Pros and Cons – Retreat Camp

In determining a location for your overnight retreat, you can choose from two general categories:  hotels and retreat camps.  We have held retreats at both over the years.  This year, we again checked out hotels and nearby camps where our retreat could be held, comparing amenities and costs.  So we decided to give you our list of pros and cons for each.  Perhaps you can think of others!  Let’s begin with the retreat camp:


  • Often located outside of the city, where there is more opportunity for actual scenery, less city noise, closer to nature and a feeling of “getting away”;
  • Less crowded;
  • Often, there are different accommodation options available, ranging from hotel rooms to cabins to dorms;
  • Generally, a retreat camp is a little less expensive, depending on your accommodations;
  • Many retreat camps are Christian-owned and operated, meaning that you are mostly dealing with Christians;
  • May accomodate smaller groups without requiring room commitment;
  • Often, you can bring your own snacks into the meeting room;
  • More opportunity for outdoor activities, such as hiking, outdoor sports, water activities, etc.


  • Weather can be an issue because moving to meeting area or cafeteria often requires a walk outside;
  • Often, retreat camps are out of town and require more driving in unfamiliar territory;
  • Camp food often leans toward the higher fat, more carbohydrate filled “comfort” food (expect gravy!);
  • Food may be served cafeteria style, on their schedule;
  • Meeting rooms may be less comfortable, less conducive to media use;
  • Possibly less privacy and more rustic bathrooms;
  • Beds less comfortable, and you may have to bring your own bedding; and many camps still have bunk beds for certain levels of accommodations;
  • Dorms may present challenges due to loud sleepers, late-nighters, early risers, etc.;
  • Bunk beds may be an option, presenting difficulties for those sleeping in the top bunk;
  • May present physical challenges for older or disabled guests;
  • Depending on how rustic the camp is, sewer problems can be an issue;
  • Bugs and critters (need we say more?).

Posted in: Location, Location, Location, Retreat and Event Planning

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