Lawton_The Comanche Nation Water Park is teaching kids about the dangers of substance abuse, and several schools are taking field trips to a pumpkin patch there, where they will be educated on the dangers of smoking and tobacco, in honor of Red Ribbon Week. After a quick lesson, the team-building exercises and games begin.
The lessons didn't stop after the games began on Friday. The main theme was education against substance abuse, but teamwork - combined with a bit of fun - outlined the day. The day began with a lesson for the Children of Joy Daycare, and the fun began shortly after with games of darts, hoola-hoops, and pumpkin picking.
Director Amber Komacheet helped to coordinate this year's patch, and says that Red Ribbon Week, and the pumpkin patch, are about educating kids before they begin substance abuse. "We're trying to educate them, as far as tobacco, because it's really amazing how many kids start smoking at the age of six," she said.
The kids chose their pumpkins, and they had plenty to choose from - 12 full bins. Komacheet says tobacco abuse is pervasive, and perhaps the easiest substance to begin talking to youngsters about. "I think, today, a lot of the parents don't realize the effects of - especially - tobacco," she said. "We chose to address tobacco with this particular age group because we don't want to introduce them to alcohol or any of the harder type drugs."
The kids spend about one hour at the pumpkin patch, which includes the substance abuse lesson, games, and pumpkin picking. Komacheet says they are expecting about 900 kids to walk through their pumpkin patch this year. It's open from Monday - Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. until October 27. All donations to the pumpkin patch are donated to the Children's Christmas Store.
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