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Camp Planning Checklist and Timeline: How to Get Their Attention and Keep It

By The CRN Team

Let's face it: event planning has changed. We used to be able to make a flyer, photocopy it, and tape it to a business’ window. However, today’s social calendars are busier than ever.

As Christian event planners, this means we must be proactive in our approach and utilize modern advertising strategies. Below we are sharing a 12-month planner for your next Youth Retreat or Camp. Use this task list to stay on track and remember to keep your communication E-C-A!

E = early

C = consistent

A = appropriate

12-Months Out:

  1. Secure the date and venue.
  2. Create a steering committee that includes at a minimum: 1) chair, 2) secretary, 3) treasurer, and 4) marketing coordinator. 
  3. Write a mission statement and define the theme for your retreat or camp.  Stuck? Think critically about what you want to accomplish with this retreat? Challenge your team to write a response to this question and bring it with them to the next meeting. Encourage your steering committee to write openly and honestly. Then, pray as a group and discuss.
  4. Create a marketing and recruitment plan. Identify your intended audience and define how you plan to get their attention. Define your social media (text, email, social media, etc.). Remember to keep the number of accounts you choose manageable. Updating three social platforms can be time consuming. Quality over quantity applies here.
  5. Create a logo and define a brand. Choose: 1) a logo, 2) two or three colors, and 3) two or three fonts. Use them on all your graphics for consistent branding.

9-Months Out: 

  1. Create a Save The Date graphic. This information should be limited in nature and include at a minimum: the date, location, and leader contact information.
  2. Post the Save the Date EVERYWHERE you can think of. Post your graphics on all relevant social media accounts and ask others to share it on their pages. Submit your graphic to whomever designs your church bulletin and newsletter. 

6-Months Out:

  1. Create a detailed and final flyer for the retreat and post it everywhere. Your flyer should look similar to the Save the Date. Your audience is starting to associate your logo and brand with your event. Consistency is key! 
  2. Add your event to all applicable calendars. Get it on your organization's website and add it to your social media accounts. If you have a Facebook page, add it as an event.
  3. Schedule consistent social media posts: Schedule social media posts at least every two weeks until two months from the event.

2-Months Out: 

  1. Write and release a Parent Letter: Items to include are: 1) location address and coordinates, 2) staff list and phone tree, 3) packing list, and 4) rules. Include all the possible FAQs. Feeling extra? Schedule a parent meeting for mingling and a group prayer.
  2. Start a Countdown Campaign and post it weekly: E.g. “Six weeks (about one and a half months) until 2024 Youth Retreat!” Include important dates, such as the last day to register.

1-Month Out

  1. Increase social media posts to two or three times a week.
  2. Send a weekly email and text blast reminder. 

1-Week Out

  1. Finalize your itinerary and job duties.
  2. Send job duties out to your staff and schedule 1:1s to onboard new staff.

2-Days Before: 

  1. Send out your itinerary to all staff and attendees with any final notes or changes.
  2. Post driving directions to the location on your social media pages.
  3. Schedule a Welcome Post for the morning of departure.

Free Resources for Branding:


Christian Retreats Network /

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