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The 2017 ARHE Collegiate Recovery Student Leadership Summit and Recovery Skiathon

As collegiate recovery program staff, we have the privilege and joy ofseeing the transformation that is possible when students have the support they need to be successful in recovery and their education. These students provide a beacon of hope to others on more college campuses every day.

Penn State CRC students and alumni on the ski lift

University of Colorado CRC
students and alumni

Over the past few years, students from the University of Colorado CRC and the Penn State CRC have had the opportunity to hang out together at a couple of recovery-related events. We saw how inspired they were by meeting  and experiencing an adventure together. We imagined what would happen if we could bring students from collegiate recovery programs around the country together for a student summit. As peer community leaders, these students are instrumental in helping other students on their campus – and are the main reason why collegiate recovery is so effective. They are all also working hard in their recovery and academics; they deserve all the support we can give them.

Given the rapid growth of collegiate recovery programs over the past decade, it seemed time for a national student summit.

February 2 through 5, 2017, the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) launched the first ever national Collegiate Recovery Student Leadership Summit and Recovery Skiathon in Keystone, Colorado. The event marked an important milestone in the collegiate recovery movement. There were 150 students from 25 colleges in attendance, along with six alumni, 20 program staff and 24 sponsors and other allies – making it the largest student-focused collegiate recovery event and largest group of students in collegiate recovery programs ever assembled.

Keynote Speaker Scott Strode, founder of Phoenix Multisport, with skiathon sponsors Bobby Ferguson of Jaywalker Lodge and Alpha 180 and Daniel Conroy of AIM House and the University of Colorado CRC.

Students referred to the summit as the “ARHE Skiathon.” However, this was so much more than a ski trip. A powerhouse lineup of speakers, leadership training and recovery-supportive programming were developed for the students, along with a wide range of social activities.

Throughout the weekend, the Keystone Lodge Lakeside Lounge served as home base. Groups of students could be found hanging out together in the lounge strumming the guitar, singing or playing interactive group games late into the night.

Ten recovery meetings of various formats were chaired by students from different schools during the summit. Sometimes meetings were as early as 7:30 a.m. before the lifts opened, and others after breakfast and later in the evening. The meetings were powerful, and the rooms were packed. Liz Burki led forty-five attendees in either a Candlelight Yoga or a Morning Yoga session during the weekend.

Side Note

Colleges that Attended:

University of Colorado – host school Penn State University – host school
Rutgers University The College of New Jersey
Boston College Temple University
Drexel University Villanova University
Florida Atlantic University Palm Beach State College
Kennesaw State University Vanderbilt University
Baylor University University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Tyler Texas Tech University
The Ohio State University University of Michigan
University of Nebraska Omaha Colorado State University
Gonzaga University Southern Oregon University
Oregon State University University of Oregon

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