Tips for Planning the Perfect Summer Youth Retreat

Monday, June 24, 2019
Church groups around the country are gearing up for a summer youth retreat. Kids look forward to it with great expectations of having time away from home and with their friends, but it’s up to you as a youth minister to see to it that they have a safe time away. Of course, you’ll want to keep them busy so that they aren’t likely to wander off, but you’ll also want to give them a chance to do all the introspective activities that are a vital part of any retreat. So how do you go about planning an event like this? Here are some tips which will get you started. 

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Start Planning as Early as Possible
One of the biggest mistakes so many youth counselors make is to leave off planning to the last minute. Ideally, planning should begin at least a few months before the retreat, but some church groups start their planning the year before so that they can book the lodging they need and ensure that there is time to raise any money that might be needed for the trip. Whether camping out or staying in a lodge, there will be costs associated, so the earlier you start planning the better. Also, if it’s a popular location for a youth retreat, it may be booked for the week you want if you wait too long.

Enlist the Help of Adults in Your Congregation
As mentioned, you will want to plan for ample activities to fill in times between sessions. The object of the retreat is to grow stronger in their faith and to realize just who they are as young people on their journey toward adulthood. Enlist the help of members in your congregation for the planning stages, as well as those who might volunteer to be chaperones on the trip. Just be careful on who you take along. If you don’t know the adult well, make sure to screen them before leaving them in a position to be alone with vulnerable youths. This is vitally important in today’s world, sad to say.

Choose a Place of Solitude
It was also mentioned that kids need time for quiet reflection in between activities. Have you considered a beautiful lakeside lodge with cabin rentals MN is highly proud of? Pelican Lake Orr is one of those idealistic fishing and boating lakes that are favorites among retreat groups. The scenery is beautiful and if you can book a cabin that sleeps at least a dozen kids, you’ll have everything you need right there. Camping is fun but a lot of work, which takes away from time which could be spent on matters of faith and formation. Why not a place like Pelican Lake where the kids can boat, fish or simply look out on the water as a place of quiet for times of reflection?

The key to planning an amazing youth retreat is to start early, enlist the help of trusted adults and find a place where the kids won’t be distracted by the outside world. Get those three things right and the rest will fall into place quite nicely.

20 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great idea. I think it can also apply to a retreat for girls too.

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  2. Also I was young, not that now it is not xD, and I made holidays in groups and with friends and it's not all just nightlife ... in fact! Great idea!

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  3. We aren't into the church life, but we do like getting away! I have put my kids in camps before, and they liked them.

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  4. It is always important to plan early! Any trip or vacation seems to go much more smoothly when it is planned in advance.

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  5. I think one should always pack lightly for such occasions. Also choosing a place of solitude is a nice idea.

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  6. These are all excellent tips. I agree with Jessi above, it just makes sense to plan early. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. It is always a great idea to get away from it all and get together as young people at least once a year. This is not only good for youth but also every age group. It leads to inspiration and camaraderie.

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  8. I am such a planner! I love that others are too! it gives me such ease!

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  9. Choosing a good spot is vital. You definitely don't need distractions getting in the way!

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  10. While I am not a part of a church you have great tips for any getaway. Choosing a place of solitude is my favorite.

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  11. I don't go to church, but I think a retreat is a fabulous way to get away from it all.

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  12. I never went to any church retreat or any sort of away camp or anything like that! I wish I had!

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  13. What a fab idea for an organised trip. Hopefully the tips will come in handy and help a few people

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  14. Boating lakes are our one of the favourite place for retreat.

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  15. Some great tips there for an organized trip!

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  16. This is certainly my favorite type of activity. It gives you peace, mindfulness and relaxation. Those tips are all accurate and will do a lot of help.

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  17. Being organized and picking the right location is really important for the perfect relaxing summer

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  18. This remind me of the church camp that I joined last month. I was preparing all my stuff the day before and it was quite a rush moment for me. But overall everything went well too.

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  19. I used to take trips like this when I was in our local youth group. The experiences are amazing and the memories are a blessing. (Rena)

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  20. Thank you for sharing this <3 Hope someday you will visit Vietnam as a destination. Then I recommend you Halong bay tour from Hanoi Hope to meet you soon, see ya <3

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