Memoirs of G.O.D. Campout – Eddie F_Lifeline June 2020

My name is Eddie and I remember my first GOD (Great Out Doors) Campout, in 1991, I drove up to the Defa’s dude ranch near Hanna, Utah. I was familiar with both the Dude ranch and the small town. My mom had brought me to Defa’s as a kid. And my dad had relatives that owned some property in Hanna & we’d go camp, learn to ride motorcycles, shoot BB guns & have fun family time. So, when I went, I was early in sobriety, and didn’t know what to expect. I brought a tent and all my camping and fishing gear. I saw many familiar faces, they had so many fun events going on, that I could participate in or not. Horseshoes, fishing, hiking, arm wrestling and much more. There was plenty of fellowship and fun. It was my first camp out …or recovery-based conference of any kind. I had less than 90 days sobriety. They had a very similar agenda 29 years ago as they do today. Just a better pavilion now for the main meetings & entertainment. It’s a beautiful mountain setting surrounded by aspens and pines. It’s a real working ranch, so they don’t allow dogs (on the ranch), there is a river that runs through the property. A little cafe, and if it’s your 1st time going, ask someone to show you the heart on the mountain. It’s a formation of trees shaped like a heart. There is so much happiness & joy. You and 500 of you closest friends on vacation for 3 days. Some come to relax, some come to play, some come to fellowship, some do a little of this and some of that, you pick your own agenda. The ranch is in the middle of the woods, literally surrounded by the Ashley National Forest. Some people stay on the Dude ranch itself, and some stay in the surrounding national campsites, which are all just 5 to 10 minutes away. What a delight. If you come, it’s the middle of July in the high Uinta’s, so the weather can be anything from 95 degrees to a snowy hailstorm. Remember to Bring a jacket. Bring a good attitude, sunscreen and a friend…if you want. There is so much to do if you want, or just relax …and do nothing. As I explored, I learned and experienced that Friday night they had a meeting, a countdown and a talent show, that was all very fun. Saturday was horseshoes, fishing and so much family friendly fun activities. There are also horses to rent. Lots of people just relaxing and enjoying the mountains and serenity. Saturday night was another meeting, 3 speakers; 1 Alateen, 1 Alanon, 1 AA person, after that, a talent variety show called the Boozeville Bombers…a guy named Leo was the MC. He was a guy I knew as having a good sense of humor from the meetings. He was Great as the MC. Funny, irreverent, telling jokes between acts. Some acts were little comedy skits, some were people singing & playing instruments. It was a BLAST. Then they had a dance after that show. Afterward I remember finding a campfire meeting and staying up until all hours. Then Sunday morning there is a spiritual meeting. Which was very nice, then several hundred drunks circled up at the end, said the Serenity prayer and picked up and left. That 90-minute drive home I was smiling the whole time… I was HOOKED. Also, a few years ago, I got up the courage to ask the man who was the current MC named Rick if I could do that part of the show, and he said YES! So, I had another dream come true, to preform comedy (in sobriety)! Now I am the guy telling the jokes between acts. And many of those acts, also are having THEIR dreams come true to perform their talent on stage. I have tried to make it back every year I could for the past 29 years. I did move out of state for a while & missed a few. But it is a highlight of my year. I invite every person to come and join us. If we actually are able to hold it this year due to the covid19. We are in the planning phases now. Hope to see you there. – Eddie F

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