1. Determine Place & Date of Event (Several Months Prior)
a. Ideas for location: State Park Lodge – Good pricing and facilities are usually scenic and more “retreaty-like”, Christian Campgrounds – Will often accommodate use from youth groups with use of facilities and staff if needed
b. Time of Year Ideas: Beginning of School year to promote unity of new members, During Winter Break – Longer time provide opportunity to travel farther and more time without missing school, Holiday Weekend – Holiday weekend gives students extra day so homework is not an excuse for not attending (ex. President’s Day, Labor Day)
2. Choose Theme and Direction
a. If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time – Choose a theme based on God’s direction and His Word. Pray and led God lead you. Whether it is unity, worship, or discipleship, you need to know what the purpose of your trip is. Otherwise, it is just a glorified vacation away from your families. Use this time to build your group spiritually!
3. Be Organized
a. Budget your trip – from speaker costs to bug spray
b. Provide Notebooks/Schedules – Give your students opportunity to journal, discuss, and know what to prepare for next
c. Structure your time wisely – Don’t just have session, free time, devotion, free time, etc. Be purposeful with your time.
4. Enjoy it!
a. If you are like me, you tend to try to follow the schedule and forget you are ON A RETREAT!
b. Be organized, but also use this time to disciple, hang out, and be a friend to those that need it.
If you have thoughts or additions, let me know. I can always use more ideas!