Family Retreats to Heal Old Wounds
Retreats can be beneficial to families who are struggling to cope with difficult changes or get along with each other. They provide families time to connect without the hustle and bustle of daily life and offer them various activities that can strengthen their bonds to one another. Some retreats will blend different families together, while others are more isolated and will accommodate various families in their own location. Both of these are beneficial.
Generally speaking, there are two main types of family retreats: organized and unstructured. While both options offer families fun activities and time together, they are different. To help you decide which kind of retreat you and your family should attend, here is a quick breakdown of the two types.
Organized family retreats are often associated with religious groups; however, this isn’t always the case. They are designed specifically for family bonding and healing old wounds through bonding activities, counselling, and personal time. Organized retreats put a lot of emphasis on developing trust between family members, and improving communication.
Activities offered at organized retreats include things team challenges, presentations, leisure activities (such as fishing, hiking, or swimming), therapy sessions, and crafts.
Organized retreats can be held in a variety of locations including spas, camp grounds, recreation centers, and dedicated buildings that are used only for retreats.
Usually, organized retreat getaways include lodging, meals, and activities for a set price that the highly trained staff are familiar with and able to discuss with you if you have any questions.
Unstructured retreats are more laid back and allow families that attend to decide for themselves which activities they want to partake in. Unstructured retreats give families more personal time, but lack the structure that organized retreats have. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can make it hard for families to get the maximum amount of healing that they could get.
Unstructured retreat activates can include almost anything that the family chooses to do. This means that the family in question can plan their own activities according to their likes and dislikes. Families who choose to pick their own activities are encouraged to choose activities that allow for trust building and communication, as well as team work.
Some activities that are good for building trust and communication between family members are storytelling circles, campfires, hikes, and crafts that require teamwork to assemble.
Unstructured retreats may cover some lodging and meals, but are generally not staffed so there aren’t many employees on site. Families are sometimes required to pay for extra services such as snacks on top of their original entrance fee.
St Michael’s Retreat is set in a natural, rural setting near Calgary, Canada. It is suitable for families, and nestled in the heart of the beautiful province of Alberta. The retreat is associated with the Anglican church, but provides a fun time for both for families that aren’t religious and families that are. Families who attend are treated to scenic walking trails and privacy, as the retreat is surrounded by a rock labyrinth.