PACKING LIST

  • An alarm clock if you are accustomed to using one or your phone charger
  • Personal toiletries, including soap and shampoo
  • Bathrobe if your room setting requires a walk to the showers
  • Comfortable, simple clothing (We recommend clothing that can be layered)
  • Comfortable shoes or slippers for walking our hallways and grounds
  • Your SLAA Basic Text (or order one for on-site delivery!)
  • Personal Snacks (We provide some, but if you have a favorite, bring your own)
  • Drink Tumbler with a Lid
  • Your Yankee Swap Gift 
  • Cash or Checkbook for Bookstore Purchases (we also accept PayPal/credit/debit card)
  • Cash or Checkbook for 7th Tradition Donation (Optional)
  • An attitude of Honesty, Openness, and Willingness

FORMAT & REQUIREMENTS

FORMAT: During the retreat weekend we will read and share on the 12 Steps together. There will be reading, sharing and writing throughout the weekend. If you have worked on the steps in this type of format before, you already know its value. If you have not done any study of the Steps, intensive or otherwise, this is a great way to do it, especially the first time. It gives you hope and faith that the program steps work. Regardless of where any one individual is in the Step study process, we are able to learn from sharing our experience, strength and hope with each other.

FLEXIBILITY – Attendees should be willing to be open, flexible and supportive of the retreat coordinators and attendees throughout the weekend.

QUALIFICATION – Attendees must identify as a Sex & Love Addict or think you have a problem with Sex & Love addiction. Attendees must identify as using he/him/his pronouns to participate in this retreat. 

CHOOSING LEADERS AND SPEAKERS -There will be leaders and speakers selected at random at the Friday’s opening session. We trust our Higher Power in this process and know whoever is chosen to speak or lead is strengthening their own recovery and offering value to ours.

SLAA BASIC TEXT PRINT EDITION REQUIRED – The SLAA Basic Text is used for the weekend. No electronic devices will be permitted in the meeting space. Please have a print copy of the basic text with you in order to participate. (You can order a copy of the basic text on your registration form). 

VALUABLES – Bedroom doors only lock from the inside and other groups may be on-site. We recommend leaving valuable items at home, in your car or keeping them with you. There will be other groups in the building this weekend. GDVI is not responsible for any lost or stolen property. 

BUILDING AREAS- All our activities are on the second floor. You may go down to the main entrance to go outside for smoking/vaping or to your car, to the Chapel (it’s really beautiful!) or to the 1st Floor Gift Shop, located off the first floor Chapel lobby, and the Lower Level dining areas. 

FRIDAY ARRIVAL – Please arrive by Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET if you plan on joining us for dinner.  If you will arrive later, please eat before arriving or bring your own food. There is a microwave, refrigerator and freezer available. If you will not arrive by 7:15 p.m., please discuss with the retreat coordinator before registering.

NO ‘COME-AND-GO’ ATTENDEES, PLEASE! – This is not a recovery day where you can show up or leave throughout the weekend. This retreat requires all participants to participate together to share and grow in the S.L.A.A. Plan on being on-site Friday from 6:30-9pm, Saturday 9am-7pm, and Sunday 9am-3:30pm. Note, these times do not include some meals. Commuters should review the schedule for meal times (which are included…unless you’ve arranged otherwise.)

COMMON AREAS – There are various rooms throughout the retreat house that are open to us. These include the second floor breakout Rooms #222, 224, 226, 228, the 2nd Floor Library, the 1st Floor Chapel (except during Sunday mass), the 2nd Floor Lounge (across from Room 260) and the Lower Level Dining Rooms. You may use these spaces for meditating, one-on-one or small group conversations, reading, etc.

NAMETAGS – Nametags must be worn at all times during the weekend. If you spot someone without their nametag, please remind them to put it on for the safety of our group and the other groups using the facility. 

GROUND RULES, SAFETY, AND HELPFUL INFORMATION

Sobriety. Although there is no sobriety requirement for attending this retreat, self-defined sobriety must be kept throughout the weekend. To keep the retreat safe for everyone, we ask that all participants stay sober during the weekend. If you do act out during the weekend, we will ask you to leave (and no refund will be given). Please be honest with yourself and others.

Cell phone use. Use this weekend to disconnect and stay present. Our disease manifests itself in many ways. One example of this is the misuse of electronic devices. For this reason, electronic devices are not to be used during meetings, sessions or workshops. Phones should be silenced and put away (with the exception of our retreat coordinators and chosen timekeepers). If you need to use your phone, it please go outside meeting rooms or use it on breaks.

