OSAT exists "To provide a clean and sober environment for members of 12-step recovery groups and their families and friends to participate in outdoor and social events in the spirit of recovery, conservation, ecology and stewardship."
Monthly OSAT Club meetings are usually held on the second Wednesday of the month (except July and December) at 7:30pm at the Congregational Church of Mercer Island. Club meetings directly follow the BOTS meetings at 7pm. The meetings are held in classroom #1, upstairs off of the west wing of the sanctuary balcony.
The Congregational Church of Mercer Island
Mercer Island, WA, 98040
BOTS Meeting Notes, Club Meeting Minutes, and Treasurer Reports are stored in the Club Business Forum.
Visitors and new members are encouraged to come to the club meetings to meet club members and learn more.
Over the years OSAT has held as many as four weekly AA meetings concurrently. All of them are held in wilderness settings. Some of the meetings are suspended or move indoors during the winter, but there has been at least one outdoors OSAT AA meeting every week since the first meeting on Tiger Mountain in April, 1991. Refer to the OSAT-AA page for information about current OSAT AA meetings.
The first AA meeting chose the the name One Step At A Time, and at an organizational meeting the following month it was decided that a club would be established with the same name, in respect of AA Tradition Six which states that "secondary aids to AA, such as clubs which require property or administration, ought to be incorporated and so set apart that, if necessary, they can be freely discarded by the groups." The OSAT club was organized because the activities of the group were not limited to 12-step meetings, and involve some inherently dangerous activity, such as mountain climbing, which therefore required a way to insure that only qualified people were allowed to participate in technical activities. This potentially goes far beyond the "desire to stop drinking" membership requirement for AA. The club also owns a small amount of equipment.
In 1993, Jim Hinkhouse, who carried virtually all of the organizational responsibility for OSAT up until then, as well as many of the administrative duties, asked the club to establish a more-or-less formal board. This group, originally the "Board of Servants" or BOS, worked toward establishing OSAT as an independent, self-perpetuating entity.
The five-member board, now known as the Board of Trusted Servants (BOTS) in reference to AA tradition that "...our leaders are but trusted servants...", is elected for overlapping two-year terms to oversee the operation of the club in accordance with its by-laws. Board members serve without compensation to oversee the well-being of the club. Standing committees were formalized to administer the climbing course, publications, finances, and social and outdoor activities.
Jim Hinkhouse presented a proposal to the February 1994 club meeting that included additional organizational responsibilities for the Board of Servants (BOTS). The BOTS' organizational proposal discussed included, as the first mentioned BOTS responsibility, the development and submittal to the full membership for approval a statement on the mission (purpose and objectives) of OSAT.
The original BOTS drafted by-laws which were subsequently adopted in 1994. OSAT was organized as a Washington nonprofit corporation in 1995, and was subsequently recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as exempt from federal income tax as an organization described in section 501(c)(3). As required by Washington State corporation law, the current bylaws are filed with the Washington State Secretary of State. They have been amended by vote of the membership several times over the years, most recently in 2018. A copy of the current OSAT Bylaws is available at this link.
Several people have expressed interest in starting OSATs in other areas, including New England, British Columbia, and Alaska. If you are likewise inclined, e-mail email@example.com requesting additional information to help you get going.