Retreats are all the rave now and with good reason, as they provide many benefits to the participants and leaders alike. And while organizing and leading a retreat appears to be an obvious match for many once the planning begins they often realize that the nitty gritty details and logistics involved can be overwhelmingly daunting and take away from the purpose and essence of the retreat.
In Lauren Cole’s recent blog post, “The Dos and Don'ts of Planning a Wellness Retreat”, she reached out to Ben Crosky and Dan Wilf, co-founders of Yogascapes for their advice on retreat planning. “It will be incredibly difficult to plan activities while at the same time checking in and making sure attendees are having a good experience. If you're thinking about organizing your retreat without the help of a travel company, Dan Wilf recommends bringing along someone to be responsible for logistical parts of the trip, such as food, transport, and money. That way, you as the leader can focus on bringing wellness to your participants. She goes on to note that, “by taking over important details like space and other logistics, they help trip leaders to create a better retreat. Their advice comes from years of experience, and is super helpful to anyone attempting to organize a retreat, especially for the first time.”
In “Confessions of a Yoga Teacher: 8 things no one told me about planning a yoga retreat” Candace, the author of this blog post, talks about the the burnout that can come from the logistical side of retreat planning, “I would be so burnt out from the behind the scenes stuff that I wouldn't do well on the mat as the instructor. All my energy would be spent doing the logistics.”
Let’s face it; retreat planning is a bear! Organizing transportation, menus around specific dietary needs, registration systems, waivers, excursions, cancellations, daily schedules, payments and so much more make up the backbone of planning a successful retreat. And if you are considering an international retreat be sure to add the obstacle of another language, customs and culture into that mix. So this leaves us with the question to retreat or not retreat? RETREAT! But strongly consider hiring a logistics/planning guru or joining forces with a retreat planning company.