Drug Education for Youth

Eleven-year-olds Lonnie Griffith and Bailey Nelson participate in wearing “drunken goggles” during an activity with the San Angelo police department at the base parade grounds. The youth were briefed on the dangers of driving under the influence and how to live a drug-free, alcohol-free lifestyle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Eleven-year-olds Lonnie Griffith and Bailey Nelson participate in wearing “drunken goggles” during an activity with the San Angelo police department at the base parade grounds. The youth were briefed on the dangers of driving under the influence and how to live a drug-free, alcohol-free lifestyle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

DEFY youth participate in a relay race at the parade field during this year’s camp. A local San Angelo police officer incorporated physical fitness into her briefing about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

DEFY youth participate in a relay race at the parade field during this year’s camp. A local San Angelo police officer incorporated physical fitness into her briefing about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Fire students from the Louis F. Garland Fire Academy demonstrate how to quickly put on the fire fighter uniform for the DEFY youth. The children were given the opportunity to tour the fire school and witnessed first hand what it takes to become a fire fighter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Fire students from the Louis F. Garland Fire Academy demonstrate how to quickly put on the fire fighter uniform for the DEFY youth. The children were given the opportunity to tour the fire school and witnessed first hand what it takes to become a fire fighter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- This year's Navy-sponsored Drug Education for Youth camp was held June 23 to July 3 at the base chapel annex. More than forty youth, ages 9 to 12 participated in various activities both on and off base.

The goal of the DEFY program is to provide commanders with a drug demand reduction program that facilitates and enhances family readiness to promote mission accomplishment. The program develops youths through drug education, leadership and character development, positive role model mentoring, and community outreach to enhance the quality of life of military personnel and their families.

During the 9-day camp, children engaged in various types of activities, to include lessons on drugs and alcohol and the importance of being drug and alcohol free. A visit to the San Angelo juvenile detention center gave the children the opportunity to see first-hand why engaging in positive and drug-free lifestyle is so important to stay out of trouble.

"I didn't like the detention center at all," said 11-year old Ryan Winters. "I don't ever want to go back there."

Physical fitness was encouraged throughout the camp with activities such as the President's Challenge -- a one-mile timed run, push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups, similar to the physical fitness test military members are required to accomplish every year. Activities such as dodge ball, kickball and soccer were also incorporated to allow the children a fun way to keep active.

Teamwork was also a significant part of many activities during the camp. Children were taught how to communicate effectively with one another and that teamwork is vital to everyday life in order to be successful.

"This year's camp would not have enjoyed the many successes without the involvement of these great kids and their willingness to spend these 9 days learning lifelong lessons, and the parents' commitment to getting their kids involved," said Petty Officer 1st Class Keith Drake, DEFY program lead mentor. "Also, a big thank you to the dedicated professionals who gave their time and energy mentoring these awesome kids and to the 17th Training Wing for supporting us and allowing us to hold the camp and events on base."

For more information on the DEFY program, please contact Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Moore at 654-1597, or you can also visit the DEFY website at www.hq.navy.mil/DEFY/.