As powerful of a learning environment as a school can be, you can’t accomplish everything within its walls. A school retreat gives you and your students an opportunity to get a change of pace, develop a better understanding and respect for each other, and learn lessons through actions and games rather than textbooks and lectures. The first step to any successful retreat is to find the right venue, though. If you’re in the Southern California area, there are plenty of reasons to consider Pali Retreat over other locations.
Secluded Yet Reachable
When you’re planning a retreat, location is a big deal. It needs to be far enough away from your daily environment to provide a change of scenery. At the same time, you don’t want to spend half of a day driving there or to be too far into the wilderness in the case of an emergency. Pali Retreat strikes the perfect balance. We’re located just 40 minutes from San Bernardino and an hour and a half from Los Angeles. In the rare occasion of an emergency, we’re only seven miles from the nearest hospital. At the same time, when you enter our mountain retreat, you enjoy all the serenity and natural atmosphere you’d get in the remote wilderness.
Everyone who comes through our gates wants their retreat to be as safe as possible, but when you’re entrusted with the care of someone else’s children, it’s a much higher priority. If you’re hosting your retreat at a campground or other area in which all of the planning relies on you, it’s difficult to anticipate all the potential risks and put measures in place to prevent them. By contrast, our team at Pali hosts retreats on a daily basis. We’re familiar with the activities you’ll be enjoying during your retreat and how to keep them safe.
A Variety of Activities
Some retreats cater to groups of people with specific shared interests. When you’re planning a school retreat, you don’t have that luxury. You’ll have students with the full gamut of interests, challenges, and ability levels. The only way to provide a fulfilling experience for as many kids as possible is to incorporate a variety of very different activities into your retreat. It can help to split up the day into sessions and have a few activity options students can choose for each session. Whatever format you choose, our facilities offer something for everyone: hiking, swimming, culinary classes, paintball, ropes courses, Zumba, and more.
Ability to Stay Busy
You’ve heard the saying that idle hands are the devil’s playground, and it’s often true with kids. Whether you have a group of young children or teenagers, giving them too much idle time can tempt them to get into trouble. The key is to create a structured environment. They’re still having a great time and learning valuable lessons but they’re doing them under the guidance of our staff and your chaperones. In addition to daytime fun, we can orchestrate evening activities for your group like our popular option of s’mores around a campfire.
Dining for Everyone
With a large group of kids, there are bound to be several with dietary restrictions or food allergies. If you’re trying to plan and prepare all of your retreat’s food by yourself, it’s harder than you realize to have options that are dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, wheat-free, kosher, halal, vegetarian, and vegan. On the other hand, Pali Retreat has a fully staffed dining hall with chefs who can accommodate any dietary restrictions with advanced notice. To protect our guests with airborne peanut allergies, we are also a peanut-free facility like many schools.
Technology for Presentations and Videos
Retreat activities and educational chats are great, but sometimes you need an extra hand. Many retreat sites are bare-bones facilities that can offer nothing more than a room and rows of benches for your educational sessions. To make sure you have everything you need for a productive retreat, we have presentation technology including projectors, screens, speakers, and microphones for your use.
Experience with School Groups
There’s a big difference between hosting a retreat for adults and a retreat for kids. One group has willingly signed up and paid their hard-earned money to be there, so they’re all in. The other may or may not be enthusiastic about attending and doesn’t always have the emotional maturity to make good choices. Orchestrating a safe, fun, and fulfilling retreat for a large group of kids or teens has unique challenges, and you need a retreat facility that has the extensive experience in these retreats that Pali Retreat has.
Taking Work Off Your Shoulders
Planning a retreat is always a lot of work. You need to come up with a concept, find a location, plan an itinerary, advertise the retreat, find chaperones, and more. If you’re planning a retreat at a “blank slate” venue that doesn’t offer their own activities, your work is multiplied. By choosing Pali Retreat, you get the benefit of a more organized and well-cared-for facility with plenty of readymade games and adventures to choose from. The result will be a more organized and professional retreat with less work on your plate.
A school retreat is an important opportunity in a young child or teen’s life. It can be an opportunity for them to make or enhance lifelong friendships, gain perspective, learn beneficial new skills, and get a better understanding for their classmates, teachers, and parents. While there are many details that need to come together for a successful school retreat, the retreat center you choose is one of the most important factors. It can serve as the foundation for a productive retreat if you make your choice well and strive to get the most you can from its benefits. That’s why so many school groups before you have chosen Pali Retreat for their school retreats. If you’d like to start planning your successful retreat today, contact our Pali Retreat team for more information.