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Retreat Planning Resources


Retreat Facilities

The Abbey

Conception Abbey is located in Conception, Mo., an hour and a half drive north of Kansas City. It is a monastery of the Swiss-American Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation. It was established in 1873 when Abbot Frowin Conrad and seven novices came from Engelberg Abbey in Switzerland to found a monastic house from which to serve the needs of the local Catholic community. Today, the spiritual descendents of Abbot Frowin provide pastoral care to 15 parishes, as well as hospitals, religious houses and schools throughout Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming.


Conception Abbey

The Benedictine monks of Conception Abbey tend the abbey grounds, care for farmland and orchards, and run The Abbey Guest Center, Conception Seminary College and The Printery House. They are historians, writers, scholars, teachers, musicians and artisans. Through their various apostolates, the monks of Conception Abbey have made substantial contributions throughout the Midwest and beyond.

St. Benedict tells us that “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” The Conception Abbey Guest Center provides simple accommodations in an atmosphere of quiet, perfect for private prayer and reflection. We invite you to stay in our brand new St. Gabriel Guesthouse and welcome your group, small or large. Our facilities include, overnight accommodations, small meeting rooms, large conference rooms and meals. Whether you come for a tour, personal retreat, directed retreat, workshop, or just to get away we hope that after one visit, you’ll never be a stranger to Conception Abbey.

Visit us online for more information and a full listing of our directed retreats, www.conceptionabbey.org/guests. May your stay be spiritually refreshing and personally relaxing.


Camp Palestine

Camp Palestine is more than just a great place to visit. It provides a year round camping experience for spiritual growth, education, relaxation and recreation. It offers the perfect setting for weekend retreats, seminars and conferences. Camp Palestine is located on 160 acres of rural beauty in Chilhowee, Mo. (about 13 miles west of Warrensburg), and one hour east of Kansas City.


Camp Palestine

Our fully equipped 300-seat dining hall and the smaller private dining room, provides a relaxing place to enjoy delicious, fresh meals prepared daily by our kitchen staff. Our spacious and serene chapel, with fireplace, also includes 4 class rooms available for use.

For your outdoor recreation, we offer an Olympic-size swimming pool, baseball fields, lighted basketball courts, a walking trail, a volley ball court, a soccer field, picnic shelters with grill, a lake for fishing and boating.

For indoor recreation, we offer Wii-games, pop-a-shoot basketball, multiple board games, ping pong, air hockey and foosball tables.

Camp Palestine’s overnight accommodations include 16 cabins which accommodates 18 people each. For a more relaxing and formal environment, guests are invited to stay in our 64 room lodge. Camp Palestine is where convenience and comfort finds peace.


Lake Doniphan

Lake Doniphan Conference & Retreat Center is situated on 300 wooded, rolling acres surrounding two scenic lakes, just outside of Excelsior Springs, Missouri. We’re only a short traffic free drive from downtown Kansas City or the Kansas City International Airport. Whether it’s a camp, reunion, retreat, group, family, individual, men, women, adult or youth events…Lake Doniphan is a beautiful place to be year round! We also welcome corporate entities looking for more affordable off-site business conferences or retreats.

Guests appreciate Lake Doniphan’s peaceful setting for its calming effect and the chance to stop and breathe deeply, letting go of the normal stress factors in their lives. There is something healing and restoring about the woods and the lakes that infiltrates even the busiest of people, if given a chance. Too many of us forget this, unless we deliberately schedule time apart such as for a personal or group retreat.

lake don article

Lake Doniphan

Founded in 1944 as a Christian youth camp, groups visiting Lake Doniphan include people of many faiths regularly hosting Jewish, Buddhist, Sufi and Kria Yoga groups. This welcoming spirit is based on a mission to provide a place of refuge and reconciliation for people from all walks of life and all faith traditions. We want to enable all our guests to find renewal and inner peace of body, mind and spirit, as they deepen personal relationships with their Creator and others in their lives. We don’t limit this opportunity to just some, but welcome all who are seeking.

Groups may reserve the entire conference center if they wish, but because of the layout of the Lake Doniphan grounds, groups do not need to interact, other than to smile if they walk past each other. There are three lodges so groups can be housed in separate buildings. One guest recently commented, “It is wonderful to see the respect with which groups treat each other, regardless of their distinctly different beliefs or purpose to be here. Everyone here has always been respectful and honored other’s times for worship, meditative walks around the lake, or even an enthusiastic pickup game of basketball.” We believe it is because for so many of our guests, Lake Doniphan has become sacred ground.

Lake Doniphan also hosts family reunions and secular groups just looking to get away, or to focus on a shared hobby such as scrapbooking, quilting, singing, or even karate. With an over-night capacity of 300, you’ll appreciate our all-inclusive rates which include lodging, meals, meeting space, use of the grounds and many activities. To reach Jim Wheaton, Executive Director, and see if you or your group might benefit from a retreat at Lake Doniphan call (816) 630-1523 or visit their website at www.lakedoniphan.com. Guests and past events are featured on their Facebook page at Facebook/Lake Doniphan. We invite you to visit us soon!


