Who knew disarming drunk teens could be as easy as giving them a red frog?
Andy Gourley, that’s who.
He founded Red Frogs, a team of volunteers whose mission it is to keep our kids safe when we can’t. They’re present at Schoolies weeks across the country, as well as at large events such as music festivals.
“The Red Frog Crew assist… by walking them home, cooking pancakes, cleaning their rooms, handing out Allen’s Red Frogs, and – most importantly – offering emotional support through what can often be a challenging week.”
As a team, they offer the non-judgmental, responsible hand many out of control teens don’t know they need during schoolies. And Gourley spearheads the effort.
The man they call ‘Boss Frog’ has been back to Schoolies not once, not twice, but nineteen times, making sure crazy kids live to tell the tale of the night before.
Here are four tips for parents whose kids are about to head off on Schoolies week, from a man who’s seen just about everything:
1. Look at the locations YOU might prefer, as a parent.
As Gourley sums up, “Drinking and balconies don’t mix”.
If you as a parent aren’t comfortable with your kid going somewhere like the Gold Coast for schoolies week, you can easily help them find an alternative.
The most important thing is that you, as a parent, have faith they’ll be safe.
Listen: Andy Gourley, Founder of Red Frogs, shares his top tips for keeping kids safe at schoolies. Post continues after audio.
2. Don’t oversupply your kids with too much alcohol.
This is one of the messages Red Frogs tries to hammer home to parents.
A lot of parents, according to Gourley, supply their kids with booze for schoolies with the philosophy of ‘at least I know what they’ll be drinking’.
“The problem with that is you’ll buy it, then they’ll buy their stash, and because they’ve got an oversupply… they’ll be super generous,” Gourley says.
Whereas if kids have to pay for alcohol themselves, they’re less likely to share it around and encourage everyone to drink.
“If someone tries to flog a couple,” says Gourley, “they’ll go ‘rack off I’ve paid for that’.”
3. Lights, not heavies.
This doesn’t mean encourage your kids to drink non-alcoholic beers.
But the state of the liquor industry has changed. Teens are stocking up on UDLs and Smirnoff Double Blacks, sugary pre-mixed drinks which often have 6-8% alcohol content. They’re knocking back four or five cans and the alcohol is hitting them all at once.
“It’s really important you don’t oversupply too many heavies,” says Gourley, referring to any drink with alcohol content over 4%.
“It means [if they drink lighter stuff] they have to drink more to get the same effect, and their body has enough time to say ‘no, it’s [enough]’.”
4. Slabs of water and food.
“Alcohol dehydrates you. Buy some slabs of water, and send it with them,” says Gourley.
“And send some food with them… stock up with some frozen lasagnas, frozen meals. If you’re not eating during that week, after seven days of drinking, you can collapse in a heap.”
If they’re jumping on a plane, and slabs of water and frozen lasagna might not fit into their little suitcase, then a Woolies card is a great idea.
“They need to be eating well and drinking water. It makes a huge difference.”
What did you tell your child before they headed off to Schoolies week?
You can listen to the full episode of No Filter with Andy Gourley below.
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner, Allen’s.
The iconic Allen's Red Frog is more than just a lolly. For 20 years, the Allen’s Red Frog lolly has been used by Red Frogs Australia and their army of volunteers to break down walls, build trust and start a conversation with potentially vulnerable young people.
Allen’s is a proud partner of Red Frogs Australia, a non-profit volunteer support network dedicated to safeguarding youth and encouraging them to make positive life choices. Red Frogs Australia plays a critical role at events where young people gather – such as Schoolies, festivals, universities, sporting events and more.
Learn more at http://www.nestle.com.au/brands/allens