Youth Program Epistles for 2009-2010

Heartsong 6th - 9th grades August 13 -15, 2010
Fur, Feathers and Scales 4th - 5th grades June 11 -13, 2010
EarthSong XXXVI 8th - 12th grades May 28–30, 2010
Bag the Flag 6th- 7th Grade May 14-16, 2010
Sprouts 4th - 5th grade April 16 - 18, 2010
Chaos or Community 8th - 9th grade March 26 - 28, 2010
Electric 80s 6th - 7th grade March 19 - 21, 2010
Leaderless and Loving It 10th - 12th grade March 12 - 14, 2010
Snow Drifts 4th - 5th grade February 26 - 28, 2010
On the Cusp With Cupid 8th -9th grade February 5 - 7, 2010
Soul Funk 10th -12th grade January 22-24, 2010
Sweet Relaxation 6th - 7th grades January 15 - 17, 2010
Star Light, Star Bright 4th - 5th grade Dec 4-6, '09
Castles in the Air 6th - 7th Grade Nov 20-22, '09
Scary Quakers 10th –12th grade Oct 30 – Nov 1, '09
Peanut Butter and Jelly 4th- 5th grades Oct 2-4, '09
Tree and Me 6th & 7th Grade Sept 25-27, '09
Planning 09 8th - 12 grade Sept 11-13, '09
Walking in a Water Wonderland 4th - 5th grades June 5 - 7, '09


August 13-15, 2010
6th to 9th Grade


Friday afternoon started with a game of Banana Tag.   After a supper of Chicken and Tofu Teriyaki by Martha (instead of jacki), the usual introductions followed and a game of the ever popular Elbow Tag.  We then separated into small groups to pick songs we would like to sing over the weekend.  A few more guidelines presented in musical fashion and the song Lean on Me followed.  One of the highlights of Friday was the story time outside where we could lie on our backs and look at the stars.  Then we went to rest our eyes and vocal chords.

 Saturday morning everyone woke up tired but excited for what the day brings.  Breakfast included bagels, eggs and cereal which were all enjoyed by our PoHo friends.  After breakfast, we had session and discussed swimming guidelines and cabaret.  Also we told each other what kind of song we would be.  With a fun game of Streets and Alleys and singing songs we went to small groups and talked about different kinds of song and music.  We learned a new song (The Marvelous Toy which became an instant favorite) and played the Hat Game.   When session was over we jumped into the screaming animal sounds.

 Lunch included soups and sandwiches.  To start off work projects we sang “If I Had A Hammer” and began to work on things such as making apple sauce, watering flowers, weeding around the ACC, moving firewood and trimming the trails.  When everyone finished we had session in the pond.  Taking a line from the Yellow Submarine, we discussed what “All we need” is.   Then we treaded water in silence as our circle expanded to the limit of the swimming area ropes.  Then we had more free time swimming.

A calming 3-way massage and self-space happened next.  After we were all relaxed we had supper of baked potatoes.  Then we played a fun game of Wizards and Gelflings in which we all ran from the JCs and set Gelflings free.  We were so tired we played the “Blanket Game” and had Cabaret.  Cabaret acts included singing, playing instruments and improv acts.when Cabaret was over everyone went to the campfire and many of us ate marshmallows.  We pranced around the fire singing and dancing.  When everyone went inside we had snack.  We had a huggle and we were all tired so had to go to  bed, which ended the day.

 An 8:30 wake up to the moans of others unwilling to leave their cozy beds.  A delish breakfast of blueberry pancakes, eggs and cereal fired us up.  Later, in session we had a guest speaker, Farid, who taught us dances of Universal Peace.  Later still came Molly’s game then singing and worship.  Next a tearful, but tasty, lunch of hotdogs, knowing we must leave many of our new found friends behind.  At 1:15 we began our heartfelt good-byes with many hugs.

 HeartSong was a weekend filled with many songs, good food and friends.  We all had “all we need.”