Sky Ranch Cave Springs

Sky Ranch Cave Springs is located in the breathtaking surroundings of Northeastern Oklahoma, in the four-state area. This 1480 acre, non-denominational facility holds all the adventure of camping, as well as all of the comforts of home. Sky Ranch understands that purposeful and intentional planning is vital to providing an experience that is peaceful, meaningful, and beneficial to all guests. With years of retreat experience to draw from, the staff at Sky Ranch Cave Springs recognizes that a successful retreat begins the moment a potential guest makes an inquiry. With unparalleled attention to every detail, the heart of Sky Ranch is to provide excellent service, outstanding facilities, and unique opportunities for group members and leaders to connect, grow, and benefit from their time together.

Sky Ranch

Sky Ranch

Sky Ranch has the capacity to host groups of various sizes, from small family reunions to larger corporate or church retreats. A couple of different lodging options provide modern, comfortable sleeping accommodations for up to 400 guests. A variety of meeting spaces provides seating and gathering opportunities, complete with stages, a full AV inventory, and indoor/outdoor options. A new outdoor amphitheater provides a beautiful backdrop for an intimate time of worship for youth or church retreat groups or a fun twist on movie night!

While lodging and meeting spaces are crucial to retreat success, Sky Ranch knows that feeding group members well is equally important to an enjoyable event! A flexible menu plan and a fully stocked salad bar are just a few of the perks offered by the dining facility.

Open year round, Sky Ranch Cave Springs offers an excellent variety of activities – from energetic and challenging to more low impact options – providing entertainment, fun, and relaxation for all types of groups.   Horses, paintball, swimming, volleyball, basketball, disc golf, skeet shooting, and a 2,300-foot tandem zipline are just some of the incredible activities included in a Sky Ranch retreat.

The foundation of all Sky Ranch camps is to bring kids, parents and groups together and closer to God. Sky Ranch Cave Springs is committed to providing an environment where relationships are nurtured and strengthened – a place where guests and leaders can spend time investing in the group, rather than worrying with the details of the retreat. With the facilities, recreational options and amenities available, Sky Ranch Cave Springs is the perfect location for youth, ladies’, men’s, and family groups.


YMCA  Trout Lodge and Camp Lakewood

Only one of six in the country, Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood is a year-round YMCA conference and retreat center, summer/winter camp and outdoor education facility centrally located outside of Potosi, Mo., only 90 minutes south of St. Louis. Situated on 5,200 gloriously wooded acres with a spectacular 360-acre lake, rates include lodging (hotel-style, family cabins, dorm-style or rustic cabins), buffet meals and many amazing activities, with children five and under free. This is truly an affordable one-of-a-kind experience guaranteed to make lifelong memories.

Conception Abbey

YMCA Trout Lodge and Camp Lakewood

Yes, families who visit Trout Lodge, children who proudly call Camp Lakewood “my camp”, and adults who participate in awesome adventures all love our facility. But did you know that we’re also home to hundreds of groups each year – churches, schools, reunions, corporate, universities, special needs camps and more? Not a “one-size-fits-all” facility, our event planning staff will assist you in designing an experience based on YOUR needs. From lodging to meals, activities and even meeting spaces, your adventure is uniquely yours.

Our recreational activities are plenty: paintball, caving, horseback riding, water/boating activities (seasonal), arts & crafts, zip line/climbing towers, sports, mini-golf, team building and so much more, which creates endless opportunities for a fully customizable experience.

Something else that sets us apart from for-profit resorts is our Y mission of helping others, which is why no one is ever turned away due to financial constraints. Compassion for others is evident as soon as you step on our property. And everyone, from the food service staff to the program staff is welcoming and excited to make your stay a perfect experience. You are always far away from the ordinary and right in the middle of the action when you stay at Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood.

For more information, please visit ymcaoftheozarks.org or call 888-FUN-YMCA.



THE ABBEY GUEST CENTER, CONCEPTION ABBEY PO Box 501, Conception, Missouri, 64433 Group Contact: Fr. Peter, 660-944-2809 guests@conception.edu | www.conceptionabbey.org/guests

CAMP PALESTINE 396 SW 730 Rd., Chilhowee, MO 64733 Group Contact: Brenda Strozier, 816-921-6009 info@pmbcjc | www.camppalestine.net

LAKE DONIPHAN CONFERENCE AND RETREAT CENTER 12856 Doniphan Lake Road, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024 Group Contact: Jim Wheaton, 816-630-1523 info@lakedoniphan.com | www.lakedoniphan.com

MYER HOTELS 3601A Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Branson, M0 65616 Group Contact: Kathy Smith, 888-837-2537 Kathy@myerhotels.com | www.myerhotels.com

Sky Ranch Cave Springs 7750 South 655 Road, Quapaw, OK 74363 Group Contact: Doug McClain, 918-542-1547 cavesprings@skyranch.org | www.skyranchcavesprings.org

YMCA TROUT LODGE AND CAMP LAKEWOOD 13528 Highway AA, Potosi, MO 63664 Group Contact: Group Reservations, 888-FUN-YMCA ext. 207 groupreservations@ymcastlouis.org | www.ymcaoftheozarks.org