- Delegate tasks to group members so that you aren’t in charge of everything when retreat day arrives.
- Schedule down time. We often have groups say they wish they had more time to enjoy the grounds and relax, but they had so many items on their schedule that they never had time. Put a couple hours of free time in your schedule and encourage participants to take a hike or use our recreation facilities and you do the same!
- If you are able, add meals to your retreat reservation so that you don’t need to worry about cooking and clean up.
- Take some time to think of little details like how many tables or chairs you’ll need in your meeting room or whether there are any food allergies in your group well beforehand and talk to us about it. That way we’re better able to be prepared for you and you have less things to worry about when you arrive.
You’ve worked hard, you’ve been planning this retreat for months, now it’s finally here and you’re working harder than ever! Before you know it, the retreat will be done and you’ll be completely wiped out without ever enjoying yourself! So what can you do to avoid the planning burnout and enjoy your retreat?
When you call and schedule a retreat, we will enter you into our system as the group leader unless instructed otherwise. From our end, the group leader is the person we contact with any questions, the contract and other documentation is sent to them, and they are the one we expect to check in when they arrive.
Sometimes when groups have a retreat planned, we will have retreat participants calling to request a room preference, discuss menu options, ask for pricing on additional activities or get a quote for a different building. Unless the group leader specifically authorizes a co-leader to make changes and inquiries on behalf of the group, we cannot discuss certain information with anyone except the group leader.
In order to keep our records straight and avoid mix-ups with your reservation, please encourage your group members to send any questions through you as the group leader. We don’t want any confusion or miscommunication on either side that will add to your stress as the leader!
When planning your retreat schedule keep in mind that all of our guests have access to our outdoor recreation facilities. We have Frisbees, basketballs, and volleyballs available to borrow from the office during office hours, or bring your own for any time of the day!
We have tennis courts, a volleyball court, softball field, basketball court, 3 playgrounds, a large field for games, a horseshoe area and several hiking trails.
There are several spots on grounds where we’ve set up a cross with 2 benches. These are ideal spots to pause along your walk to read, journal, pray, think and be still.
Please consider putting time in your schedule to enjoy these facilities and spend some time in the outdoors enjoying God’s creation.
If you’re planning a retreat with us we’d like to encourage you to consider participating in one of our guided activities designed to challenge and bond your group.
We offer high and low ropes courses, team building games, zip line, tree climb, super swing, hayrides, and popcorn bonfires to retreat groups. During the summer, you can reserve pool use for your group at certain times.
You can add an activity to a lodged retreat or bring a group out for the day just to do our activities! Team building games are great for office groups, youth leaders, college campus leadership, or school groups. Smaller teams of participants work together to achieve tasks. This makes for a good ice breaker if you have a large group or a group where participants don’t all know each other already.
Our ropes courses offer unique opportunities for participants to challenge themselves individually and support other group members. They’re also tons of fun and a great opportunity to take a break from a meeting oriented retreat. Popcorn bonfires and hayrides are a favorite among our overnight groups. After a long day, kick back and relax in community around the fire and taste some of our delicious popcorn.
Adding an activity is an easy way for you as the group leader to give your retreat a boost of fun!
Our activities are led by trained staff members. They run from ½ an hour to 3 hours depending on activity and group size. Click here to view group requirements and prices for each activity.
You can add an activity by selecting one (or more) when you fill out your reservation request form, or you can call our office to add one to a retreat that has already been registered. We ask that you contact us at least 2 months before your retreat if you plan to add an activity. With shorter notice we may be unable to accommodate your request due to our staff scheduling. Give us a call and see what options best fit your retreat today!
When you begin planning a retreat, some of the first things you’ll need to decide are when it will be and how long it will go for.
Weekends in the summer are our most popularly booked dates. For more flexibility in our availability, consider doing a retreat during the off-season, or during the week if possible for your group.
The length of time you choose for your retreat is very important to how beneficial it will be for your participants. A one night retreat will keep costs lower and perhaps more people can attend if they would find it difficult to get away for longer, but we think there are several reasons why you should consider making your retreat at least 2 nights.
You’ve decided to plan a retreat at the Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center! What are the next steps towards a smooth and enjoyable planning process?
When you fill out the reservation request please fill in as much information as you can. One of our reservations coordinators will contact you to confirm dates and any additional information with you. The more information you can give upfront, the easier it will be for them to process your contract, and they will be better able to answer questions you may have before finalizing your retreat plans.
Your requested dates can be held for you for up to a week while you make the final decision and confirm with your group. Once you call to confirm your retreat plans, we will send you a contract. Your reservation is not complete until you have returned your signed contract with a deposit.
Clear expectations lead to stress-free retreats! Take the time to think of questions, concerns or special needs your group may have before you come on site (like food allergies), and talk to us about them. This allows us to be as prepared as possible for your group.
By taking these steps while still in the planning stages, you can eliminate some of the planning stress and be better prepared to enjoy the retreat you have worked so hard on!
Retreat: (noun) a place of privacy or safety: refuge
There are so many demands placed on us in the society we live in today. Between jobs, family, friends, and school, we’re always making sure the deadlines are met, there’s food on the table and the clothes are clean. We’re bombarded with advertisements, news stories and blogs on the internet and TV telling us how to be a better mom, husband or employee. There’s a lot of pressure to live up to impossible standards and it can be overwhelming in the never ending cycle of cleaning the house, going to work or school, and picking up the kids.
The fast pace of life and pressure to be more can quickly tire us out, and bring us to a place of discouragement.
But the Lord says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
God is our refuge, our strength, our peace when we retreat to Him. He is our protection and our shield against the powers of the world we live in.
Here at the Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center we offer a setting designed to facilitate retreat into the Lord’s protection and sustaining power. Here you can find a place of solitude and quiet, apart from the world. Come away to refocus on the Lord, recharge spiritually, mentally and physically, and be filled with renewed vision for your ministry and life as a Christ follower in a world of darkness.