Online Retreat Tips for Zoom

Tips and Ground Rules:
How to get the most out of Serenity on the Sound 2022
The retreat is for adults 18 years or older only. Because of
the nature of our fellowships, we need to protect both
children and participants by making sure that no children
can see or hear retreat content, or be seen or heard in the
retreat sessions.

Before the retreat
You’ll receive a Zoom link one or two days before the event, and you’ll be able to join the event by just
clicking on that link. If you haven’t done so already, make sure Zoom is working on your device before the retreat starts. If you need help with that, contact a friend in recovery or send a note to and we’ll help you.

Does your name in your Zoom profile show up the way you want it to appear in the retreat? If not,
now’s the time to log in to and change it.

Remember to mute
Remember to mute yourself whenever you’re not speaking. The moderator may sometimes eliminate
background noise by muting participants. This is to help maintain the safety and flow of the meeting and
is not meant to be personal. Even if you are attending from a quiet space, audio feedback can occur, and
the accumulation of small noises from many quiet rooms can also make it hard to hear the content of a

Be aware of your video camera
Movements and unexpected visual images can be distracting and possibly even triggering.
Dress for your Zoom meeting the way you would for an in-person meeting. Think about the background
behind you. Is it appropriate for viewing? Try to stay still and be attentive. And turn off your video
sharing when:
 You’re moving your device
 You’re eating or drinking (unless that’s appropriate to the current program activity)
 You or anyone else who may enter the room is:
o Not dressed appropriately for company
o Doing any activity that might be triggering or distracting, such as moving around,
exercising, driving or walking with a mobile phone

 You’re taking a break (to avoid forgetting that the camera is on or other accidental sharing)

NOSA (No One Stands Alone)
NOSA members are available at any time to answer questions or provide help or support. NOSA’s
purpose is to promote a healthy and nurturing environment conducive to spiritual and emotional
growth and recovery. As recovering sex addicts and codependents of sex addicts, we are challenged with
sexual issues and are choosing today to bring boundaries and foresight into their lives as spiritual,
sexual, emotional, and physical beings. NOSA encourages you to seek help if you feel triggered,
uncomfortable or unsafe. NOSA volunteers with years of sobriety and with experience in peer support
are available to help address any concerns you might have or just lend a sympathetic ear. Just call or
text Dale E (206-356-4611) or Cheryl E (206-579-5474). They are both members of both SAA and COSA
who have served in NOSA for several years, and they will help you get what you need. If you’re having
trouble reaching them, try Charlie S (206-949-7643). If your concern requires action, typically two NOSA
team members will meet with you to decide what needs to be done.
See “A Special Note About Safety” at the end of this document for related information.

More ground rules and etiquette
The retreat is for adults 18 years or older only.
Avoid using the chat function to engage in crosstalk. Be sure to apply the same standards that you
would apply to whispering or making a side comment in a live setting. (SAA Online suggests, “During a
share, we do not interrupt, give advice, or engage in crosstalk. Please restrict gestures of support during
a share to two words or less.” defines crosstalk as “giving unsolicited feedback,
giving advice, responding or referring to another person’s share in the meeting, making you and we
statements, minimizing another person’s feeling or experiences, physical contact or touch, addressing
another person present by name when you are sharing. So, to help keep our meeting a safe place, we do
our best not to crosstalk or offer feedback in the meeting, instead we try to ‘learn to listen and listen to
learn.’ We work toward taking responsibility in our own lives, rather than giving advice to others.”)
If you do chat privately with someone, take extra care that your message doesn’t go to the whole group.
Replies in Zoom don’t work like they do in texting or email, where they just go to the sender by default.
In Zoom chat you need to select your intended recipient with your mouse pointer or other input
method, even in a reply; otherwise your message will go to everyone.
Honor the anonymity and confidentiality of other participants. Join from a private space, and be sure no
one else can see or hear your device.
Recording will be disabled for the entire retreat. Do not take any screenshots or try to record any
sessions. If you would like to obtain program content you may contact and we
will connect you with the presenter.
To preserve your own anonymity, if you are using the online interface (as opposed to joining by phone)
be sure to check your name in the Participants window and rename yourself there if necessary.

Environment and lighting

Participate in meetings from a quiet, indoor location to control ambient noise. Avoid settings where a
very bright light source is behind or beside you. Experiment with moving lamps and your camera until
you can see your brightly-lit face on the screen.
Take care of yourself
The schedule includes breaks of varying lengths, but we’re attending from several different time zones,
so we can’t schedule meal and rest breaks to accommodate everyone.
 Be present in your body and aware of what you need to be healthy and comfortable.
 Even at a live retreat, it’s common to skip a session here and there for self-care, solitude or
 Eat, hydrate, stretch, meditate and rest when you need to, but turn your camera off.
 Consider preparing meals and snacks ahead of time if you’re worried about missing something.
That said, resist the temptation to multitask in general. This is your time! Use it to refresh, connect and
learn! You’re worth it!
Make personal connections
One of the best parts of a retreat is the opportunities for fellowship it offers. You’ll see that the
program includes fellowship events and breaks.
You can use the private chat function of Zoom to exchange contact information with others. (But keep it
to a minimum or do it during fellowship or a break—you don’t want it to become crosstalk!) If you
share contact information, be mindful of your anonymity and safety. You may prefer to share your
email address rather than phone number, for example.
Be sure to read the “Special Note About Safety” at the end of this document.

Technical tips
If you are on a wireless connection, try to remain close to the wireless router. When you have the
option, choose a wired connection instead of wireless for video conferencing.
If you’re having trouble with your Zoom connection, try turning your camera off. That often reduces
bandwidth use enough to clear up technical issues.
You have options about how to arrange your screen. In the top right corner of your screen, selecting
‘Gallery View’ will display everyone in same-size images. ‘Speaker View’ highlights whoever is speaking
in a larger window in the middle of the screen.
There’s a limit on the number of attendees for each of our Zoom subscriptions. If you switch devices
during the event, be sure to sign out of the meeting on the device you’re not using to make room for
someone else.
It’s possible that a service disruption or some other malfunction might interrupt one of our Zoom
sessions.  If this happens, please just keep trying to sign back in to the Zoom meeting via the link you will
have received from our registration volunteer.
See below under “Zoom volunteers” about how to get technical support during a session.

Tips for participating by phone
You can easily unmute yourself when you’re ready to share by pressing Star-6 (6) or by pressing the mute button on your phone. If you would like to signal that you would like to speak next, Press Star-9 (9) to “raise your hand.”
Zoom volunteers
At most sessions there will be two or more Zoom volunteers. They will show up as hosts and co-hosts in
the Participants window. Among other duties, they will be on the lookout for people who have forgotten
to mute themselves, so don’t take it personally if they mute you when you’re not talking. They may also
use the Rename function in the Participants window to replace last names with initials for people who
have forgotten to do that themselves.
If you need Zoom help, you may send a private message to one of the Zoom volunteers by clicking on
‘manage participants’ and selecting the co-host from the list of members who are attending.