Example of a retreat outline
Context: This was a retreat for a group of U.S. students preparing to volunteer abroad
General introductions, ice-breakers, mindset models, setting intentions and laying out expectations for the retreat.
Self-Discovery & Self-Awareness
A series of reflective activities that encourage participants to dig deep into what has shaped their identity and why, while also getting clear on their core values, strengths, and weaknesses.
A mix of active and reflective exercises meant to create an intimate atmosphere of trust and acceptance among participants, allowing them to connect deeply and honestly while beginning to build a supportive community.
Navigating Group Dynamics
A series of high-paced, engaging activities meant to assist the group in navigating their dynamic while working through group challenges that allow for reflection on the group members’ communication styles, collaborative tendencies, and conflict management.
Cultural Awareness and Respectful Intercultural Engagement
A review of the dimensions of intercultural communication, important cultural aspects to be aware of in destination, and a series of activities meant to challenge group members in practicing intercultural communication while navigating its complexity.
Ethical and Responsible Service
Examining motives for engaging in service, addressing the unintended harm often caused to local communities by way of Western volunteers, and preparing to engage in service abroad in a way that centers the local as the expert and the volunteer as the learner.
Visioning, Goal-Setting, and Action-Planning
Establishing desired outcomes for the group’s time abroad, setting goals, and then breaking down and outlining the steps necessary to get the very most out of their upcoming travel experience while doing the least amount of harm.
Closing and Final Reflections
Wrapping up the retreat with reflections on the time together, key takeaways, and an appreciation ceremony.