ORD Camp: Back to Basics

This morning I chaired an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous at ORD Camp. 8 people attended, a mix of new members, old timers, and people who have alcoholics in their lives.

Here’s the materials I created for the session, which might be useful in adapting for other conferences. Here’s a zip folder of all the docs and here’s a deeper look at the material:


Suggested Format for AA ORD Camp 2018 Meeting

As adapted from here and here. All docs needed for this session are here.

Welcome to the Ad Hoc 2018 ORD Camp group of Alcoholics Anonymous. This is an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are glad you are all here – especially newcomers. In keeping with our singleness of purpose and our Third Tradition which states that “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking,” we ask that all who participate confine their discussion to their problems with alcohol.

The A.A. Preamble (reprinted with permission by Grapevine, Inc.)

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience; strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we a self supporting through our own contributions. A.A. Is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.*

Have one of the members read “How It Works” from Chapter 5 of the Big Book. Or at your discretion, you may choose a portion of the Big Book to be read.

Have a member read The 12 Traditions. Some groups choose to read on the 1st meeting of the month.

Ask if there are any newcomers with 30 days or less? Welcome any newcomers. Ask them to identify themselves by first name only. Urge them to remain after the meeting to talk to group members.

Introduce the Speaker for the meeting. Pass a signup list for comments. The Chairperson should qualify briefly by providing a topic for discussion around our recovery from alcoholism and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Once the Speaker is done, take a 5 minute break and then do comments in the order in which people signed the list.

Pass a basket. The 7th Tradition states: “Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting declining outside contributions.” Any contributions will be delivered by the Chairperson to the central office of Chicago Area Service Office.

Time for A.A. related announcements.

Invite members (who wish) to join in closing the meeting with Serenity Prayer.

How It Works — Front
How It Works – Back
AA Preamble
AA Twelve Traditions

If you have questions about how to run an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous at a conference, hit me up!

DXO ORD Camp Photo 2018