Fun Spring Retreat Planning Ideas
Shepherd’s Fold Ranch offers great spring retreat planning ideas for any youth group, church group, sports team or school group. Call the office to reserve a spot for your group today! 918-263-3622 www.shepherdsfoldranch.com
It is that time of year again. The time when the color returns, the temperature warms up and people begin to itch for the outdoors. What a perfect time to have a retreat! Retreats by their very definition are the act of withdrawing, as into safety or privacy; retirement; seclusion or a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy and are a critical part of living a healthy productive life! If you are a leader of any type of group (youth, school, sales team, sports, church, etc.) you might consider the value of having an retreat with your team. If you are interested in hosting your retreat at Shepherd’s Fold Ranch, we would love to help! We have been in business helping people encounter the fullness of God since 1972 and have lots of experience assisting groups achieve their goals. Take a look below for some tips and tricks to planning a fantastic retreat. As a wise person once said, “if you fail to plan– you plan on failing.”
1. Purpose: What is the purpose of the retreat? Is everyone coming just to have fun? Is this a time to unplug and pull away from our fast paced life? As the leader you should have a vision in your mind of what you want each retreat guest to experience. When defining your purpose you are defining WHY you need the retreat. Answering this question will also allow you the freedom to dream and plan exciting activities that support this idea. A great idea for a spring retreat is the idea of “New”. We celebrate the new life of Jesus Christ as believers and the earth honors this by bringing new life all around.
2. Activities: With the purpose nailed down now you can flesh out what activities you will do. Is your group competitive? Do they need mind blowing challenges just to keep them interested? Or would it benefit them more to focus on the powerful effects of prolonged silence in nature. There are a load of great ideas out there for games and activities, depending on what you need. We also have a great list of exciting challenges and activities that are sure to wow your group. When planning activities consider: who will be doing them (age, activity level tolerance, previous experience) how long will you be doing them (schedule is very important) where will you do them and what supplies do you need. It is best to type out all this information when planning to have a master list of all the info you need.
3. Food: Good food covers a multitude of sins. You can plan a poorly run retreat, but if the food knocks their socks off, that is what they will be talking about. This is not to give you permission to slack on the other preparations, but a push to make sure you have great meals! If you will be planning your own meals make sure you have enough people to plan the meals, cook the meals, serve the meals, and cleanup afterwards. When planning the meals it is a good idea to check any food allergies with you guests and make appropriate substitutions. Most retreat centers will also offer the option of full meal service. If you choose this option ask to see a menu for the retreat and go over any changes you would like. Understand there may be some additional charges for items not on the menu.
4. Staff: When planning your retreat is is extremely important to plan who will be your staff for the weekend. Are you planning on having a team to help set up, organize and clean up? Will there be a guest speaker? When answering these questions it becomes extremely important to remember if you are planning a youth retreat (any guests under 18) you need to have one adult leader to every seven youth. Most adults you could manage with less…. Most 🙂
When planning it is good to check with your retreat center what staff are available to you as well as the the level of service expected. At Shepherd’s Fold Ranch, every retreat group has their own personal host who is there to take care of any issues and provide whatever assistance is needed to make the retreat successful.
5. What is the Takeaway? What do you want your group walking away saying about the retreat? This should connect heavily with your original purpose of the retreat. The Takeaway should be some idea or action that your guests can add to their life. Like a preacher preparing his sermon your Takeaway needs to be a simple and easy to remember idea. Don’t settle for a cliche idea, but come up with one of your own. Make your retreat one of your purple cows.
If you are interested in learning more about retreats at Shepherd’s Fold Ranch and how we can craft a wonderful experience for your group contact us today.
There is more and more information about planning great retreats. Here are some of those links.
Sample Menus and Food Ideas
This post was thought of and written by Daniel Roberts, the Retreat Director and Marketing Manager at Shepherd’s Fold Ranch. Daniel also loves ultimate frisbee, his wife Whitney and all things associated with internet marketing and entrepreneuring.