If you are going on a retreat, whether it is with family members, a church or religious group or a business gathering, it's important to provide a balance of activities that will educate and refresh your participants while allowing for relational connections to flourish. Programming skits can be a powerful way to impact your participants over the course of the retreat.
Fun and play are two of the most important aspects of providing an atmosphere of personal renewal and refreshment. Therefore, using skits or charade-like games can provide fun over which your group can bond. Placing fun skits early in the retreat's program can also help to set the tone for letting down personal barriers within the group. Alternatively, you may choose to have different groups of participants present their own skit to the rest of the group throughout different times during the retreat. Another idea may include coming up with funny scenarios from your group's past and having participants act out the scenarios in the form of a skit.
If you have a newly formed group or you are visiting a retreat area with specific rules and regulations, you may want to introduce group norms early during the first few hours of the retreat through skits. Depending on your group, if you have a large set of rules to go over, you may choose to divide up the rules among different participant groups, which in turn act out their own set of rules for the rest of the group. Using skits for teaching norms is a powerful way to engage the group in reviewing information that is typically boring and accompanied by inattention.
If part of the retreat is to produce personal or group growth, you may use role playing skits as an educational teaching tool for your participants. Typically, successful role plays are performed with greater degrees of instruction and framing for the participants to know what it expected of them. Also, if you are able to provide an example of a skit by acting it out with the retreat's leadership or servant team, it can set a high standard to which your participants can aspire with their own skits.
Bring in a skit at the end of the retreat as a powerful way to debrief and reflect on everything that took place in the lives of the participants while on the retreat. Depending on the type of organization that you are planning a retreat for, you may want to consider modifying the skit to reflect certain aspects of the retreat, such as personal growth or group dynamics. Another debriefing idea may be to have each individual participant on the retreat perform a 60 second charade about their experience while on the retreat.