WHAT I LEARNED: 1. As current Co-Chair for the 2015 North Florida Area Convention, it was helpful to re-read this guideline because it reminds me that, just like in the program, many have come before me & many will come after me & it will all be ok.
2. My favorite line is: “Understand that if something goes wrong, 99% of the time only the planning committee is aware of it.” How true that is in my personal life as well. My biggest issues are more than likely only noticed by me! 😉
**UPDATE (5/5/17): This guideline was revised in 2014 & the changes are so substantial it went from 2 pages to now be 3 pages total. Listed below are a few update examples:
- There are 5 entirely new sections:
- Alateen Chairperson/Co-Chairperson
- Tips for Selection of Speakers
- Things to Consider
- Tips About Audio Recording (which addresses “multimedia outlets”)
- After the Convention
- Each committee section (except for “Co-Chairperson”) now ends with: “Submits regular reports to the committee.”
- The World Service Office’s (WSO’s) website address (www.al-anon.alateen.org) now appears for the first time on this guideline at the bottom of page 2.
- There are 5 entirely new sections:
As a now former Convention Co-Chair myself, overall, the tone of this major revision sounds like it was updated by someone that has actually chaired an Area Convention & dealt with all its wonderful idiosyncrasies. 🤪 It’s good to see a lot more topics addressed, such as the very important role of the Alateen Chairperson, “Members’ special needs,” maintaining anonymity online, & “A.A. participation.” By the way, I still love that favorite line I mentioned in my first review of this guideline regarding “99% of the time…” (see above).
If you’d like to see all the changes that were made, I’ve highlighted them on this 2014 Version of G-20.
***UPDATE (10/13/21): This guideline has been recently revised in 2021 & it has some slight changes which seem to be for clarification purposes & keeping up with the latest trends in technology. It’s worth noting that it has increased from 3 pages to now be 4 total but this is mainly due to extra spacing between the lines rather than an addition of lots of new text. Listed below are a few update examples:
- The phrase “open meetings” has been replaced with the new: “Families, Friends, and Observers Welcome meetings.” ++See note below…
- The word “district” is now capitalized.
- The word “web site” now appears as one word: “website.”
- The word “Internet” is no longer capitalized.
- Under the “Tips about Audio Recordings” section, any references to the outdated word “taper” have been replaced with the phrase: “recording company.”
- Both the shortened WSO website: al-anon.org – without the “www” prefix oh by the way – & the email address (email@example.com) now appear for the first time on this guideline at the bottom of page 2.
Maybe on future updates, anytime another guideline is referenced within the text, hopefully it will be a clickable link since WSO’s hyperlink addresses for the guidelines don’t change even though the documents behind them do. It would be nice to see these guidelines a little more interactive – just sayin’!
++Note: It’s interesting that a reference to the old phrase “Open Meetings” however still appears in the Anonymity section of this guideline where it references: “Anonymity at Open Meetings and Al‑Anon/Alateen Events” in the “Digest of Al‑Anon and Alateen Policies” section, of the Al‑Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P‑24/27).” I just checked the most recent “Version Two (2)” issue of the 2018-2021 Service Manual & yep, on page 100, it still has that same title. Perhaps in the next revision of the “Al‑Anon/Alateen Service Manual” as well as this G-20 guideline, the phrase “Open Meetings” will completely go away so as not to cause any confusion!
If you’d like to see all the changes that were made, I’ve highlighted them on this 2021 Version of G-20. And a clean, unmarked electronic copy of this new 2021 version can be downloaded directly from the World Service Office website by clicking this link: G-20 Guideline
****UPDATE (4/13/22): The brand new 2022-2025 Service Manual (Version 1 – oh by the way) is now available & the section title “Anonymity at Open Meetings and Al‑Anon/Alateen Events” on page 100 has now been updated to: “Anonymity at Families, Friends, and Observers Welcome Meetings and Al‑Anon/Alateen Events” so look for this new phrase in the next update of this G-20 Guideline!
*****BONUS CAL QUESTION: Not all references to the bygone phrase “Open Meeting” have been removed from the new 2022-2025 Service Manual just yet. Why is the outdated term still mentioned on pages 36, 43, & 61? (Hint: see item # G-27 that, as of 2022, hasn’t been updated since 2002!)