WHAT I LEARNED: If Al-Anon was not supported by its own members, think of everything that would go away… groups, CAL literature, phone hotlines, websites, Gratitude Dinners, Conventions, & even the World Service Office. The 7th Tradition reminds me that no one is an island & it makes me grateful for everything that we do support as members in this program. No 7th Tradition basket was passed during today’s service workshop, but none was needed, for we were all donating something else: time, energy, & love! Awww…
WHAT I LEARNED: 1. According to this Alateen Guideline, any reporting of child abuse is done on a personal basis, not as an Alateen Sponsor or an AMIAS (an Al-Anon Member Involved in Alateen Service). This is done with Tradition 10 in mind to keep the fellowship out of public controversy!
2. Even though I’m not a certified Alateen Sponsor, I can still serve Alateen by letting parents know of Alateen meetings in the area, discuss Alateen literature in Al-Anon meetings, & bring material with me to public outreach functions. In fact, some of my biggest selling items at an AA Gratitude Dinner was the information on Alateen!
**BONUS: An electronic version of this guideline can now be downloaded directly from the District 6 website by clicking this link: District 6 Website
WHAT I LEARNED: 1. This is my lowest selling pamphlet. Since December 2011, I’ve only sold a grand total of 1 — & that was at a Gratitude Dinner. So here again I thought “Why do I need to read this? …No one else is!” And once again, now after having read it, I feel humbled & this time “schooled” by the 7 Alateen sharings within.
2. Just from the title alone, this pamphlet is about growing up & transitioning. I thought an Alateen member turns 19 & then boom, the next day, they start attending Al-Anon, but that’s not the case. The sharings express that they will typically attend both Alateen & Al-Anon meetings until they’re ready to fully “graduate” out of Alateen.
3. The most important thing this pamphlet taught me is not to call them “young” or “kids” when they come into Al-Anon. It’s demeaning because most of them have lived their whole lives with alcoholism & had to grow up fast. (Being young is something that other people went through.) They have their own battle scars & war stories, but the difference is that they come into the rooms of Al-Anon with tools in hand & may even already have Sponsees. It’s not day 1 for them & I need to remember that.
At a recent Gratitude Dinner, the emcee quickly came up to me & asked for something that she could have at the podium that included the Serenity Prayer, Steps, Traditions, Concepts, Warranties & AFG Declaration. I said I had just the perfect thing! Rather than give her a book, I gave her this pamphlet. And because it also has the AFG Welcome, Ideas for Newcomers, a Guide for Living, Slogans, & Closing, whenever I attend a meeting & the group doesn’t have access to their binder to open the meeting, this pamphlet comes to the rescue!
WHAT I LEARNED: 1. Re-reading the Welcome in this pamphlet made me realize that AFG’s 12 Steps are “adapted” from AA. For the longest time in meetings, I always thought I heard the word as “adopted.”
2. I’m counting this pamphlet as the last item of the general Newcomer Packet – although I didn’t see it at first. It was only when I turned the Packet over & read the very back that I saw this was the only pamphlet referenced on it, so therefore I’m truly finished reading the entire Packet – literally front to back! Ha ha. 😛 Onto the other newcomer packets… Stay tuned!