This February marked the beginning of a new annual tradition for NRP: our NRP Team Retreat! I’ll be honest: I was pretty nervous hosting our first ever retreat. I invited Callie, Olivia and Elizabeth along with their husbands, and of course Will and Milly came too! But I kept thinking to myself, “Can I really make this valuable for them? What do I even plan? Will they even want to take a weekend away from their personal lives to hang out with the team and talk about work stuff?” I love leading, but I think every leader struggles with self doubt every now and then.

I used my nervousness to be really intentional about building a schedule that would make me excited – something that I felt would be truly worth it and enjoyable for everyone. I wanted this retreat to be 3 things: challenging, refreshing, and just plain fun! I also wanted it to be enjoyable for the husbands, so I made an intentional effort to include them in every aspect of the weekend except for 1 team building exercise.

A healthy team retreat should include a balance of work and fun. It should focus on unifying every person as a team, sharpening them, and building them up. We crave feedback, honesty, and encouragement! We all want to be contributing members to a larger team and bigger goals than we can accomplish by ourselves.

With that in mind, I categorized our activities into 3 types that made for a wonderful retreat: Challenging, Refreshing, and Fun! Here is a lit of all the team activities we included. If you are considering hosting your own team retreat, you should include these as well! They worked so well for us!

3 Types of Activities that make for an Amazing Team Retreat

1. Challenging activities:
• DISC personality tests: to be completed prior to the retreat, along with husbands
DISC discussion time
• NRP Team Effectiveness Exercise taken from The Advantage

2. Refreshing activities:
• Afternoon Waterfall Hike
• Delicious meals planned ahead of time and shared responsibility amongst team for prep
Personal Histories Exercise at Dinner one night taken from The Advantage

3. Fun activities:
• Game night every night: Farkle and Watch Ya Mouth were hits!

Do you know what I’m just now realizing that I think is pretty great? None of these exercises had to do anything with photography! We brought 1 camera to share for the weekend, and we had our iPhones, but for the most part we just focused on our effectiveness as a team. I think that’s why it was so refreshing – it really felt like a time of unity and growth. It was a different kind of work, and we all left challenged, refreshed, and full of laughter and fun memories.

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