Planning a camp or retreat is exciting, stressful, and rewarding wrapped up in one big package. There are many important elements to consider to plan an event and execute it without a hitch. While arranging the perfect speaker, praise and worship team, themes, games, and ideas it is important not to let these 3 often underrated things be forgotten.
The Importance of Small Group Sessions
Small group sessions are recommended for any style retreat whether it be youth, women’s, men’s, or couples. Small group sessions provide a leader guided conversations that goes along with the event’s theme. These sessions are more interactive and dive much deeper into the Word and practical life applications that the event speakers are covering with your retreat theme. By taking in small groups, you can get to know your fellow Christians better, and it allows for people who may have a hard time public speaking to open up and partake in the conversation.
Downtime Is Just as Important as Activities
Planned activities such as games, crafting times, and excursions are wonderful and needed, but sometimes we can underrate the importance of downtime. Especially in adult retreats, downtime is not only recommended it is essential! The truth of the matter is as adults we already have very busy schedules with regular everyday life, and a very busy retreat isn’t really relaxing. By planning downtime into your events you allow people’s minds to rest, relax and renew.
We All Like a Good Gift
Have you ever been to a retreat and come home empty handed? While it isn’t the end of the world this usually results in the event being thought about less or even forgotten faster in the days, weeks, and months after it ends. A good way to combat this is to provide some sort of gift or gift bag to all your guests. The cost is usually minimal and can even be offset in your signup fees. Simple gift bags with mints, tissues, note taking materials, and a small gift such as a scented candle are a great place to start. That way every time an event guest lights the candle in their house they can reflect on their time at the camp or retreat. Another personal favorite to many are event themed T-shirts. Wearable gifts such as T-shirts are great for three reasons. One, they serve as a reminder of their time at camp. Two, they are good conversational pieces and can spark an outreach moment. Three, they promote Christian community and look good in group pictures.
In short, never underrate the power of small groups, downtime, and a small gift for your guests at your next event. By focusing on these commonly underrated things at your camp or retreat, you can ensure success, more engagement, and longtime memories to be made.