Union Drama Fall Retreat
*As a Year Round Retreat Venue, Shepherd’s Fold hosts a variety of retreat groups.
Union high school is a nationally known school for their successful sports and academic programs, but little may be known about their theatre department. Troy Powell and Jessica Branston are the wonderful instructors for the students in 9-12th grade and have built an amazing program full of life, creativity and developed talent. Each year, we have the privilege of hosting their Drama and repertory theatre teams for a full day of fun, challenge and delicious food. This year I would like to talk about the program and schedule they use, in case you are interested in something similar!
As I have written about many times in the past, scheduling the day is one of the most important aspects to any retreat. With groups that attend at least annually these become second nature and are used solely at timeline tools. But, for new groups scheduling is a great way to develop the theme, main idea, and supply lists you need to plan a successful retreat. If you need any help with this step of the process I am more than willing to spend some time with you to figure out an action plan.
9:15am Group Welcome in the Eagles Nest
1pm Break out time with groups (Teacher led)
6:30pm Smores at Briggs Park
Union Drama usually plays kickball for a couple of hours, but after years of lopsided teams they wanted to try something that might level the playing field a bit… ALL CAMP CAPTURE THE FLAG! So I went to work drawing up the maps, planning the rules and getting the proper equipment for 90 people to play capture the flag for two hours. One of the best parts of our customer service here at Shepherd’s Fold is our staffs’ willingness to do whatever is required. I planned the event, and the group host facilitated it. It was a big success and really fun to watch. We even set up one of the students with our Go Pro camera on a head mount to capture some of the action.
The other part of the programming we provided was a couple hours of low ropes development. The goal of this time was to give the students some bonding time in the contexts of some creative activities. As a Low Ropes Group Facilitator our challenge is planning activities that meet the needs and expectations of our guests and this begins in the planning conversation to establish boundaries, expectations, etc. After that has happened we go into research and planning mode. Identifying the progression of activities in the context of the time allotted. For this group we planned three activities to be done in a rotation of 45 minutes. We had three separate groups of 30 each led by an SFR staff person. After the retreat the leaders said they thought everything went really well and they enjoyed the activities.
The SFR Effect:
We always strive to provide the best service possible for our guests and want to go above and beyond any expectation that we can so I like to ask, “what is the SFR effect for this group?” when I plan the activities, communicate with the staff and evaluate our service. For Union the SFR effect came in the form of planning the Capture the Flag and setting up one of their kids with the GoPro cam. We could have taken it s step further if we had a way to show the footage in fast forward on a screen during lunch, but we did not have the technical capabilities. Needless to say, this was not a huge effect, but I do believe this attention to detail affects our guests perception of our service. Also, most recently we have had the pleasure of hiring a fantastic cook named Kathie Johnson who owns her own catering company called “Just a Bite”. This quality of food definitely adds the SFR Effect.
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