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Spring or Fall? When to Schedule Your Church Retreat

Spring or Fall? When to Schedule Your Church Retreat

Wednesday, 06 July 2022 16:09

Planning a retreat for a youth group, church, or organization can be a challenging task. Whether you're planning a getaway weekend for relaxation and reflections or a session-filled spiritual retreat for your church group, there are a lot of factors to consider. One factor that needs consideration is the time of year the retreat will take place. 

It's difficult to find a time slot in which everyone in the group can attend. Everyone has a busy life, and some have tight schedules; therefore, planning the dates in advance is important. Tekoa Foothills has put together a few steps to help you find the perfect time to schedule a retreat.

When Is it a Good Time to Schedule a Retreat?

Some of the most popular seasons for hosting retreats include spring and autumn. These two seasons tend to be popular because the weather is ideal for outdoor activities, and they don't interfere with holidays or vacation time. Summer is potentially the worst time to plan a retreat. 

During the summer, many people have already planned other trips that take priority, and summer camps are usually in session. 

Regardless of where you host your retreat, it's likely to be crowded in the summer. May, June, September, and October are some of the best months to host a retreat because they are not during the spike of travel season and are usually less busy for people because these months occur before the holidays. 

At Tekoa Foothills, fall is our favorite season to plan a group retreat in the North Carolina mountains because of the changing colors of the leaves, stunning views, and cool, crisp mountain air.

Things to Consider When Planning a Group Retreat

1. Purpose

When planning your church retreat, start by determining your purpose. This will be helpful when choosing a facility to host your group’s retreat. 

You should consider your group’s needs, the goals you want the retreat to achieve, and things you want to include in the experience. After you’ve decided on your plan and purpose for the retreat, there are several key aspects to consider when selecting a facility. 

2. Location

Where is the facility located? You’ll want to choose a facility within a driving range that is reasonable for your group. However, it should be far enough away to avoid the temptation to go home during free time. 

The distance to the facility may be a drawback if group members drive themselves. If you are transporting your group, distance won't matter as much but be sure to consider transportation. Tekoa Foothills is about a 1.5-hour drive from Charlotte and Asheville. 

3. Accommodations

When planning a group retreat, ask yourself, “What type of facility best accommodates your housing preferences?”. There are numerous different types of facilities and amenities where you can host your group retreat. At Tekoa Foothills, we have a wide variety of lodging options for fall and spring, including:

  • Loy White Lodge

Loy White Lodge has a commercial kitchen, spacious living space, and dining space. This historic lodge is original to the property with a wood-burning fireplace, wrap-around porch, and bunk beds for sixty guests.

  • Ashbury Lodge

This lodge has an open floor plan, a large wood-burning fireplace, a fully furnished kitchen with utensils, and a gathering space. There is a front porch with rocking chairs and a private fire pit with benches, which can accommodate up to 28 guests.

  • Lakeside Lodge

This beautiful lodge offers hardwood floors, a spacious living room, a fully equipped kitchen, and a washer and dryer. It can accommodate up to 25 people. Outside, there's a covered porch with a view of the lake and a huge private fire pit nearby. 

  • Rustic & Creekside Campsites

If lodging isn't your preference, we have a number of campsites available, including a large, open field ideal for stargazing and secluded wooded areas. Camping along a creek is another relaxing option.

4. Food

As part of your planning, make sure you ask about food. Is food included in the camp’s rates, or is it an extra charge? Some camps/conference centers serve food in a cafeteria, while others serve it buffet-style. Others may have a server deliver your food to your table as if you were at a restaurant. 

Tekoa Foothills has plenty of dining options that can accommodate any group size. For guests staying at our campsites, you can rent one of our outdoor kitchen sets, which include utensils, fresh food, and ingredients delivered to you.

Group Retreats at Tekoa Foothills in Caser, NC

Tekoa Foothills is a United Methodist Summer Camp and Retreat Center located in Caser, NC. We are centrally located between the Charlotte area and the western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. Our mission is Touching Hearts, Changing Lives, and Sharing the Light of Christ.  

We offer a variety of unique options for your group retreat needs. For more information about our availability and rates for retreats, contact us.