Dover Youth to Youth runs a comprehensive summer training program for incoming sixth graders (and new members from other grades) who are interested in joining Y2Y when school starts back up in September.
This training program is designed to provide an in depth understanding of substance abuse, provide advocacy skills like public speaking and media literacy, and provide the opportunity to take action to try to address the problem of tobacco alcohol and other drugs.
The week-long training takes place at our facilities in the McConnell Center in Dover. It is planned by our staff and current older Youth to Youth members. Advocacy Camp is set up to train up to 30-45 participants each summer. Most participants are Dover students but each year teams of students attend from other communities to take advantage of the training. Some teams also have adults who are shadowing the program to learn about youth advocacy. These are often advisers from other similar youth empowerment programs in other communities.
Camp participants are divided into small training teams of 5-8 students. These teams act as break out groups that perform assigned practical exercises and activities. Each of these groups is mentored by 2 experienced Dover Youth to Youth students.
Part of the training involves short topical presentations that provide information or teach skills. Each presentation is followed by a breakout session where skills and information are immediately applied in an exercise or other practical application. For example, after the workshop on public speaking skills each team is given a radio PSA script and 20 minutes to break out and learn it. After that time they form up into the larger group and each team performs the script using the speaking techniques just taught.
Other large group presentations include: 8 Things About Alcohol, How to Conduct an Informational Demonstration, Pop Culture Influences on Alcohol Use, and a variety of other mini topics.
One important feature of the training camp is that students get to participate in actual prevention projects. This allows the training to be immediately applied in actual hands-on circumstances. For example, each student gets to:
Each year we pick a topic for the informational demonstration which is held later in the week. For this activism event, the participants are trained in the proper technique of creating posters, large visuals, and chants. They learn how to distribute palm cards, come up with chants, and hold a press conference during the demonstration. In past years our informational demonstrations have served as the kick off for our comprehensive campaigns. In 2012 the summer Advocacy Camp kicked off and announced the Brain Campaign . In 2009 the camp’s informational demonstration announced the start of the Fridge Campaign.
Camp participants also take part in fun recreational activities during the week, including: teamwork water games, a pizza party, bowling trip, and on the final day the students go to Canobie Lake amusement park.
At the end of day 4 of the camp, parents are invited to come to a presentation by the camp participants. Each break out team prepares to present their assigned skit. Teams also are assigned to explain one of the projects they worked on during the week. This gives the students the feel of presenting to a live audience.
The core advantage of the this training is that all new Youth to Youth members start off with a thorough and broad background in substance abuse, youth advocacy skills, and exposure to taking action. This helps them decide if they want to go through with joining the Youth to Youth program in the fall – which over 95% them do.
The summer Advocacy Camp also gives current Dover Y2Y members a chance to take a leadership role within our program. They act as leaders of breakout teams of the younger students and help them learn to perform the skills and complete the assigned projects.
Students and/or adult advisers from other youth advocacy programs are allowed to participate in the Dover Y2Y Advocacy Camp on a space available basis. There is a per person charge to do so. Most do so as commuters. We don’t provide lodging facilities but can direct you to local hotel options for groups from father away. For more information on the participation of outside programs go to Contact Us or How to Schedule Us.