women's retreat planning

A short introduction: Jackie and myself have had the privilege to be part of hosting hundreds of women’s retreats in Manitoba since purchasing a retreat centre near Whiteshell Provincial Park back in 1999.  It was not long until those wanting to rent our facility were looking to us for direction.  We were in a unique position to share ideas and I quickly started putting together written materials for group leaders.  This guide is put together with a specific focus on Women’s retreat planning and the special needs unique to those type of events.  Utilize it to ignite fresh ideas into your next event.

Women’s Retreat Planning

women's retreat planning

Putting together a Team

Everyone is built with incredible abilities.  Putting square pegs in round holes is often what I think of when I see people put into job descriptions that do not tap their natural ability.  When putting a team together surround yourself with members that are quite different than yourself.  Pick people good with details, social influencers, strategists and those good at seeing the bigger picture.  If there is a certain people group you are after, make sure to include lot from that group is in planning committee.

Identify your Retreat’s purpose

Prior to planning it’s important to think about what your event goals and objectives will be. Many planners dive right into planning without identifying the group events purpose. Don’t make this mistake. Defining your events purpose and goals provide the framework for objectives within your event.  Goals are usually specific and measurable, while objectives are the strategies and steps that you use to attain the goals that you have set.

Identify Your Retreat Goals

The first step you should take is creating goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and based on a timeline. Take the time to think about what goals you would like to establish for your event.

What exactly do you want to achieve? The more specific your description, the bigger the chance you will hit your target.

Questions you may ask yourself when setting your goals and objectives are:

  • What exactly do I want to achieve?
  • Where?
  • How?
  • When?
  • With whom?
  • What are the constraints?
  • Why do I want to reach this goal? What are the different ways available to achieve the same result?

Making goals measurable

Measurable goals mean that you identify exactly what it is you will see, hear and feel when you reach your events goal. It means breaking your goal down into measurable elements.  Let’s say your group’s goal is to grow existing friendships and build new connections.  At the start of the event, ladies could provide a number from 1 to 10 about how they felt about their existing friendships.  Halfway through and again at the end of the retreat have them provide a numerical rating.  At the end of your women’s retreat collect their worksheets and measure the effectiveness of that goal based on the numbers.

Measurable goals can go a long way in defining what exactly it is that you want, too. Defining the physical manifestations of your goal or objective makes it clearer, and easier to reach.