We often hear from group leaders who suddenly find themselves recruiting for a church weekend away. So if that’s you and you’re looking for some hints and tips about what to do first and what never to do, here are a few of our tried and tested pointers….

So, your church leadership has decided that your church or youth group will go away. Quinta has been booked, and inadvertantly you find that you are doing all the organising for the trip away. (Note to self – listen more carefully when the pastor asks you to do something – don’t just say “yes, of course I will” automatically!)

And now you’re lumbered, and you begin to feel the pressure of having to fill the places and people just don’t seem keen to sign up… and, of course, you don’t want the Treasurer harassing you when the books don’t balance at the end of the weekend. So what do you do?

Well, be assured that you’re not alone in feeling like this… others before and after you will experience the same sleepless nights worrying about it. We know how it can feel, we have put together a handy little list of things that you can do to help you encourage as many people as possible to sign up. And here it is! So, relax, take a deep breath, read on, then try putting some of these things into practice! We suggest you:

    1. Let people know early

      Announce your residential in good time, and include details in a notice sheet, magazine, on noticeboards – wherever people will see it. And don’t do it once – keep talking about it.

    2. Do some church weekend promo

      Maybe show a PowerPoint presentation to get people interested and excited. To help you, we have PowerPoints available on our website for you to download. There is a different one for each accommodation unit, and please feel free to customise it for your group by adding in the dates, cost, name of speaker, special activities planned and so on.

    3. Come visit us with your camera

      If you have clever creative people in your group, encourage them to come to The Quinta to make a promotional DVD to show to everyone. The more publicity the better.

    4. Ask your leaders to help

      Make sure your church or youth group leader speaks positively and excitedly about the trip away – you don’t want everyone else thinking it is all just for your benefit. And if you are the church or youth group leader? Make sure you speak positively and excitedly about it, obviously!

    5. Make it easy to pay

      Set up a payment by installment scheme to help those who want to spread the cost.

    6. Share the burden

      Get a group together to organise your programme and get all of them involved in recruiting their friends too.

    7. Be creative in your programme planning.

      What could you do differently or new to encourage people to come on your church weekend? Ever thought of a murder mystery evening, for example? Or a hog roast? Or a themed evening meal? Explore the Quinta for more ideas.

    8. Make full use of all the activities available on site

      Get to know what’s available yourself and and make sure you tell everyone about what they can do. People will be disappointed to arrive here to find a nice warm indoor swimming pool if you never told them to pack their speedos!

    9. Consider asking another church or youth group to join with you for the weekend

      You’ve then got a larger group of people to ask; and shared fellowship can be of great benefit.

    10. Look at ways of reducing the cost to make the trip more affordable.

      Self-catering is usually cheaper than being catered for, for example. Chat to us here at The Quinta and we can help

And remember, all the way through the planning to keep in touch with our staff – don’t panic on your own. For example, the sooner you tell us your numbers are a bit on the low side, the easier it is for us to make some suggestions to help you.

We hope that inspiring other people to join you for a church weekend away will go well and not feel like a burden. And we look forward to seeing you soon at The Quinta.