Area 53 Mini-Conference Committee

Area 53 Mini-Conference Committee
The Mini-Conference Committee oversees planning activities for the Area 53 annual mini-conference held in March. It conducts site selection and executes the smooth running of the conference. More about Area 53 Mini-Conferences…
The Committee (email: miniconference[at]area53aa[dot]org

Chair: Donna K.
Treasurer: Diann N.

Regular Committee Meeting

Last Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm
1530 S. High Street, Columbus, OH 43207

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Area 53 2019 Mini-Conference Registration

The Area 53 2019 Mini-Conference registration flier is available for download and mail-in registration.

The mini-conference is March 8-10, 2019, at Deer Creek Conference Center, 22300 State Park Road in Mt. Sterling Ohio.

Registration is $25. Meals for purchase are Friday Dinner ($25), Saturday Lunch ($16), Saturday Banquet ($32), and Sunday Lunch ($16).

Area 53 Mini-Conference Committee


2018 Mini-Conference Final Report Available

The Final Report from the 2018 Area 53 Mini-Conference is available online. Printed copies will be available at the June 3, 2018, assembly in Hilliard Ohio.

About the Report
Area 53 held its annual Mini-Conference at the Salt Fork Conference Center on March 9-11, 2018. The report contains three sections: (1) an introductory background material on the conference structure, (2) highlights about the 2018 Mini-Conference, and (3) a summary of the advisory actions taken by the Mini-Conference in March with how agenda items was handled at the General Service Conference in April by the delegates.

2018 Attendance Summary
There were 121 paid participants (including 11 scholarships). A total of 179 meals (including 76 banquets) were served by Salt Fork. In addition, our Hospitality Room offered full meals for a donation.

2018 Finance Summary
We were over budget this year. Our current cash reserves are lower than expected to start the 2019 planning cycle. Some factors that contributed to he shortfall were PayPal fees of $224, charges for setting up the hospitality room, and audiovisual equipment rental fees. We also invested $240 for registration signs and badge holders, supplies that will be used for future Mini-Conferences.

In service,
Stephen S., Area 53 Mini-Conference Chair


Mini Conference Story from a Newbie

I love the outdoors. An opportunity to hang out at a state park? When my sponsor suggested I attend the mini-conference, I was all over it!

A friend and I went in together and got a cabin with a hot tub. It was going to be a vacation! We had food and smoothies and all sorts of fun planned. We had a great time driving to the event, and listened to a lead by Bill W. on the way.

When we arrived at our cabin which could’ve slept six, I was pleased by the beautiful view of the lake, and then there was the hot tub! I was amazed that this lovely cabin was affordable for the two of us. We unpacked our pumpkin pie and smoothie maker and delicious food and soon had a visit to the hot tub. Ahhhh… it was going to be a warm and relaxing weekend, in spite of the March temperatures.

We then proceeded to the lodge to register for the mini-conference. Now I must say that I have attended my share of conferences and played my share of “hooky” from sessions in order to do what I wanted. I expected some meetings and focus groups and hanging out with people. What I did NOT expect was what I got, which was an intense and inspiring view of how our Fellowship works, the nuts and bolts of it.

I was moved. Seriously moved.

I had seen my involvement in AA at the group level, as meetings and secretaries and Seventh Tradition baskets, as coffee and discussions and the “meeting after the meeting.” I did not comprehend what was happening deep underneath my meeting-oriented experience of AA. Such was my introduction to another area of service. I learned so much, and met people whose
hearts and minds were deeply committed to our Fellowship, and who showed it in their actions and attitudes. There was a lot of laughter, and seriousness, and well-meaning dispute and discussion. I was engaged from the outset, and have now become more involved in this other area of service as a result.

The Twelve Steps of AA saved my life. The Traditions and Concepts keep us going.

I am responsible…


My Remarkable Mini-Conference Story

This will be my 4th year of attending the Area 53 Mini Conference and I am super excited!

When I attended my first Mini Conference 3 years ago, I was filled with a nervous anticipation of what to expect. I found the experience to be overwhelming (in a great way). And, I couldn’t wait to go back to my home group and friends to share what I had learned from this amazing experience. Participating was a privilege. It was at my first Mini Conference that I learned from Bill F. the difference between a Trustee A and a Trustee B…and I still chuckle every time I hear him explain it!

Now, three Mini Conferences later, I find that I am still filled with anticipation – no longer as nervously. I am super excited about attending. Being a part of the Mini Conference Committee definitely adds to that excitement because it gives me the advantage of knowing in advance some of the spectacular events that this year’s Mini Conference has in store for us.

Everything from the minute you arrive – being greeted at the door, Mini Conference Registration Desk, the Speaker Meetings, the interactive Workshops, the Hospitality Room, the Early Bird meetings, and the delicious meals – promise to add to the remarkable story that you will leave with. I know you will want to go back and share with your home group and friends in the Fellowship.

I look forward to seeing you soon. If there is anything you need while you are there, please feel free to ask Frank G., Area 53 Delegate.

My story,
Marcia H.


Important Conference Terms

The 2017 Area 53 Mini-Conference committee and agenda topics have been determined by the Area 53 Delegate. You can preview them on the Mini-Conference homepage.

Agenda topics typically begin with a few special words. It will be useful to understand what is implied when you see them in conference materials or on the area website.

Consider … Where this word is used, a recommendation requiring a vote is probably indicated. When possible, a recommendation from the Committee as to whether they voted to approve or disapprove the action being considered should be forwarded to the full assembly as a motion, along with the actual vote count, both “for” and “against”

Discuss … Where this word is used a recommendation requiring a vote is probably not indicated, although exceptions may occur. Use common sense. If a vote is not indicated, then a brief overview of the Committee discussion should be given when reporting out.