 Return to the top, following the song in your heart


Fur, Feathers and Scales
4th & 5th grade
June 11-13, 2010

Rain was the common theme of the weekend, but unlike the animals on Noah’s Ark we entered in ones, threes and carpool clumps.  At session we played a frustrating game of “Duck and Chicken” followed by “a game of “Head Honcho” which is supposed to be frustrating but wasn’t.
We gathered in small groups to talk about animals we live with and ones we would like to see.  We told each other interesting things during News of Me.  We had some free time with a game of Sardines and then shared massages during quiet time while listening to a story.
We awoke on Saturday morning tired but excited for what was to come.  We circled to sing and hear what was for breakfast. In session we played a few games including the Hat game and the Blanket game, then we broke into small groups and went out to take a closer look at what animals were around us.  Of course, it started to rain.  We kept exploring just like the animals themselves.  When we all wandered back inside we were very wet but happy.
We had lunch and then went on a beautiful walk to Dorson’s Rock followed by swimming, free time, snack, check-in and a three-way massage which led us into self space.  Supper was followed by an early cabaret filled with music and laughter.  Rain started again in the evening, so the outdoor session looking for animals became an indoor session playing Rattler & Miner.  We had a snack and heard an animal story for quiet time.  Then we climbed into bed to drift off to sleep.
Sunday morning, we cleaned up the building and outside.  Primate Bellows was the game that got us all back together.  We had an affirmation circle before singing and did worship in silence.  We had lunch and said reluctant good-byes.

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EarthSong XXXVI
8th - 12th grades
May 28 – 30, 2010


Friday we gathered
Spaghetti was eaten well
Smiles laughter joy

Sessions brought ideas
Of clusters to be discussed
About how they form

That we all share together
Expressed in fun ways

News of Me happened
Stories were read joyfully
Then we all split for sleep


Sun came we ate well
But sleep did not leave us yet
A game showed us this

Work projects started
Dance, cookies, working outside,
While seniors prepared

Lunch brought swimming fun
Down by the pond we gathered
Sharing songs and sun

Before massages
And energy work as well
Workshops, snack, freetime

We went to self space
Transforming into prepping
For the formal dinner

Classy disc was played
Cabaret was a tad late
But still just as great

Dance party started
Popcorn devoured as well
We walked throught the dark

More stories of planes
Ended with a lullaby
And many hugs too


Sun rose beds were made
Down to a breakfast, yum, yum, yum
It was quite hearty

Clean up was needed
We all had to do our part
To get things ready

For graduation
Bittersweet feelings we had
Of seniors’ adieu

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Bag the Flag
May 14-16, 2010
6th-7th grade

We had warm welcomes and smiles as we gathered for this weekend’s theme of Capture the Flag. Dinner was followed by a session with several games to get us familiar with each other and to start thinking about how we play together well and take care of each other. Later that night, an awesome game of sardines was followed by a haunting ghost story.

Saturday morning we played dragons and trolls with different numbers of dragons to experience what made games lopsided or too hard to win. Small groups discussed their good and bad experiences with Capture the Flag and then made suggestions for our group this weekend. The morning session of Capture the Flag in the maze lasted until lunch with no winner but lots of wandering trails through the woods and running like crazy.

After lunch, we discussed the ups and downs of the morning’s game. The whole group went to the pond to pick up the floating dock and move it into the water. Then we returned to the woods and switched territories for an invigorating reprise of Capture the Flag. Free time, check-in, three-way massage and a nice Self Space time rounded out the afternoon.

The long twilight after supper gave us plenty of time to play 3-team capture the Flag in the field. We improvised as situations developed and decided that losing the flag did mean you lost because you could still capture either flag from the other teams and use it. It was a very different experience than the earlier games and kept everyone engaged to the level they wanted to be. Because everyone could see all the others and get back to their territories quickly, we did not need as many rules or planning.

Some liked the woods better for the sneaking around and using complicated strategies, while others liked the three-way for its non-stop action and variety. Two things we learned from our weekend was this:

1. It is not a good idea to sing while you are guarding the flag.
2. We don’t accomplish that much unless we work in teams.

Grab the flag and run back to the top of the page



4th & 5th grades
April 16-18, 2010

We arrived Friday afternoon, hungry and excited.  After everybody had trickled through the door and unpacked, we gathered and sang and ate a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs.  We enjoyed free time during the meal clean up and gathered for session.

