Whether it be with a school group or an independent extracurricular, a youth retreat is a great way to get kids out of their element so they can be challenged and grow. Breaking the normal routine and getting outside is a great way to help kids learn more about themselves and the world they live in. It’s an invaluable experience for any child or teenager. Here are our top 7 reasons why you should be sending your kids on youth retreats.

Learn leadership skills

When your kids attend a youth retreat, they’ll engage in fun games and activities that allow them to shine. They are given opportunities to make choices independent of parents and teachers, thus instilling important leadership skills for the future. Youth retreats are all about empowering young people and helping them grow into great adults. They’re given the freedom to exercise their independence and begin learning how best to make decisions. These natural leadership skills will serve them well for the rest of their life.

Bond with their peers

Attending a youth retreat automatically brings kids together. They will bond with their classmates and peers in a way that wouldn’t otherwise happen in the confines of a classroom or other similar environment. Sharing new experiences together allows them to get to know each other better and in new and different ways. A youth retreat is a great environment for developing stronger social skills and making friends.

Appreciate nature

How often do your kids play outside? Probably not as often as you’d like. At a youth retreat, kids get to play outside and get in tune with the natural world. This is more than just playing on a playground or running around the backyard. They can go hiking, swim in a lake, canoe, bike, and even climb ropes courses in the great outdoors. These activities bring kids back into nature and instill a deeper appreciation for all the beauty of the natural world.

Boost confidence

Youth retreats give kids lots of opportunities to succeed outside of the classroom. At a youth retreat, kids are encouraged to try new things, even if they are a little nervous about them, and once they see their accomplishment, their self esteem soars. They can excel in both competitive and noncompetitive arenas. Maybe they’ll be on a winning volleyball team or maybe they’ll shine in the arts and crafts room. Even completing a ropes course can be a huge boost of confidence. Activities like these at a youth retreat do wonders for children’s self esteem and confidence, and that will follow them home once the retreat is over.

Unplug from technology

Kids these days spend too much time staring at screens. They surf the internet, check social media on their computers and phones, text their friends constantly, and play video games on big screen televisions. When they go to a youth retreat, they have to unplug. They must break their dependence on technology and learn that they can survive and thrive without it. All fun and socializing is done outside of a screen. They get to interact in person and play games with each other in real life, rather than on some app on their smartphone.

Learn to think outside the box

At a youth retreat, creativity and unique thinking is encouraged. As they play games, take on new challenges, and participate in teambuilding activities, they have to use their brain differently than they would in the classroom or at soccer practice. Their minds are free to wander, approach subjects in new and different ways, and take on fresh perspectives. Nobody is forced to fit into the confines of a mental box, and they’ll end up developing powerful problem solving skills that will translate back to the classroom and their daily lives.

Make lasting memories

Just like at a sleepaway camp over the summer, kids make last memories at youth retreats. They’ll cherish all the friendships made and nurtured. They’ll remember all the fun activities at the lake and on the hiking trail. They’ll look back and laugh at inside jokes made with their peers. At a youth retreat, their experiences won’t fade away when they leave. They’ll relish their time and be asking you when they can do it again.