Was going to post about this weekend’s Life Group Retreat, but was happy to read more insight than I would have offered over on Phil’s blog. The idea for the retreat was a concentrated relational time with students and their Life Group leader. We had students from all classes present, but new groups and freshman/sophomore groups were the most likely to participate. My pitch to leaders was that while the event was optional, it would give them 24 hours with their students in one weekend, something they would be hard-pressed to do in a semester of group meetings. Here’s some of the insights on doing something similar, head there for lots more thoughts and logistics:
1. If we do it again I would rename it “Life Group Overnighter” or “Life Group Hangout” or something that gives a better indication of the low-key nature of the event and doesn’t encroach upon our programmed events (like Winter Camp and Summer Camp)
2. It is worth shopping around for hotels and a personal visit will help.
3. Check if the hotel has a rewards program.
4. When you submit the room list, request that girls and guys are on different floors.
5. As trip leader arrive hours earlier than the students/leaders, you will have to reorganize a few rooms around and fix a few errors.
6. Be proactive. I usually check with the front desk during the evening/night to see of there have been any problems. This gives a good impression and helps you head off any potential problems early.
7. Keep the programmed part of the event short. We met together and played a quiz that gave everyone the chance to in something for their group (ranging from a giant bag of popcorn to a deck of cards). Students will be hyped up to stay in a hotel so anything more than that will be tough. It’s just a chance to check everyone is ok.