News and Events

Columbia County SWAT Students “Leave Their Mark” at Regional SWAT Training
November 5, 2016

Hurricane Matthew may have cancelled the originally scheduled Regional SWAT Retreat, but it didn’t dampen spirits during the make-up meeting held on November 5, 2016 in Palatka, Florida. Draco Thompson and Nolan Williams two of our top students from Lake City Middle School SWAT, attended to represent the SWAT Chapter of Columbia County. The morning was kicked off with interactive icebreaker activities to introduce themselves to other region 2 SWAT members and to get to know them for the remaining of the day filled with group activities.

One of the first topics of discussion at the training was time management. It allowed the SWAT members time to reflect on how to better manage their time and and included an exercise to figure out where most of their time was being spent. This was an excellent tool for them to use in their personal lives, but also a unique way to look at their time management of SWAT events, meeting etc. Other sessions focused on networking, team building, and more!

Another large portion of the meeting was spent hearing from prospective YAB (youth advocacy board) candidates. “It’s encouraging to see young leaders stand up for a cause they believe in and want to lead. The average age Big Tobacco targets is 14 so it only makes sense our youth are the the ones leading the charge,” Said Joseph O’Hern, Community Health Advocate and SWAT Coordinator for Columbia County. “I think it has definitely encouraged Draco and Nolan to stand out, speak up and maybe even run for any YAB vacancies next year!”


The Regional SWAT Training is always something to look forward to and this year that was very evident. Nolan and Draco talked the whole way home about their exciting day and look forward to participating next year as well!

If you are interested in joining a SWAT club in Columbia County, we have clubs at Columbia High School, Lake City Middle School, Richardson Middle School and Ft. White Middle School. Please contact Joseph O’Hern at for more information on how to join.