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How to Plan a Summer Retreat for Your Coworkers

Author: Mollie VonEhr

This past July, Array of Engineers held its first summer retreat away from the office. The retreat was a massive hit with our team, with lots of positive feedback. Take a peak at how we accomplished it. Feel free to use this as inspiration or to help plan a retreat for your team!

Do some research

Start your ‘team building day’ research months ahead of the event. Decide what you are looking for - outdoor fun, inside activities, something challenging physically or mentally, etc. How far are you willing to drive? The number of participants and how much it will cost are factors as well. Contact the venues you are researching and ask a lot of questions. If a venue is quick with responses, it’s a good indication you will have a successful event.

Survey the team

Once we narrowed our options down to two venues, a Google Form survey was created and sent to all employees for their input. The survey included 2 choices with a link to their websites for additional information. Our criteria included outdoor activity (we work inside all day) and being inclusive of all abilities (with a bit of a challenge). Survey results: the winning venue was the Muskegon Adventure Sports Park. It checked all the boxes!

Schedule a day

Next we contacted Muskegon Sports Park for available dates. You will want to find out arrival time, length of activities, and other helpful information. We selected a few dates and took another Google survey to coordinate the best day for most employees to participate. Once a date was selected, we confirmed it with the venue, put the event on our shared company calendar, and committed with a deposit.

Plan out the event

We had months to anticipate and prepare for our team building day. Working with Muskegon Sports Park was very easy. All questions were answered quickly. We knew what time to arrive, the activities we would do, and how long the activities would last. They informed us in regards to what to bring (water bottles, sunscreen) and wear (comfortable/closed toe shoes). All participants had to submit a signed waiver, which was done digitally, making the paperwork effortless.

Get t-shirts

Enhance your team spirit with company shirts! We wore Array of Engineers shirts for the event and took lots of pictures, including a group photo to remember our day out in the sunshine.

Have fun (one of our Core Values)

We all met at our office, then carpooled to Muskegon (also part of team building). Muskegon Adventure Sports Park employees were ready for us, welcoming and encouraging us to play like kids! The day began with ice breaker games, which led to us dividing into 6 teams of 4. We competed in Olympic games that challenged our bodies and our brains: log walking, speed corn hole, nerf slingshot target shooting, brick stacking, and PVC tube golf ball transfer game. After a lunch break we moved on to archery, summer luging, zip lining, and finished with a trail quest. The retreat ended by calculating points and learning which team won. It was a day full of sweat, laughter, and good memories. We look forward to our next retreat away from the office.

We hope this inspires you to organize a team building day. Go have fun with your co-workers!


Mollie VonEhr is an Administrative Assistant at Array of Engineers, where she specializes in human resources, executive support, and office and facility management. Since joining Array of Engineers in 2022, she has planned dozens of social and team building events for the AoE team.

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