Posts Categorized: Guest Groups

How to Plan a Retreat

Posted by & filed under Guest Groups, Kidder Creek, Uncategorized.

by Nate Pfefferkorn, Vice President of Strategy

We know you want to connect with your group in a safe place free from distractions and we know how hard it is to get everyone together in one place at one time. A retreat from the daily distractions can draw your group together and draw them to the lord like no other experience. Finding the right place that can provide the right experience can take some doing so here are some important things to keep in mind as you plan your event!

Choose your Style

Will your event be structured with set times for worship, learning, discussion and set activities? Or is it more of time to relax with self-directed activities and guided conversations starters? Both kinds of events can be powerful but it’s important to consider ahead of time what kind of experience suits your group. It will help you figure out what types of facilities you’ll need for meeting spaces, meal times and activities as well as help you set expectations for your attendees. 

Kidder Creek excels at offering a rustic high-adventure experience that is close to nature. We handle activities like whitewater rafting and cliff jumping so you can participate fully alongside your guests and we can partner with you in teaching and worship or just set the stage for you. 

Set That Budget

Once you know what your retreat is about the next biggest question everyone will have is “how much does it cost?” It’s important to ask your retreat facility good questions so you know exactly what is included in their pricing and what is an add-on cost. Are all meals included? What about snacks? Is there coffee in the morning? Do activities cost extra? Are there microphones and projectors available for use? Think through the details of your ideal schedule so you know what to expect. 

Kidder Creek has Guest Adventures packages to help start the planning process that include lodging, meals and all the activities. The price you see includes everything you need for an amazing event!

How ’bout the Staff?

The staff partnering with you to make your event happen can make or break the experience. Will the retreat center staff know what your groups purpose and goals are and will they support those? Who will answer questions, fix problems, and help make your retreat go smoothly?

Additionally, you should ask the retreat facility you are contemplating booking if they will fully staff all activities. For instance, some will ask that you provide your own lifeguards if you’re planning for pool time, so keep that in mind! Kidder Creek will make sure all your activities have qualified and highly-trained staff available, including lifeguards! And rest assured our retreat host will be familiar with everything about camp and the adventures your group is going on but will also know you, your group, and how to make your experience awesome!

Book It

How far in advance should you start planning your retreat? We recommend three to six months. That way, you have a better chance of booking the weekend that works best for your group before a time slot fills up. You’ll also be able to reserve activities and get on the schedules of all your busy trip participants!

Let’s Do This Thing

Finally, and perhaps most importantly: does the retreat facility you’re considering love Jesus like you do? If they don’t, they may not really understand the power and importance of what you’re trying to accomplish.

With all these things to consider when planning an event why not enlist the help of some pro’s to make it all go smoothly? Kidder Creek will do everything we can to make sure your life remains uncomplicated and that your group has the experience of a lifetime.

If you’re interested in booking an adventure visit the website or call Andy at (530) 467-3265.

Nate Pfefferkorn, Vice President of Strategy

A Lasting, Global Impact

Posted by & filed under General, Guest Groups, Stories of Ministry.

The relationships that build between organizations and Mount Hermon go beyond their event at Mount Hermon. The partnerships that develop are deep and extend over years.

Chinese Families for Christ has been coming for the last nine years bringing over 600 people each time. Their goal is to invite non-Christians to a camp that focuses on marriages and family relationships within the context of what it means to love how Jesus loves.

For the last ten years, California State Youth Conference brings over 450 African American youth from all over the state of California to train to be leaders within their churches.

The Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society (JEMS) has held their family camp at Mount Hermon for the last 68 years.

Shiloh Baptist Church from Sacramento has been holding their women’s retreat at Mount Hermon for the last 45 years.

Groups of all kinds come to Mount Hermon and then go back into their communities, their cities, and even their countries refreshed, renewed and restored. Over the last several years, Mount Hermon has been partnering with the division leadership of World Vision. World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization who is assisting over 70 million people each year in its quest to end poverty, fight hunger, and transform lives.  Tracy Steuve shared at an Associates In Ministry event this year about the impact Mount Hermon has globally.

