Fall Retreat was started by a small thought “Big Jake” had. He gathered a team of leaders and brainstormed. The heart of the team was to create a local youth event- an opportunity for youth and leaders in Classis Huron to make connections and to encourage youth in their walk in Christ. Fall Retreat was created to be a spiritual get-away without having to drive across the country. In the beginning Fall Retreat was held at Camp Shalom in Cambridge, Ontario until they outgrew the space! This is when Muskoka Woods Camp in Rosseau, Ontario fell into the laps of the Planning Team. It has been hosted at Muskoka Woods ever since. Still year after year Fall Retreat continues to bring Classis Huron youth together, brings them away from their busy life, connects them to creation and encourages them in their life with Christ.
What to Expect
The Retreat weekend starts on Friday evening, Retreaters are able to arrive at Muskoka Woods Camp anytime from 6-8pm. The first night is for registration, settling into your cabins, getting a brief understanding of the grounds, enjoying the first session from the speaker and worship and learning in your small groups. Lights out every night of the weekend is 12am. Cabins are split by female and male gender and local home churches. Gender cabins are across campus from each other and most cabins hold 16 people total which is organized so that there are 14 youth and 2 leaders per cabin. Small groups are organized by local home churches and gender and are a time to dig deeper after the worship sessions, debrief, ask questions, pray and encourage each other. Small groups are led by Youth Leaders (please see general requirements).
Saturday morning starts out with breakfast at 8:30am in the dining hall. All meals are eaten together with all retreaters. Breakfast is followed by the second worship session, small groups and then lunch. After lunch is Affinity Times which is a choice of 3-4 different hour long sessions learning opportunities; these can be anything from current social pressures or issues, spiritual development, educational, worship, personal development or creative expression. Affinity Time is followed by an organized large group game, then organized sports games in the afternoon that the youth can make up a team to compete or it can be free time until dinner. There are prayer rooms, gagaball pits, beach volleyball courts, rock climbing, tennis, board games, an art den, video games all set up and free to use for freetimes. Dinner is 5:30pm. Then it is the 3rd session of worship, followed by small groups. After your group finishes their time together it’s time for a late night snack and free time; usually there is a movie running, campfire and board games set up. Youth are to be in their cabins by 11:30pm. Sunday’s schedule follows a similar layout. After lunch is when it is time to head home. Fall Retreat has been running this layout for years and it has become tried and true. The weekend is set up to be a “get-away” for youth and leaders alike; it works to understand the balance of spiritual growth and the need for free time, time to build relationships and to have fun.
Churches- Churches must be part of Classis Huron, Ontario, Canada to join Fall Retreat Weekend. If you are not part of Classis Huron and would like the possibility of joining for the weekend please contact the Planning Team. Churches are responsible to send youth leaders/parents with their youth. The requirement ratio is 1 leader to 7 youth. A church must have a representative of each gender if sending youth of each gender. If your local church is finding this requirement difficult please contact the Planning Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Group Leaders/ Youth Leaders- A leader must be over 21 years of age and have a vulnerable sector check through the local church. Youth Leaders should be mature and able to handle the responsibility for their youth’s safety, to implement possible discipline over the weekend- the Safety Team and Disciplinary Team are available in unusual situations and for support. If you are between grade 12 and the age of 21 and would like to be a part of the weekend, talk to your local youth leader to see if you could come as a “JR Leader” or contact the Planning Team for volunteer options!
Youth- Between grades 9-12 to attend as a youth.