March 27, 2017

Would a Preparedness Retreat Interest You?

Today I don’t have a regular preparedness article. Instead, I’m hoping you won’t mind helping me out on something! God gave me a dream some years ago and I assumed it was just that, a dream. The details are still being worked out, but there is a chance to see something like I dreamed come to fruition. I would love it if you would please give me as much feedback on some of the questions I will ask below, either in the comments section or via email at Chris (at) preparedchristian (dot) net

Would you and/or your family be interested in a three to five day preparedness retreat? Let me explain what I have in mind.

I’ve dreamed about a Bible camp that offered its facilities for the purpose of hosting 50-100 people for a variety of preparedness, survival, primitive skills, self-defense, hunting, cooking, permaculture and gardening classes, as well as many more. In fact, if you were interested in a topic it could even be possible to design a class for you before you arrive! The classes would be very hands-on and interactive with very knowledgeable (myself included perhaps) instructors, who would be available to answer questions during class and in fellowship gatherings in the evenings. There would be age appropriate classes for most ages, so that young ones would have cool things to learn while mom and dad took classes they really wanted to take. Food and lodging would be included.

As I stated, the camp is a Bible camp. You wouldn’t have to be a Christian to attend, but prayers would be said and any scripture that related to the topic would be given. Faith building would be a cornerstone of these programs.

When I was starting out, I did a silly amount of research online. The problem, however, is that isn’t how I learn. I learn best from interaction, hand on and asking questions. I could have learned so much more, so much faster if I had someone knowledgeable willing to spend a few hours explaining various things to me and answering my questions.

The classes could range from the very basics like principles of food storage, to more advanced things like aquaponics. These would not be just lecture classes. There would be demonstrations and as hands on as much as possible. For example, when learning how to store food in Mylar, you could actually fill a bag with maybe an iron and an impact sealer, so you could see how they work and which one suits your needs best.

There would also be classes on practical things like changing a tire and the oil on vehicles, situational awareness and firearm safety among others.

If you lived within 100 miles, would you be willing to drive and spend 3-5 days learning about topics of interest to you?

Would you be willing to fly to another state?

What do you think a fair price per person would be?

If it sounds interesting, but you wouldn’t be willing to come, what would hold you back? What would entice you?

*****Additional Details*****

There is an existing Bible camp in Wisconsin a little over an hour away from me that is interested in offering preparedness/life skill classes. The camp is fully staffed, and will bring in instructors willing to teach.

The camp has several cabins, as well as room for RV and tent camping. The cabins haven’t been updated in years, but are still in excellent shape.

We’re still trying to figure out how long retreats would be. Right now the thinking is three days; this would make it so people only had to take one day of vacation. However people wanting to fly in, might want to spend more time with instructors to get their money’s worth.

I looked at other types of retreats, and they were several hundred dollars more than this would be, and some did not include food, as this camp/retreat would.

Comments

  1. I would definitely be interested dependent on distance and cost. I am in southeast Michigan.

  2. i would be very interested in a preparedness (christian) retreat. I’ve always loved going on bible retreats and a preparation retreat would be a bonus! I would be wiling to spend $500 and drive 5-8 hours. I live in mn.

    Thanks for your commitment to getting the church prepared for the coming storm.

    God bless!! Rick

  3. ed vodochodsky says:

