My staff just got back from a three day retreat, and it was a huge success. Everyone participated--teachers, administrators, and classified staff--and found it very productive. It was more than that, though: getting away from the school site and the local environment (literally out in the desert, away from everything) we were able to focus on our relationships with each other. Without the distractions, teachers and staff were able to interact in a "risk-free" environment. Having this retreat right before the opening of school, quite a few people have commented on the "running start" we now have on the school year. Many times the opening of school can be just as hectic for teachers, but thanks to this getaway opportunity (generously funded by our PTA and Foundation groups) we already feel like a team and will be able to start the year on a more than positive note.
As we were way out in the desert, I can tell you that the experience of seeing the stars from the soccer field at night was absolutely amazing.