Retreat Recreation

YPO/WPO forum retreat activities

It is common to plan some fun activities in addition to the retreat work. At various retreats, I have golfed, downhill skied, cross country skied, snowmobiled, hiked, kayaked, sailed, yachted, bicycled, mountain bicycled, fished, played ping-pong, shot pool, shot sporting clays, engaged in fitness programs, roped cattle at a dude ranch, tasted wine, tasted beer, tasted bourbon, cooked and white water rafted. I have even gone bowling.

Most of the above activities don’t require any talent to enjoy doing them. For example, hiking, shooting pool, and kayaking on flat water can all be done by folks who don’t normally do these things. However, there are a few activities that members need at least a minimum of skill to enjoy. Golf and skiing come to mind.

If every single member of your forum isn’t up for golfing or skiing, then just don’t do those activities. I have experienced both activities on retreat where at least one member didn’t golf or ski. The non-participating member is always a good sport about it…”don’t mind me, you guys go and have fun”. But it is the wrong thing for a forum to do.

It is not just a concern about the non-participating member missing a few hours of fun. The retreat is about bonding everyone together and shared fun is a part of the glue. Inevitably, there are lots of jokes and stories that come out of these activities. The non-participating member misses out on these experiences and becomes a second class citizen when the “remember when…” stories are told. If not everyone golfs, then don’t golf on retreat. If not everyone skis, then don’t ski.