Photos and Video. Friendships old and new occur during retreat weekends. No photo or video may be taken without the permission of the participants in it. In addition, no other members should be visible in your photo or video background without permission. If you utilize social media, please make sure you have permission from those in your photo before you post. No photo or video should be taken at all while meetings are in session.

Wi-Fi. Sorry, the wifi password will not be available. 

Sharing from personal experience. We encourage you to share from your own personal experience, using the words “I or me” instead of “you or we.” 

Crosstalk. Crosstalk is defined as giving feedback or commenting directly on what  others have shared, speaking directly to an individual rather than the group, or interrupting the person speaking/sharing. By not allowing crosstalk, this allows participants to share freely and in safety. 

Trigger issues. Be aware of trigger issues and have a willingness to work together to stay sober. When sharing about your experiences, avoid descriptions of specific acting out behaviors and places. We encourage using terms like ‘sexual activity.’ Everyone may not know of all the websites or apps used for pornography, meets ups or dating. For this reason, please do not use the name of a specific website or app in your shares. We suggest using terms like ‘social media’ or ‘phone app’ when referencing what you are sharing. When sharing about any legal consequences, refrain from describing what activities caused them using terms like “legal issues” or “deviant activities.” If you become triggered during the retreat, feel free to use the  Tigger Trigger(Retreat coordinators will explain!)

13th Stepping & Unexpected Intrigue. 13th Stepping is manipulating another person in recovery, especially a newcomer, into a sexual, emotional, or romantic relationship. As we strive to develop healthy relationship practices, we need to keep in mind that this community and the retreat needs to be maintained as a safe place where people can be honest and open in their recovery. We urge you to not take advantage of other recovering members by enmeshing yourself emotionally with a vulnerable member or by 13th stepping. This behavior is not tolerated and betrays the mission of this community. If you are experiencing or find yourself overstimulated, consider talking to another safe member on a break, calling your sponsor, and limiting your interaction with those individuals. Try to humanize rather than objectify your fellows. If someone says or does something that makes you uncomfortable, tell them to stop and tell one of the retreat coordinators or another trusted fellowship member.

Boundaries. We all need to maintain our own personal boundaries. Some members may not be okay with hugging or hand-holding. Some meetings may end with the serenity prayer. Always ask before assuming the other member is okay with it. Keep yourself safe. Remember we are all in this together. 

Sponsorship. A sponsor is someone who has found sobriety from their addictive behaviors and gives us individual support and guidance in applying the S.L.A.A. Twelve Step program of recovery to our lives. If you have questions about sponsorship, talk to an experienced member during the weekend.

H.A.L.T. If you are feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired – – take a break. The grounds of the Retreat Center are open for you to go for a walk when needed. You can also take a nap, have a snack, talk to someone, or use the built in breaks/meals to take care of yourself. 

Self-Care Time There may be time during the retreat when you want to step away and go for a walk, take a nap, or meditate. You are free to do this as long as it doesn’t conflict with a volunteer duty you’ve signed up for or a speaking/leading role you have been assigned. Take care of yourself.

Anonymity. S.L.A.A. Tradition 12 states that anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. Who you see at this retreat weekend, what you hear at this retreat weekend, when you leave this retreat weekend, let it stay here. 

Be mindful of your wardrobe during the retreat. As we do not know what is visually triggering to all participants, we ask that you wear clothing that is not skin tight or revealing. If you have any questions about your clothing, please talk to one of the retreat leaders. The dress code for the retreat is very casual, so dress comfortably. 

Literature. There are many S.L.A.A. items and literature available for sale. Please log specifically what items you are purchasing and method of payment. This is very helpful for the GDVI literature chair after the retreat ends. Payment may be made with John D. if you’d like to use a credit card, PayPal, etc.

Yankee Swap. As a reminder, to participate in the Yankee Swap, you should have an anonymously wrapped gift. This could be something you bought, made, re-gifted, funny, serious, recovery-oriented, or just something you took from your shelves at home. If purchased, the value should be no more than $20. S.L.A.A. Literature and other items are available at the bookstore, or you can go to a local store or (See also Gift Shop) if you have forgotten a gift. There is gift wrap, tape, and scissors available in the Upper Room Lobby. We will explain the rules on how to play on Saturday evening.

Gift Shop. St. Francis Retreat House operates a small gift and book shop to help subsidize the retreat ministry. In addition to religious books, statuary and other religious items, the shop features food products and other items handmade by monks, hermits, friars and religious sisters from all over the country. The gift shop will be open Friday 3-5 pm and Saturday 11:30 am to 1 pm. Stop by and support our host venue!

