We are aware of the many challenges that face youth ministry today and how they affect your planning. Students today are busier than ever, and find themselves torn between competing desires for time and commitments. We know that this causes much hair pulling as you plan activities. It also effects the operation of Subiaco and the retreat experience. Some weekends we are overbooked and straining capacity; other weekends we are under booked, while groups are left on waiting list. It is our hope to improve scheduling through email and on-line calendar so we can accommodate as many youth as is comfortable and provide the best experience.
Over the years of we have found there is an ideal range of guests that promotes the best experience. Too few students tend to get overwhelmed by the size of the place and group activities lack a certain community spirituality. When we are overfilled the accommodations become uncomfortable and students get lost as cliques form in reaction to the large numbers. The most effective range seems to lie between 30 and 45 people. To maintain these numbers we have begun combing parishes within a weekend. Combining parishes has proven fruitful, many friendships are established and often the groups form lasting relationship, continuing community building through other shared activities.
All youth leaders have found it difficult to get commitments from students, as well as last minute cancellations, or low participation. No one should feel alone in this dilemma. In addition to affecting the retreat experience for those attending, the operation of the retreat house is impacted. We have certain fixed cost involved with maintenance, utilities, and service regardless of the size of the group. Please help us as much as possible when making reservation. We like keeping things informal and have never felt the need to write up contracts or set minimum guarantee levels.
Please stay in contact with the retreat house and keep us updated with the most reasonable numbers. More often than not group leaders tend to over estimate participation. Students seem eager to attend but then drop away as the date draws near. Many have found that if you establish some kind of deposit and payment schedule with the youth it helps in making accurate reservations. Tell the students that there is a limited number opening. It creates a sense of something special. It is easier to try and accommodate more youth than have a near empty house.
All retreats include at least one meal. Confirmation and one-day retreats include a snack upon arrival and a pizza lunch.
Weekend Retreat $110.00
One-Day Retreat $30.00
Weekday One-Night $80.00
Weekday Two-Night $110.00
Please contact Subiaco as soon as possible to find available dates for weekend or Confirmation retreat. Many groups have been coming here for years and book the date a year ahead of time. It is never too early to start planning. Please refer to the Google Calendar to help find possible available dates. Br. Marty keeps this fairly well up to date.
- Call Br. Marty (248)891-1192 or email to schedule this year’s weekend retreat. With in a month of your retreat date have an estimated number of people attending.
- For those new to youth ministry it is always good to contact the local high schools to find out when they are planning large events such as homecoming, prom, theater, concerts, winter or spring breaks, and ACT/SAT testing, this will help give you an idea of possible conflicts.
- Discuss the retreat with your students early in the year; get a good feeling for the number who will attend, keeping in mind school and extra-curricular activities.
- Require the students to make non-refundable deposits, such as half due six weeks out and the full amount due two weeks before the scheduled date.
- Be realistic when making reservation, avoid being over optimistic only to be disappointed when you don’t get the participation you anticipated
- If you make arrangements to attend with another parish, please consult with the retreat house so we have a good idea who is attending. In the past this has caused unexpected scheduling conflicts.
- Communicate difficulties with Br. Marty as soon as possible. Don’t wait till the last minute. This will be very helpful in our planning.
- Young adults (those still in college) are welcome, but it should be determined ahead of time whether they will be acting as chaperones or full participants throughout the experience.
- We have found that 2 chaperones per 15 students is an adequate ratio. Although we leave these decisions to the parish
- Chaperones are expected to see the youth follow the house rules, both inside and out. They should be visible to the youth, yet not hovering. Help in the kitchen during and after meals and snacks. Maintain orderly and quite bedtimes.