Youth Outreach

A teenaged redheaded girl holds a fruit, pondering her choices in life.

Protecting teens from online predators

According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 71% of teens receive messages online from someone they don’t know. Would your teenager know what to do? Visit www.2smrt4u.com for information and tips for teens on avoiding online predators.

Staying safe on spring break

College can be a stressful time, and for some students spring break is a way to escape that stress. Ensure your spring break is fun and relaxing by following these safety tips from the Minnetonka Police Department.

First, don’t get burned before you even hit the beach—beware of fraud when booking your trip. Some disreputable companies may add extra fees not originally agreed upon; not provide accommodations that were promised; or, in a worst-case scenario, sell non-existent travel packages then “disappear” with student’s money. Here are some tips:

  • Book your trip through a company with which you are familiar, or that someone else has used and referred you to.
  • Get a contract in writing stating what you have agreed upon verbally.
  • Always read the fine print.
  • Don’t always believe what you’re told—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Make sure the dates you want to travel are the dates for which the tickets are issued.
  • Don’t pay in cash—use a credit card. That way, if the services you contracted for aren’t provided, you may not be liable for the charge on your card.
  • Watch out for vouchers. Steer clear of companies that ask you to redeem vouchers or certificates.

When traveling and touring, remember:

  • Some people prey on tourists. Be cautious of what you sign up for and who you trust, especially in other countries where laws are different.
  • Always keep your luggage with you and within eyesight. If you must step away, ask a trusted friend to watch your belongings.
  • Never leave your passport, ID or money in an unsafe place—it’s best to keep these items with you at all times.
  • Never walk alone or get into a vehicle with someone you don’t know.

At entertainment establishments:

  • Keep any beverages with you and within eyesight at all times.
  • Be aware of what you are drinking and how much—alcohol concentrations may be different in other countries.
  • Keep your head clear so you can make wise decisions.