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Why Plan a Retreat for your Church or Group......

Posted by Jess Schload

Jun 14, 2015 9:17:36 AM

Planning a retreat is a tough job. You need to decide to do it, choose a leader, plan marketing to get folks hope_and_rogerto come, set a budget, and price for the retreat, pick a site, take registrations, plan a schedule and more. As one who works at a retreat center, I am always amazed at the folks who take this task on, usually with no training, and pull it off very well.

But, why? Why do you want to even go through all this work? Most retreat leaders I talk to plan retreats for two basic reasons.

  1. They had wonderful experiences at a retreat and want to share that with others.
  2. They want to make a difference in people’s lives. They want to help their church grow in faith.

It is a lot of work to plan a retreat, but it is worth the effort. Think of a time when you saw a change in a person’s life at a camp or retreat. Or a time when you sat in a worship service with a group of folks you just spent a wonderful couple of days with, and knew you were a stronger person, that you would be different when you went home. Remember that time when someone told you how tired they were, burned out on life, work, or God, and a time away in a beautiful space turned them around.

Retreats are what the word implies. They are a time to get away. To remove yourself from the everyday toClick this box to  begin planning your  next retreat or conference be with a group of other like minded people and center on a special topic or theme. To think of nothing but your life with God, or your spouse, or the group you are with. Retreats have many purposes, from training, to spiritual growth, to rest and renewal. However, no matter the purpose, the time apart is valuable and needed by many. In today’s “connected” world, we all need to disconnect once and a while if we are going to be whole.

Why plan a retreat? Because you can make a difference in your and other people’s lives. You can help people grow. You can help your organization or church be stronger. You can have fun with the group who attends. When a military leader yells “retreat!”, the troops leave the heat of the battle for safety. When you offer a retreat, you offer a time to get away from the heat of life. That is why planning a retreat is time well spent. Let us at LEC know if we can help. Check other blogs in this series for ideas. Look for books and websites on retreat planning. Begin today to make a difference. You will not regret it.

Rev. Jess Schload, Director, jess@lecretreats.org

Check out our website at www.lecretreats.org

Get fore information at http://www.lecretreats.org/request-a-quote

 

 

 

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Topics: Spiritual Growth, Retreat and Conference Planning, retreat in Florida, retreat, retreat alone, planning women's retreat

To Volunteer at the Life Enrichment Retreat Center

Posted by Jess Schload

May 22, 2015 12:46:00 PM

There are many ways to give your time to a vital ministry that helps change people's lives. We are happy to work in any of the following ways with you (or your group). Want to give some time? Consider:

1. If you are here with a group retreat and would like to offer your help during some free time, just check at the front desk. Or better yet, let us know before you arrive. We always have small projects on the grounds, in the office, or many other possibilities. Just ask!

2.Come for a day: We need folks willing to give a day, or a day a month, week, etc. Call or email (352-787-0313 or info@lecretreats.org) to see how you can be a part of helping this ministry grow.

3. Bring a group from a church. We recently had a great group of folks from North Carolina. Another group2015-04-15_16.08.31 has come twice from Iowa. Sometimes a local church gets a group together to come for a day, or to help do a project. Think about a group coming from your chruch.

4. Drop in: Do you have an RV and like to serve. Consider dropping in to give a few days to several weeks of service. We are happy to provide a full hook-up site for your time. Just give us a call or write, and we will set it up (352-787-0313 or info@lecretreats.org)

5. Workamper: We have a wonderful group of folks who come for a winter season (3 months or more) to serve in our ministry. We ask 24 hours of service a week for a full hook-up site in our RV campground. Sorry, we do not have any other housing options. Interested in this opportunity. Let us know and we will get you an application. 

Our volunteers help with programs, dining, maintenance, grounds, hospitality and more. 

We recently talked with Jan and Phyllis Wilson, who have been workamping here for several years. Read on to learn about their experience.

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Jan and Phyllis Wilson have volunteering in their hearts. Since retirement they have served at no less than 6 volunteer positions including Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International and local opportunities (Ft. Dodge, IA). A few years back, they discovered the Life Enrichment Center online (praise God for Google) and decided to check with us about volunteer options. Since coming to LEC it is clear this has been a wonderful match for LEC and for the Wilsons. They are quick to tell others that “LEC is an awesome place to have an opportunity to serve. It is a wonderful Christian atmosphere, where each day starts with devotions. The other volunteers are very special people and we are privileged to have them as friends”.

Picture1Jan points out that the location is a special place. “I sometimes go out with my camera on a Sunday and that helps me be more observant”. He sees God in a hawk or a wonderful tree that fell years ago, but still survived. Phyllis adds that the blessing of volunteering here goes two ways. They are a blessing to LEC, and the place and people are a blessing to them. Jan and Phyllis have been responsible for much of the improvements to the grounds, including the  front entrance, flowers by the front office, and cleaning up of the labyrinth. All of us at LEC are so grateful for Phyllis and Jan and all our workampers.

 

 

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Topics: Retreat and Conference Planning, retreat in Florida, United Methodist Church, volunteer, work Camping, workamping, volunteer retreat center, RV volunteer programs

I Am Planning A Retreat - How Much Will It Cost?

Posted by Jess Schload

Aug 22, 2014 6:00:00 AM

One of the first questions people ask when checking with us (or any site) about doing a retreat is “what will it cost?” I have noticed in recent years, with the downturn in the economy we experienced, people not only ask that question, but often ask about any way to reduce the fees. I fully understand this concern.

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People today are concerned more than ever where their hard earned income goes. If someone is going to spend what it cost to attend an event or conference, they want to make sure it will be money well spent. The old question “what is in it for me?” is many people’s guide to saying yes or no.

When deciding the fee you will charge for a retreat, you need to take a number of things into account.

  1. Cost of food and lodging at the site.
  2. Other site costs
  3. Costs for a leader(s) to guide the time.
  4. Cost for materials needed for the event.
  5. Transportation costs (if you are providing a bus or other means of transportation).
  6. Marketing costs.
  7. Miscellaneous costs (always build a bit of this in for all the things you can not anticipate early in the process).

Both the site used and you need to work together to make sure the event is worth the hard earned money the attendees will spend to attend. The site will provide the services and space. As a site, our mission is to make this place ideal for people to come and grow in faith or other ways depending on your goals. We seek to have beautiful and peaceful grounds, activities for free time, outstanding meals, and comfortable lodging. We seek to match your event to the best meeting space possible to meet your needs. All we want you to be concerned with is the program. We will have your back on all the other services.

So, how much does it cost? Every site is different. There are very low cost options, and those that will be higher. You could choose a summer camp as your site, but be ready for bunk beds (up to 8 in a room), the need to bring your own bedding, and the use of a public bathroom (plus they may have a more kid friendly menu for their food service). For many groups, this is no problem.

Other sites offer private and semi private rooms, each with a bathroom and linens provided. This will, of course, cost a bit more. Many adults insist on these comforts. When getting a price from a center, make sure you know what it includes (or does not include). Most centers will price per person. Find out the following for starters.

  1. Is this a price for the entire event or the daily price?
  2. Are the meals included?
  3. Are linens included?
  4. Is the meeting space included?
  5. Are audio visual items available and what do they cost?
  6. What are extra charges we might have? (An example from our site would be catering beyond the meals, or canoeing, both which are not included in the rates).

Growing In Faith With Life Enrichment Center

 

Also, never book a site without a site visit. A place that looks wonderful on the website may have a totally different look and feel in person. Most sites are happy to have you come and see the place. If you are unable to do this, recruit someone to do it for you. You will be glad you did.

Cost of an event like this is important. It is a major factor in planning. But it is not the only factor, and the cheapest may not always be the best option (but it may be as well). As you consider planning a retreat, you will also need to consider other questions like:

  1. What am I trying to accomplish or what is my goal for this event?
  2. What will be the theme?
  3. What am I looking for in a site?
  4. Who will be invited?
  5. How will this be financed?
  6. Who can be the leader?
  7. What is the best date?
  8. How many days(nights) should this be?

Watch here for more articles on this subject. We, as are other conference centers, are here to help you. Most sites have a dedicated person who is assigned to work with you throughout the planning.  For us it is Connie, and she can be reached at 352-787-0313 or cbartos@flumc.org. Want to know what it costs? That depends on your needs. Contact Connie and she can give you a quote from LEC.

Let us know if you have any question. 

Check out the following for more information:

http://www.lecretreats.org/mainblog/what-is-a-retrea

http://www.lecretreats.org/mainblog/planning-a-womens

http://www.lecretreats.org/retrea-leaders-information

http://www.lecretreats.org/mainblog/five-questions-to-consider-when-planning-a-retrea-or-conference

 

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Topics: Retreat and Conference Planning, retreat

A Time of Silence - Personal Retreats

Posted by Jess Schload

May 31, 2014 10:45:00 AM

This is a reprint from an earlier blog post we ran back in 2011. If follows the theme of the last blog by Kevin Witt. We hope you find it meaningful. Personal retreats are special times of growth. Plan a time for yourself soon either at the Life Enrichment Retreat Center in Florida or another special place you choose. Thank you for following LEC and our blog. Let us know if you want a certain topic covered in the future. 

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Back in the 1980’s I had the pleasure of serving a church in Northeastern Indiana. This small church, surrounded by farm land just outside Ashley, Indiana, was a family church with wonderful folks who were _mg_0143 committed to family and to this church – The Pleasant Chapel Church of the Brethren. I could say a lot about the church and the people, but my purpose here is to write about their support for the then young pastor.

With the limited resources of a small country church, they did what they could to support my family, my leadership, and my personal spiritual growth. One way they did that was to encourage me to go on retreat 3-4 times a year. On these times I would pack up my little Ford Escort with some books and a Bible, plus plenty of writing materials (no laptops or pads to take in those days), and I drove to Three Rivers, Michigan. My destination was a silent retreat facility that to this day is truly holy ground for me; The Hermitage.

Everyone handles days of silence differently. This is not something that works for everyone. For me, it was a much needed rest and a Sabbath time for reading, prayer and reflection. But the first day was always thePlan a Personal Retreat same. I would get to my room and rest on the bed and fall asleep. When I arrived at the retreat center, I would realize how tired I was, and at first, I would fight the sleep. As the retreat times continued, the gentleman who was my spiritual director at the Hermitage encouraged me to let the sleep happen. So for a couple of hours I would sleep. Refreshed after my rest, I would then take walks on the wooded paths, sit outside and read or write, and pray. I would also spend a bit of time doing some planning for the church.

I spent two to three days there each time. I always came back renewed and rested, physically and spiritually. I will always look back to that place and those retreats as a key time in my spiritual journey. Ministries like the Hermitage are vital, and in today's “connected” world we should try to “retreat” even more. A reminder for me, and an encouragement for you.

Continue your Journey with Christ!!

Jess Schload, Director

Notes:

1. Other items on our website that may interest you on this topic include:

http://www.lecretreats.org/mainblog/the-gift-of-pause-the-value-of-sabbath-retreat

http://www.lecretreats.org/mainblog/three-minute-retreat

http://www.lecretreats.org/the-mary-retreat

2. Learn more about the Hermitage and their ministry at http://www.hermitagecommunity.org/

3. The Life Enrichment Center has a private retreat log unit that is available for your use. Learn more at http://www.lecretreats.org/personal-retreats

4. Pleasant Chapel Church of the Brethren Facebook page is HERE

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Topics: Spiritual Growth

The Gift of Pause - The Value of Sabbath

Posted by Jess Schload

May 27, 2014 5:00:00 AM

It is a joy today to share a post from the blog of Kevin Witt (used with permission). His blog can be found at http://camp-retreat-ministry.org/. More information about him can be found below.

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You are all in my heart as summer moves into full swing and you enter that familiar surge to complete thelec_grounds_6 plethora of preparations necessary to welcome and care for those who are coming.  Lives will be touched and transformed through you and your efforts as you walk with God this summer.  You are disciples of Christ – people of love – servant leaders.  May you be encouraged by the deep meaning within all your doing.  I am so thankful to be colleagues in ministry together.

As persons who give so much of yourselves,  I want to remind you of a very special gift from God to you – one deeply rooted in a gift to the whole creation – the Gift of Pause.

We live in a society that highly values taking action and contributing.   Undoubtedly, we find resonance with this in Christian teachings.

James 2:14-17  What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? … faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

Titus 3:8  The saying is sure. I desire that you insist on these things, so that those who have come to believe in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works; these things are excellent and profitable to everyone.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

Can I be honest? Though we are made for good works, good works cannot sustain us.

I once served as the director of a camp and retreat center where I never felt more called or centered.  The ministry grew steadily and we had a wonderful team.  Lives changed because of God’s presence and the deep impact of the shared experiences.  It was exciting and gratifying to invest myself wholeheartedly Growing In Faith With Life Enrichment Center because I felt privileged to be there.   The opportunity to be a part of something that really mattered inspired and energized me.

Despite all this and my genuine desire to be faithful, I ended up depleted, heartbroken due to the realization that I needed to leave this place that meant so much to me.  The  joy and sense of call that initially came so easily submerged into a sense of constant pressure to get things done.  It went beyond what my spirit and body could recover from.  Part of the growth in that situation involved coming to grips with the fact that, to a large degree, the outcome was self-inflicted.  It called into question the essence of my understanding of Christian discipleship and spiritual leadership .  Accolades that come with unceasing effort though well intended are not the same as wisdom.  I excelled at going “full steam”  but not “full circle” in my faith and leadership.

Today, I have a much deeper appreciation for the rhythms of life that our Creator and Sustainer has so graciously woven into the fabric of existence, which were also modeled by Jesus.   Completeness, wholeness and fulfillment never proceeds from totally jamming our time with unending goals and tasks. As strange as it may sound to our modern ears, it is also sacred to cease from creating, to abstain from advancing, and to brave a break.  It is just as holy to stop doing good works sometimes as it is to do good works. This is the sacred tempo of Sabbath, which is a divine gift available to us daily, weekly and annually.

Genesis 2:2-3 And on the seventh day God finished the work that God had done, and rested on the seventh day from all the work. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all the work of creation.

Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work… For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.

Matthew 11: 28-29Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Mark 6:30-31: The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.  He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming Click to plan a personal retreat and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

One of the most insightful books I have ever read on the  gift of Sabbath and the power of pause is How Firm a Foundation by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein (Paraclete Press: Brewster, Massachusetts, 1997)   ISBN 1557251894

1. Sabbath allows us to be fully present.  It certainly provides a time of rest and renewal, but its primary benefit is not to simply recharge us so we can just go work again.  Sabbath time is a highlight – coming full circle – fulfillment – celebration, rather than just a step toward something else.  Sabbath allows us to appreciate the now by taking a break from planning, creating and worrying so we can truly receive and reflect on how beautiful life already is.  In pausing we can recognize the goodness that is all around us and available now.  Sabbath inspires thankfulness and abiding joy.

2. Sabbath frees us. From a Jewish perspective, we must understand the history of being enslaved that is a major theme in the scriptures.  A regular rhythm of pause prevents us from returning to a self imposed slavery, which God has freed us from.  God desires us to be free not driven.  Sabbath is part of loving ourselves – an act of discipleship as much as loving our neighbor.

3. Sabbath draws us to God.  Sabbath actually strengthens faith – trust in God.  It helps us to more fully recognize that it is God who sustains life not us.  Our constant effort does not make the world go round.  Stopping draws us to our source and to the love of God for us from the birth of time.

So much more could be said, but I can’t say it any better than Abraham Heschel.

“Just to be is a blessing.  Just to live is holy”

Be Good To Yourselves:

Kevin

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Questions to Ponder:

1. People come to camp and on retreat to grow in their faith and their relationship with God.   How would this be enhanced if the camp and retreat center staff and volunteers actually implement a consistent spiritual “Practice of Pause” that we are trying to provide for those who come?

2. How could you collaborate as a ministry team to schedule responsibilities, so all, including yourself, can have the opportunity to receive the Gift of Pause on a daily, weekly and seasonal basis that is seen as an important dimension of spiritual leadership and wholeness?

Need a personal time away? LEC is happy to give you a place to get away. More info at Personal Retreats

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Rev. Kevin Witt, Certified Camp Director, is the moderator and a primary contributor to the blog (http://camp-retreat-ministry.org/).  He has extensive personal and professional experience within camp and retreat ministry.  Kevin currently serves with the Leadership Ministries Division of the GBOD.

He provides workshops, seminars and consultations on many aspects of camp and retreat ministry and serves on planning teams for national trainings and certification studies.

He is the co-author of two books: the Retreat Leader’s Manual and Twists of Faith: Ministry with Youth at the Turning Points of Their Lives.

Kevin has developed many other resources and coordinates a very active Camp and Retreat Leader Network (CRLN) where over 1,000 leaders of faith based camp and retreat ministry share beneficial information and mutual support.

To join this free CRLN network or to contact Kevin – kwitt@gbod.org

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Topics: Spiritual Growth

Plan a Marriage Retreat for Your Church

Posted by Jess Schload

May 23, 2014 3:54:00 AM

From: Retreat Central Blog.  Used with permission

2014-01-29_16.21.56The open and affectionate atmosphere of a marriage retreat is a powerful way to discuss, share and reinvigorate the spirit of marriage. The re-experience of old memories, along with the creation of new ones provides couples an everlasting platform to affirm their commitment. Activities will promote closeness between partners as well as individual guidance and community values. Consider the following ideas to ensure a meaningful and fulfilling marriage enrichment retreat.   

One of the first activities should be an icebreaker, as it’s important for couples to introduce themselves to one another. Though the primary focus may be within the relationship, friendly communication between couples will encourage insightful discussion and promote a positive, open atmosphere.   

Have couples mingle and join with another pair. Prepare a set of questions for them to ask:How long have you been married? How many kids do you have? Where did you go on your honeymoon? What activity do you enjoy doing together that didn’t expect?  Once all the questions have been exchanged, have the opposite couple introduce them to the group.   

For overnight marriage retreats, furnish the guests’ rooms with roses and chocolate. Place a pair of “For Him” and “For Her” letters on the bed. In “His” envelope, include a plastic engagement ring with instructions to “propose again” at his time of choosing. In “Her” envelope, include parchment with instructions to write a playful love letter. Recalling past experiences of love is a way to intensify current feelings of passion and affection.   

When it comes to the activities, you should aim to bring partners closer while also encouraging friendships between couples and promoting values of love and commitment. Some activities should be aimed towards fun while others should be insightful. For theMatching Questions game, print a questionnaire for each guest about his or her relationship:Where and when was your first kiss? First date? What’s his and her favorite food? Favorite song? Favorite movie? Have men and women separate to write their answers. Then have them reconvene and compare responses. The couple with the most matches wins a prize.   

While the men and women are separated, consider propagating a discussion. Surrounded by peers, men and women can share stories, advice and lessons learned about marriage. Designate a discussion leader to keep conversation active. For religious retreats, this is a great opportunity to relate the spiritual tenants to one’s married life.   

Bring the men and women back together for the discussion conclusion. It may be a good idea to prepare a speaker who can share insight and/or anecdotes about the importance of love and commitment. Follow it up with a delicious dinner where guests are encouraged to continue meeting new couples.   

 Passing out goodie bags is a great way to wrap up the activities. It provides a positive conclusion while encouraging guests to act on reaffirmations or realizations made on the retreat.  For example, decorated notepads and pens can inspire couples to write loving messages at home.  Travel soap and shampoo are a gesture to plan a romantic trip in the future. Other ideas for goodies include chocolates, body lotion, candles and bath minerals. For Christian marriage retreats, pair the gifts with relevant scriptures. Couples will be encouraged to indulge in loving affection long after the retreat is over.

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Thinking of planning a retreat, check out www.lecretreats.org and http://www.lecretreats.org/mainblog/retreat-planning-how-to-create-a-retreat-plan forGrowing In Faith With Life Enrichment Center more information.

Couple retreat, marriage retreat, couple's retreat

Note:  Check out retreats offered by others including "Marriage Enrichment" (two nonprofits operate with this name - their websites are  http://www.marriage-enrichment.org and http://marriageenrichment.org/welcome.htm) and "Marriage Encounter" (http://marriage-encounter.org/)

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Retreat Planning: How to Create a Retreat Plan for your Church

Posted by Jess Schload

May 20, 2014 1:46:00 PM

Credit for this article to Retreat Central (https://www.retreatcentral.com). Used with permission.

Planning a retreat? Here is your chance to be a hero! The more you plan in advance, the more organized you will be, and the overall outcome will be higher quality. 

