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Soak Up the Sun

By Paul

As the warmer months keep rolling, right now is an excellent time to plan a last-minute BBQ for your group’s next retreat. When it comes to themes, food, and fun activities, we are here to help with a few suggestions:

Tip #1 – Themes: Make your BBQ memorable for everyone by having a unique theme with fitting decorations. At the initial stages of your BBQ planning, do some researching on themes that have been a major hit for past events. A number of great themes could include a Beach Party, Patriotic Theme, 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s Theme, Caribbean Festival or Summer Bash. With an abundance of themes out there, pick the one that will brighten up your party and make it come alive! To make your BBQ even more festive, encourage your guests to dress up in outfits that match your theme and spruce things up by stopping at Michaels or Party City for creative decorations.

Tip #2 – Food: As you plan a great BBQ, you will definitely want to serve a variety of delicious food items. Before you get too far in the planning, talk with the venue you will be staying at to get feedback about food and drink options. They may even offer upgrading a meal into a BBQ.  Here are three excellent items to include in the menu:

  1. Hamburgers and hot dogs served with baked beans and coleslaw
  2. Grilled chicken or barbequed pork served with potato salad and green bean casserole
  3. Grilled chicken or beef shish kabobs served with grilled veggies of your choice and a three-bean salad

Tip #3 – Activities: Along with the theme and food items, make your BBQ a blast with exciting activities. The ministry doesn’t have to stop while the food is hot. At your BBQ, set aside a time for devotion with a praise and worship band. This type of activity will put your group’s focus towards God and what He has done for them. On top of worship, your list of activities should be filled with outside games. Not sure what to include? FamilyEducation has you covered with its own list of backyard party games:

  1. Potato Sack Race
  2. Spikeball
  3. Cornhole or Beanbag Toss
  4. Bocce or Boochie
  5. Horseshoes
  6. Washer Toss
  7. Kan Jam or Frisbee Golf
  8. Limbo
  9. Rollors
  10. Giant Tumble Tower

Check out the list here for more ideas

Proverbs 17:22 states “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones." (NKJV) Therefore, create some happiness and joy at your retreat’s BBQ. Have some FUN!

As you plan your next event, take advantage of these moments to build relationships with people. Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts, laugh a lot, and have the time of your life as you plan!

Christian Retreats Network /

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