    Chris,.. While not a ‘bible-thumping’ christian, – I DO believe! I believe your idea for a ‘retreat’ is fantastic! SO much so,….. that here is another angle for you to consider….(after all, SOMEONE has to be the ‘Devils advocate’ and look into the fire from the outside!)… With the level of ‘attention’ that preppers are getting nowdays, the GOV’T will certainly place your ‘retreat’ on a watch-list, and all those whom attend will certainly be considered for placement on a ‘potential-homegrown-terrorist-list’! Even our OWN military members, – proven patriots for America, – are considered by some in the gov’t to be ‘potential future terrorists’,… simply for their mandated training – provided BY the gov’t – for the purpose of protecting our country. Yet, that SAME gov’t now looks at them as ‘potential terrorists’! How much easier would it be to consider your group in the same category? Now, I’m NOT saying DON’T DO IT! – I’m just concerned for those whom are less-informed about the political stance of our ‘leaders’ on the issues of ‘prepping’! A friend of mine took a class similar to this (in AZ.) and swore that they were ‘tailed’ by dark-colored vehicles; saw men on ridges with binoculars watching them as they moved across the hiulls, and even awakened one night to see a ‘figure’ scampering-off into the darkness of the trees in the direction the vehicles were spotted earlier that day. While I love the idea of attending something like this, and fullu extoll the virtues & benefits of such a ‘retreat’,…. I fear for those whom could possibly be ‘labeled’ by said gov’t and placed on some ‘list’ – possibly for future action. Please consider this scenario,…. I’ll pray that there is an answer & that it becomes a huge success! Maranatha, brother!

    • you bring up a valid point, however in the era in which the NSA, FBI and CIA are recording and monitoring everything you do online, we’re all probably on some watch list or another.

      • I agree that we are already on a “list” with the government. If the government wants me dead, so be it. I believe I will be in a better place when that day comes.
        That being said, I fear not being ready to deal with the mass amount of unprepared people and the lack of experience that our ancestors had. For this reason, I would be willing to travel from NY to Wisconsin.

        • I to am considered about how many people are unprepared.

          Glad to hear you think it would be worth travelling for.

  4. If I lived within a 100 miles, and I was able at the time, I would gladly drive to attend this event.
    I may be willing to fly, to another state, depending on the prices of airfare at the time and the convenience of getting to and from the airport to the Retreat.
    I would say, for me personally, a 3 day retreat would be the max stay for me because of responsibilities at home and the time of year is also important. So three (3) days at between $150 to $200 a night for food and a place put my sleeping bag is what I could afford.
    What would hold me back is the time of year. With planting the gardens and tending and harvesting all summer long, I would not take time away. My age. I am 70 so I have lots to share, but still an active mind and lots to learn from others. I have responsibilities with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and they always come first. I think I would be inticed to attend if everything was laid out as to exactly what and whom would be attending and teaching, and knowing exactly where I would be staying.
    Good idea.

    • interesting, thanks for sharing Mimi.

      Would you need to know of the instructors, or just the topics?

      We’re considering doing retreats monthly at the moment, but of course demand will drive this.

  5. I think it’s a great idea and I would be very interested in attending with my family. It’s hard to learn things just reading about it online. 100 miles away wouldn’t hold me back. The need to fly may detract me a little as we have little ones.

  6. Mic Roland says:

    Hi Chris,
    To answer some of your questions: Yes, such a camp would be of interest. Yes, I would drive 100 miles to attend events. No, I would not fly there. That’s too expensive and tedious. Price per person would depend on duration, I suppose. Are you asking for price to become a retreat member (own a cabin, etc.) or price to go to the camp for a few days for activities?

    We have a Christian Camp within driving distance that our church family has used since almost forever. It doesn’t do survival topics, however, and is going through some mismanagement that may remove it as an activity option. So, an alternative could be appealing.

    • Right now we’re thinking three day retreats as people would only need one day off work. However for those wanting to fly in, they may want five days I suppose to get their moneys worth.

      It would be to just attend for a few days of learning and interaction with instructors and other like minded people.

  7. Dawn Humphries says:

    Yes, I would be interested.
    I am willing to drive 100-300 miles, perhaps a bit more (from Atlanta GA).
    We do not have the financial resources to fly to another state.
    Price would have to be fairly low.

    • So I have some idea, what is fairly low to you? If there were to price brackets, one for a cabin, the other for tent camping, what would you feel is fair for both?

  8. Sounds like a great idea. Would travel 100 or more miles to attend – by car. Would be interested in firearm safety and alternative energy. Price would depend on services given. The Meissners did camps like this in Idaho a few years ago but have switched to preparedness expos. Would be nice to get together with like-minded folks again. Hope it works out for you.

