The primary purpose of the Laymen’s Retreat is for spiritual renewal and growth for members of Alcoholic Anonymous, and other twelve step recovery programs. Many of the attendees also complete a 4th step at the Retreat and then do a 5th step with one of the Counselors available, or with a sponsor that may be there. Many men attend just for the fellowship and Counselor talks.
When Retreat attendees are asked what is one of the best thing about the Retreat, one of the overwhelming responses is the Fellowship found at the Retreat. We currently have one man that has been attending for almost 40 years. Many others have been coming for 10, 20 and 30 years. Attendees come primarily from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Many others continue to return after they have moved throughout the United States. There are normally approximately 200 men attending each year. Many of us have developed close relationships with each other, even though we may only see each other one time a year. Free time is provided in the schedule for other activities such as swimming, golf, volleyball, fishing etc. Many men use this time just to talk and share with others. This time is when many men do their 4th and 5th steps.
Generally we have eight talks that are given by recovering members of the clergy or laymen. The talks are related to the theme of that year’s Retreat. We do occasionally have non-recovering clergy counselors, and also counselors who are not clergymen. Counselors are from thru-out Michigan and Ohio.