Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

Initial Reservation

  • All reservations are made through the Director of Retreat Ministries ( and are secured on a first come first serve basis. Once a confirming contract is received your group will have 30 days to sign and return the contract along with the designated retreat deposit and certificate of insurance.

Signed Contract Deadline

  • If a signed contract and designated deposit is not received by the date indicated on the contract, GENEVA would be free to negotiate with another group for the retreat dates and facilities in question. 

Contract Maximum Capacities & Minimum Guarantees

  • When reserving specific lodging facilities maximum capacity and minimum guarantee numbers will apply. Minimum guarantees would include the lodging and meal costs per person as outlined in the retreat contract. If a groups final attendance numbers fall below the stated minimum guarantee, then the guest group would be invoiced for that minimum. Meeting room fees, special requests carrying fees, and any additional fees charged for extensive set up would be additional to the minimum guarantee amount.

Final Invoicing

  • A final invoice will be processed after the completion of your retreat. The initial deposit will be deducted from the invoice, and your group will be responsible to pay the balance due within 15 days after receipt of the final invoice.
  • All non-exempt accounts will be assessed a 6% Michigan Sales Tax at the time of invoicing.

Cancellation Policy

  • When it is necessary for a retreat group to cancel an event, the contract deposit is non-refundable unless the cancellation occurs at least 120 days prior to the scheduled event. A 10% administration fee will be deducted from the deposit funds and the balance of the deposit will be refunded. 
  • In the event it would be necessary for GENEVA to cancel a retreat, a full refund of your deposit will be given.

Severe Weather Policy

  • In the event that there is severe weather and your group needs to cancel their retreat, the deposit made on your retreat can be transferred to a future date, or if a new reservation is not possible, a 10% administration fee will be deducted from the deposit funds and the balance of the deposit will be refunded.
  • If severe weather occurs while your group is at GENEVA on retreat, our hosting team is trained to bring everyone to safety in our on-site sheltered areas. Please note our emergency exits posted in our facilities.

Planning Information Deadlines

  • One week prior to your retreat date, the group leader will be responsible to provide a final retreat agenda, lodging/guest list, final meal counts, completed special dietary forms, meeting room set up and audio visual equipment requests. 
  • If the above requested retreat information is not provided by the retreat group leader a week in advance of the retreat (date stated in contract), GENEVA has the right to submit the minimum guaranteed guest count to our catering department. 
  • The group leader will be responsible for registering their own retreat guests in the group’s designated meeting space.
  • GENEVA does not offer discounts on stay for group chaperones or leaders. 

Check-In & Check-out Guidelines

  • Check-In: Your group may arrange for an early set up time with our retreat staff. Set up may begin up to 3 hours prior to your retreat’s official start time. Earlier set up times can be arranged and will carry a $25.00/hr additional fee.
  • Check-out: Final group check out will be 3 hours after your last scheduled meal. Later check out times can be arranged and will carry a $25.00/hr additional fee.
  • GENEVA reserves the option to request an early check-out of lodging spaces to effectively prepare for the next group arrival. Early lodging check-out does not affect the use of your meeting space prior to final departure.

Retreat Meal Reservation Options

  • Retreat meals are served buffet style in our main dining rooms. The buffet format provides variety in selection of menu items to meet the needs of various types of groups being served.
  • Menus are chefs choice and chosen by our catering team.
  • GENEVA is happy to assist any guests with special dietary needs. We ask for this information a week in advance of your meeting, retreat, or event so that our team can be best prepared to meet such accomodations. 
  • Groups are welcome to bring in their own snacks/beverages into their meeting spaces. GENEVA can also provide snacks/beverages at a fee to your group. 
  • When developing your retreat agenda to include meal reservation times we ask that you select a meal start time from the time options below:
Breakfast7:30am, 8:00am, or 8:30am
Lunch  12:00pm or 12:30pm
Dinner 5:00pm, 5:30pm, or 6:00pm


Meeting Rooms

  • Final meeting space setup requests are due one week ahead of your retreat date.  Meeting rooms provide a variety in set up options to include row seating, seating at round tables, classroom style seating at long tables, or various combinations.
  • A select group of the meeting spaces include sound systems with a number of components available.  Please check with the our retreat staff as to availability when making your reservation.
  • Extensive set up requests may incur an additional fee.
  • Please keep all snack and beverages in your meeting room and out of all lodging areas.
  • Meeting spaces do not include a microwave.
  • The Dunes and Harbor meeting spaces do have mini refrigerators for guest use as a part of the Retreat Center package. All other meeting spaces do not include access to a refrigerator or freezer. 
  • When posting information on the walls of the meeting space please use blue painters tape to hang. If needed, our staff can supply your group with tape.

Wireless Internet

  • GENEVA provides internet access in all main spaces and meeting rooms to our guests at no charge. The Retreat Center, hotel-style rooms also have access. All cabin lodging areas at Shores and Pines do not provide wireless internet access.


  • The GENEVA Retreat Center, hotel-style facility provides bedding and towels in all lodging rooms. The cabin lodging facilities at Shores and Pines do not include bedding and shower towels. 