    • I have not attended a preparedness expo, but have attended other types. The problem is that it is not nearly interactive enough for people really trying to learn.

      services would be food and lodging includes, plus interactive classes, with instructors available outside of class times to answer questions.

  9. Since I’m preparing to move further away from you than where you currently live, I’d have to say no. But I would be interested in purchasing DVD’s if you recorded some of the sessions.

  10. Chris,

    I would be willing to drive if close enough for a one day or less drive. Flying is totally out. Attending would depend on topics of learning, the number of days for the event, per person cost (what will cost cover? Will cost included all classes, lodging, meals, etc.) Much more information is needed.

    Having said all that I think the idea is a great one. The spouse and I both would like to train more. Training in a Christian environment would be a big plus.

    Thanks for putting the idea out there.

    On Guard

    • Thanks for the comment On Guard.

      We’re still in the very early stages, so I might not have all of the needed info. What I do know is that the cost for a three day class would probably be less than airfare, and would include lodging and food.

      One day classes would be easy to set up if there were enough people to warrant it.

      If you have more questions please keep them coming as it helps me and the camp navigate this.

  11. Yes I would attend, and if high quality enough, I would fly. I have had the same dream of having a location to teach preparedness and self-sufficiency.

    • The goal is to make it very high quality, and worth far more than paid.

      What things do you have in mind when you say high quality?

  12. Hi,
    First, thank you for continuing this web site. Yes I would drive 100 miles and yes I would fly to the camp if the agenda being offered warranted the expense (high caiber presentation, etc.). A camp or retreat setting with a Christian theme is a very welcome idea, I can’t remember hearing of another one.

    I would suggest first aid as another basic topic. Family preparations such as how to regroup if bad things happen we we are apart, where to meet, etc. I could go on about topics; however, I want to say that I feel this is an excellent idea. Don’t let this dream die and thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Robert,

      I don’t know of another one either. There will be classes on first aid, and I can envision geared more toward preparedness, then the normal Red Cross class.

  13. Gerald Lawson says:

    Chris, I live in Kerrville, Texas. We have a “peppers” group here that meets once a month at a local restaurant where various topics are presented. However, there are some drawbacks: number one is that this activity seems to only attract older people. Number two, there are rarely any hands-on instructions. And, there certainly has not been any demonstrations of any preparedness skills.
    So, that being said, it’s pretty tough to attract the younger generation that seems to live hand to mouth…or as you have said, from payday to payday.
    What you are describing is an extensive training session that would take at least three to four days to cover all the viable subjects concerning disaster preparedness. From my experience, the cost of such a retreat or conference would be too much for the average person or couple. It would certainly exceed the budget of most families unless it were some sort of a campground experience that would have the type of sessions you mentioned. When I say, “campground” I’m suggesting a camp where tents and outdoor activities are involved versus a hotel-like lodging in a conference setting.
    While I think the whole idea has merit, it would take a giant effort and lots of money to pull it off. Perhaps it’s something that you could develop as a program to present to each church that has an interest. That would allow you and your wife to travel to each location and present the program and training with some local church volunteers. Again, it has been my experience that not many churches participate in the preparedness programs though I think more should.
    Well, as a newby to your webpage and newsletter, that’s my input.

    • I appreciate your input, newby or not :)

      Since the camp is already in existence and interested, the effort is quite less, but still a lot of work to design classes and so on.

  14. Where would the retreat be located? What state?

  15. Since I live about 1000 miles from Minn, I could not afford to go to a retreat in Minn. Do u have a specific Bible camp in mind? If u know where a concentration of ur readers/posters are, u could look for a camp in that area, or in ur part of Minn. – since location is going to be a key factor in how ppl reply to ur questions.

    Chris, I admire ur dream, but have u ever managed a week of camp? From my experience, it’s a fair amount of planning & administrative work. But hopefully, God’s Spirit will lead a few individuals to help u in various ways. Wish u the best.

