Operation Snowball got its start back in 1977 in Rockford, IL when some participants of the Illinois Teenage Institute (ITI) came back to their community and thought, “we could do ITI back home!” Thus, Operation Snowball was created. In 1979, Operation Snowball, Inc. was created to make to program stronger and to spread the snowball idea to other communities.
Operation Snowball acts as a prevention (not therapy) program for youth (and the not-so-youth!) to offer a variety of resources on healthy lifestyles, leadership and communication skills, and an opportunity to meet other people in their communities who share the ideals of a drug-free life. Snowballs, as they are commonly referred to, usually happen over an entire weekend in the form of a lock-in. Snowballs also can happen in one day and in other styles.