Dennis Martin of Harmony Farm is putting together a drug and alcohol free program for teenagers.
Dennis Martin of Harmony Farm is putting together a drug and alcohol free program for teenagers. Brett McWaters

Healthy ways to enjoy life

ALCOHOL is one of the biggest issues facing modern society, Dennis Martin is adamant of that.

From advertising to the glamorising of alcohol by celebrities, the Boyne Valley Canoe Club president said kids could not get away from it.

"If people don't drink, don't smoke and don't run around with women they are called a lunatic," Mr Martin said.

He said teenagers needed to be reminded that they do not need alcohol to have a good time and the three-day paddle would prove just that.

"They naturally think if you're not going to have alcohol your not going to have fun," Mr Martin said.

"There is a lot of fun to be had without getting sick or being blotto."

His own personal experiences had encouraged him to speak out against alcoholism he said.

"My mum was an alcoholic," he said.

"I'm 70 and I still remember the hassles we had with it."

He said he had also helped foster children that suffered from similar issues.

"We're always looking after kids," he said.

But Mr Martin said he was not interested in preaching to youngsters about alcohol abuse.

"The question of alcohol doesn't even come up on the trips, it's just not there," he said.

"I'm not going to try to brainwash people that they shouldn't be drinking, the kids have to be making that decision themselves."

Rather he said the action packed three days were simply about getting back to the way life should be with the family, spending quality time together outdoors.

"Parents and kids is all it's about."

He put the call out to parents to take the time to join his three-day paddle trip with their teenagers.

Mr Martin said all they ask for people to participate was a small donation to the club.

"We don't make anything out of this," Mr Martin said.

If you are interested in joining the three-day paddle from January 10 to 12 call Mr Martin on 4974 1267 or 0429 741 267.


Three day paddle

Anyone is welcome to attend the alcohol-free event aimed at family friendly fun from January 10-12.

  • Day one - Paddling roughly 12km to the Castle Tower National Park camping area and camping for the night
  • Day two - Exploring the national park and camping the night
  • Day three - Get an early start and paddle back