We started with the name whip ‘If you were a plant, what plant would you be?”   We played an exciting game of elbow tag followed by a wagon wheel discussion.  We split into small groups in which we split open bean seeds to find the tiny plant inside.  We asked ourselves questions about the seeds such as “How does a seed know when to sprout?”  We played Snake in the Grass and talked about the PoHo rules like the three nurture questions.  The group lay down and listened to other’s News of Me.  Afterwards we played Sardines, listened to a story and trooped off to bed.

The next morning we woke up from a long, restful sleep to a lovely breakfast of oatmeal and cereal.  We sat in a circle for session and had a name whip, “How are you sprouting or changing.  We played Honey of you Love Me before brainstorming the good and bad things about growing up.  In small groups again, we planted seeds into containers so the cold wouldn’t hurt them outside.  We asked each other questions such as “What do seeds need to grow?”  The groups then tromped outside to look for sprouts.  During free time, we played Capture The Flag in the woods. 

After eating a delicious lunch,  worked on work projects such as planting lettuce and carrying sticks in the campground.  We then did check in, three-way massage and were released into self space.  We ate ham and macs and cheese for supper.   The blanket game started evening session followed by small groups where we wrote a story.  Then we had cabaret, filled with music, improve and skits.  We had a wild PJ party with snacks and music.  Chris read us a story from The Education of Little Tree and we went to bed.

The next day we ate a yummy breakfast, cleaned up the whole building and had session where we played Primate Bellows.  We talked about upcoming conferences and did an affirmation circle.  We had some soulful singing and silent worship.  Then lunch crew took over and we had lunch.  After some sorrowful good-byes we all headed home.

Chaos or Community

March 26 – 28, 2010
8th & 9th Grade

This Friday everyone came to Powell House excited to kick off the great weekend of anarchy.  The theme of Anarchy filled the weekend making things less organized, JCs with less power and mixed up meals such as lunch for breakfast.  We started the weekend with an amazing couch pile.  Afterwards, we ate a dinner of bagels and eggs.  Our session consisted of brain storming ideas about anarchy and then small groups picking a “favorite flavor” from a collection of quotes about anarchy.  In spite of the theme, we reviewed the safety rules and behavior guidelines.  We had a fantastic story time and then were sent straight to bed.

Saturday morning came far too fast as we dragged our feet down to an amazing breakfast of oatmeal.  We then broke into small groups, unorganized by the JCs, to talk about the Walt Whitman quote:

This is what you shall do:
Love the earth and sun and animals.
Stand up for the stupid and crazy.
Take your hat off to no man.

Everyone participated in an intense game of Wink’em that demonstrated our sense that everyone was equal and anyone could be the leader.  In other words, we all needed bandages for rug burn and the loser of each round became the controlling “Lonely Person.”

After a scrumptious lunch of sandwiches on homemade bread, we held an epic game of Ultimate Frisbee (or watched the epic game).  Work projects were explained and folks just went where they wanted: making snack, planting seeds, tearing down and old wooden fence to feed the bonfire, or creating art, poetry and music. 

Dinner came with delicious breaded fish.  A post-feast session gave time for those who wanted to share about what they did in the growth and enrichment period before supper.  A heated game of Four on a Couch led into Cabaret.  Many pillows were puffed and many people were set.  Many amazing things went down including original performances and new twists on old ones.  A moonlit walk took us to a beautiful bonfire.  Then we listened to more bed time stories (The Te of Piglet), went to bed and rested our heads.

So Sunday we got off to a slow start in spite of the late wake up.  We made our beds so we were ready to go.  Once again in the name of anarchy, we had a taco lunch for breakfast.  So then we got down to cleaning.  No sign ups, just the group knowing what the goal was and individuals taking responsibility.  We settled into a calm session with Snakes in the grass and Molly’s game.  After a great lunch of pizza, we all hugged good bye with a new sense of friendship, bonds and anarchism.

