The 3RD ASJA College Sea Scouts Group, in collaboration with the San Fernando District Scout Council, in an effort to educate our young minds and in so doing help to promote a better future for themselves and the nation at large, hosted an alcohol and drug awareness seminar on Saturday 3rd March, 2018 at the San Fernando District Headquarters. This seminar was pitched to Scouts and Venture Scouts of the San Fernando District and chaired by the Venture Scouts unit of the 3rd ASJA College Sea Scouts.
In attendance were representatives from the host group, as well as 1st Naparima, 3rd Trinidad and 1st Notre Dame Scout groups. There were also some parents who were equally enthusiastic about the lecture and were actively engaged in listening to the presentation.
The keynote speaker, Mr. David Sammy, wore many hats over the course of his very illustrious career which included, Teacher, Vice Principal and Principal. He was a former scout leader of 5th Naparima Scout Group. He was also a member of the San Fernando Theatre Workshop and winner of the best actor awards in the 80’s and 90’s. Presently, Mr. Sammy is employed with the Ministry of Education, doing workshops on crime and drugs in schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago. His experience with working with teenagers and his knowledge of the topic made him the perfect candidate to conduct this seminar.
All participants were fully engaged in the materials and information presented. It was an interactive session in which participants were invited to read from the material, view pictures and videos, answer questions and contribute by giving their own ideas and opinions. Participants were eager to participate, as Mr. Sammy’s presentation style allowed them to feel comfortable enough to contribute towards the discussion.
The presentation delved into the definition and identification of both legal and illegal drugs and the effects of drug abuse on the individuals involved, family and society as a whole. Startling photographs to illustrate the many and wide ranging effects were utilized. Some participants and parents were quite surprised at some of the information imparted. Especially in learning that a new form of alcohol intake is through the use of intravenous methods. Mr. Sammy’s explanation that this method is now used to avoid failing a breathalyzer test was quite informative. Hopefully, this was not information that any of our participants would consider ‘good to know’ in the future.
In addition to Mr. Sammy, one of the scout leaders from another group did a testimony about his own personal experience as the son of an alcoholic. His testimony was quite moving as participants were given first-hand information on how alcohol abuse can affect one’s family.
It is our hope that the participants of this seminar walked away with sufficient knowledge to encourage them, and for them to influence their peers and family members to abstain from drugs and alcohol in order to have healthy lives and relationships.