Get current during the weekend. There will be time offered this weekend to share and get current. Getting current means sharing what you are currently going through or how you are feeling. You can always share on break times with another member of the group during the weekend.

Use this weekend to connect and socialize with other participants. For many people in our program, especially those who identify with anorexia, socializing and spending time with other people can be difficult. Take the opportunity to spend time with others including eating your meals together, spending time in the group during down times, instead of isolating. Retreats are a great way to expand our fellowship and build a safe network of friends

Bedrooms (non-commuter residents) Sheets, blankets, pillows, pillowcases, towels, sinks & mirrors are included in every guest bedroom. You will make your own bed upon arrival and remove all linens & towels and place them in your pillowcase upon departure. Place these and your trash bag outside your door by 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

RestroomsRestrooms are located on the 2nd floor across from Rooms 209/211 and on the first floor right off the elevator to the right. Residents with bathrooms attached to their room are encouraged to go there.

Commuter Safety. With many new emotions occurring throughout the retreat weekend, leaving for a short while can cause unexpected feelings. These feelings may cause a sober member to act out or have a slip when they leave. We strongly encourage using tools such as the 24 hour inspiration line and story line when you are not in the safety of the retreat. Calling others attending the retreat can also be helpful.

Keep noise to a minimum. If you are on the floors where bedrooms are located please keep noise to a minimum as other participants may be resting.

☎ INSPIRATION LINES ☎Daily Inspriation Line: 215-574-2120Weekly Inspiration Story Line: 215-574-2121

Meals/Mealtimes. Dinner is served on Friday and Saturday. The food is put away at the designated end time, so it’s best to be prompt when possible. You can remain in the dining hall after the designated times. During all meals, you are responsible for clearing your space. If you have brought your own food, it can be stored in the guest fridge on the lower level in the Friar’s Dining Room. Please join us in the dining hall while you eat for more fellowship time!

Drinks/Snacks. Snacks can also be found throughout the weekend in the 2nd Floor lobby. There is juice, coffee, and tea available in the Main Dining Room 24-7, and a Keurig and “Guest Fridge” located in the Friar’s Dining Room, both on the Lower Level. Please label any items you place in the guest fridge with your name and “GDVI 9/3”. For those who want to take a short drive, there is a local Starbucks 3 miles away. 

Entry Doors The front doors to the retreat house are locked at all times, except during Friday’s registration period. Each attendee will receive a door passcode which will unlock the main doors. Please take care not to let others in who are not wearing a retreat name badge. There is another group meeting in the facility and they will have their own code.

Room Issues. Our retreat coordinators can contact the facility if there is a room or maintenance issue that needs to be addressed. Please see or text us so we can get the issue resolved. 

Smoking/Candles/Etc. Smoking or vaping is prohibited in the building. There is a designated smoking area. Do not stand outside a doorway and smoke as the smoke may come back inside and cause issues. Use receptacles provided. Lighting candles, use of any flame, vaping devices or incense is also prohibited. A $150.00 fine will be charged to any participant not adhering to this rule.

WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK!
Use the QR Code or go directly to the link below: 

https://slaadvi.org/retreat-feedback-step-retreat/

Have your printed basic text with you for all Step meetings.
Electronic Devices are Not Allowed except for Facilitator/Designated Timekeeper

Friday March 1, 2024
Time  Description  Location Greeter or Leader
👋 3 to 5:45 pm Registration Open – If you miss this registration period, please be prepared to register at dinner or the opening sessions! UR Lobby Greeters
🎈3 to 5:45 pm Yankee swap drop off, name tags and folder decorating, explore the grounds of the Center, meet old and new friends, Fellowship / General Questions UR Lobby All
🛒3 to 6 pm St. Francis Retreat House Gift Shop Open on the 1st Floor down hallway right of main elevators
🍽 6 to 7 pm Dinner (not available to late arrivals) DR All
🎈7 to 7:30 pm Break and Fellowship UR Lobby All
⚠ 7:30 to 8:30 pm Welcoming Session – Ice breaker, review, safety & ground rules, schedule, service roles, volunteer sign up / Q&A UR John D & John G
🎈8:30 to 8:45 pm Break and Fellowship UR Lobby All
🤝8:45-10 pm Recovery meeting: Getting current UR  All 
🎲 10 pm to 12 am Board Game Night  UR  All

🤝: Recovery Meeting    🍽: Meals ⚠: Mandatory Attendance 👣: Step Work 🎈: Break/Fellowship

