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SUNRISE SKI RESORT
Every year around New Years, depending on conditions, we take a trip to Pinetop, Arizona to go snowboarding. In Balance has it's own cabin equipped with a jacuzzi, BBQ and enough beds to sleep 28 people. The ski resort is Sunrise Ski Resort:
"Sunrise Park, owned by the White Mountain Apache Tribe, is located in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, a four-hour drive for Phoenix and Tucson residents.
The area boasts 65 runs served by an efficient lift system including a high-speed detachable quad. Sunrise has a terrain park and new half pipe, wood and metal rails, and an area dedicated to aerialists ranging from beginner to advanced. There are two exclusive beginner sections within the ski area, and easy to ski lower slopes. In general, this is an area suited for beginners and intermediates, with limited advanced terrain. The steepest terrain is on Cyclone Circle. Cross country skiing is available"
We take the guys to Sedona, Arizona to go cliff diving, swimming in natural pools, hiking and to experience one of the "spiritual capitals of the world."
Sedona is located at the lower end of Arizona's spectacular Oak Creek Canyon, renowned for its stunning red buttes and monoliths, as well as its surrounding lush forests. Sedona is located in both Coconino and Yavapai Counties and is completely surrounded by the Coconino National Forest.
Sedona has become a center for traditional and contemporary arts and offers a variety of galleries, boutiques and specialty shops. It is an upscale retirement and tourism community, because it is the jumping off place for tours of the Red Rocks region."Multi-hued stone formations jut upwards from the high desert floor creating a vivid, mesmerizing setting that changes hourly with the light. When USA Weekend compiled their Most Beautiful Places in America list, Sedona claimed the top spot."
FELLOWSHIP OF THE SPIRIT
These annual 12-step retreats are made possible by a group of spirited individuals who dedicate themselves to the principled way of living as outlined in the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous. These informal gatherings originated in Breckenridge CO, and have since spared retreats nationwide of like-minded individuals who are interested in making permanent recovery a way of life, and passing that message along to others. These weekends utilize speakers and panels to lay out step-by-step the path to recovery that has worked for so many. Many of our residents have found these weekends to provide an essential stepping stone towards letting go of some reservations they have had about being sober to making a beginning in the steps. Through regular attendance at these conferences we have built a network across the nation of sponsors and mentors that have helped past residents establish their own recoveries after graduation.
"Before going to Fellowship of the Spirit I honestly didn’t think life was going to be fun or rewarding, but after hearing the speakers, meeting some of the people and having fun at the dance, I was able to see their happiness and how they were; I hoped that my sobriety might look like that too."
- Former In Balance Resident
Essay written by a resident that attended ICYPAA (International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous): "Before I went on the trip to L. A., I was on the fence about the NA and AA program, whether or not I wanted to be sober, and what I thought about sobriety. This trip has changed all of that for me. As soon as we got to the hotel, people started to come up to greet us, talk to us, and make sure we felt welcome at the convention. This was a big surprise for me, because I have never been anywhere where people were so kind and welcoming. Throughout the weekend, I have learned new things about myself. I tried to take in a meeting every day, a choice that I made, not that staff made for me. This surprised me at first, because there were other things going on that I could have done, instead of going to a meeting. I chose to go to the meetings because they were inspiring, and for once, I genuinely cared about what the speakers had to say."
"Another thing that happened on the trip was I realized how much I am able to accept myself now. I had a little incident on the dance floor while I was dancing with one girl, and I surprised myself with how I reacted. I was also able to go up and just talk to anybody I wanted to, something that a lack of confidence had previously prevented me from doing."
"Lastly, this trip has shown me just how much fun you can have in recovery. I think this trip was more fun than I have had in the past few years. Just being in the atmosphere where everybody was achieving a common goal, everybody was happy, and most importantly, everybody was kind to one another, has been a major factor in helping me decide what I want to do when I leave transitional living. I feel that the saying, "My worst day clean is still better than my best day using" applies in this situation. Even when I wasn't doing anything on the trip, I was still having more fun then when I was using."
"In conclusion, this trip has completely changed my mind about what I want to do when I leave Transitional Living. If for nothing else, I want to stay sober just so I can keep going into those rooms, meeting new people, and helping others along with their recovery. Of course, I want to stay sober for myself. I think that this trip has shown me all the great things that AA/NA has to offer, what a clean life would be like, and what I can have if I want to take it. And I want it all."
Over the years we have done numerous international expeditions. The first two were to South Africa, the third to Kenya/Tanzania, the fourth to Nepal, and our most recent couple expeditions have been to Peru. The formula for success on these trips is simple: we bring a therapist, experienced expedition staff, and peer mentors that are working a strong program. These trips are based around the idea of Voluntourism, which for us, normally involves cultural experiences, seeing places of worth, safari, trekking, and service. We try and combine history, nature, fellowship, adventure, and service all into a single experience. These trips are optional for Transitional Living Residents and are absolutely amazing experiences.