Steps for Planning a Successful Retreat
Step One: Choose a Date
If the first decision is to have a fall retreat, the second decision to make is choosing a date or at least a few dates, so you have the flexibility to choose your venue. Why choose a date early?
- Choosing a date sooner allows you more time to talk to your people and settle on the right date.
- Choosing a date early helps ensure the maximum amount of retreat center choices.
- Choosing a date early gives you and your team more time to plan.
- Choosing a date early often locks in the best rates.
- Choosing a date early gives you the best chance at the top accommodations at the retreat center of your choosing.
For those who already have a date in mind, you can reserve our facilities online here.
Step Two: Arrange Accommodations, Transportation, and Food
Once you have your date, you need to make arrangements regarding accommodations and transportation. Many groups will be trying to book the same venues and vehicles as you.
How to Choose a Retreat Facility
Here are some questions to answer to help determine what type of retreat facility you want to reserve:
- Do you want the beach or the mountains?
- Do you want the retreat center to handle programming, or will your team be taking care of planning activities?
- Do you want to bring your own food or have a facility that provides meals?
- What type of activities do you want to do?
- How far do you want to travel?
For those searching for a conference center within a relatively short drive of Raleigh, Charlotte, Greenville, Knoxville, Asheville, and Atlanta, here is a list of the available activities at Camp Tekoa Retreats.
Arranging Retreat Transportation
Your church or organization may already have a bus or van, so renting may not be a concern. If you are renting vans, the sooner, the better. Large passenger vehicles get booked quickly. Regardless of what vehicles you use, you’re going to need drivers and volunteers. If you are planning a youth retreat, it is wise to have at least two adults per vehicle.
Step Three: Choose a Theme
While it may seem that this should be the first step, choosing a venue and arranging food is more time-sensitive. When it comes to determining a theme, you can take time to pray, talk with leaders, and let God guide you to the theme that will have the most impact on your people.
Step Four: Establish Your Schedule
You can work on your theme and schedule simultaneously, but you want to have them settled as soon as possible. Some tips for scheduling include:
- Make the most of the facilities you’re renting.
- Remember to schedule plenty of time between activities. Your guests may need to return to their rooms to change and, of course, need time to navigate the campus.
- Remember to schedule plenty of time for meals. That should include preparation and cleaning, especially if you are cooking yourself.
- Schedule some downtime. You might include some semi-structured downtime for individual Bible study and prayer.
- A solid schedule that leaves some room for flexibility is key.
Step Five: Start Recruiting Volunteers
Whether you are planning a youth or adult retreat, you need to put the right volunteers in place to ensure you have the help you need. Your volunteers should be enthusiastic about the retreat, flexible, and open to taking directions.
That said, you want to make sure your volunteers have fun at the retreat and get to enjoy the facilities.
Step Six: Advertise Your Retreat
As soon as you have a date and theme, you can begin advertising your retreat to your target audience in earnest. College students may be more available to make last-second decisions than adults and families. School and athletic schedules fill up quickly, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get your event in front of people.
Step Seven: Pray
It is easy to get caught up in the stress of planning a retreat that you forget the reason for it. Don’t forget to spend time praying for God to move and help your attendees be embraced and for their hearts to be nourished.
If you are planning a fall retreat, consider Camp Tekoa for a fun mountain conference center. We have a full slate of fun activities, excellent accommodations, and are surrounded by the great outdoors. Contact Tekoa Retreats for more information.