WASHBURN COUNTY -- Driving north on Highway 63, just north of Barronett reads a sign: “Welcome to Vacationland, Washburn County”. It appears we have made it through the worst of spring and now the sun is shining, youth are graduating, and cabins are opened up for the year. Stores are beginning to open in anticipation of the busy summer season. For local residents, this means the yard work will start, and gardens will be tilled, along with enjoying summer and activities Washburn County offers. Local residents enjoy the myriad of activities just as much as our visitors.
Graduation parties will be abundant and many will include alcohol, no matter if you are local to the area, or from out of town. All too often, alcohol eventually can make it into the hands of graduates and friends, especially if the party goes late in to the night. Most likely, attendance will be the same if you choose to serve alcohol or not. Although you may already have a date and time planned for the graduation party this year, perhaps when your next child graduates, you will keep this in mind. Unless you’ve had the party already, there’s still time to host the event without alcohol.
If youth are spending time at a family cabin or campground to celebrate their graduation, make sure they are celebrating and being safe. There are so many positive activities to do in Washburn County. Boating, swimming, golf, hiking, and site seeing are just a few and can be just as enjoyable without alcohol. Perhaps you will catch a trophy size fish and you’ll be able to tell the fish story for years to come. Your family will hear how the fish grew larger and larger after reciting the story for many years into the future. From the northern portion of Washburn County to the southern, days can be filled with new adventures. Perhaps catch a movie, do some shopping at unique stores, or just relax next to the campfire.
We cannot forget riding on the abundance of ATV trails in Washburn County. Hundreds of miles of trails can be enjoyed by your family. Spend a day going from town to town and enjoy fantastic scenery along the way. So many accidents and injury occurs when alcohol or drugs have been consumed over the course of the ride. Set an example for our youth by being responsible while out on the trails. The same goes for boating, jet ski riding, swimming and other water sports. Be the person you want our youth to become.
After reading this month’s column, ask yourself what you as an individual can do within your immediate circle of family and friends. I truly believe individual people can make a difference in their community. With major holidays still yet to come, make plans to keep alcohol and drugs away from our youth and celebrate appropriately. Be a role model for the youth that surround you.
Thanks for reading and take a moment to consider how you plan to keep your children safe this summer.
If any business or person in the community would like more information regarding alcohol and drug prevention activities, feel free to contact:
- Darin Gleason
- AODA Prevention Specialist
- Community Alliance for Prevention Chair. (CAP)
- Email: DGleason@co.washburn.wi.us
- Phone: 715-645-9032