“What better place to focus on your spiritual life than in this beautiful venue? Just look at those trees, they’re hundreds of years old. Some of my people come here, and they’re broken because they work in really difficult places. They work in places like Congo, and Sudan, and Somalia, and Indonesia where they suffered from the tsunami years ago. They work in very challenging environments, and they come broken, but they come here and then walk away restored. That is really important and special to me.

“I was recently in South Africa, and one of the women told me, ‘I remember Mount Hermon, when can I go back? My soul was filled in that place! When are we going to have some of our other programs there?’

“I want to encourage you that what you are supporting here is touching the lives of people who come here as guest groups; they are part of a global outreach you have. You might not even know the fact that we have people from India, Mongolia, Latin America, the U.S., Kenya, Sudan, and Myanmar. These people come here, and they take Mount Hermon in their hearts. They remember not just the training they received, but the essence of this place and the fact that God is moving here. So I thank you for that. You’re supporting something that touches lives around the world in ways that I can’t fully explain.”

Project Sanctuary– Where Military Families Thrive

Posted by & filed under Guest Groups, LOG, Stories of Ministry.

 militaryFamily1000Mount Hermon ministers to thousands of people each year by linking arms with established organizations, supporting them as they seek to accomplish kingdom work. Each year we also intentionally partner with a few organizations whose mission and values align with our own. Referred through our Military Campership Program, Project Sanctuary’s goal is to assess the needs of military families, reconnect them through therapeutic retreats, and ultimately help them make the transition to thriving into the future. We’ve hosted four of the 90+ reconnecting retreats, with a fifth scheduled this fall.

The retreats are free to guests, funded by Project Sanctuary’s private donors who wish to honor military families by providing therapeutic recreation, education, and counseling for the entire family. The Colorado-based nonprofit has served over 465 families, and is excited to report that 90% of these families are still intact with ZERO suicides.

A female veteran, single mother of five told us,

“Project Sanctuary is not just a foundation. They are a ministry! … My family never knew what family love felt like until we encountered this retreat and the people who help make it possible. I thank God over and over again for Heather [group leader] giving me the opportunity to see myself in the light and NOT in the dark.”

We are overjoyed to be part of the transformational work that God is doing in the lives of each one who will spend six days on our grounds, being loved and cared for by our staff and the leadership from Project Sanctuary.militaryFather1000

Kidder Creek Loves to Serve Groups!

Posted by & filed under Guest Groups, Kidder Creek, LOG, Stories of Ministry.


At Kidder Creek, Custom Group Adventures are one fun way we work with churches. We lead their activities, prepare their meals, and coordinate all the logistics, so each group’s leaders can focus all their attention on building relationships and fully sharing the camp experience with their students.

Peninsula Bible Church, Cupertino, has adventured with us for over ten summers. Shawn Reese of PBCC writes, “Our middle school summer program is built around our trips to Kidder Creek. In fact, most of our students say these trips are the highlight of their middle school years. And many high school students serve with us just so they can go BACK to Kidder Creek!”

We create Adventures uniquely tailored to serve each group. Shawn says,

“Kidder Creek is so accommodating, allowing us to shape our own trip, and tweak it to our liking. We bring our own staff who have relationships with the kids, and Kidder Creek’s guides provide for all the adventure stuff. Their staff love God and love our people, and they want to know our kids. The entire trip is God-centered.

Their model allows us to serve our students in a profound way, maximizing the impact of a multi-day epic adventure within the context of our year-round youth group. The results are incredible. Our trips to Kidder give us time to breathe and ample time in God’s good creation.

Many parents tell us that their 6th graders return home with new confidence gained on these trips. Some have never been away from their parents overnight, and many have never camped in the woods, so when they ‘conquer’ our River Camp experience, they know they’ve accomplished something!”

If you’re interested in a Custom Group Adventure for your church or other group, give us a call! 888.226.7386 We’d love to serve you this summer.

Learn More about Group Services

Our Favorite Place on Earth

Posted by & filed under Guest Groups, LOG, Stories of Ministry.



