Thursday, June 28, 2012

100 Things To Do To Beat Summer Boredom

Summer is half over and you may be thinking, saying, or hearing; “I’m bored”. Below is a list of 100 things you can do to beat summer boredom. Write each of these things on a piece of paper and put it into the summer fun jar and when you get bored draw one out and have fun! Challenge yourself to accomplish all 100 before school starts.

If your kids are suffering from summer boredom, let them come up with their own ideas for fun summer activities to put into the fun jar. When you let children come up with their own solutions to boredom, you’re helping them develop important problem-solving skills and they will take ownership in the activity.

As the summer progresses, new ideas can be added to the jar. Then when the children get bored, they can reach into the jar for a fun activity. And, you’ll be less likely to hear, “I’m bored!”

1. Go hiking in the park
2. Ride your Bike
3. Go swimming at the lake or pool
4. Paint a picture
5. Play a board game
6. Get out the hose and sprinkler
7. Go horseback riding
8. Go to the Library
9. Go on a nature scavenger hunt
10. Go fishing
11. Have a talent show
12. Go Camping
13. Have a pet parade
14. Hold a lemonade stand
15. Tie Dye Shirts
16. Build a sandcastle
17. Make a collage with magazine pictures
18. Have a pizza decorating contest
19. Go to a baseball game
20. Start a hobby
21. Scrapbook some photos
22. Go bowling
23. Go to a water park
24. Visit a museum
25. Do a science experiment
26. Pick a bouquet of flowers
27. Blow Bubbles
28. Make homemade ice cream
29. Have a fashion show
30. Finger paint
31. Create Sidewalk Art
32. Rent a canoe and go canoeing
33. Write a letter to a pen pal
34. Write or draw your own story book
35. Start a journal
36. Make a home movie
37. Play catch
38. Have a puppet show
39. Play twister
40. Wash the car at home
41. Go miniature golfing
42. Make mud pies
43. Have a picnic
44. Play croquet
45. Catch fireflies
46. Go hunting night crawlers
47. Color in a coloring book
48. Do a craft project
49. Paint your room
50. Throw a Frisbee
51. Fly a kite
52. Read stories
53. Throw water balloons
54. Play red rover
55. Have a garage sale
56. Build a fort
57. Play a musical instrument
58. Walk a dog
59. Go to a concert
60. Have a pancake party
61. Plant a garden
62. Go skateboarding
63. Play hopscotch
64. Do a good deed for a neighbor
65. Clean up trash in the park
66. Take pictures in nature
67. Play with play dough
68. Dance
69. Clean your closet
70. Design, plan and make a meal for the family
71. Conquer a Rubix cube
72. Hula hoop
73. Jump on a trampoline
74. Make root beer floats
75. Have a fashion show
76. Start a collection (stamps, rocks, coins)
77. Ride a 4 wheeler
78. Make a quilt
79. Go shopping at a garage sale
80. Read a magazine
81. Play horseshoes
82. Swing on a swing set
83. Bake a cake
84. Play baseball
85. Make a smoothie
86. Go to a fair
87. Play basketball
88. Play wiffle ball
89. Play charades
90. Go golfing
91. Build a Lego creation
92. Play badminton
93. Adopt a pet from a shelter
94. Have a pedicure party
95. Play beach volleyball
96. Jump rope
97. Read a newspaper
98. Play tennis
99. Create a new recipe
100. Go to a farmers market

For more information on how to get involved with your kids this summer visit the SAFE Coalition at or Van Buren SAFE Coalition on Facebook!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving – Plan Ahead this Fourth of July to Save Lives

While the Fourth of July should be a time of celebration with friends and family, too often it ends tragically with a death that could have been prevented. Sadly, this holiday is one of the deadliest holidays of the year for alcohol impaired driving crashes.

In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities in Van Buren County this July 4th, the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition is reminding everyone that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and challenging all drivers to plan ahead this July 4th to prevent them or a loved one from becoming another statistic.

Impaired driving crashes killed more than 10,000 people in 2010, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. That’s an average of one alcohol impaired driving fatality every 51 minutes.

But the percentage of deaths from impaired driving spike around the Fourth of July. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 392 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the 2010 Fourth of July holiday period (6:00pm July 2- 5:59am July 6). Of those fatalities, 39 percent were in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams or higher.

Too often when people are celebrating on the Fourth of July, they aren’t thinking about the consequences that their actions could have on their family or on others. As people gather with their family and friends to celebrate our Nation’s birthday, we want to remind you to plan ahead to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Designating a sober driver is one of the many ways they are encouraging people to stay safe this Fourth of July.

