Q: I’m planning some youth retreat activities for later this year and have organized several activities for the young people that I don’t want to take part in myself. Do you think this matters?
A: I’m afraid it does matter! There are many reasons why it’s good to take part in youth retreat activities, so here are three of them:
1. It Builds Trust And Relationships
Youth retreats are a great opportunity for team building and bonding – not just for youth to bond with other youth, but also for them to bond with you and other volunteers.
If you don’t participate in activities, you’re therefore missing out on a chance to form stronger relationships that will last beyond just the weekend that you’re at the retreat center.
Your youth will also respect you more for getting involved with the activities and not making them do stuff that you’re not willing to do yourself.
2. It Develops You
Many youth retreat activities involve encouraging young people to push the boundaries of what they’re comfortable doing, perhaps by having them face their fears or getting them to try something new.
The reason you plan these activities for them is to help them grow as a person. If it’s beneficial for their development, it’ll be equally as beneficial for you.
In one of her previous roles, Shae used to plan retreat activities that involved heights to push the boundaries of what the youth would normally do. This would involve high ropes courses, rock climbing, etc and she’d take part too.
The thing is, Shae hates heights. She struggled to do all of these activities but always pushed through it as she knew that if she expected young people to do something, she needed to do it too.
3. It’s Fun
The other reason why you’ve probably planned these activities at the retreat is because they’re fun, so why not have some fun yourself!
Even if it’s likely to be more terrifying than fun, simply having you take part will increase the fun for your youth. At the very least, it’ll give them a good laugh at your expense!
So whatever the reason is that you don’t want to take part, I’d highly recommend rethinking it and booking yourself in for each of the activities.
Question: Have you ever been in a situation like this? What did you do? Let us know in the comments below.
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