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FAQs for Retreat Hosts

Frequently Asked Questions from Host Communities

1. What kind of responsibilities should host communities take on?

To keep BMP sustainable and extend the endowment, we are asking host communities to contribute a portion in terms of finances and labor. Financially, the BMP is committed to covering staff salaries, travel expenses and accommodations 100 percent, as well as the cost of photography. It has also been subsidizing the costs of the venue and participants' lodging not covered by registration fees. (Ideally, the donors request that the host communities and attendees would fully finance the venue and guests' accommodations.) The specifics, however, will be negotiated according to the resources of the local communities.

Laborwise, the BMP will provide the presenters, emcees and other key staff help, the exercises and presentation materials, as well as help to locate and negotiate with the venue. The BMP will also help train local volunteers involved with the event and the aftercare. With BMP support, the host communities are expected to:

  • Facilitate partial scholarships for some couples’ ticket costs
  • Solicit door prize and gift bag donations
  • Help locate local Small Group Leader volunteers
  • Help locate other local staff for Registration, Videography, Photography, General Affairs
  • Promote the event starting as early as possible (ideally 10 weeks before)
  • Offer audio-visual equipment if possible
  • Set up childcare opportunities for those couples who need it
  • Buy and prepare date night gift bags, guest snacks (if needed), and venue flowers beforehand

2. Why is the retreat three days long, when it is too expensive and impractical for many couples to attend?

The tagline of the retreat is “Get Away to Refresh, Recharge & Reconnect.” We want to make a getaway experience, to allow couples to relax and for spouses to enjoy each others' company and that of other couples. We have also found that it usually takes more than one night away for most couples to unwind, open up and really leave their busy lives behind. We are trying to give a higher quality of experience, perhaps sacrificing a higher quantity of participants. At the same time, we are planning to have more affordable half- and one-day seminars that can include more couples.

3. Why are there so many staff?

A retreat of this size and complexity requires many staff members. The BMP will cover the costs of all staff.

4. Can you offer childcare?

We understand that many young couples need childcare or they cannot come (most of the staff is in the same situation!). Offering childcare can be a complicated and expensive proposition, however. Perhaps the local community can help with this by enlisting other families or teenage helpers.