19. During the 2020-21 school year, all of the Snowball events were held outside in-person at DGS or in a remote setting through Zoom. During the 2021-22 school year, leaders and participants made their return to Camp Duncan, but for a revised one-day event.

With minimal COVID-19 restrictions, students are now able to attend a two-day event and stay overnight.

Snowball is an event that was created by Operation Snowball, an international organization focused on building a community of students and promoting healthy lifestyles for teens.

The name originates from the concept that one person positively impacting someone else will create a “snowball” effect that can have a great positive impact on more people.

During Snowball, students are divided into small groups, where they participate in small group icebreakers, discussions, team-building activities and skits. All of the activities that students participate in encourage having fun with a drug and alcohol free lifestyle and creating a safe space for emotions.

Derek Hoovel, social studies teacher and Snowball sponsor, spoke on why students should attend Snowball.

“Snowball is meant to promote making good life decisions for yourself and to avoid lots of the traps that hit teenagers, especially the negative peer pressure to do things that negatively impact your life. You have a lot of fun, get to meet a lot of other people, and enjoy the positive parts of being a teenager such as the social aspect of building a good community with like-minded people who want to make good decisions,” Hoovel said.

Snowball also focuses on leadership, and the event is able to take place because of student leaders and directors. Student leaders and directors must have attended previous events as participants, interview and receive a teacher recommendation. Student directors are expected to meet each week with the adult directors and other directors to plan the event.

Senior Casey Muzykansky is a director for Snowball this year and spoke on what Snowball means to her.

¨To me Snowball is a community of caring and inclusion and a place where I am able to be myself and be at peace with who I am,¨ Muzyksansky said.

Senior Emily Lang has participated in six Snowball events since freshman year, with this being her second time as a small group leader. Lang is excited for the upcoming event because this is her first overnight. As a leader, Lang shared what she hopes Snowball participants will take away from the event.

¨I hope students take away that they are not alone with anything they might be going through and if they ever need help the other leaders and I are always there to talk to,¨ Lang said.