    • The camp is in western Wisconsin, at an existing camp with staff, and leadership that is used to these types of events. So my job wouldn’t be actually running it, just instructing and helping out where needed.

  16. There is a camp like you dreamed of yet not bible based.
    It’s 3 days and cost < $100.
    It's in western North Carolina near Asheville.
    See:
    http://www.preppercamp.com

    • Thanks for the link Eric

      • I like the price of Preppercamp”. I like the list of speakers and topics. I don’t like that everything is packed into one very crowded weekend. That looked over subscribed and the classes were so large there really was no “hands on” training or practice. May as well get the DVD. It also looked like a store for selling over priced tacticool “survival” gear.

        I don’t know if the camp you are thinking of using is still active for other activities, but … what if… it was a small “Williamsburg” type setting open over the summer months. (or as weather permitted; winter survival is important too) People could come as they have time and spend as much, or little, time as they wished. classes would be small. You don’t need the national celebrity or known “expert” to teach the class, just a person who lives and knows his stuff. Yes, extremely labor intensive. But the customer would probably get more learning and experience and benefit for their efforts, time and money.

        There are already wilderness, backwoods, primitive skills classes that are real small and immersive. There are also many shooting ranges that have more realistic hands on training such as clearing a house etc. I don’t know about the prices for any of that stuff. But, the students will learn a lot more than standing around watching the teacher demonstrate it one time and them move on to the next station.

        Or, Imagine having 10-12 people go to a working farm or ranch and have to feed the chickens, slaughter a hog, churn butter, make candles, run a trap line, round up cattle help with the harvest. Now imagine farms all over the nation doing that. Now I am just dreaming.

        I tried to get the meet up group here to do a weekend of primitive skills and homestead skills but only one person showed any interest.

        I will not fly with TSA. Be willing to drive over 100 miles. money is tight right now and not looking to take any vacations for the forseeable future.

        I hope this works out.

        • It is an active camp, but preparedness elements will be in future camp endeavors, as well as addition of new classes.

          You touched on a lot of items we want to cover, plus so many more.

          I can fully understand about not flying because of the TSA.

  17. Yes! Depends on the price since we are on a very limited money income. But the drive would be very nice for us since we are already in W. WI just south of Superior.
    Very, very interested. Keep me posted on dates , place and any other info.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • not a bad drive at all for you as the camp is in Western Wisconsin.

      What would you be comfortable paying for three days lodging and food included?

  18. Janet Moeller says:

    Chris,
    Yes I would come anywhere, anytime. I live in Denver and would be happy to fly/rent a car whatever. I would probably come with 3 others from my Church. What a beautiful,Spirit inspired dream!,Like you I learn best hands on. I’m a retired hospice nurse so a little older but know God is calling us to use our gifts and talents and blessing us with people like you to fill in the gap of knowledge. I too had a vision a couple years ago that it’s time to start building “Noah’s Ark” here in our country wherever we are.
    When people make fun of me I say with a smile, “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark”. Makes people think. Blessings to you and yours. Janet Moeller, Denver,Co

  19. This is a great idea and to have a place near you to start is great. I would like to see it move around the country and use local instructors and some that others that could come in from Christian Prepper too. I live in NC but would travel to other surrounding states to attend a Bible teaching and survival skills seminar (willing to teach skills also). It is a great dream and I would like to see it expand. Thanks for all that you do for the Lord,

