Youth-driven program reminds of the consequences for providing alcohol to minors

Thrives’ high school intern Kyleigh and Scout BSA troop 428 members (from left to right) Dylan, Davin, Icabaud, and Scoutmaster Jennifer Matheson in front of Leland and Gray Middle and High school before participating in the winter 2022 Sticker Shock Program. Photo provided.
Thrives’ high school intern Kyleigh holding the sticker she helped design at the Wardsboro Country Store on Dec. 14. Photo provided.

TOWNSHEND, Vt. – The holiday season is upon us. As families gather to celebrate, it is important for adults to stay vigilant with alcohol use and make sure alcohol is not easily accessible to young people. Underage drinking can be especially prevalent during the holidays, so a group of local youth leaders participated in a national program that reminds adults to do their part to ensure a happy and safe holiday for everyone.

Sticker Shock is a national program where youth and caring adults get together and raise public awareness about the cost of providing alcohol to minors by placing stickers on beer, wine coolers, and any other alcohol products that appeal to underage drinkers. The goal of this project is to discourage adults and older peers, those 21 or over, from providing alcohol to minors by reminding them about the dangers and legal implications if caught. According to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results, 70% of Windham County high school students think it’s easy to get alcohol from other people or their homes.

West River Valley Thrives works with local youth groups to implement Sticker Shock twice a year, during end-of-year holidays and end-of-school celebrations. On Dec. 14 Thrives teamed up with Scout BSA Troop 428 to complete a Sticker Shock project as part of their community service requirements, as well as two Leland & Gray student interns, who also designed new stickers and an infographic to display at participating stores. The stores included in this round were River Bend Farm Market (Townshend), Harmonyville Country Store, The Newfane Store, Wardsboro Country Store, and West Wardsboro Store.

Dylan, a participating scout stated, “This is [an important program] because it gets people thinking when they see the sticker and it could get them talking to their families.”

Scout Leader Matheson sees this as more than a community service project. “It gives [the Scouts] ownership over this important issue, to stand up and say it’s not okay to provide alcohol to kids.”

Thrives Staff would like to say a special thank you to all retailers in the area for being models for responsible beverage sales and encouraging all consumers of legal age to commit to keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors.

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