A ton of planning goes into your annual retreat, so we start early. By “we start early” I mean, we literally start planning the next retreat during the current retreat. So the last morning of the retreat every year is dedicated to the following:
- Establishing a planning committee for next year – at every retreat, there is an information center where folks can sign up for excursions like the beach or hiking the sand dunes. One form kept up each year is a sign-up sheet for folks who want to be on the planning committee for next year. The final morning, we review the list, request the presence of everyone whose name appears upon it, and ask for their commitment.
- Setting a date for the first planning committee meeting which will include the planners for this year and the newly established planners for next year – to ensure a smooth handoff and consistency in planning, this year’s planners take next year’s planners out for a very long lunch in which responsibilities are divided and each person can meet with their counterpart to hand off the tools and resources for that role.
- A theme is determined – each retreat has a theme as determined at the last retreat. Another form on the information center is a theme suggestion form. People can up vote and down vote themes all week and a final vote will be taken at the final day breakfast.
- A big group meal them is determined – at each retreat there is one big orchestrated meal – the rest of the meals are casual and determined by the family or individual. There will be a form up at the information center where folks can suggest themes, up vote and down vote theme ideas, and a final vote will be taken at the final day breakfast.