Saturday, March 2, 2024
All day Literature for sale. Snacks available UR Lobby All
🍽 8 to 8:45 am  Breakfast, Break and Fellowship DR All
👣 9 am to 11:45 am  Step 1, 2, 3: Speakers, writing & buzz group sessions UR & Other Rooms See list
🛒11:45 am to 1 pm St. Francis Retreat House Gift Shop Open 1st Floor Gift Shop
🍽 12 to 12:45 pm Lunch, Break and Fellowship DR All
👣 1 to 2:30 pm Step 4, 5: Speakers, writing & buzz group sessions UR & Other Rooms See list
🎈 2:30 to 2:45 pm  Break and Fellowship  UR & Lobby All
👣 2:45 to 4:30 pm  Step 6, 7: Speakers, writing & buzz group sessions UR & Breakouts See list
🎈 4:30 to 4:45 pm  Break and Fellowship  UR & Lobby All
👣 4:45 to 5:45 pm  Drop the rock: Step 6 & 7 activityMust show up on time to be involved TBA All
🍽 6 to 6:45 pm Dinner DR All
⚠ 6:45 pm **Don’t miss this: Very important**Safety/Re-entering and FWS/GDVI TBA Room John G.John D.
🤝7:30 to 8:45 pm Recovery meeting: Getting current UR See list
🎉 8:45 pm Yankee swap gift exchange – Lots of fun! UR All
🎬 9:15 to 11 pm Primetime Movie: Thanks for Sharing UR All
🤝 11 to 11:30pm Sharing about the Movie UR All

Sunday, March 3, 2024
🍽 8:00 to 9:30 am Breakfast and fellowship DR All
📚 9:15 am  Bookstore Closes UR Lobby John D.
⚠ 9:30 to 9:45 am Outreach & Safety reminders  *required by all* UR John G.
👣9:45 am to 12 pm Step 8, 9: Speakers & Group shares  UR See list
🍽 12  to 1 pm Lunch and fellowship DR All
👣1 to 3 pm Step 10, 11, 12: Speakers & Group shares  UR See list
✅ 3 to 3:15 pm Final Room Check Out / Take Stuff to your Car
Please remove all soiled linens.
UR Lobby All
🎉3:30 to 4 pm Final shares, basic text closing, 11th Step prayer; Complete Evaluation Form UR All
👋4:15 p.m. Retreat Center Closes (Attendees invited to the Easton SLAA Meeting)
🤝5 to 6 pm
            FYI ONLY
Recovery meeting OFFSITE at the Palmer Recovery Center, 2906 William Penn Hwy. Suite 101, Easton OFFSITE  

🤝: Recovery Meeting    🍽: Meals ⚠: Mandatory Attendance 👣: Step Work 🎈: Break/Fellowship

Please check out of your room by 3:30 pm Please place your belongings in your car or the 2nd Floor Lobby.

UNDERSTANDING OUR SCHEDULE AND WEEKEND MEETING FORMAT

You will be amazed by the end of the weekend how the meetings take care of themselves with trust of Higher Power.

All Step meetings. Are held in the UPPER ROOM.

Basic Text. Please have your printed basic text with you at all Step meetings. For safety, no electronic devices can be used in the meeting rooms. If you need a print copy you may purchase one at the literature table or make arrangements to borrow one from the retreat facilitators.

Buzz / Breakout Group. Small buzz groups meetings are all held in a variety of locations. If a group chooses to go outside, a participant chosen to be in that group with limited mobility, allergies or for any reason can switch to another group that is staying inside.

Speakers are not timed. Although there is an allotment of time for the sessions which cannot be exceeded, Step speakers may speak for as long or short as they wish on the step they selected. However at Sunday’s final meetings, we will divide the remaining time between the total number of participants so that everyone may share during open discussion and everyone has a chance to speak before closing. 

Time for writing. Each session has an allotment of time. If there are more than 30 minutes left after the lead speaker for steps 1 through 7 we will spend up to 10 minutes writing in our journals or using the “Guide to the Steps” blue book provided to you at registration before going to buzz groups.

Buzz groups. Buzz groups are smaller groups randomly selected following the end of speaker and writing time after step 3, 5 and 7. This allows more intimate time to share on the steps we just read on and extra time to get to know one another.

Chairpersons and speakers on the Steps are chosen on Friday evening before we start. Every participant’s name is in a bag and names are pulled randomly. This is all up to Higher Power.

If you need to leave early on Sunday.  Please let the coordinators know ahead of time so your name is not put down for a time you will not be available when we pull names Friday evening.

Getting current meeting. This will be a tag discussion, which is after one person shares they call on the next person whose hand it raised. This will allow the leader of that session to go to bed whenever they want. Commuters, practice self care by choosing to leave Friday night when they need to.

