Before Cindy’s Journal came on the scene and before this blog was launched, the BRANA Campout received feedback via email and occasionally by U.S. Post. The following comments are from campers at BRANA 28 in July 2009. It was the first year that the Campout Committee leased the entire campground.
Gina & George A., Glenburnie, MD…I just wanted to drop you a line of appreciation for the hard work and commitment you put into the BRANA campout this year and every year. What a success it has been. It is because of you that addicts like us coming from Baltimore and other places in our great country are able to feel the love and warmth that your area has to offer. The atmosphere of recovery is ever so present there. I really liked the structure and how the campsites were spread apart. We love how you have the entire park just for the BRANA Group. We brought some people with us this year and they were amazed. I especially enjoyed the fact the each reader before our main meetings announced where they were from and the name of their home group. This is the second time my husband George and I have come to the BRANA campout, and we plan to make it a tradition. We have made lasting friendships with others from all over and we look forward to seeing each of them again. BRANA Campout Rocks! See you next year!
Matthew D., Glen Allen, VA, New Dominion Area…The campout was awesome! This was my first one and I will definitely be returning! I enjoyed the speaker meetings and cried several times – I just finished my 12th Step and I have some clarity and freedom today ! Woo-hoo! If you reserve the whole campground again I will be willing to go to $35. Thanks for all you do! I will help clean up next year! Unless I have to go away on “Earth People” business. Have a great year!
Katie…Just loved the campout. I really enjoyed the speakers. The camping areas were really comfortable. I think it was great that you were able to get the whole campground for this year. It was announced that you would like to hear from fellow addicts about what you can do to improve for future campouts. I think – and its just my suggestion – that it would be really cool if you could get the whole campground next year that you incorporate the rest of the shelters. You could have more workshops. Down in our area when we do big combined workshops we put out flyers to see if anyone is interested in chairing workshops. Or topics for workshops. I would also think it would be great fun if we had a big tug of war in a mud puddle. LOL. Recovery Rocks!
Jessica…I just want to say thank you. I was at BRANA this year and I had a blast! I am an adult child of an addict and my ex is an addict. So my children are pretty messed up, to say the least. Most of the time they fight with each other, teachers and most anyone. They are often rude and disrespectful to me. But at the campout they felt like they belonged. They were treated kindly by everyone there. They didn’t fight at all while they were there. It was kind of a sanctuary for them. They walked up to some men playing volleyball and they didn’t have to wait before they were asked to play. I plan on coming next year. The kids want to come back, too. It’s funny that the kids want to come back because they are all teens. The last thing they usually want to do is hang out with adults. But they loved it. I loved it too. It was nice to get away from that stressful thing I call life. The Saturday night speaker was wonderful. The whole thing was great.
John M., Richmond, VA…WOW! What a great campout! This was my 16th BRANA and it was by far the best! You all truly outdid yourselves. Having the entire campground made all of the difference. The layout made it really family-friendly. While, I am not a parent I have several sponsees who have young children. They have elected not to come because of how things were set up in the past – too many people and too many pets in a small area. I can’t wait to tell them about the new setup. This allows people to govern what happens on their site – where before it was really like being in a Grateful Dead concert parking lot (minus the drugs). I also loved that there were events for the kids. I liked having meetings at the stage so that whatever was going on in the campground didn’t interfere with the meeting. Same with the dances. Having the dances at Shelter 3 allowed those who wanted to dance to dance and those who wanted to crash early to do so. I’d be interested in knowing if there were as many incidents that reflect badly on NA as there have been in years past. If I could offer a couple ideas for next BRANA. First, I’m going to start following several of the people in my area and come up midweek. Ever considered starting it Thursday night? LOL. We always want more. Would it be possible to have something like a Hawaiian luau at the pool at night? Cookout, music, swimming? Also, any thoughts for a horseshoe tournament? Anyway, a great BRANA! Thanks for your service. Thanks for continuing to put on this campout. It has been a great part of my recovery.