The amount of alcohol that one can consume during a day-long party or celebration can drastically affect the motor skills necessary to drive safely. Add the fact that everyone else is out celebrating, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Nighttime can be particularly deadly for impaired drivers. The proportion of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2010 was almost five times higher at night (6pm to 5:59am) than during the day (6am to 5:59pm). In fact during July 4th holiday period in 2010 more than 80 percent of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities took place at nighttime.

What is even more tragic about the statistics is that we see a high number of fatalities among 18- to 34-year-olds. Forty-six percent of the alcohol-impaired driving fatalities during the 2010 Fourth of July holiday period were within this age group. These are people who have their whole life ahead of them and in one instant, with one act of irresponsibility, they lose it all. It’s time for everyone to do their part and keep the roadways safe.

The consequences of driving impaired should be enough of an incentive not to drink and drive. There are numerous consequences that can result from impaired driving, such as possible jail time, insurance hikes, potential loss of driver’s license, harming and/or killing others, just to name a few.

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition recommends these simple tips for a safe Fourth of July:
• Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
• If you’re impaired call a sober friend or family member;
• If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office;
• And remember, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Just remember that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving, so always be responsible. Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Designate a driver if you’re going to drink, call a cab or take public transportation if everyone in your group has been drinking. In the end, if everyone pitches in we can keep our roadways safe this Fourth of July.

For more information, please visit or You may also contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fiction: Marijuana Is Medicine

Fact: Marijuana is not Medicine.

The scientific community has not approved marijuana as medicine. Many studies have been conducted to determine whether or not marijuana should be approved as a legitimate medicine. There are many rigorous and complex elements to the Government's approval of any drug that is used in medicine in this country. Should scientists conclude that marijuana should someday be considered a medicine; these same rigorous steps would need to be followed before doctors were permitted to prescribe it for their patients.

• The American Medical Association urges that marijuana's status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoids-based medicines and alternate delivery methods. This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product. (American Medical Association, Council on Science and Public Health Report, November 2009)

• In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a landmark study, concluding that “there is little future in smoked marijuana as a medically approved medication.” In fact, the study found that there is little or no medical value to smoked marijuana for virtually any ailment it examined including muscle spasticity, movement disorders, epilepsy, or glaucoma. While the report recognized that THC may be potentially therapeutic for some conditions, such as vomiting, nausea, pain and appetite stimulation, the report recommended that further research be conducted into the possible use, in limited circumstances, for the specific active ingredient THC---but not smoked marijuana. (Institute of Medicine. “Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base,” 1999)
• The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) states that studies done to date “have not provided convincing evidence that marijuana benefits people with MS,” and this that marijuana is not a recommended treatment. Furthermore, the NMSS warns that the “long-term use of marijuana may be associated with significant and serious side effects.” (National MS Society. “Information Sourcebook.” National MS Society, December 2004)
• The British Medical Association (BMA) has voiced "extreme concern" that downgrading the criminal status of marijuana would "mislead" the public into thinking that the drug is safe to use. "In fact, it has been linked to greater risk of heart disease, lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema." (“Doctors’ Fears at Cannabis Change,” BBC News, January 2004)
• The Deputy Chairman of the BMA's Board of Science has said that "the public must be made aware of the harmful effects we know result from smoking this drug." (Manchester Online. “Doctors Support Drive Against Cannabis.” Manchester News. 21 January 2004)
• In November, 2005, the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) strongly opposed medical marijuana. A statement issued by Stephen Wyatt, OD and Dr. Mark Kraus states that their opposition is “in accordance with National ASAM policy on the grounds that there has been to date no critical research performed establishing its efficacy and safety…There is good evidence that the use of marijuana on a regular basis in adolescence is a strong marker for ensuing drug problems later in life.”

There are no smoked medicines. Have you ever heard of anyone who smoked medicine? After all we know about the dangers of cigarette smoking, why would the scientific community approve smoked marijuana? Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illnesses, a heightened risk of lung infections, and a greater tendency toward obstructed airways. Cancer of the respiratory tract and lungs may also be promoted by marijuana smoke. Marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because marijuana smoke contains 50 percent to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, Research Report Series – Marijuana Abuse, October 2001)

Marijuana is currently an illegal drug and we encourage families to talk about the dangers of marijuana use with your teens. For more information please contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or by email at Or check out the information and resources on the following websites at or at

Friday, June 8, 2012

Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Provides Resources to Retailers

Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division is the state agency that regulates alcohol sales in Iowa. ABD has recently enacted some programs and created some materials to assist retailers in making sure they are conducting business in a way that discourages illegal alcohol sales. Following are some resources that ABD has available.

