A Sober Story

On the trails at CEC

Every year as I enter the camping season, I know I will be challenged by some folks who need to know, why is it that I don’t allow alcoholic beverages at Camp Earth Connection. I’ve written this blog so many times in my head, but have felt hesitant to write it on paper as it is a bit personal, and I know this is one topic that not everyone wants to hear about. Or sometimes when folks ask, it’s really more to complain about this rule rather than understand why I have made this decision. I’ve even been told by a guest that I had no right to “control” whether people choose to drink or not. I of course agreed, and suggested that he could choose to stay at another location that would allow him to drink.

I think most people would agree, not everyone behaves appropriately when they drink. I certainly didn’t. But I also didn’t understand why. Fortunately, before I caused myself or other’s serious harm I got help and support through a 12 step program and have been able to remain sober since that time. I suppose I am reminiscing because my sobriety date was yesterday, January 15th, 1984. And the media has been making jokes about it being dry January. But those of us that have lived with active alcoholism in ourselves or a loved one, knows it’s not very funny. So that kind of explains one of the reasons for the facilities offering a “sober” space.

And then there’s the bit about “Earth Connection.” We know that alcohol along with other drugs are mind altering substances. And there are plenty of times and reasons choosing to use a mind altering substance might be totally okay, but my dream for Earth Connection was that children and adults have an opportunity to experience a natural high. I know what it’s like to be “stoned” and “tipsy” and “drunk” and I know that it’s not the same as being totally present and in the moment for a pure connection, whether it be with each other or the planet we live on. I also know that connection is not always easy, but there is something amazing about it. It’s an unspeakable love. It’s a knowing that I am one with the planet. It’s a deep love for the trees, the ocean, the plants, and animals. It’s staring at an amazing sky and feeling such joy to be alive. And either I sound totally sappy to you or you get it. I do have a deep love for this planet and especially for the “wild” places that still exist on the planet.

So if ya know what I mean……I can’t wait to see you when the warm weather come. And if it’s not your cup of tea (or whatever beverage you choose) then go forth and find a camping experience that will better meet your needs.

In Peace and Gratitude,