BOUNTIFUL -- It was magic with a message on the deceptive dangers of drugs, alcohol, bullying, suicide and pornography.
"Real magic is freedom," Ogden-area magician Brad Barton told the 300 youths gathered Saturday in the Viewmont High School auditorium in Bountiful.
The presentation by Barton was part of the daylong 13th annual Davis Youth Summit.
In addition to Barton, the event consisted of six service projects, a dance-card dance, lunch and dinner, and multiple presentations on motivation, self-esteem and anti-bullying.
But it was the magic of Barton that seemed to have the youths, who ranged in age from 12 to 18, under his spell.
"That is one of the best things about being human, you can get better every day," said Barton, who used magic and humor to catch the attention of the youths, before delivering a metaphor to them as to how they can avoid being deceived by influences that can take them off track.
Barton said some of the more dangerous influences include drugs and alcohol. Pornography is also an addiction young people need to be made aware of.
"The hard way is the easy way," Barton said of developing the strength needed to overcome the daily pressures and challenges that may have young people looking to take the easy way out.
Before his presentation is through, Barton said, it is his hope to provide practical guidance, content and information, and inspiration to the youths.
"That (inspiration) is kind of the magic," he added.
Bountiful Police Chief Tom Ross attended the event, greeting many of the students who attended the activity.
"I think it is critical for communities to have programs for our youth," said Ross, who, in addition to being the chief of police for Bountiful, is a founding board member of the Bountiful Communities That Care organization.
The Bountiful CTC, along with the Layton Communities That Care, provided support for the annual summit.
"We believe collaboration is the key," he said of the importance of law enforcement promoting such events.
And based on the response of the youths in attendance, organizers appeared to be hitting the mark.
The summit gives kids "a safe place" to go where they can interact with other young people, and learn in a fun way, Layton High student Shelbie Shaw said.
Shaw, a member of Layton Youth Court, was one of two teens performing "master of ceremonies" duties for the presentations.
"I'm here just as much for my betterment, as helping out," said teen Colton Hinds, who was helping receive canned food donations the students would later take to Mountain High School, an alternative school in Davis School District.
The food donations provide weekend meals for needful students attending that particular high school.
"This is a good opportunity to do some service," said Bountiful High junior Parker Hart, who was also receiving food donations and loading them into the large box truck on site.
"It is definitely a good thing," Hart said.
Nathan Ricks, a Bountiful High senior, said the summit helps inspire students to be motivated, helping them overcome depression and everyday challenges.
"It is really just a day to help the kids," Bountiful CTC Executive Director Catherine Holbrook said.
The summit was made possible thanks in part to a $10,000 donation from Holly Refinery in Woods Cross, Holbrook said.