This button will take you to the top, but only if you are willing to submit to the imposed structure    

Electric 80’s

 March 19-21, 2010

6th & 7th Grade

Have you ever wanted to experience the 80’s?  This conference for 6th & 7th graders brought back the 80’s with a modern Powell House twist. 
Friday started with the greetings of old friends and new.   As always, Ping Pong and hanging out in the game room were some of the first activities.  Shortly after the weekend began some of us went out to the field for an exciting game of Frisbee.  We came back in for some more catching up with our pals. 
With the assistance of supper crew and our butler Lissa, Jacki made a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs.  Followed by session starting with a name whip and a game of islands.   After session free time was a making of new friendships and strengthening of others.   After some poems and a huggle we were all off to bed.  But before we could enter dreamland we were startled by the fire alarm going off.  We emptied the building and gathered in our roommate groups in the parking lot in record time.  Scary at first, it was fun to think and talk about later.
We woke up to a breakfast of pasta cabañara and cereal courtesy of Jacki, Lissa and the breakfast crew.  Following breakfast was session in which we went into small groups and made posters representing a decade in the future.  A favorite of Saturday was Capture the Flag, even though we had to trek through mud to get to a dry enough spot.  After running around for a while the game came to one of the best endings, a tie.
Our free time included couch piles and a game of “in my pants” where you added that quote to the end of a song title.  Other friends did chalk graffiti on the patio and tried with some success to get the group out for a big game of Banana Tag.  Another delightful lunch followed.
After lunch we all worked together on our work projects.  Many of the work projects were cleaning up outdoors for the official start of spring.  Everyone did their part and did it without complaint.  After free time, which included a game of live Pac Man in the dining room and a snack of fresh pineapple on the patio, we enjoyed another session that included 3-way massage.  After a short meditation we went into self-space and got much needed showers, naps and even skate boarding.  
Supper crew and supper was amazing and led us into another session where we played a rhythmic game of Swami and our decade presentations occurred.   Everyone had a great poster that the whole group did together as a team.
A short free time led us into an amazing cabaret where many great acts were performed.  Everyone really enjoyed cabaret either performing or cheering on the performers.   We had homemade butterscotch pudding following cabaret.  Then it was an 80’s dance party with disco ball and “The Eye of the Tiger”.    Bedtime came too quickly but this time without the fire alarm.
Sunday was cooler and grayer than the days before but clean up kept us warm.   We gathered for a rousing game of Primate Bellows and a powerful affirmation circle in which we spoke of the neat things we noticed about all of us gathered here this weekend.  We played Molly’s Game then went outside for Banana Tag before singing and settling into worship.  A pizza lunch filled us for the road.  Then it was good-byes and until next times.

break dance back to the top

Leaderless & Loving It

March 12 – 14, 2010
10th – 12th Conference

We said we would write this later but never got around to it. These are the comments people made on Sunday morning to include in the epistle:

We had bagels for supper on Friday. There was a good flow to the weekend. It was most excellent. The small group discussions with the quotes taught us about anarchy. The title of the conference fit the weekend perfectly. There was less structure, but it still worked and flowed evenly.

Anarchy is not all about destruction. Seeds are planted. The spectrum game gave us a handle on the personal ideas we have about society’s structures.

It worked well without sign-ups for anything and without assigned leaders because of the mutual respect. It gave us confidence to get the jobs done without being told. We appreciated the silence that spread through the dining room after meals with out a whistle.

We have renewed respect for what youth can do. This was a failed experiment if the test was to prove that we need leaders. We have more respect for respect itself.