Problems. If any issues or problems come up, please let one of the facilitators know or talk to a safe member attending.

REVIEW DESCRIPTIONS on page 2 AFTER NAMES ARE SELECTED 

DESCRIPTIONS of leaders and speakers on next page

Description if you are a chosen Leader for a Step:

  • Please start your meeting on time per the schedule no matter how many people are in the room. Others may be practicing self care.
  • Option to start with the Serenity Prayer.
  • Let the group know the page and step you are beginning. You may choose to read the first paragraph or ask someone to start. (we start with the preamble of the step)
  • Introduce Speaker (by referencing the list made Friday night)

Description if you are a Speaker on Step: (also when sharing during buzz groups)

  • Speak from your heart. You may not be on this step, you may be new, you may be fearful or anxious or excited. You are not alone in this process. We all learn and grow together. 
  • Higher Power speaks through us. We are all reading the steps together prior to you speaking. If needed, consider speaking to another member, journaling prior to you speaking, reading it in advance, but mostly trust Higher Power is with you, helping to  share exactly what you are supposed to.
  • Ground rules reminder: When sharing about your experiences, avoid descriptions of specific acting out sexual behavior and places. We suggest using terms like ‘sexual activity.’ Websites are also very triggering. Everyone may not be familiar with or know of all the websites or apps used for pornography, meets ups or dating. For this reason, please do not ever use the name of a specific website/app. We suggest using terms like ‘social media’ or ‘phone app’ when referencing what you are sharing.
  • You are not timed as a chosen step speaker (only in a buzz group). Limiting it to 15 minutes is helpful to keep on the schedule. There is no right or wrong amount of time.

Description if you are Leader for a buzz group: 

(This occurs Saturday AFTER step 3 speaker / AFTER step 5 / AFTER step 7) 

  • Meet your group in the chosen room location.

  • Option to start with Serenity prayer and/or introductions.
  • Depending on the length of time allotted until the next ‘scheduled’ session or meal, choose to time the shares by the # in your buzz group (Suggested example: if we have 25 mins, 5 people, choose 4 min shares which allows time to get to the next session or unexpected longer shares).
  • Buzz group shares could be on any of the steps we just covered or getting current.
  • Feel free to fellowship and chat together if there is additional time left over.

🙚 THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING AND TAKING OUTREACH CALLS 🙘

Isolation and feeling alone are a significant part of our disease. Therefore making phone calls between meetings is an important part of our recovery in order to break the isolation and create a solid foundation of sobriety.

Outreach calls to fellow sobriety members are important for both the caller and the person receiving the call. So, if you are new to our fellowship, please do not feel like you are bothering someone by phoning them. Other members can set their own boundaries when receiving calls. Your outreach may also help another.

It is a fundamental part of our program to accept calls from newcomers and our fellows as well as to return their calls as promptly as possible when we are unable to initially accept them.

Respectful and understanding outreach call etiquette is important for us all.

What phone calls are not:

• They are not a therapy session. It is not your job to “fix” anyone.

• They are not a one-way monologue. Both people need to share when possible.

• They do not replace going to meetings or calling a sponsor.

• They do not need to be lengthy, 5-10 minutes is acceptable.

What phone calls are:

• They are an opportunity to connect with other members and build healthy relationships.

• They are an opportunity to support each other through our ups and downs, especially during

withdrawal and other situations where we feel triggered or the impulse to contact a qualifier.

• They are an opportunity to learn about the program by hearing how someone with more sobriety works the program.

• A reminder we are not alone.

Outreach calls help us learn healthy boundary setting and boundary respecting.

It is important to ask if you’ve phoned someone at a good time and what their time availability is. Outreach calls do not need to take a significant amount of time to be effective. Here are some sample dialogue suggestions:

• “I have about ten minutes so maybe you can share for five and I can share for five. Will that work for you?” (Identify the amount of time you have)

• “I only have a few minutes now but I can talk more at…” (Specify the time)

• “I only have a few minutes. How can I best support you now with the time I have?”

• Would you like feedback or would you just like for me to listen?

During an outreach call you are not responsible for:

• Finding solutions to another person’s problems.

• Finding answers to their questions if you don’t know them already.

• Giving more time or energy than you have available.

Do not take it personally if someone doesn’t have much time to talk, doesn’t take your call, or doesn’t call you back. Keep phoning other members, keep going to meetings and keep working the program and you will strengthen your recovery with your sex and love addiction. And you will find peace, serenity and joy in living. You are not alone anymore.