The History of Journeys Convention
The Journeys Convention was an idea that sprung from a Labor Day weekend event called “Campvention” that the Woods & Waters Area of N.A. put on in the mid 90’s. Campvention was held on a peninsula and island on Tomahawk Lake at Clearwater Camp, an exclusive summer girl’s camp. We lost the use that facility around 1998.
A group of service workers returning from a trip to Duluth, Minnesota in the spring of 2000 stopped at The Whitecap Mountai’s Ski Resort in Montreal, Wisconsin, located at the base of 3 mountains in the Penoke Mountain range. A beautiful, but basic, facility that is primarily a winter ski resort. We were looking for a facility to host the Wisconsin Regional Service Conference that September. It was on that day someone came up with the idea of the Woods and Waters Area having an annual convention. An 8 person ad hoc committee looked at the feasibility of such a small area in membership but massive in geography taking on such an undertaking. It was determined that it was not only possible but would provide us with an effective vehicle to expose the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous to people in our area that were unfamiliar with N.A., had misconceptions about our fellowship or might be more comfortable in N.A. than another fellowship. Additionally, it would bring into our Area the diverse membership that N.A. as a whole is made up of. It was felt that the only way it would work for us was to have a firm commitment in it’s continuance and find a location central to our Area that was large enough to accommodate us. We felt it important to have a “standing” convention, held in the same facility where the issue of orientating a new hotel every year was not present. We felt we could put on a really different type of convention by incorporating our outstanding natural resources thus giving the addicts who attend a real Northwood’s experience. We also felt in imperative it be held in early summer before the tourist season officially began to secure the facility commitment to continue and to offer our attendees much reduced off season rates. The first or second full weekend of June was determined to be the ideal time to hold it.
The first convention was held in 2001 was called WWCNA I (Woods and Waters Convention of Narcotics Anonymous) and was held at The Waters of Minocqua, a new in 2001, upscale hotel with an indoor water park attached. The problem with the Waters was, as a new facility, the rooms were very expensive and there was not a room big enough to handle the main speaker meetings, dances and banquet. This dilemma was solved by utilizing Lakeland Union High School’s auditorium and cafeteria. This required our attendees to travel across town to get to this facility. Additionally it was felt that the indoor water park and off water location did not represent that true Northwood’s experience we had intended to offer. The following year (2002) the convention was relocated to The Pointe Resort and Hotel, providing us with ample space to hold everything on site and the added benefit of being located on a peninsula on Lake Minocqua where we could run our on-water workshops right off the host facility’s grounds. In 2003 the name WWNAC was dropped and the name changed to become “The Journey’s Convention.” The Waters of Minocqua has continued to be our choice for alternative lodging as it is within walking distance of The Pointe and is of similar quality. The convention’s relationship with The Pointe Resort and Hotel has grown and they seem a part of our extended NA family. It seems like they get as excited about an upcoming convention as the committee does.