Even though school was not in session Sunday, hundreds of kids and their parents filed into Manchester Elementary Middle School.
"I will be supporting the idea to refuse to use for young people," said substance abuse specialist Michael Thompson.
Sunday kicked off the eleventh year of Refuse to Use. It's a program that gives kids positive incentives for pledging to say no to drugs and alcohol.
"It's easy choice to be substance free for a short amount of time," said 10th grader Sam Silsby.
Easy, in part, because for the teens the incentives are pretty awesome. In exchange for signing a pledge, attending 5 educational sessions about substance abuse, and a $50 processing fee, the kids get a season pass to Stratton Mountain, Riley Rink, the Viking Nordic Center or tickets to the Dorset Theatre Festival.
"It gives the kids alternatives to things to do other than going out and partying and using substances. So it's a great way to learn how to have alternatives to using things they shouldn't use," said parent Clark French.
According to the national institutes of health, one in nine young people used prescription drugs non-medically in the last year. And, a Students Against Destructive Decisions study shows 72 percent of high school age kids consume alcohol by the time they graduate.
""There's peer pressure everywhere. I mean, even your friends, even the closest friends. They want to get you to get going on these substances but at the same time you want to be good and good to yourself," said 7th grader Stella Oh.
So, the community has come together to give the kids more options for being good to themselves.
It's healthy, it's physical, they're learning they're getting better. They're building confidence," said Michael Cobb of Stratton Mountain.
Cobb says the best part about the program is that it requires the parents to participate, too.
"It's really about having the dialogue. How can we get the parents and kids to talk about this at home? So they have to sign a pledge hopefully the parents are talking about 'do you know what it means to sign your name," he said.'
More than 4-hundred 7th to 12th graders from 7 schools around Manchester participate in the program.
Kids found to be in violation of the rules-- will be forced to forfeit their passes.