  20. Well, never ask me a question, unless you want a mouth full! lol
    While I don’t think I would travel that far…(no flying for me) I’ve also learned to never say never. I think the idea is absolutely fantastic! Especially if it is as hands on as I think you mean. I just went to the site that Eric posted above….I have seen it before, it looks wonderful, looks first class, and fun! But also looks like it is mostly a ton of wonderful lectures. Well, while I love the lectures, and sign up for many of them online, you are only getting the quick basics of each topic. If you are talking about true hands on learning….it is priceless! If near to me…or even a couple states away, I would think of it like a vacation…something to save for even, with the entire family. If you are talking about three meals a day, lodging, and the entertainment of learning new skills, or toning up on old skills…wow! Perhaps a little fun time too…and campfires in the evening…like a Dude Ranch scenario. So much for you to have fun with considering….depending on how many guests you have, would classes be for all at the same time? could people sign up for what they want the most? Do you cram a bunch in each day?, or go slow and learn even more. Does it make you want to come back for more of what you didn’t have time for the last time you were there? A week vacation would be great!…I would love to learn hands on more about herbal remedies…shooting skills, Bow and arrow, more than I already know about medical, Better baking and cooking skills without a stove and oven. ( And while wonderful, I wouldn’t want a solar stove guy to tell me all about how wonderful they are and try to get me to buy one. I’m talking about good hands on baking with coals or wood and a pot!) I would love to learn the skills of our forefathers on an upscale beat with all we know now. I for one would love a week of this…with maybe reinforcements or extra learning with three day adventures! Maybe you could eventually do both! Price? For me it would be, like I said, worth saving for. Depending on what you got…Three yummy meals, snacks, sleeping quarters, and skills…$200 to $250 a day? If I went on vacation…Rachel Ray did food for $40 a day….but she didn’t always get 3 full meals, lol. Room for the night….even the lower priced rooms in the west are a hundred a night or more. Entertainment of skill learning? Priceless. Maybe bundle prices for two, or for a family…less if you are in your own RV or tent.
    Anyway…SO exciting for you to be thinking about and pondering all the possibilities! God bless you and guide you through this great adventure in your life! And keep us all posted!

    • Nancy, I like your “saving up for a family vacation” idea. The more time you can spend there, the more you can learn. Better than a long weekend.

      Also, Instead of some guy trying to sell me his solar stove, how about they show us how to make one? And, then we make one — to take home. If you don’t want to learn that, you can go to the other teachers and learn what does interest you.

      This could be much better than you tube.

    • I love it Nancy! The more comments and interaction people give the better, so keep it coming.

      this is by no means iron clad, but I am thinking a class after breakfast, maybe two between lunch and dinner, and one after dinner. there would be community time after dinner where instructors would be socializing and answering questions.

  21. I have layed out conferences before, they are no easy job to do. Yes, I would be intrested, I live in NY., I`ve been a prepper for a number of years. I would say a fair price on what your planning to do will fall in the range of $ 800 to $ 1200 plus your own transportation. I THINK IT WOULD BE GREAT. Keep me poted

    • To big of a task for me to do alone for sure. God is good and provides!

      That’s quite a bit more than I think it planned on being charged, but good to know you think the value is there.

  22. RangerRick says:

    I think it is a great idea. I have been teaching for about 4 years here in North Idaho since I retired. 40 years in other areas.If you need a guest instructor I am available.
    I have taught at the local University, Preparedness Expos and currently working on Survival video series and maybe a TV Special.
    Go to( LinkedIn ) under ( RangerRick ) and see if I might meet some of your needs.
    Be Prepared – Be Prayerful – Be Thankful – You are an American,
    RangerRick
    North Idaho

  23. Great Idea! I can’t come but boy howdy if I had the health I would be there. There is a great need for this kind of information. Too Many people just don’t think there is a threat today and it must become real to them before it is too late. Keep up the good work and thanks for all your information. God Bless

  24. RangerRick says:

    I might add, Out here in the American ReDoubt, my classes are free. I carry a hard drive with 116 GB of class material I will share with anyone who wants it.
    Best Regards, RangerRick

  25. I live in Wisconsin and am VERY interested. How do I get on a contact list?

  26. I would definitely be interested. 100 miles would be my limit and I’d be willing to help organize a retreat in the Indiana/Michigan area if needed. Let me know the details and I’ll post the info on my blog.

    • Traveling around hasn’t been something that has been discussed. that being said, if there is enough interest, I personally am not against the idea.