The I-ALERT Policy Tool
I-ALERT, Under 21 Can't Be Done is a free tool aimed at helping retailers of alcoholic beverages create policies for their staff. The website,, guides businesses through the step-by-step creation of policies for alcohol sales. Business owners can create policies to help legally protect themselves, as well as use I-ALERT as a great tool for educating employees on Iowa law and responsible service.

The I-PACT is online!
Inside ABD, employees have created an alcohol compliance training program, with the passage of Senate File 240. The online alcohol training program has been named the Iowa Program for Alcohol Compliance Training (I-PACT). This program allows employees and prospective employees to go through alcohol compliance training and receive a certificate upon completion.

The program asks that a PACT is made for:
• Iowa kids not to consume alcohol products.
• Iowa retailers not to sell alcohol to minors.
• Iowa licensees not to serve alcohol to patrons under 21.
• Iowa’s law enforcement to enforce Iowa’s liquor laws.

For more information go to the website,

Alcoholic Beverage Laws & You
Iowa’s alcoholic beverages industry operates within the confines of a carefully cast partnership between the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (Division), licensees and law enforcement officials. Close cooperation among these three entities is essential for regulation and enforcement of Iowa’s alcoholic beverages laws in order to achieve compliance.

The manual Iowa's Alcoholic Beverages Laws and You was developed to provide licensees, and their employees and agents, with the information needed to protect the welfare and safety of Iowans through compliance with laws addressing the manufacture, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages. Download the entire manual to read and print as many copies as you'd like. (4mb PDF)

Additional printed copies can be ordered for $5 each. Contact Shannon Pogones at 515.281.3426 or to order. The order form can also be printed and mailed to the Division.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bainbridge Receives National Opportunities

Van Buren County SAFE Coalition Coordinator Heidi Bainbridge has recently been selected for some national opportunities to showcase the successes the SAFE Coalition has experienced locally. Van Buren County has seen measurable reductions in youth alcohol and tobacco use over the last five years. These reductions are due in part by the strategies the coalition has implemented to affect youth access to these substances as well as changing the acceptability of underage use of these drugs. The measurable successes have caused national organizations to take notice of the work of the SAFE Coalition. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) awarded the coalition with the Got Outcomes! Coalition of the Year Award in 2011. This is quite an honor for a small town coalition in Iowa.

Bainbridge has been asked to share with others across the nation the strategies and work that led to the results that have been seen in Van Buren County. She spoke for the first time last year at the CADCA midyear conference in Anaheim, California on how to build a coalition in a rural community. She has been asked to return to Midyear again this summer in Nashville, Tennessee to speak on a similar topic: Community Mobilizing for Policy Change in a Rural Community. Bainbridge will also be serving as a personal coach at the Mid Year conference. Personal coaching allows new coalition leaders to learn from a seasoned coalition leader on the aspects of building a coalition. Bainbridge will primarily serve coalition members who live in rural areas and have questions about working in their specific community.

The SAFE Coalition’s work will also be featured on CADCA TV in June. The show is titled Understanding Your Influence and will feature Bainbridge as well as Sue Thau, CADCA Public Policy and Sue Parr from Community Coalitions of Virginia. The show will be a one-hour broadcast about transforming communities by mobilization and civic action. It will provide helpful hints on how to educate local, state and national decision makers and cover how to appropriately and effectively work for change, from local ordinances to national legislation. Viewers will learn how to become visible, vocal and, perhaps most importantly, valuable as you build relationships with policymakers.

Bainbridge was also recently appointed to the CADCA Coalition Advisory Committee to help guide the work of coalitions across the United States. The Coalition Advisory Committee, made up of 14 coalition leaders from across the country, is an important link between local coalitions and CADCA staff. The Committee ensures that CADCA’s programs accurately and effectively represent the challenges and concerns of community anti-drug coalitions. Its members:

• Provide input on the usefulness and quality of CADCA’s products and services in the areas of Public Policy and Research, Membership, Marketing, Training and Research
• Supply CADCA with quarterly feedback on emerging coalition successes, trends and challenges, including evaluation results and innovative program ideas
• Act as ambassadors to CADCA membership

Congratulations to the coalition for all of the success they have seen in the last 10 years. The good work of the SAFE Coalition in Van Buren County is getting noticed and the national work of coordinator, Heidi Bainbridge, will ensure that the issues of youth drug alcohol and tobacco use remain a priority for our community and our nation.