How To Plan A Retreat



There are lots of reasons why retreats happen, while many seek to strengthen their relationship with God, some consider retreats to find something meaning and replenish their souls. It’s a way to pause and take a step back from life in a peaceful and nurturing environment. Some schools or businesses provide retreats for their students/clients for their own reasons while some others prefer to do it alone. Here are the steps to plan your own retreat.

Step 1: Define your goal

Ask yourself on why you’ll be having this retreat or why your group needs it. What do you want to achieve at the end of it? What’s your objective? It’s important to have a clear goal in mind because this will put direction in your retreat and lead you to a successful one.

Step 2: Consider how many people would attend this retreat

In any out of town activity, headcount is important so you could carefully plan everything from venue, lodging, to food and transportation. This will also help you assign people for logistics and make your planning a lot easier.

Step 3: Choose a name and the theme

Decide the theme first. Themes can be based on anything, is it about feminism? Bible verses? Soul searching? Anything you think you or your group needs. Then name it base on the theme. Giving your retreat a unique name can motivate more people to come. Don’t name it as simple as “Group 1 retreat” go for something unique and interesting like “Moving On Retreat” or “Dealing With Life Retreat” will surely sound interesting and catchy. Even if you prefer to do it alone, it’s still best to name your retreat to keep it interesting.

Step 4: Decide the time-span

Retreats can happen in a day, a week or even longer if you wish! If you’re going with a group, it’s better to make it around 3-4 days so it doesn’t require too many days off from work and it’s the average length of time when it comes to traveling, camping and other activities. This also depends on your goals and what you want to achieve.

Step 5: Choose a date

Committing to a date is not easy especially if you’re going with a big number of people. Have a meeting with them and find out which date best fits them. Don’t just decide immediately for your convenience, think about everyone who will go so they can all commit and come without hesitation. Also, give them time to file their leaves at work.

Step 6: Choose a venue

There are many retreat centers in the corner but make sure to choose the right one base on your goals, number of people and time-span. Also, look for the most peaceful one you can find, away from the city and distractions like a retreat house in Tagaytay, where the cool breeze and green environment can make your retreat experience more comfortable.

Retreats are meant to find balance in life as well as replenish one’s thinking, feelings and even strengthen your faith. Retreats can be done even if you don’t have any religion at all, its big purpose is to take a breath and gain something meaningful. Of course, what you had in your retreat should not be left behind, always remember your goals, experience and learnings and try to do it at least once a year. Have a happy retreat!

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Tess Gabut

About Tess Gabut

Tess Gabut is the Consultant and Operations Manager of Villa De Oro (VDO) – Tagaytay. Aside from managing VDO, she also teaches Human Resource Development, Cost/ Systems Control in an academe in Las Pinas City. You can follow her at Google

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