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WEB EXCLUSIVE! 5 U.S. Retreat Centers

Plan to bring your group to one of these introspective retreat centers

1.) Genesee Abbey Retreats

Piffard, N.Y.

Highlights: A community of 28 Trappist monks living according to the rule of St. Benedict and the Order of the Cistercians spend their days at the Genesse Abbey in quiet prayer. They invite individuals and groups to their retreat facilities for a peaceful stay in the Genesse River Valley amid 2,400 acres of forests and farmland. To focus on God, the retreat facilities are without television or radio. Groups can stay at two retreat houses for silent, monastic-style retreats.

2.) Ring Lake Ranch

Dubois, Wyo.

Highlights: Groups can discover the wonders of creation at the Ring Lake Ranch in the middle of the majestic Wyoming wilderness. The ranch hosts programs that groups can register for, including retreats focused on photography, women’s retreats, the Bible and finding God in the wilderness. Participants can also fill their trip with activities such as horseback riding, fishing, hiking and other activities at their discretion.

3.) Smoky Mountain Christian Village
Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Highlights: Located on a mountain ridge in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, the Smoky Mountain Christian Village provides a calming natural environment that is minutes from Dollywood and other attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Chalets and lodges come with fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, entertainment centers and outdoor gas grills. Facilities vary from private one bedroom Chalets to 100-guest lodges. Use of the outdoor chapel, walking trails, picnic pavilion, paintball course, and other outdoor activities comes included with rental.

4.) Pear Orchard Christian Retreat Center and Campground
Silver Spring, Md.

Highlights: Groups can choose to stay in modern retreat facilities or historic cottages when they come to Pear Orchard Christian Retreat Center. Additionally, the Retreat House has meeting areas for groups who are camping with a stocked kitchen and other amenities. For prayer time, the Open Air Tabernacle seats 350 guests with a design that incorporates the beauty of the surrounding nature. Organized kids camp and teen camp run during the summer with live music, organized worship and other activities.

5.) Great Lakes Leadership Campus
Elburn, Ill.

Highlights: One hour west of Chicago, an 1897 Victorian lodge features 10 lodging rooms, three meeting rooms, a parlor, a library and a dining room. Religious groups can come together for prayers in one of the meeting rooms while enjoying the Victorian elegance of the lodge. The staff provides guests’ breakfast, lunch and dinner so guests can focus on their retreat activities. Outside, 10 acres of prairie flowers, a hardwood forest, a disc golf course and a ropes course allow plenty of chances for reflection and fun.