By Gail Marsh
Tulips and daffodils. Warm sunshine and green grass. Fresh, clean air carried along by a gentle breeze.
These images conjure up thoughts of spring. Dreaming about spring in the middle of winter may seem silly, but thinking now about your spring women’s retreat is not silly at all! In fact, with a little dreaming and a bit of planning, your women’s retreat can become a dream come true.
CTA has just released a new retreat program: Masterpiece. As always, everything you need for a successful retreat is included within this theme, from leadership resources to participants’ materials to coordinated giveaways.
Is it possible to host a successful retreat by simply using the leaders’ and participants’ guides? Of course! But, to make a lasting impression, to help carry your retreat’s main theme beyond the weekend time spent together, you’ll want to take advantage of all the extras, too! Just think, long after your retreat has ended, a woman may see the Masterpiece bookmark or take a sip from the Masterpiece tumbler and be reminded that she is a work of art—carefully shaped and fashioned by God himself!
Think about incorporating these other impactful gifts into your retreat:
- Before the retreat: Handwrite retreat invitations to the women in your church.
- During the retreat: Jot notes of encouragement to retreat participants, or write a heartfelt note of thanks and give to your keynote speaker.
- After the retreat: Use the notecards to thank the individuals who helped you plan and host the retreat.
- Give each member on your planning team a tumbler at your first meeting, to thank them in advance for their service.
- Fill tumblers with salted almonds, tea bags, or other snack. Wrap with colored cellophane and place the tumblers at the registration table. Give this gift to participants as they arrive.
- Punch two holes a short distance apart on the bookmarks. Insert a lollipop through the holes and use it as a sweet greeting on the first day of the retreat.
- Place a bookmark at each participant’s place at the table. Encourage the women to use the bookmark to hold the place of their favorite Bible verse. Share favorites as a get-to-know you activity.
Masterpiece tote bags
- Fill the tote with an assortment of items (lotion, colorful umbrella, art cards and pencils, scented soaps, devotional book, box of chocolate, specialty coffee or tea, cozy socks, and more.) Following each game, let winners choose a prize from the tote bag of goodies.
- Fill the tote as suggested above and give it to your retreat leader or keynote speaker as a sincere thank you.
Masterpiece accessory bags
- Use the bag as a welcome gift to retreat participants. Place lip balm, an emery board, hand sanitizer, and other small gifts inside.
- Place three blank note cards inside each accessory bag. Explain that participants may use the cards to record their most meaningful Bible verses or key points throughout the retreat.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2020 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.