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Operation Snowball Chapters are organized in schools and communities primarily in Illinois, but are also found in other states and internationally.  View lists of our Chapters:

Click HERE for Map of Chapters

Start Your Own Snowball

Obtain the Operation Snowball Chapter application and additional information for other ‘Snow’ programs such as Snowflake, Snowflurry, etc. by downloading the New Chapter Application. For assistance, please call (217) 528-7335 extension 27.

Choose A Program Model

Operation Snowball can be a school or community-based program and includes the following program models:

  • Operation Snowball: High school age youth
  • Operation Snowflake: Middle school and junior high school age youth
  • Operation Snowflurry: Elementary age youth

Each program model has adaptations which are appropriate for each age group.  The program allows for flexibility and has been also adapted for college students (Segue), families (Blizzard) and even senior citizens (Snowcap). The concept of cross-age teaching and peer helping is an integral part of the Operation Snowball program. The programs follow the same principles and guidelines that may include the following:

Weekly Meetings

OS Chapters should consistently meet like any other club at school.  Youth and adults plan their activities and events for their school, learn and practice leadership skills, train and plan for a retreat event, and socialize highlighting being alcohol and drug-free.

Weekend Retreats

Retreat-like events which are planned as one, two and even three days allow participants to attend general sessions and workshop presentations to hear motivational and inspirational presenters discuss the importance of a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.  Workshops are intensive skill-based trainings that provide participants the opportunity to learn a specific prevention-related skill set, while also providing a team-building and leadership development experience. Participants also attend facilitated small groups to discuss and reflect on thoughts and feelings regarding the information heard throughout the retreat.  Each discussion group uses educational activities designed to build skills, friendships, and self-esteem while networking.

On-Going Year-Round Experience

Ongoing/year-round activities should include meeting as a club on a regular basis for social activities, training and event planning. Prevention activities include: prevention awareness campaigns, prevention programs that educate their peers or program experiences for others, like Snowflake (for middle schoolers) and/or Snowflurry (for elementary grade youth) . 

Youth and Adult Partnership

Since its founding, OS has been planned and implemented by youth – with adults as partners and as advisors. The adult-youth partnership is critical to OS success. Adults play the role of bridge builder, laying groundwork for youth to deal with issues like ATOD use, mental health topics, bullying, or depression. Adults must have a clear understanding of this partnership in OS in order to effectively help youth feel empowered and allow them to develop ownership of the program. This adult-youth partnership can be exciting, frustrating, exhilarating, and tiring!

Community Change Agents

OS youth play a vital role in efforts to empower their peers to be active change agents in their communities. Given the training and resources needed to understand current issues and the opportunities to contribute in meaningful ways, youth are thoroughly capable of developing and implementing effective health, safety, and wellness initiatives that will have positive impacts on their peers and their communities.

Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute

The Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute (CGTI) is where Operation Snowball originated from back in 1977! CGTI is a five day, leadership development and substance abuse prevention conference that takes place on the campus of an Illinois college in the summer and begins the year round process of youth creating a Community Action Team plan (CAT plan). Their CAT plan addresses their local prevention issues using SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework along with using local data to create a CAT plan. CGTI is an excellent opportunity to develop OS chapter leaders knowledge of prevention, as well as their planning and leadership skills. Visit their web site at:

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