The inspiration for combining climbing and recovery came on a hike up Mt.
Si on New Years Day After some self-described procrastination, in Jim began to formulate the idea of holding an AA meeting on the summit of Mount Rainier in conjunction with the national AA convention which was held in Seattle that year. The first organizational meeting for the what was called the " AA Mt. Rainier Expedition" scheduled a conditioning hike up Tiger Mountain near Issaquah Washington on the first Thursday evening of daylight savings time, April By the time the first newsletter was issued, it had been suggested that this Thursday night hike be turned into a regular weekly step meeting.
The first Thursday of daylight savings time has, ever since, been celebrated as OSAT's birthday, complete wit.
The dozen or so people who showed up for the first organizational meeting on April 24 selected "One Step at a Time" OSAT as the name for the club. This name had been adopted earlier as the name of the Thursday night AA meetings which began on Tiger Mountain April The multiple possible interpretations of the name certainly lead to its attractiveness.
To people who don't want to get involved in explaining the recovery aspect of the club, the name is an innocuous reference to a hiking and climbing truism, but to AA members and friends it is also a clever play on AA's "one day at a time" motto, also incorporating in its interesting turn of the phrase the idea of the "steps" fundamental to AA philosophy. It has never seemed to bother anyone that the single "A" in the acronym doesn't precisely match the "at a" in the name, and as a result capitalization of the "at a" in the name seems subject to each particular writer's whim.
Jim H used a long succession of phrases as part of the masthead for the OSAT newsletter now known as The Yodel , but in the early years simply entitled "One Step at a Time" to describe the purpose of the club. This latter aspect was at once perhaps both too blatant and too subtle, so a few months later the masthead sported the explanation:. It should be noted that there were discussions early on as to whether the club should be open to AA members only or members of any twelve stop program. This declaration reflected the group conscience on that issue.
Later that year, the "outdoor club" identity was made more specific, as:. When it was pointed out that spouses and "significant others" were also participating actively in the organization, the decision was made to broaden the purpose to include them, thus:. Finally, midway through the second summer season of OSAT activities, realization that a spectrum of outdoor interests was represented within the club.
Even though mountaineering was clearly the foundation, the purpose readopted "outdoor club" as the fundamental noun describing the group. This purpose statement, which now has withstood the test of time, describes in a dozen that magic twelve! The BOTS's organizational proposal discussed at the March club meeting included, as the first mentioned BOTS responsibility, to develop and submit to the full membership for approval a statement on the mission purpose and objectives of OSAT. At the April business meeting the Mission Statement was adopted as follows:.
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In the months that followed, additions and alterations were proposed during several club meetings, but most members felt that, while the suggestions were typically valid aspirations and statements of principle for the group, they unnecessarily complicated the otherwise straightforward mission statement. However, in later years, concern was raised that people not sincerely involved in one way or another with the recovery aspect of the club led to a slight change in wording of who OSAT was serving:.
In late the club voted to update the statement to reflect a growing commitment to stewardship as well as the continuing principles of recovery: From the point of few of following the history of a phrase, the origins of the OSAT motto are particularly interesting to trace. After years of use, we tend to think of these words as automatic, presuming they sprang forth in finished form. Indeed a majority of today's members have known nothing else, and even among those who were involved with OSAT from the start, few remember the turns the phrase took before reaching its timeless simplicity.
The heading of the June 13, newsletter incorporated the phrase "Spiritual adventures in the mountains - one day and one step at a time. On the November newsletter, the phrase "Climb mountains and don't slip" appeared on the masthead below the purpose statement for the first time. Here again, Jim evokes a double entendre as a technique to link mountaineering and recovery. Considering the twists and turns the phrase took over the next year and a half, it is interesting to see how close this early version came to the motto that endured.
On the March newsletter, for reasons that are unclear, this was changed to much less elegant "Keep climbing mountains and don't drink in between.
We also provide program managers and mentors to assist in developing the physical skills and stamina required to climb the highest peak in Washington State. Ten months of preparation go into readying a climber. For 6 years the program has maintained the highest safety record and successful participant completion results. To date, 30 climbers have summited. During this period COH has achieved superior results in breaking the cycle of relapse during recovery.
Participants gain goal setting and commitment follow-through skills. They practice teamwork and working with guides and mentors. All this builds their confidence and endurance, setting them up to have a successful life plan. They now have a solid foundation for rejoining the work force and overcoming poor habits and choices that contributed to their addiction and homelessness. On average people go through treatment recovery programs seven times before life changes stick. This program is different. Homelessness due to addiction to any substance abuse is on the rise.
Existing solutions are anemic and costly; they also fail to get long term results. Climbing Out of Homelessness couples physical fitness with a host of other interpersonal skills to prevent the slide back into the destructive patterns of the past. Addiction is not just a substance abuse problem, it is a socialization problem.
COH works with program climbers to provide a fresh spin on their current reality. By emphasizing new possibilities, our participants begin to see a new, alternative reality. This forms the foundation for them to see the world in a new way. Teamwork is central to the COH program.
The road to lasting recovery is challenging, and we help the participants recognize that to be successful they cannot do it alone.
They practice teamwork and working with guides and mentors. By emphasizing new possibilities, our participants begin to see a new, alternative reality. Nate Lanting Program Manager. Although remarkably close to the original phrase, it had taken two years and five renditions to evolve to its current form. Maria Millsap Board Member. Participants gain goal setting and commitment follow-through skills.
Through the teamwork they experience leading up to the climb, participants learn from each other and talk about the life changes they are going through. Mountain climbing requires a team in order to reach the summit, and the teamwork they have practiced become real.