somewhere that is not here and not the top either

Snow Drifts

February 26-28, 2010
4th & 5th Grade

Many newcomers came to PoHo this weekend.  When they came here they found new friends.   Some of the people who had already been to PoHo found new friends too and made it fun for the newcomers.   We had a wonderful dinner made by Jacki and as a butler we had Mary Beth.   After dinner we had free time, then session.   During session we talked about something that would be fun to pile up and jump in.  After we did that we played islands and got everyone on TWO cushions!  Then we went through what Mike and Chris expect of us and what we wanted to do this weekend.  Finally we went into small groups to try and build a pyramid with cups.  The disadvantage was you couldn’t use your hands.  Your small group was given 4 pieces of string and a rubber band.
At 9:00 Mike and Chris talked about the PoHo idea which was trying to build a community where everyone is respected and can be themselves.  Then at 9:15 we did News of Me.  Fifteen minutes later we had free time.  Some played Sardines while others practiced the Art of Conversation in the dining room.   Next we had quiet time.  After quiet time we had huggle then went off to bed.
We all woke up Saturday to a new day, excited for what might happen.   We went down to have breakfast then free time.  We had session where we talked about what people liked about the snow.  We played Elbow tag.  When we were done we went into small groups and shared a snow story.  We went out to play in the snow.  We played Medicine Wheel Tag (a new game for Powell House) then built snow sculptures with our small groups.  We had hot chocolate and free time with some deep snow sledding.
We had lunch, sandwiches and soup!   We worked on art projects.  An hour later we went into free time.  We had snack then check-in.  We went right into 3-way massage followed by guided meditation and self-space.  When self-space was over we had a wonderful dinner.  Then we had free time and session.  We played wax museum (another new game) and shared our art projects from earlier in the day.  Then we had an awesome cabaret.  We saw dances, comedy, fashion shows, magic tricks and more.
We had snack and free time next.  During snack we had a PJ party with popcorn, music and limbo.  We also learned the Salty Dog Rag.  After the PJ party we went off to bed.
On Sunday we woke up at 8:00.  We had free time ‘til breakfast.  After breakfast we had clean up with our awesome JCs (Daniel, Ian and Risa).  With a break from tradition we had an extra hour of free time so that we could enjoy more snow play. At 10:30 we had session then we read the epistle to the whole group.  We then did affirmations and singing and worship.  At 12:30 we had lunch.  Sadly we had to leave but we went home with good friends to look forward to seeing and good memories of this conference, Snow Drifts.

Plow straight back to the top

On the Cusp With Cupid
8th & 9th Grade
February 5 – 7, 2010

This Friday we were all on the cusp with Cupid. We gathered together to have a good weekend. The spaghetti supper was followed by a session with games like elbow tag and snake in the grass. On index cards, we wrote out our questions about relationships that we would like the group to discuss or someone to answer. We danced the Pata Pata, shared News of Me out of the silence and went into a fun free time. Excerpts from the book Star Girl were read out loud during quiet time and then it was off to bed to rest for what was in store the next day.

On Saturday, we went more into depth about the theme of the weekend. A game of “Would you rather…?” in which members of the group decided which of the given activities they would prefer – such as “having a pet gerbil, dog or fish?” – was loosely related to how people felt about relationships. In small groups, we discussed relationships more directly by answering such questions as “How does it feel to have a crush?” and “How does it feel when you think someone likes you?”

Once again in a large group, we conducted a fish bowl activity. First, the guys in the group sat in the center and discussed a few of the questions written down previously in the weekend. Then they switched places with the young women. Everyone was able to hear the input from both sexes on a few major questions about relationships.

There is a saying that a relationship is like making chocolate: turn up the heat too fast and it will scorch. Going along with this analogy, one work group helped make a snack of delicious chocolate cookies after lunch. Also in work groups, snow was cleared off the frozen pond and ice skates were sorted for the often painful, yet very fun, skating that would ensue in free time.

Following an excellent 3-way massage and a delicious dinner, we met in session to clear up the remaining questions written on cards. The panel – Mike, Chris, Victor and the JCs – discussed relationships further and gave their great insight. They then turned it around asking the group members how they felt about certain issues, giving the adults some of the teenagers’ perspectives.

Finally, the day ended as usual: cabaret and free time, including a brief dance party, preceded quiet time in which the story about Star Girl continued. Exhausted from the day, we went to sleep.

On Sunday morning, we made our beds and packed our bags even while hoping the weekend would not come to an end. We breakfasted on sweet potato pancakes and went into clean up crews. Once the ACC was clean, we had session, answered more questions, heard the epistle and did the evaluation. Molly’s game, singing and worship were followed by lunch and good-byes. We leave excited for future conferences.

♥click here to be in a close relationship with the top of the page♥

Soul Funk
January 22-24, 2010
Senior High

Thanks to the creative minds of Andrew and Josh and the power to make it happen from Chris and Liz Kessler, Soul Funk was BORN. And it was Funkay. From dancing to soulful conversations, meeting new friends and re-uniting with old ones, the weekend was filled with games, delicious food, love, laughter, life and most of all: Funk.

