Response is Looking for Teens to Join Snowball 2013

Snowball 2013 is a weekend retreat and youth empowerment program for high school students.

Response is looking to recruit high school age teens! North Shore Operation Snowball—best described as summer camp packed into one weekend—is a retreat planned, organized and facilitated by 15 Snowball Teen Leaders. The retreat provides an opportunity for up to 75 students to meet and connect with peers from all over the Chicagoland area in order to develop leadership skills and explore common issues and challenges faced by teens today.


Teen Leaders, along with the help of adult staff, put together a weekend full of awesome activities and discussions that they believe will challenge, excite, and unify Snowball’s teen participants to shine as leaders among their peers year round. Past workshops have covered substance abuse prevention, diversity, music and creative expression, sexuality, and healthy relationships—just to name a few.


This year’s Snowball Retreat will take place Friday, March 15th at 7:00 am to Sunday, March 17th  at 4:00 pm. The retreat is held at Camp Henry Horner in Ingleside, IL., and roundtrip transportation from Response is provided. 


Applications to participate are due February 15th, but will continue to be accepted until registration is full. The application fee is $200, but scholarship opportunities exist. Each year’s retreat features a unique theme, selected by Teen Leaders, a group of high school students who apply, interview, and are selected by Response staff. The 2013 Snowball Retreat theme is “Walk a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes,” focusing on building empathy and understanding towards people of different life experiences.


Snowball connects teens from public and private schools in neighborhoods all throughout Chicago, from schools in the northern suburbs to schools located on the south and west sides of Chicago.  “Response’s Operation Snowball plays a huge role in teens’ lives, not only with District 219, but also with the whole community and Chicagoland area,” said Ryan Kiefer, a previous Teen Leader graduate from Niles North High School.


Amanda Chavez, a current Teen Leader from Niles West High School, describes the weekend as a space that “isn’t only about making friends, but about discovering yourself.” Claudia Mak, a former Teen Leader graduate from Niles West, found the Snowball weekend to be a life-changing experience: “Participating in Snowball made me incredibly open-minded. Not only was it just plain fun and full of activities, it was an experience that touched my soul and made me much more mature.”


Response is now looking to recruit 75 high school students for a weekend that enables everyone to discover who they are, challenges the way each person views the world and the people around them, and unifies teens from diverse communities all across the city.


Registration information, applications and deadlines can be found on The Response Center’s website: or by contacting Carly Friedman, Prevention and Outreach Specialist, at or calling 224-625-2910.


About Response
Response is a program of Jewish Child & Family Services, a partner in serving our community, supported by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation.