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9 Ways to Kick-Off a Retreat

9 Ways to Kick-Off a Retreat

If you are a bit perplexed as to how you should start your retreat, you have come to the right place. We have a plethora of ideas that will get your retreat off to a fantastic start. From ice breaker activities to creative ventures, we’ve compiled a list of nine ways to kick off a retreat.

Creative Arts Activity

Get your group’s creative juices flowing by writing a collaborative story. Begin with a blank sheet of paper and a pen. Ask for a volunteer to write the first sentence of the story. Then, have him pass the pen and paper to his right so the next person can add his own unique sentence or two to the story. Keep on passing the pen and paper until your team has composed a brief story.

Board & Skill Games

Though video games have supplanted board games in most homes, board games still serve as an excellent opportunity to bond with one another. Engage in a game of Monopoly, Clue or Jenga. If your group is especially large you can divide it up into smaller groups with multiple board games.

Mind Games

Pick up a large puzzle, dump the pieces out onto a sizable table and set up the puzzle box front for everyone to see. Let your group complete the puzzle and they’ll feel like a cohesive unit as they embark on retreat activities.

Social Hour

Start your retreat with a group discussion in which each person is provided with the opportunity to provide some information about himself as well as his interest in the retreat. Go around the room, one-by-one, allowing each participant to say something for a few minutes. This way, everyone will learn something about their fellow retreat-goers.

Ice Breaker Activity

Jot down a list of icebreaker questions in reference to places people have gone and things they might have done. Put a signature line beneath each question. Make copies of the list and pass one out to each participant. Just make sure there is at least one question for each participant. Let your group circulate and ask these questions until they pinpoint someone who can answer in the affirmative. He then signs his name beneath the question. The goal is to finish the list first but also to learn more about fellow retreat-goers.

Getting to Know Each Other

Have each participant write down one lie and one truth. Challenge the rest of the group to identify which statement is true and which is false. Let each person expand on their “truth” once it is revealed.

Team Building Activity

Pass out pen and paper to each participant. Split up into smaller groups. Allow two or three group members to conjure up an image for the other participant(s) to draw. Those who have a mental picture of the image are allowed to describe it without stating what it is. Those with pen and paper attempt to draw the image based on its verbal description.

Educational Time

Kick off your retreat with a PowerPoint presentation that outlines the objectives of this shared experience. It will set the stage for all of the activities to follow. This way, the group will feel as though they have some direction as well as something to strive for throughout the remainder of the retreat experience.

Physical Competition

Everyone loves a good old fashioned tug-of-war. Bring a long and thick rope to your retreat. Divide your participants into two teams with equal numbers of people and engage in a tug-of-war. It will lighten the mood, foster teamwork and bring out the inner-child in each participant.

Refreshing Mountain is a year-round retreat and adventure center providing family friendly fun and refreshment for over 30 years in Lancaster County, PA. We provide overnight retreat facilities as well as a variety of outdoor adventures, day field trips, and corporate team-building events, and overnight getaways with activities including zipline canopy tours, high ropes course, climbing tower, problem solving challenges, and much more. Our center is built on 80 acres of beautiful PA woodland and is conveniently located just a short drive from Lancaster and Hershey attractions.