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Make reservations between three months and up to one year in advance. Choose your first, second, and perhaps third choice for dates. Involve some of the proposed participants in setting goals and planning activities. They know their own needs and can be your best recruiters. Set realistic goals for the number of participants.

Start planning early.


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Decide what issues, needs or subjects will be addressed at the retreat. What will be gained by those who attend the retreat?

Identify your purpose.

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Plan activities.

Make sure planned activities fit the purpose. If time for personal reflection is needed, schedule accordingly. If improving cooperation and communication are objectives, you may want to arrange for some team building or low challenge elements.

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The setting will suggest many ideas. Our staff will give you a tour and brainstorm ideas with you, if needed. Ask about special services like hey! rides, bonfires, challenge course, canoeing, etc.

Know the place.

Your budget should include such as:

  • Site costs for room, food and other services as reserved.

  • Honorarium and expenses for outside leadership and program supplies.

  • Give-a-ways. (Some groups give special caps, bandanas, or t-shirts as mementos of the retreat.)

  • Add 10% for unexpected expenses or seed money for the next retreat.

  • Set fees accordingly.

  • Determine and communicate your policies about refunds and cancellations.

  • Determine your policy about scholarships.

Budget carefully.

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Promote your event by direct communication with the people who will benefit from attending. Well in advance:

  • Line up persons to call and invite potential participants.

  • Prepare a fun promotional skit for an assembly, church supper, or worship.

  • Hand out and mail invitations with application forms.

  • Announce the retreat weekly until all spaces are full.

  • Do not cancel because of low numbers.

  • Do the retreat with the remnant and make sure they have the time of their lives. They will come back so excited everyone will wish they had been there.

Promote the event.

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Plan and gather resources early and continue right up to the event. There will likely be surprises during the retreat so plan to be flexible but don’t lose sight of the goals.


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Be creative with your program but maintain some traditions which are meaningful to participants.

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Plan and prepare an evaluation process. How well were goals met? What was especially meaningful? What could be done better next time?

Start planning your next retreat now. Reserve space soon.

Your Next Retreat.

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