March 30, 2017

Update on Christian Preparedness Retreats

There was so much interest in the Christian preparedness retreat that I have an exciting update that I want to share with all of you! Many of you said that you were interested but would not be willing to drive. This led me to contemplate “what if” with Trudee, with me saying how fantastic it would be if I could do this full time and we prayed about it. The next day I was contacted by a reader who is associated with a Bible camp in Virginia and they want to host a retreat as well! This has led me to the decision to start a company offering these retreats around the country, to any Bible camp, regular camp or Church that is willing to host one.

I have a few things I really could use your help with! First; prayer! I am completely out of my depth here and trusting God to lead the way! Please pray for wisdom and that I am able to see His direction.

Second is the name, as I am stumped! Here are a few I have come up with, but I am open to suggestions.

A. Practical Readiness Retreats
B. Practical Christian Readiness Retreats
C. Christian Readiness Retreats
D. Readiness Retreats
E. Prepared Christian Retreats

I have a few thoughts here; I want to stay away from “prepper” or “preparedness” in the name, as I want the class to draw non-preppers who might be put off by “prepper” because of shows like Doomsday Preppers and the like. I try to keep everything I do rooted in the practical and I think readiness is pretty non-threatening. I go back and forth on having “Christian” in the name. I want believers to know the retreat is rooted in Christ but that will be easily distinguished by looking at the content. I also need to keep in mind what people type into the search engines or address bar when they do an internet search. I almost didn’t add option E, as I am not sure if I want to keep this completely separated or not and it has “Prepared” in the title.

The last thing I need your help with is finding other venues that may be interested in hosting a retreat. If you’re affiliated with or spend time at a Bible camp, gauge the interest and have them contact me at Chris {at} Preparedchristian {dot} net. The same goes for a church or other venue that might be interested! This is a great opportunity to bring in extra income for the camp.

My church did a one day seminar and I know others have told me their church put on a seminar or held a bible study, but many more of you have told me that your church seemed apathetic or against the idea. This is why I think a Bible camp is such a great idea! The classroom setting is great for some topics, but teaching about making fire really needs to be done outdoors.

 
 
Retreat Design

The retreats will be designed to fit the venue and attendance. If there are enough people attending, we could have as many as four classes going on at one time in breakout sessions, with everyone attending the main sessions.

This brings up an inevitable problem; missing a class that you wanted to take because you’re taking a class you wanted to attend a little more. For the time being, the only solution I have for this is to have popular classes taught multiple times, though I don’t know if this will be done either. If these retreats catches on, I could eventually offer recordings of classes available for a small fee for those who attend a retreat and possibly offer them to those who can’t attend as well.

The two camps I am working with now have both expressed interest in holding a retreat multiple times a year. I think this is a great idea because, for example, spring isn’t hunting season! Therefore, holding a class on the basics of hunting and dressing game isn’t ideal then, but in the fall it would be a great fit! The same could be said for canning, foraging and other classes as well. It also gives those who have jobs with busy seasons a chance to come when their work load is less.

To protect anonymity, I will not be maintaining attendee information after the retreat.

The layout for the weekend will contain 2-3 main sessions, and 6-8 breakout sessions. If there is enough people attending, we can have 2-3 breakout sessions going on at one time.
 
 
Price

The price will vary by venue, but a ballpark price will be $300-$500 per person; this price includes lodging and food and the usual camp entertainment activities. If you want to camp in a tent the price would be less. Some of the camps will have varying levels of cabins. The prices could reflect this with dormitory style cabins being cheaper than private 2-4 person cabins.

I am going to try and arrange it so that financial aid is available for a certain amount of guests per retreat for those who would like to attend but are on a restricted budget.

I am going to try to work with the camps to have a day pass, for those who don’t want to sleep there for whatever reason.
 
 
Instructors

Obviously, with multiple classes being taught at the same time, I will need other instructors. Some classes will require local instructors, like bee keeping and foraging for local plants. I am also hoping that I can find some high caliber instructors willing to travel with me. These instructors will be vetted by me to ensure quality of their topic and instruction. I will also be doing background checks on instructors to ensure guest safety. All instructors will be paid for their time, plus other incentives.

The vetting process is still something I am trying to work out. The easiest way would be for me to watch them teach their material; either in person or by video. However, not everyone has a youtube channel, a recording of them teaching or has taught a class like this. If anyone has any ideas, I am open to hearing them. For now, maybe a conversation by phone with all potential instructors is in order.

