Meet Me in St. Louis: 17th International Clubhouse Seminar

Posted on February 24, 2014

A week of stimulation is far too much of an understatement for Clubhouse International’s 17th seminar (17IS) held in the downtown quadrant of St. Louis, Missouri. From inspirational and vastly philosophical workshops to an eye-opening march of the worldwide clubhouse representatives, one thing’s for sure; the “dull” perspective of St. Louis is no more! On behalf of Clubhouse international, we’ve created “funky town.”

Lexis and Michelle pose under the iconic St. Louis arch. Though the travel for most of us was considered strenuous, it was all worth a bigger and brighter cause. Every two years, Clubhouse International hosts a conference that allows members and staff from various countries to represent their clubhouse in a productive way. They share their experiences with other clubhouse representatives for both informational and inspirational support. It was great to see that our “little world” wasn’t so little after all. Each day consisted of scheduled sessions, workshops, events, and meals. In my opinion, the workshops were the most meaningful because they served as accessible tutorials on generating a healthy and successful clubhouse. Workshops consisted of presentation topics such as building a new clubhouse, the accreditation process, building relationships, work ordered day methods, and much more.

In addition, we all understand the importance of the concept of the clubhouse. Finding out that Independence Center started out so small (physically and substance - wise) was both shocking and inspirational. We saw that with enough support and character, a seed can grow into a tree – hopefully a principle that means Fountain House Bronx can also expand one day.

Nothing to fear: the entire week wasn’t all work and no play. That would be against our motto for sure. We started to develop relationships with astounding people outside of our own towns. It wasn’t so hard to start a conversation. No matter how different we were, we all had at least one thing in common. And we were able to generate these relationships through events such as the introductory dinner held in the grand ballroom at the Hilton Hotel, the parade/march, which included a choreographed dance to Lipps, Inc. 1980 disco hit, “Funky Town,” and the grand farewell ball held on the last night of the conference. It was the beautiful icing on the 10-pound frosted cake!

No matter how bad things may seem in our personal lives, the 17IS served as a friendly reminder that we are all a part of a forest destined for greatness. So let’s get to digging, Fountain House. We’ve got more trees to grow!

Lexis G.
Member, Fountain House Bronx 

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