Multiple Groups on Site

  • At any given time there may be multiple groups on site for retreats and events. Your group will have exclusive use of your lodging and meeting space as outlined in your contract. All other areas of GENEVA are shared areas for all guests to utilize.

Dining Room Guidelines

  • After completion of meals in the dining rooms, the area is closed to guests so our food service and custodial team can clean and prepare for the next meal. The beverage area will be opened a half an hour early of each meal start time for coffee access.
  • Shirts and shoes are required in our dining facilities.


  • We do ask that our guests park in designated parking areas only. Pathways to and from lodging and meeting areas need to remain clear and safe for our guests. Entry areas to our pathways need to remain clear for emergency vehicle access.

Wheelchair Accessibility

  • All facilities at GENEVA are barrier-free and meet current ADA regulations. 

Health and Insurance Statement

  • The health and safety of our retreat guests is very important to us, and our team takes great care and intentionality in creating a safe environment.
  • Along with your signed contract and deposit, GENEVA requires a copy of your group’s certificate of insurance showing the limit of your general liability and medical payments. The certificate should also show GENEVA as an additional insured.
  • Should you be injured in an accident while on GENEVA’s property or during a GENEVA activity, medical claims must be submitted to your primary health insurance carriers. GENEVA does not carry insurance for guest medical claims.
  • If an injury should occur, please notify your host immediately. All injuries must be reported within 24 hours, and an appropriate GENEVA form needs to be completed by your group regarding the incident. 
  • The retreat group will be responsible for providing for their own medical personnel, first aid, first aid supplies and emergency transportation.  

Challenge Activities and Release Forms

  • GENEVA Program staff provide a variety of challenge activities and ground based initiatives for groups with guests who are 6th grade and older. These activities are prearranged with our retreat ministry staff along with our program and carry an additional fee.
  • A release form with parent signature is required for each youth participant under 18 years of age. All adult participants are required to sign the release form on their own behalf.

Activity & Recreation Center (ARC) & Game Rooms

  • The Activity & Recreation Center and the game room areas at Shores and Pines are available to all guest groups. There is no exclusive use of these areas. 
  • We do ask that when using the gymnasium area, guests wear non-black soled shoes. When using any of these spaces please keep all food and drinks out of the areas. For youth under the age of 18, adult supervision is required at all times.


  • The GENEVA Pines site offers a sledding hill for groups during the winter months at designated times. GENEVA has sleds available, or guests are able to bring in their own sleds. We ask that guests do not bring in snow boards or runner sleds.
  • To maintain a safe environment, when using the sledding area we ask that guests do not sled toward Big Pine Lake, but remain on the designated sledding area.
  • When guests are at the sledding hill, we require groups to have adult supervision at all times. The sledding hill has outdoor lighting for nighttime use.


  • There are campfire pits located by each cabin area at Shores and Pines for guest use.  Also provided are various larger group spaces for campfires around the grounds. GENEVA provides the firewood, and fire starters can be provided upon request through our hosting staff.  
  • Campfires are limited to designated fire pit areas only. It is the group leader’s responsibility to start, maintain and put out fires safely.

Lake Use & Beach Guidelines

  • Guests are responsible for their own safety when swimming in the lake and will need to provide their own certified lifeguard. A copy of your lifeguard’s certification is required to be provided to GENEVA. Our staff will supply the required safety equipment to your lifeguard when using the swimming area.
  • We ask that our guests take the stairways to and from the beach and remain off the sand dunes at all times to protect the area from dune erosion.
  • Swimming after dark is prohibited.  
  • Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult, and children 12 and younger must be accompanied by a parent at all times.
  • Use of the swimming area and beach are not available while our summer youth camp programs are in session.
  • The boundaries of the GENEVA property are clearly marked with signage to the north and south edges of the waterfront access area. When using the beach please remain in the designated area of GENEVA’s property. 
  • Walking on the beach: The beach is available to groups and you may walk the beach along the water line in either direction. Your group should recognize that the area above the high water mark is private property, and we ask our guests to respect our neighbors’ property.
  • Staying off the ice: Throughout the winter icebergs can form along the shoreline presenting a dangerous environment for our guests. The ice is extremely unstable and much less solid than it looks. For safety, your group should not go out onto the ice. When icebergs are present GENEVA does lock its beach gates for the protection of our guests.

Site & Facility Guidelines

  • If your group is responsible for damages to the GENEVA facilities and property, the cost of repairs for damages or excessive clean up will be the responsibility of your group at the time of invoicing.
  • GENEVA is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen items. After 2 weeks, all lost and found items are donated to a local charity or disposed of. 
  • If a fire alarm is pulled unnecessarily, your group will be responsible for the fire department fee for responding.
  • When on the grounds, please use trash receptacles to dispose of all trash.
  • Please keep all areas free from graffiti.
  • If fire extinguishers are set off unnecessarily by your group, your group will be charged $75.00 per extinguisher to have each one refilled.
  • GENEVA is a totally smoke free environment in all of its facilities.
  • If your group plans on setting up equipment in any outdoor or grass areas, please get plans approved by our retreat ministry staff. 
  • Pets of any kind are not allowed on site, unless an individual requires the assistance of a guide dog.
  • Use of alcohol, drugs, sky lanterns, fireworks or firearms is prohibited at GENEVA.