      I appreciate you being willing to share on your blog. as more details are worked out, I will be making more posts.

  27. Son of Liberty says:

    I live in Alaska, so a weekend retreat like that would be (most likely) out of the question, though I will be in WI during latter August or the first part of September.

    I am meeting a local pastor from a church who has adequate facilities, and wants to do a ‘community garden’ ministry to also discuss starting a community wide ‘prepper ministry.’ We are unsure of what to name it or call it so we don’t turn people off, but to invite them in.

    Have fun, great idea, hope it works.

    Blessings,

    Son of Liberty

    • I love the idea of a community garden, and wrote an article on how churches should do this as an outreach a few years ago.

      Good luck.

  28. I would be very interested. I would need to be able to get the time off of work. I live in Eastern NE. So, depending upon how far into western WI the camp is, I am probably looking at a 8-10 hour drive or less. Very doable!
    Keep me posted on the specifics.
    God bless.

  29. I live fairly close to Wisconsin; I could drive to anywhere in the state in under a day. So I’d be interested in attending in the summer (I’m a college instructor/researcher so my summers are a lot more open) as long as it was affordable. To me, affordable is in the neighborhood of $500 for three days of quality instruction, plus or minus a bit depending on the circumstances. My interest would also go up if lodging was provided (even — or maybe especially — if “lodging” meant “some space to set up a tent and make camp”); hotels are a pain.

    I’m interested in pretty much all survival related skills, but I’m especially interested in methods of improving self-sufficiency: setting up, maintaining, and using off-grid power, gardening, aquaponics, etc.

    If it was too far away to drive there in a day, then I would not be interested — proximity is important.

  30. I am very interested in going to a christian preparedness camp, but I cant make it to Wisconsin. I live in southern Nevada. Can anybody suggest another christian preparedness camp on the west coast or closer to my location? I love it that this website is backed up with scripture. Almost all Christians that I know think that i’m paranoid or that I worry way too much, but I live and lead my family according to GOD not other Christians. “AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE WE WILL SERVE THE LORD”. I thank you and I praise GOD for this website.

  31. We are about 7 hours away, but would still be interested if this transpires. Please keep us posted.

  32. Edward DeLaney says:

    I would be interested. I’m in the Kansas city area.

  33. Chris,
    I live in central IA. SW Wis would be great! My budget is tight but I could maybe manage $250. I have lots of notes and stuff but little hands on skills so basically need to learn everything:) especially geared towards women.

    • Chris Ray says:

      Good to know, thanks for adding your comment.

      Much of the information I have works for men and women, but some of the self defense stuff I want to go over could be created for women only classes I suppose.

      • They wouldn’t have to be for women only but include information and training specific to women, especially those on their own.
        Thanks!

  34. I love this idea! Problem is, it’s way up north, and we’re way down south. Flying is not an option for me, either. No lament here – I’ve experienced my share of it.

    Would love, love, love such a “hands-on” approach, even though we’ve been prepping for years and have done some limited teaching (Prepping 101 and Canning 101) at the local level. Still so much more to learn.

    What would really be outstanding is if SOMEBODY (hint!) would organize such a training and make it “mobile” – take it to different sections of the country. Reach more = teach more.

    Idea! What IF you took a cue from the American Red Cross and Baptist Disaster Relief organizations (both of which we’ve been active in) and solicited and trained VOLUNTEERS to make these happen at “locations”?

    I know – you have to start somewhere; perhaps this first one could be a blueprint for the others?

    The only problem I see even in that approach is time. It’s running out.

    Just my thoughts, but GREAT IDEA!

  35. About 10 weeks away from moving to NW Tennessee, any similar camps in that area, or even 1-2 day events to connect with others of like mind?

  36. Rev. Dr. Michael E Harris says:

    I was thinking that Camp Haluwasa in Hammonton, NJ might be a good site for one of your retreats. Ha-Lu-Wa-Sa stands for Hallelujah What a Savior. I my sisters and I went there as kids; I worked as staff one year and as a counselor one year.

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