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Why we value Campfire retreats

What does it take to be a thriving self organising team?

One of our most important regular meeting rhythms is our twice-yearly retreats. As a virtual organisation of people living and working across three Australian states and beyond, it is vital that we come together as a community to play, connect and to get on with some good work.

Our retreats have been held online in 2020, out of necessity, and have invited great creativity. Whether online or in person, it is precious time for us to spend together.

Living in community for five days provides us an opportunity to be really present, to develop and strengthen relationships, to dream, have wicked conversations, get good work done and laugh out loud together. Retreat is a chance for us to learn, grow, deepen our practice and develop a shared understanding of our purpose and work.

In our retreats, we set out to explore a central question using the Flow Game, and other powerful participatory practices and processes to guide us. What is the work that is ours to do in the world now?

We spend time arriving and checking in with each other. At the end we reflect, get clear on any next steps and check out from our time together.

In between, we use Open Space to hold us. We reckon the principles and light structure of Open Space are incredibly useful. The agenda - everything from cooking, eating, washing dishes, exercise, play, and the work to be done - is set together when we arrive. Not much is pre-determined (except for a shopping list and a good place to hang out). We trust that what is important will emerge, and be addressed. It works.

Our retreats are small, consisting of members and supporters, those who are deeply curious about Campfire, and our wise elders - to offer different perspectives, and to hold us in particularly challenging conversations.

We share responsibility for organising and hosting, with a small team forming each retreat. We have loads of fun too. “Sock parties”, involving good music, a load of old socks and a ceiling fan, have become a special feature.

Our retreats have become loved times of connection, generative conversation and sparks of energy and flow for our organisation and the people in it.

We also host others in retreat. Get in touch to know more.

Curious about working or learning with us?

We'd love to have a conversation.
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