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When the Storm Hits

By Justin

Planning an event is not an easy task. You put so much time and resources into preparing and promoting your event. But what happens when the weekend forecast takes a turn for the worst? Do you cancel?

Why call it all off when there are alternative options that avoid throwing away all of your hard work. When you are planning a retreat, especially during the winter months, always remember to keep an eye on the weather the week leading up to your event.  As we know, forecasts can sometimes change significantly within a day or two. Your best option would be to wait it out until the day of the event before making the call.

If you see the forecast is not backing down, here are a couple other options to consider:

  • Check the weather at the facility you are using, sometimes just an hour away can make a big difference in a forecast.
  • Try to move your arrival time up to leave before the weather sets in.
  • Move your arrival time to the next morning when the weather has passed.

Remember, all you have to do is get to the venue!  Even if the weather gets worse once you arrive, that will have no effect on your services and the experience of your attendees. By the time your event is over, the weather could be all clear! You will still be able to provide an opportunity for your guests to have their lives changed regardless of the weather outside. 

If it is a youth event, having snow on the ground is just part of the season.  You can even alter some of your activities to be snow related.  Some people would even go as far as to pray that it does snow for their event. But really, that is part of the winter camp experience. 

If all other options do not work, always reschedule your event before pulling the plug completely. Most of your retreat and conference centers will have a cancellation policy in place that does not always have a bad weather clause.  But they will typically have an option to reschedule. 

Rescheduling can certainly be hard if you have a tight church calendar. But if you can, all time and materials that were being put towards the original event can still be utilized. Rescheduling will also save you the work of refunding registration money along with all the hassle and disappointment that goes along with calling off the event. Although, there may be times when you will have to throw in the towel and call the event off. 

Just remember when bad weather occurs, especially winter weather, it does not always need to be a planner’s worst nightmare!

Check out our blogs, When the Weather Doesn’t Cooperate and  Fun Indoor Games for Youth Retreats, for alternative recreation ideas for when a storms hits.

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626