Recovery shouldn’t be about denying yourself experiences — it should be about experiencing everything fresh, new, and differently. That’s why we love this story from one of our student reporters at WelcomeHome, M.

Going to Potlatch is a magical time for the students of WelcomeHome. The week prior, leadership plans every detail from a skeleton crew to run the store, to what kind of chocolate will go on the S’mores. The excitement built up until we left the store early, at 5 on Saturday AM, and loaded the vans and one-ton truck full of supplies for the weekend. We arrived at Horseshoe Bay and loaded up the water taxi. It was this moment the trip seemed real to me, and familiar, like I was going home. This was my second year going to Potlatch. When we hit land, we were greeted by the friendly staff of Camp Potlatch, including some new faces, and familiar ones who also recognized us. We had just got settled into our cabins when the dinner bell rang. It was perfect–  hotdogs, burgers, fries, and Darren’s “Graduation Dessert”! Darren gave a speech, leading me to reflect on all the times we have spent together. The night ended with a campfire, more advancements, and then juicy S’mores. I helped put out the fire and crawled into my sleeping bag. Camp Potlatch 2013 Day two, we got  into groups to work on projects. We split firewood, made a rock-climbing wall, did landscaping, and leveled-out cabins and the water tower, and more. I learned valuable skills, and it felt good to help. Then we had some free time, and I headed straight for the water with a kayak. When I am on the water, I feel at peace with the world and myself. After that? Steak-and-chicken dinner, campfire, hot chocolate, bed! Day three, we wrapped up our projects and prepared for the journey home. We cleaned out our cabins, wrapped up our sleeping bags, and waited on the dock for the water taxi, while getting some sun. Of all the things we’ve done at WelcomeHome, Potlatch is one of the most inspirational and eye-opening. I found myself wondering, “Maybe I should volunteer there for a summer…” Well, all the students would like to give a big thanks to everyone involved in helping make Potlatch a wonderful sober memory, and one I will never forget.