Retreat activities can be based primarily within a few rooms if needed.
Retreat activities can be based primarily within a few rooms if needed.

Men’s retreats bring together Christian males for a short break and feature fellowship, relaxation and worship. Attendees will be looking forward to the opportunities for socialization and fun a retreat brings, but retreat coordinators need to plan ahead to keep everyone from getting bored. A range of games and activities will ensure that attendees get the most from the retreat.

Games

An array of games can be played as part of men’s retreats, with the most suitable being those that encourage socialization through teamwork and communication. Games shouldn’t take overly long to play given that many retreats have tight schedules. Outdoor games such as ping pong and horse shoe throwing are easy to organize and don’t require much space. Table games such as cards and chess can bring people together since many attendees will be already familiar with the rules. For a speedy alternative to regular chess, try timing short turns with a stopwatch to keep play moving.

Bonding and Reflection Activities

Some retreat activities engage attendees while helping to forge relationships and enable reflection. A small group could meet a few times over the course of the retreat to write about their experiences in a journal. These writing sessions can be led by a volunteer who encourages the work by suggesting topics, and members of the group could read aloud from their journals if they wish. Discussion groups work in a similar manner. A volunteer leads the session and begins by getting attendees to brainstorm issues to discuss. Topics can include parenthood, employment, worship or marital life, for instance. After the topic is decided on, attendees take turns to give their views and compare experiences.

Entertainment

Entertainment at a men’s retreat can be booked in the form of an outside group that comes to the premises for an evening, or created by the attendees themselves. In the case of the former, the coordinator of the retreat should consider a suitable choice beforehand; options could include a speaker who can present a lecture on a topic of interest or a Christian music band, for example. Attendees meanwhile can entertain themselves. If there are actors or musicians present, they could create a skit to perform. A simple campfire outside may encourage a sing-along or storytelling session.

Outside Activities

Team sports bring men together and ask them to consider notions of competition. The types of sports that can be played at a retreat do depend on the facilities available, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to set up a makeshift pitch for a game of volleyball or soccer. If the retreat is being held in a location where areas of interest are nearby, some attendees may wish to go out hiking during the day. Small groups are most suitable, and the retreat coordinator should ensure maps are given out beforehand.