Review … The committee can decide whether this item requires a vote. If no vote is required, a brief overview of the Committee discussion may be given when reporting out.


Do We Need A Conference

“We may not need a General Service Conference to insure our own recovery. We do need it to insure the recovery of the alcoholic who still stumbles in the darkness one short block from this room.

We need it to insure recovery of a child being born tonight, destined to alcoholism. We need it to provide, in keeping with our Twelfth Step, a permanent haven for all alcoholics who, in the ages ahead, can find in A.A. that rebirth which brought us back to life.”

Bernard B. Smith, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, 1954 (AA Service Manual)


Should My Home Group Pay?

If you are a GSR, you might ask your home group if they are willing to cover some of your mini-conference expenses.

Each group is autonomous in this matter. However, it is a common practice for home groups to provide some financial support for the expenses of their trusted servant. This might include the miniconference registration fee and some of the expense for travel, housing and meals. Attendees often share rides and lodging at the
mini-conference to make attending more practical.


Is The Mini-Conference Self-Supporting?

The mini-conference strives to be self-supporting and registration fee covers planning and events expenses.

Expenses include literature for agenda items to be discussed, printing flyers and agendas, mailing costs and office supplies. Speakers are not paid a fee; their travel and hotel are covered.
At the conference, coffee is served throughout the day. The hospitality room is self-supporting and accepts voluntary donations from conference attendees.

Your Mini-Conference Team


My First Mini-Conference – 2003

My first mini-conference was in 2003. I had just joined the Area Committee as DCM for District 16. At that time the Area was very short of funds and had voted not have the mini-conference. The then Delegate presented a plan of how we could have one that was close to self-supporting, if the DCMs would get behind it. I immediately got on board and have been intimately involved in the mini-conference ever since.


History of Conference-Approved Literature

Conference-Approved Literature – April 1952 On April 23, 1952, Panel 2 (consisting of 38 additional delegates) joined with Panel 1 for the first Conference of all Delegates attending. The first women Delegates joined Panel 2. They were Lois A (Abare) of Barre, VT and Fay B (Brown) of Bismarck, ND. Based on a 1951 Conference […]

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At the Area 53 Mini-Conference in 2015 I began to experience and learn how A.A. as a whole is able to reach its collective group conscience. I had the good fortune of participating on the Area 53 Mini-Conference Finance Committee, where as a group we reviewed and discussed specific topics that were scheduled to be taken up at the A.A. General Service Conference just a few weeks later. By reporting out the results of our Committee’s discussion, we were all part of building the bridge of communication from the individual A.A. member in our Area to the General Service Conference in New York.
Dan S.
From my very first AA meeting, I have felt the magic in the rooms- the spirit of carrying the message. My first Mini-Conference in 2005 I had just celebrated my first year anniversary. And at a time when I was experiencing a spiritual awaking, my exposure with a mass of seasoned AAers coming together for the future of AA only heightened my spiritual experience and compelled me more to becoming “I am responsible”.

The next year I went to my 2nd mini-conference and it was at Salt Fork. 6 of us shared a cabin and a bonding with my sponsor, service sponsor and fellow AAers began and a kinship developed- anchoring me to my homegroup and those friendships are today, family. A conference room full of strangers are now a room full of old friends I haven’t seen in forever. The excitement for me is very high. Coming up on my 11th mini-conference…I CAN’T WAIT!

My experience with attending the mini-conferences continues to open me up, more and more, to the splendor of AA. Not to mention being at a state park for the weekend is the perfect chance to recharge my batteries. The discussion panels make me feel like I am a part. The banquet makes me feel like a king. The hospitality room makes me feel down home. Lunch with friends is cherished and even spending time alone gratifies the soul.

The Area 53 Mini-Conference has added a level to my sobriety that I feel has been a stepping stone to service work and my commitment to AA. Making me “I am responsible”.
-Billy K.

Every Area in AA sponsors an annual mini-conference in which AA’s get an opportunity to hear, learn and discuss what is happening inside Alcoholics Anonymous. Personally, from these conferences, I’ve experienced the spirituality and fellowship that are at the heart of AA. I’ve been awed by the service and commitment of AA’s from all over the country and have left each conference with a renewed sense of responsibility and hope.
-Mike M.
I was humbled & in awe to play a small part in the service of alcoholics anonymous. I frequently hear at meetings that the folks sitting in a regular meeting are the most important members of AA. Its true! The voices of my home group members were heard at the mini-conference and all the committee members truly were the trusted servants of their groups. Can I ever be grateful enough?
Eileen L.
Attending mini-conference was my 1st real introduction to how AA works from the group level to our GSO and gave me an awesome feeling of being “plugged in” to AA. I was also given a sense of enormous pride and gratitude of what our fellowship truly means to so many and how painstakingly any changes or considerations for change are reviewed to ensure AA remains available and relevant for its fellowship and future generations of members. It is also a platform for wonderful fellowship, great food and most of all, FUN! I will certainly be at Deer Creek next March.
Dominique M.
There was seemingly non-stop something to do all the time. The Friday night AA lead by Rick B was funny and touching. The AA Trustee from the General Service Board gave a fact-filled report. Racy, from the General Service Office CPC desk, was very informative and inspiring. The Public Information committee I was assigned to put their heart into our Saturday group meetings. The AAs I met all weekend at Deer Creek really cared about carrying the message. The AA committee process is a fun and inclusive way to make decisions as a group.
Dave C.