Most companies and organizations will not simply hand over money for you to host a retreat – even if they asked you to plan it. Your company will want to know rough budget estimates and details about you_MG_1286r event.  Even if you are in charge of your own budget, it is still helpful to take the step of preparing a basic plan to organize and save your thoughts. So let's get started!

How to Prepare a Basic Plan

Download the Retreat Plan template to fill out as you go! <

Your plan should include at least 4 things: a summary, a goal, the audience, and the budget.

1. Summarize the Event

Your summary is a basic snapshot of your retreat in 3 sentences or less. With no additional information, anyone that reads your plan should be able to understand what the event is from a high-level perspective. It is appropriate to include a basic goal in this summary. For example: 

  • This leadership retreat will bring together the leaders of    (fill in the blank)   company/church/university for program and budget planning for the next year.
2. Determine a Timeline

When is this retreat? Are you planning it in the winter or in the spring? Include the target time frame of the event, the promotion period, and any other important milestones. Make sure you understand the timing of your participants. How much lead time do they need? Tip: start from the end (the retreat date) and work backwards. For example: 
  • Retreat planning: Jan.-May
  • Website page created: March 1
  • Promotion: March-June
  • Retreat Date: mid-June
New Call-to-Action 3. Set a Goal (or two or three)

All retreats should have at least one simple goal. Are you planning a retreat on behalf of a business, university, or other organization? If so, consider the mission of the organization and create a goal that aligns with this mission. Goals can be high-level, or they can be very specific. Set enough goals that someone reading your plan can start to picture your retreat. For example:
  • 3 days 
  • 20+ participants
  • Overnight accommodations at a camp retreat center
  • Team-building activities
  • Completed program plans and budget for next year 
  • Enhance leadership skills
  • Promote togetherness and a sense of community
4. Define Your Audience 

First, ask yourself these questions: Who are you inviting to your retreat? Are they males and females? Adults only, or are children invited? Next, dig a little deeper into your audience. What do your attendees care about? What are they interested in? This does not dictate who is allowed to come. Rather, it outlines the group for which the retreat is intended. Doing this small brainstorm and jotting down a few notes will help you later as you plan activities and promote the event. For example:
  • Males and females 
  • 35-55 years old 
  • Doctors, CEOs, administrative professionals, team leaders 
  • Many have children 
  • Volunteers 
  • Live in _____ city/state/neighborhood

5. Propose a Budget

Money is a big factor for most retreats. Research and compile estimates for the larger cost categories. The costs should be realistic – not too high, and not too low. If they are too high, you might not get approved. Too low? You might be stuck with a penny-saver budget. 

Your venue will be one of your larger expenses. A four-star retreat center will require a much higher budget than a camp retreat center. Be sure to include an estimate for overnight accommodations and meeting space. Other large budget items to consider include: travel and transportation; food and beverage; and marketing and promotion. 

Also, be sure to subtract the estimated cost per person in your budget to show how costs will be offset. If the goal of the retreat is to raise money, include estimated earnings from fundraising activities, which could be a silent auction, offering, etc. 

Your retreat plan should be able to fit on 1-2 pages. 

Now that you have finished creating your retreat plan, you have a nice guide to use moving forward. The items that you have already identified should help you get budget approval, provide direction on event promotion, help you choose a retreat theme, and overall, organize your thoughts. Having your plan ready also helps the retreat center - the staff can better support the goals of the retreat.  Often they have ideas about ways to use the facility that you never would have known. 

To download the Retreat Plan template, click here.

Happy Retreating! 

Click this link to chat with us now....https://Chat.with LEC

If you are considering planning a retreat, check out www.lecretreats.org or http://www.lecretreats.org/retreat-leaders-information for more information on a Florida retreat location. 

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Topics: Retreat and Conference Planning

Five Questions to Consider When Planning a Retreat or Conference

Posted by Jess Schload

Feb 15, 2014 5:00:00 AM

Untitled-3Many years ago, I worked at a newspaper. I was not a reporter, but a photographer. As such, I worked daily with the news staff as they collected stories. I can clearly remember, as they interviewed folks for the story, how they would check themselves to make sure they answered the key questions all news articles need to answer. Then, after writing the piece, they would again scan the article for the same reason. “Did I answer the key questions?” 