Richard Green, member of the band “Mr. Funky Pants” graced us with his funkilicious presence. He taught us about funk and what makes it unique: emphasis on the one, syncopation, 16th notes. He taught us about soul, the music, and we talked about what having a soul, or not having one, meant to us. During free time there was lots of music and down time where everyone spent they’re time doing what they love, being with their dear friends from PoHo.

A wonderful and hysterical cabaret was performed on its usual Saturday night. With great acts ranging from soap opera and Jersey Shore themed cookie skits to dancing and poetry, the show was filled with applause and laughter. Afterwards there was the funkiest dance party where everyone got down and busted their own moves to a funktastic mix given to us by Richard. The night ended with a beautiful moonlit walk around the pond and everyone settled in for a night of well-deserved rest.

The weekend was funky, soulful and all around awesome!

Back to that funky top

Sweet Relaxation
6th & 7th Grade
January 15 – 17, 2010

The 6th and 7th grade group came together to relax sweetly. We came together at Powell House to create a place that is safe, welcoming and loving. With high expectations we came, and those expectations were sweetly met. Upon our arrival we gathered to eat our first sweet ice cream treat. We had fun playing sardines, but our fun had just begun!

Ping pong tournaments were held throughout the weekend. Jacki, the delicious cook, made us meals so yummy we’ll never forget. We discovered our futures and what mattered to us now by making posters to show Who and How.

The sun was warm but the snow was cold,
so sledding was the perfect way to unfold.
When we cooked we had a ball
making food for all.
Relaxing was a blast with 3-way massage
and a boat to last.
Self space was fun with showers and baths,
we rested our calves.
The JCs were awesome, they rocked the house.
And Mrs. Mumbly wore a violet blouse.
Dancing was spectacular, we boogied to the beat
And got swept off of our feet.
We had much fun,
We made new friends,
But now it’s time for the weekend to end.
Thank you all!
It was a ball!

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Star Light, Star Bright
Dec 4-6, 2009
4th-5th grade

It was sunny and hot and then it was not. The clouds came to cover the moon and stars. Snow came next and covered up the fence.
Cabaret was as usual full of stars and twinkling. Games such as wild people, board games, hat games and more made us glow. As star fish, snow flakes, balloons and fireflies we went into meals and unleashed our creativity. There was lots of music, dressing up, playing on the ramp and jumping into pillows. Everyone got along and it was great to meet new people.

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Castles in the Air
6th & 7th Grade
November 20-22, 2009

This weekend was very interesting. We started our weekend with name whips and going over the rules. We played games and had fun. But the fun was not over yet! On Saturday we started with yummy food and session. We picked our MCs for Cabaret and played the Blanket Game. Then we broke up into small groups and made a Castle out of cardboard. We had free time with Banana Tag and playing around. We then took a hike to a nature sanctuary so we could explore and play Capture the Flag. We had another session with three-way massage followed by self-space and a very talented Cabaret. On Sunday we said good-bye and left with happy and sad hearts (Happy to have been together. Sad to be leaving one another)
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Scary Quakers
10th – 12th grade   October 30 – Nov 1, 2009

Scary Quakers are sharp of wit, not of tooth and claw. We discussed how they challenge the status quo and powers-that-be in different ways. Two people came to share their personal experiences with us. Bob Elmendorf talked about the work of local people to help a Pakistani man in Hudson falsely accused of terror-related acts after Sept 11. Karen Beetle shared her experiences with Peace Brigades International in Guatemala helping protect Guatemalan human rights activists.

We enjoyed the undercurrent of subversiveness combined with the Halloween theme that included the decorations, food, face painting and random costumes. Jacki’s menu planning leaned towards the macabre this time. We enjoyed a kitty litter cake, especially the special toppings. The chocolate body parts were scrumptious.

The small size of the gathering allowed us to feel very interconnected, unified and dedicated to each other. We enjoyed the company, the games and the sharing of many talents, particularly the music. We got to know each other better and it was easy to meet new people. Couch piles were a constant through the weekend. An impromptou large leafe pile led to leaping and burrowing.

