The 55th ICYPAA Convention (International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous) is happening and it’s in Phoenix, Arizona this year! ICYPAA is an annual gathering for young people to celebrate and honor their sobriety. Over the years, we have seen an increase in the numbers of young people coming into recovery. ICYPAA has been a consistent resource. ICYPAA provides a huge pool of experience, strength and hope for young people, allowing a safe space for those walking similar paths and trying to better their lives to be amongst their peers in a fun, entertaining, spiritual, hopeful way.
Being of service is something you can do no matter how long you’re sober: it can be a day, months or years. It simply doesn’t matter. Putting your hand out and helping someone else gets you out of yourself. Being at an ICYPAA convention is a neat way to approach fellowship and service work because you’re in a huge container for the process to unfold. You are essentially hanging out with other people for an extended period of time, and all are on the same path. It can be a truly wonderful experience. But nothing says it better than this:
“ICYPAA and its attendees are also committed to reaching out to the newcomer, and to involvement in every other facet of AA service. ICYPAA participants can often be found serving at the national, state, area, and group levels. Newcomers are shown, by people their own age, that using AA principles in their daily lives and getting involved in AA service can have a significant impact on a lasting and comfortable sobriety.”
I got to spend some time at our Day School, and the kids were abuzz with excitement and anticipation about the weekend ahead of them. The members of the staff that are going are excited too. Sober conventions are an experience! When I asked Will, one of our tutors, about his thoughts and expectations venturing off to ICYPAA, he said,
“I’m just as excited for the road trip as I am for the actual convention. This will be my first conference, so I don’t quite know what to expect. My plan is to go to the meetings and interact with as many people as possible. I think that people from other parts of the world have a different perspective on sobriety. It’s always interesting to hear someone else’s point of view.”
How amazing is it to get to experience the world with open eyes, and an open heart?
It looks like this is going to be an amazing weekend of sober fun, meetings, and support. From what I hear, it’s also monsoon season in Arizona, so it will be hot, muggy, rainy and absolutely beautiful. Life is infinitely better when you can be present for it!