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This year we are taking many precautions to ensure the health and safety of all Oaks participants - incoming students, staff volunteers and ministry representatives while at the retreat. We are continuing communication with our retreat site to ensure we are doing everything in our power to protect everyone at the retreat while still having the greatest experience possible. We will most likely continue to add to this list as more things develop, but our hope is that this gives you a good idea of what to expect from us when attending The Oaks Retreat.


  • The Shocco venue cleaning staff is continually doing additional cleaning as well as our Oaks Retreat support staff will be cleaning and sanitizing every area after each use.

  • We will do as many activities outside as possible (weather permitting) while also encouraging people to eat and congregate outside and with space between each other as much as possible.

  • Counselors will be tested for the coronavirus and will not participate if tested positive.

  • We will ask and strongly suggest that freshmen get tested before the retreat in order to honor the health and safety of others and prevent the spread of the virus.

  • We will have a contact-free registration process with our staff wearing facemasks in all registration interactions

  • We will have non-touch thermometers for temperature checks upon arrival (at the car during registration) and each morning before breakfast

  • If someone has a temperature once at the retreat they will be isolated for a short time so we can recheck their temperature once they’ve had time to calm or cool down. If temperature persists that participant will have to leave the retreat.

  • If someone has to leave because of a fever at registration everyone who rode with them will also have to leave the retreat. Therefore they should prioritize checking their temperatures in the days leading up to the retreat and choose not to come (receiving a reimbursement) if they have a fever and thereby not hindering others from experiencing the retreat.

  • Everyone will receive an Oaks buff-style facemask to be used as their facemask during the retreat which will be required at many points. Anyone can bring their own facemasks if they prefer but they will be required to wear it at various times during the retreat and will have to return to their room to get it if they don’t keep it with them at all times.

  • We will provide many hand sanitizing stations but we also ask all participants to bring a small personal bottle of hand sanitizer that they can keep with them at all times

  • We are removing certain elements of the retreat that produced high common touch elements and replacing them with elements that are safer in our current circumstances but still fun and going with the vision and purpose of the retreat.

  • No one's luggage will be touched by anyone else

  • Housing will be 3-4 people per room max and we will do everything we can to keep people in consistent groups/cohorts across the retreat (from rooms to family groups, or with those you rode with, etc)

  • Keys will be given out in individual envelopes and will have been sanitized before handed out

  • We will be setting aside one of the handy cap accessible rooms in both Mountain Ridge and Rocky Ridge as an isolation room (one of them for guys and one for girls) in case someone starts showing symptoms and needs to be isolated from everyone else.

  • Main Sessions will be outside as weather permits or in the Chapel which can host enough people for us to stay safely under 50% of the buildings capacity as determined by the fire marshal and abiding by state regulations

  • In the indoor worship venue rows will be blocked off or removed in order to create adequate space between people 

  • Buffs/masks will be required to be worn in the main worship facility and singing will still be encouraged to be either hummed or kept softer in order to decrease likelihood of spreading germs

  • We will be taking advantage of using multiple exits to leave our large group settings as well as dismissing everyone in waves rather than all at once so as to avoid crowding

  • We will have round tables spaced out safely in the cafeteria as well as the main room of Mary Essie for every meal except lunch during the Ministry Fair

  • We will send everyone to get food in waves/rotations (by family groups) in order to decrease standing closely in lines for long periods of time as well as to prevent overcrowding in seating areas.

  • Leadership/Support Staff will be serving food for every meal and using closable to-go plates for protection purposes as well as all meals being served by leaders wearing gloves and masks.

  • We will provide easy access to hand sanitizer before and after meals

  • We will have many outside tables and benches to provide more outside seating options

  • Temperature screenings will happen for everyone present each morning before breakfast

  • All additional food (snacks) we provide will be individually packaged

  • We will have a designated staff member operating our water stations with gloves so people don’t have to touch the water coolers

  • All activities have been thoroughly thought through and decreased to eliminate person to person contact and increase safety 

  • All family groups will meet outside and in a way that allows all members to space out for social distancing from each other and other groups, if this does not happen due to weather then masks are required for meeting in places that are closer or are inside

  • The Ministry Fair will be done in small groups and 30 minute waves

  • All ministry representatives have been asked to stay behind their tables at all times and will have their temperature taken as they arrive.

  • We will require all participants (incoming students and our counselors and other staff) to sign a COVID19 waiver before attending the retreat acknowledging that they understand the risks of gathering in such a setting in relation to the potential spread of the virus even in light of the measures taken.

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