9 Ways to Kick-Off a Retreat

Phil True
August 10, 2021

9 Ways To Kick-Off A Retreat - Hands In!

If you are a bit perplexed as to how you should kick off your retreat, or have questions about what fun activities to plan for, you have come to the perfect blog post to get you squared away. We have a solid list of 9 great ideas that will get your retreat off to a fantastic start. From ice-breaker games to creative thinking challenges, to feats of physical activity, our list of nine ways to kick off a retreat has you covered.

  1. 1. Creative Arts Activity

    Get your group’s creative juices flowing by writing a collaborative story. This ice-breaker game begins with a blank sheet of paper and a pen. Ask for a volunteer to write the first sentence of the story within a short time limit. 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 in no time flat!

  2. 2. Board & Skill Games

    Though video games have supplanted board games in most homes, board games still are considered a great social indoor activity choice and 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.

  3. 3. Mind Games

    Pick up a large jigsaw 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.

  4. 4. 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.

  5. 5. 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.

  6. 6. Getting to Know Each Other

    Veterans retreaters will recognize this classic ice-breaker game – 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.

  7. 7. Team Building Activity

    For this team-building activity, all you need to do is pass out pen and paper to every member of the entire team. Split up into smaller groups and select a team leader for each. 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.

  8. 8. 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.

  9. 9. Physical Competition

    Anyone who loves outdoor activities also loves a good old-fashioned tug-of-war, so for a fun game during your retreat divide into teams and compete! Bring a long, 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.