Every year, a theme verse is displayed on the large redwood plank hanging in the auditorium. Back in 2002, it read: “God is our refuge and strength” –Psalm 46:1

That was the year we first came to Mount Hermon with First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley on our annual All Church Conference. As a young married couple from Cal, busy with our careers and becoming new parents, our marriage and family unexpectedly came under attack. But God knew what we needed, and led us to a safe haven, into the sanctuary woods that is the magical Mount Hermon.

We come every Memorial Day weekend with our church retreat, a tradition for more than 65 years! Spending time at Mount Hermon with our congregation each year has been a blessing to our family and a great time of fellowship, learning, reflecting and retreating with hundreds of our First Pres friends.

For years, we noticed the friendly and hardworking staff serving our big guest group from Berkeley. Then when we started coming to the summer family camps and sending our kids to Redwood and Ponderosa, we soon realized that the programs and people of Mount Hermon were top notch and truly amazing!

This Heavenly place is where we come and feel safe, secure and strengthened by God, who always shows up in the big redwood trees, the gentle streams of water, the powerful worship music, the sound Biblical teaching, through the loving service of the staff, the laughter and joy of people, with peace and beauty abounding everywhere!

Since our first time here 13 years ago, we have found “refuge and strength” every year and have each grown spiritually stronger and closer together as a family. It is always a blessing to be with God here at Mount Hermon and meet so many wonderful folks from around the world right here in our favorite place on earth!

Every Retreat Can Be An Adventure!

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Guest Groups.

Mount Hermon offers incredible one-of-a-kind adventures in the redwood forest – and tour programs are growing quickly! All our activities have been designed to be both fun and challenging, good for individuals and groups, and multi-generational. All our activities are run by expertly trained staff to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience; we love to see our guests building memories with friends and family. We invite you to explore how these options might enhance your retreat, engaging guests with God’s creation and each other. Your retreat coordinator can provide details about availability and pricing, and help you determine which options would be a good fit for your group. Below is an overview of our current options.

Redwood Canopy Tour

Canopy Tour

Soar through our unique forest and experience the giant redwoods from 150 feet above the canyon floor. This is the ultimate shared experience as small groups are led through a two-hour experience of seven platforms, two sky-bridges and six zip lines of up to 440 feet in length.

Sequoia Adventure Course

Sequoia Course

The Sequoia Adventure Course is our most popular ropes course with 14 different high course elements that range from 30 to 80 feet above ground. All participants wear a harness, helmet, and are connected to overhead cables with double safety lanyards. The course is supervised by our expert staff who coach and encourage each participant.

Discovery Grove

Discovery Grove

Discovery Grove is the perfect experience for those who are new to ropes course activities and want to start a bit closer to the ground. The course consists of 7 different high ropes elements, from 5 to 20 feet above ground, and ends with a zip line. The course has been designed specifically for participants aged between 7-11 years old (older is OK).

Team building Packages

Team Building

Team Building programs are an intentional way to transform the way your group approaches challenges, communicates, and works toward common goals. With years of experience, Mount Hermon facilitators will guide your group through low and high activities to bring your group together like never before. Mount Hermon Adventures will work with you to custom design an experience that will meet your goals. Our programs can focus on a variety of themes like effective leadership, creative thinking, appreciative inquiry, and group synergy.

Outdoor Climbing Wall

Climbing Wall

Provide an opportunity for your group to not only strengthen their climbing skills, but also give them the chance to encourage and coach each other as they climb.

Ocean Kayaking


Give your group a special morning or afternoon outing to experience waves, the kelp gardens, and possibly even sea otters, seals, and dolphins. A peaceful trip to the ocean can be just what your group needs during their time away. Each tour is approximately 2.5 hours round trip.



Practice perfection with our staff at the shooting range by challenging each other with accuracy or by improving your personal skills.

Mountain Bike Tour

Mountain Bike

Take advantage of the beautiful scenery located in and around Mount Hermon by participating in a mountain bike tour. Our guides will take you around camp as well as off campus through the beautiful redwood forests. Tours can be personalized for all types of fitness levels.

Contact your event coordinator today to reserve these activities for your group to enjoy!