Finding a good place to conduct a retreat can be challenging. Your women’s ministry group can join in with others at a retreat organized by someone else or you can conduct your own. I will address some of both. As a disclaimer, I do not have personal experience with all of the options I will share. These ideas sound interesting to me, so I will share them with you. For the privately-owned Christian-based organizations, I did review their belief statements before including them.
- Sandy Cove Ministries, North East, MD—Situated halfway between Baltimore and Philadelphia, Sandy Cove hosts events your group can register to participate in or you may host your own retreat on their campus. Both overnight accommodations and dining are on-site. Mini-golf, swimming pool, nature hikes, tennis, and a fitness center are just a few of the amenities available to guests. Check out sandycove.org to see if Sandy Cove is a good fit for your retreat.
- Hume Lake Christian Camps, Hume, CA—Located in the Sequoia National Forest, Hume Lake is a year-round retreat facility serving churches. They host various types of planned retreats through the year, including both spring and fall women’s retreats. Both overnight accommodations and dining are on-site. Hume Lake offers swimming, crafts, recreational activities, and the beauty of God’s creation. Visit humelake.org/adult/women/ for more information.
- Pine Cove Christian Camps and Retreat Center, Tyler and Columbus, TX—Convenient to Dallas, Houston, and Austin, Pine Cove consists of two locations and offers both women’s conferences and facilities for hosting retreats. Amenities include swimming and zip-lining. Some facilities offer horseback riding. Visit pinecove.com for information.
- Smaller private and denominational camps—Smaller camps that are individually-owned or those operated by specific denominations can be good choices for retreats. Possibly there are camps within a short distance from you. In my experience, these are good locations when you are providing your own study or bringing in your own speakers. Visit the website for your state convention or denominational offices to see what they might have to offer or search for a camp at the Christian Camp and Conference Association website ccca.org/ccca/Camp_for_Adults.asp.
- State parks—If your church has the ability to conduct your own women’s retreat, a state park within a short drive may be a good option. In my home state of Tennessee, six state parks have conference facilities, including overnight accommodations and dining on-site. Check out tnstateparks.com/groups/meetings or the state parks website for your particular state.
Wherever your women’s ministry decides to hold a retreat, it is important to make the cost affordable for everyone. Obviously some locations will be less expensive than others, and DIY retreats oftentimes are the most cost-effective. If some ladies need financial assistance to be able to attend, possibly a church member would provide a scholarship, or you may hold a fundraiser to offset the costs. Be sure to check your church’s policy on fundraising, since church policies can vary.
Maleah Bell is a freelance editor and pastor’s wife. She and her husband make their home in Middle Tennessee.