How to Plan an Amazing Retreat
When it comes to planning an amazing retreat, it is important to set realistic expectations to ensure that you don't get ahead of yourself by trying to go “full send” when you should be focusing on the needs of the group.
With all of that in mind, we have come up with a variety of tips and tricks to help you plan your next retreat. We have been doing this for decades and have seen a variety of successful retreats. More often than not, they all have these things in common.
1. Setting a Purpose
While it may seem like a lot of fun to just gather a bunch of your friends, family, or coworkers and drive down to the nearest retreat center to host a retreat, it's unlikely to be very successful. It is vital to the health of your retreat to have some sort of purpose or theme in mind. This purpose can be anything but should be well thought out.
If you are hosting a religious retreat, it is important to prayerfully consider the purpose of your retreat. What kind of issues do you want to tackle? Is it a songwriting retreat for your worship team? Are you hosting a men's retreat? By dialing in what exactly you are doing, you can be more effective at hosting an impactful retreat.
On the flip side, corporate retreats can be just as powerful. Corporate retreats are a great opportunity to bring your team together to define your company's goals, mission, and company culture. This is a great way to improve morale and motivate your team. Corporate retreats can pay dividends when a purpose is set.
Once you have come up with a purpose for your retreat, it's time to start figuring out how this event is going to happen. Logistics are a huge part of planning for a retreat and will likely take up most of your time.
Figuring out when and where a retreat will be hosted is the first step, and with busy schedules, it is important to get this taken care of as soon as possible. Retreat centers often stay booked out, and with work and families, it's not necessarily easy to get everyone on the same page. However, once you do, nail down that date!
In addition to when and where, pricing is a huge factor, especially with our current economy; figuring out a budget and finding ways to help with the cost (especially when it comes to youth events) should be a big factor when planning a retreat. There are retreat centers across a wide variety of price ranges, so finding the one for your event should be easy.
3. Put Together a Solid Team
If you are holding a more complicated retreat, this is especially crucial. It is vital to have a strong team that can divide the tasks involved in planning and managing an event. Gaining the support of volunteers who share your retreat's objective may go a long way. Retreat planning may take a lot of time because there are so many factors to take into account.
Having assistance with organizing daily activities for the retreat, as well as marketing and fundraising efforts, would be a terrific idea. The stress of managing the numerous aspects of retreat preparation can be a hefty load to bear, even if it can be done with an army of one. Find people you can trust who are skilled in areas where you are not, and you will be set up for success.
4. Activities Galore
Your retreat should be engaging and memorable. One way to achieve an unforgettable retreat is by going all out when it comes to activities. These activities should be inspired by your team and carry over into your programming throughout the day. There are a variety of fun activities that you can easily host that can foster team building and leadership. Some of these include:
- Scavenger Hunts
- Icebreaker Games
- Team Building Exercises
- Team Workouts
Armed with a solid list of planned activities can go a long way when planning an engaging retreat.
5. Integrate Structure
Whatever the length of the retreat you are organizing, maintaining a balanced itinerary is crucial. The structure of your retreat is crucial for bringing people together because it relieves anxiety about the future and promotes a great deal of freedom.
There is usually no need for more than two big group sessions each day during retreats. Between those, there ought to be plenty of time for activities, break-out sessions, and just hanging around. It's crucial to respect your visitors and their time because retreats are meant for learning and relaxation rather than working.
6. Long-Term Value
Last but not least, retreats shouldn't be experiences that a visitor leaves with little to no value. Even tiny adjustments should be life-changing on a retreat. Most of the time, your visitors are seeking a moment to concentrate their attention on topics that are important to them.
The various jigsaw pieces that go into organizing a retreat should promote both individual and group growth, and if you prepare with those goals in mind, you can, too, conduct an outstanding retreat.
If you are looking for an amazing venue for your next retreat, Tekoa Foothills is a perfect choice. Located in Caser, North Carolina, Camp Tekoa offers everything you could ever need for your next retreat.