If you are an instructor who would like to be considered as either a local instructor or one who would be willing to fly to other locations, please send an email to instructor {at} Preparedchristian {dot} net containing:

• Your name and phone number
• Topic(s) you want to instruct on.
• If you have an example of your content, send it as well.
 
 
Vendors

I am looking for high quality vendors to showcase their products and/or services and be available to answer questions from guests. If you offer preparedness, homesteading, survival, outdoors, gardening, self-defense or other related products and/or services and would be interested in having a booth, please contact me at chris {at} Preparedchristian {dot} net.
 
 
Topics

This list is not inclusive of every topic, just what I have had time to scratch together so far. I have a lot more to add and a lot more filling in to do. However, if you see something missing, feel free to add a comment and let me know. After all, these retreats are for you. Tell me what you want to learn about! If I don’t know about it, I will try to find someone who does.
Here is a shortened outline. The full one is 10 pages so far.

These are potential for all future retreats. I am still deciding which breakout sessions will be covered for the retreat at Camp Bethel in Virginia.
 
 
Main Sessions:

Why Should I prepare and Is It Biblical?
o Taken from the free eBook I wrote. This class will cover the meat of why I started to prepare and why I believe God not only allows preparedness, but mandates it.

5 Basic Human needs part one
o Water
 How to purify
 Where to find it
 Storage
o Food
 Food storage rules
 What to store
 Building Food Storage
 Shelf life
 How to store it
 Enemies of food storage
o Medical
 OTC meds to store
 Ways to stock a small surplus of meds
 Shelf life of meds
 Veterinarian meds

5 Basic Human needs part two
o Shelter
 Some topics could be taken from “Off grid (for short term outages)”
 Duct Tape and Plastic, Really?
 Expedient nuclear shelters in the home
 Home security
• Safe rooms
• How to handle an intruder
• Harden access points
• Hardening your yard

o Energy
 Generator
 Battery bank that can be charged from a car
 Rocket mass heater
 Off grid fuels (what and how to store)
 Solar
 Wind
 Fuel Storage

o Security
 Is it Christian to practice self-defense?
 Security is a women’s responsibility too
 Willingness to use force and permission to do so
 Use of violence to stop violence
 Awareness
 Personal security
 Neighborhood security
 Personal security plans
 Family security plans
 Keeping watch after SHTF
 Building a defensive battery
 
 
Breakout Sessions

• Miscellaneous topics:
o Christians and Preparedness
o Preparedness Mindset
o Threat assessment
o Bugging out
o Off Grid (short term outages)
o Communicating during a disaster
o Staying informed now and post StuffHTF
o I am NOT a victim
o Car Safety
o When spouses don’t agree (on prepping or a firearm)
o Building a House Church
o Building a preparedness community
o Money and the future or the American Economy
o Wood Gas
o Prepper Tips
o Securing data and personal information
o Family preparedness
o Fire safety now and after SHTF

• Outdoor topics:
o Hunting
o Fishing
o Wilderness skills
o High ropes/rock climbing
o Tracking
o Archery
o Trapping
o Forestry management
o Fire building
o Permaculture (basic introduction)
o Gardening topics
o Hugelkultur
o Introduction to livestock for a homestead
o Aquaponics
o Hydroponics
o Foraging
o Bee Keeping

• Cooking:
o Butchering livestock or wild game
o Wild game recipes & cooking
o Cooking with dried foods (from food you’ve stored or purchased such as dried beans)
o Canning or pickling
o Cheese making
o Cooking with various outdoor methods
o Canning

• Medical/first aid
o General first aid
o AED
o Wilderness first aid
o Home remedies
o Colloidal silver
o Essential oils

• Self-defense:
o Situational Awareness
o Physiological changes
o Verbal de-escalation
o Martial arts
o How to escape from zip ties and duct tape
o Firearm Training
o Non-lethal self-defense
o Force on force training aka stress inoculation
o Spiritual self-defense
 
 
The First Retreat

Camp Bethel, located in Virginia will be hosting the first retreat! The tentative (fairly firm) date is June 19-23. This is father’s day weekend! What a great gift and event for father and son or daughter! Ladies don’t feel left out, you’re more than welcome as well.

I am working very hard to get things ready. Once I have the name decided upon, I will be purchasing the domain and will be using that as the source for distributing information. However, if you are interested in receiving information, you can sign up on the form below. You will only get updates on the Retreat at Camp Bethel.


 
 
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