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Retreat Best Practices

We try to talk about chastity (at least once) with every group we ever work with, 7th grade and up. It’s a critical virtue in such an unchaste world and we’d encourage everyone who has any kind of moral influence over teenagers – parents, educators, youth ministers – to do the same. We cannot talk about chastity enough.

But that can be a tall order… who here received good information from their own parents about love, sex, dating, relationships? Yeah, me neither. So then how can we talk to teenagers about this when it wasn’t modeled well for us? It’s possible. But it requires some courage, some honesty, and some good information.

As a teenager, my friend Mike was at a very low point in his life – seriously considering harming himself in the most permanent way. In that moment, seemingly out of the blue, a friend reached out to him and asked if he wanted to hang out and do something. Mike said yes to his friend, and – looking back – he believes that phone call saved his life.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to something boring? A meeting, a class, a Church event?

I can’t see you through the screen, but I’m going to guess your hand is up. It is, isn’t it? Mine is, too.

Parents – ever wondered what your kid actually does at youth group?

Youth ministers – ever wondered what your teens tell their parents when they get home from church?

I have experienced the ups and downs of raising teenagers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked one of my kids about school, youth group, a social event, or a retreat that they attended – and the only response I got was “good” or “fine” or “okay.” And despite my attempts to pry deeper by asking questions, I often had no idea what my kids experienced.

The REAP Team is (and always has been) a traveling retreat ministry – we come to you. We love that our retreat work takes us to exotic locations such as Osage Bend, Missouri and Red Bud, Illinois. Our mini-road trips make for great team bonding and we all drive cars with great gas mileage.

We’ve been blessed to present retreats in a wide variety of locations – including (but not limited to) cathedrals, churches, retreat centers, rectory basements, school cafeterias, community centers, libraries, classrooms, gymnasiums, auditoriums, and barns. Our venues have run the gamut from elegant to janky to potentially haunted, and everything in between. From the brand-new to the bug-infested, chances are good that we’ve led a retreat there.