For the majority, retreats, camps, conferences and every other kind of event we see are fun. Everyone is worshiping and playing and feasting together. It’s practically a vacation where you get to enhance your relationship with God and everyone who came with you. It’s awesome! But not for everyone. While there is plenty of pressure on the planner to pull off the greatest event possible, it is also on the part of the participant. Whether you are the planner, guest, camper, parent, volunteer or in any other way involved in an event, it comes down to what you make of it.
As the planner, don’t get discouraged by one or two people having a bad experience. Of course, you want every single person to walk away feeling renewed in their spiritual health, but this world is not perfect and neither are the people who inhabit it. Unfortunately, you will probably see a handful of guests (specifically kids or teens) who did not want to come or are skeptical about the effects an event like this can have. They will criticize every little thing, instead of opening up their minds to the possibilities available to them. Likewise, those who do not have a strong spiritual health may suffer from hesitation and feel discouraged by walking away with more questions than answers. The prayer is that you will be able to get through to those guests. This starts with participation and encouragement. You may get some resistance, especially from the shy ones, but by providing activities that promote inclusion, they may become more comfortable.
Sometimes events aren’t fun because it rained, the schedule got messed up, or everyone got sick. There are a number of things that could try to take away the fun. But, by having a good attitude and embracing the event and all its aspects, it will be everything you want it to be.