I am sure you heard this before. The five key questions that reporters ask in one way or another to complete a news story are simple:


Who?
What?
When?
Where?
Why?

These are vital questions to make sure you answer if you are writing an article for the church newsletter, planning a party, and planning a retreat. I am amazed how many times I am discussing retreat plans with a potential group leader, and it is clear they did not consider all these questions. If you are thinking of doing a retreat or conference for your church or organization, you can help your planning, marketing, and execution of the event by taking time early to answer these simple but very important questions. The following is some of what you should consider for each question:

Who?  Who is this retreat intended to serve? How will we let them know this is happening? How many will there be? Is there anyone else this retreat might benefit?

What? What is the theme of this event? What is its purpose? What do we need to do to make this happen? What materials will we use or guest speaker will we invite? What will it cost to pull this retreat off?

When?  When will we do this? How far out should we plan? Are there conflicts on the church calendar? Any holidays we need to consider? How many nights?

Where?  This is the easy one – The Life Enrichment Center!! OK, you may not be able to come here, and if not, consider the location. Perhaps it should be at the church, a retreat center, another local venue or maybe at a church in another town. We need to call and get a date reserved. We need the details, like cost, meeting room needs, food, etc.

Why?  This could be the most important question. Why do we need to do this event? Do we really need it? Why is it vital we hold this event?

It is that simple. Answer those five questions, and you are well on your way to an outstanding retreat or conference.

What are other things you consider as you plan?

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Topics: Retreat and Conference Planning

Three Minute Retreat....

Posted by Jess Schload

Jan 26, 2014 10:51:00 AM

This blog post was run in our old blog back in 2011.  I decided to run it again for all of you that need a retreat, but do not have time to come to LEC.  Enjoy and may God bless your retreat time.

What is a retreat? When and how can one take a retreat? We often think of two types of retreat. One is the retreat centered on a community of folks coming together for a purpose. An example would be a group of women from a Sunday School class decides to go to a retreat center for a spiritual growth weekend. They plan, make a reservation at the Center, maybe get a guest speaker, and off they go. It is fun. It is uplifting. They all grow closer together and grow in their faith. And they do this at a special place by a lake, or in the mountains called a retreat center.

Personal-retreat-280x180

Then there is the personal retreat. I have done these many times. You make a reservation at a retreat center and go for an alone time with God. I use to pray, walk, read and think at these retreats. Sometimes I met with a spiritual adviser who helped guide me in my time. Personal retreats can be a very valuable time.

However, you do not need to go to some beautiful place for a retreat (although we would love to have you at LEC sometime soon). You can have a retreat anytime you have a few minutes and set the problems of your daily living aside. Then you can reflect, talk with God, read, and all those other things you do on retreat. Some folks call this devotions. I prefer retreat. The word means to get away from the day – to – day, the pressures of life and to get to safety. To enter the presence of God. If you have 3 minutes, I encourage you to go on a retreat!!

By the way, check out this app for your “smart phone” called “3 Minute Retreat”. I use it and find it a great way to take a quick retreat. It is also available online at  http://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer.htm

Continue on the journey,

Rev. Jess Schload, Director

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Topics: Spiritual Growth

Are You a Writer???? The Life Enrichment Center Needs You

Posted by Jess Schload

Dec 29, 2013 11:49:53 AM

_MG_1240We at the Life Enrichment Retreat Center want to be a help to your spiritual growth while you are here on a retreat, but also at all times.  We do this with our Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/lecretreats) and website.  We also have a dream of providing an outstanding blog that provides important information along with inspiration.  We vision this blog having written and video opportunities for you to grow in your faith.

Here is the problem.  We are a small staff, with too much to do. So, we are reaching out to you, the ones who would like to write for the LEC Blog.  We need folks who will be willing to write devotions, thought provoking articles on faith, church, retreats, life and more.  If you do this and sumbit them, we will review them and publish those we feel would fit for the ministry of the Center.  

If we run your work, we will thank you with an opportunity to spend a couple of nights in our retreat cabin for your own rest and renewal.  

If you are interested, please send us your email at lecretreats@gmail.com, or comment below and we will get the author guidelines out to you right away.  Think about it.  Pray about it.  Then boot up that computer and start creating.  

Thanks so much!  

Jess Schload, Director

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Topics: Spiritual Growth

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