Feeling like changing the status quo, we got really radical and messed with the Sunday routine. Lunch came early so we could end the conference with singing and silent worship. This change left us feeling even more unity at the closing of the weekend.
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Peanut Butter and Jelly
4th - 5th grade Oct. 2-4 2009

21 people came together at Powell House on Friday night, not knowing to expect. Would new kids be included? We did not really know. A lot of people were very nice and helpful to the Friends who hadn’t been here before. By the time we gathered for the Friday night session, we were feeling comfortable and happy.

The theme of the weekend was peanut butter and jelly—but don’t worry about it—nobody who was allergic or who didn’t like peanut butter had to eat any! We talked about sandwiches that we liked, and what went into them. Since sandwiches are made of different things, like each of us is, we talked about the things that made us who we are—kind of like a big, delicious sandwich.

On Saturday we made sandwiches that were like us, with different foods representing parts of our lives. For example, someone took yellow paper, that looked like mustard, and said it was the sunshine in their life. Another chose green paper "pickles" to show their awesomeness.

Some other favorites of the weekend were: three-way massage, cabaret, dancing the pata-pata, and picking berries for a work project, where half of the berries went into our mouths!

All agreed that it was the best weekend they had spent at Powell House. Some of the first- timers said that was because it was the only weekend they had spent there!                              Back to the top

Tree and Me
September 25-27, 2009
6th & 7th Grade

Friday we arrived to wonderful spaghetti with meatballs. After dinner we had a little free time. Following free time we went into session where we did a name whip and played a game Four on a Couch where the bandana team won, yay! We did a wacky story tree, which branched out and involved marshmallows, dogs, aliens and more. We went on to expectations and did News of Me. We had free time snack and a wicked game of Sardines. We had quiet time and went to bed.
Saturday wake up was at 7:30. Many kids were very tired at breakfast. Breakfast was bagels, cereal and cooked as you liked eggs. We went into session where we played games including Giants, Wizards and Elves. We then broke into small groups and got trees and questions to answer. We spent time with our trees then introduced them to the other people in our groups. We came back and drew trees of ourselves showing our roots, our strengths and our hopes. We had free time with Banana Tag and before lunch we played a really fun game of Capture the Flag.
On Saturday after lunch we had work projects. People picked and mashed apples, harvested walnuts and talked movies, built a table and played with the sander, planted trees and invented a new game. Then we had free time. We snacked and net into three-way massage. We had guided-meditation and went into self-space which was just the right length for many. Next we had supper, then session. In session we told the story of ourselves in small groups then we had a fantastic cabaret. We had free time, quiet time, huggle and then lights out.
On Sunday, we woke up at 8:00. Then we had to change the sheets. Some people had a little free time then we had breakfast of pancakes, fruit salad, and cereal. Next we did morning clean up. We had session with a very funny game of “Will you buy my donkey”, an affirmation circle and singing and worship. Next was lunch and then everybody left, taking with them their hand-drawn trees and lots of good memories.

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8th to 12th Grade September 11-13, 2009

Planning 2009 was a weekend full of good conversation and some pretty sweet small groups. As usual, Friday night was accompanied with the consumption of the traditional spaghetti, and a welcoming session full of games and name whips! We had a first-timer, and some lost-track-of-how-many-times timers. For story time we listened to a couple of Peace Corps experiences read by our incredible AP Liz Kessler.

Saturday we discussed in small groups what really makes PoHo as amazing as it is. We were asked questions like "What are some things that get you to come back to Powell House? What would you like to share with others outside of Powell House?" and "How can we use what we have here to help others around the world?"

As a large group we came to the conclusion that it’s the people, love and acceptance here that makes it what it is. The strong community that we have can be spread around through community service, namely sending money or ourselves overseas to help those less fortunate than us.

Also discussed was the idea of slightly altering some rules regarding personal electronic use. Although some small alterations could be experimented with, for the most part, we are very happy with the way things are done here.

Of course Saturday also held activities ranging in energy from the soothing 3-way massage to the hard work of painting and picking apples to the crazy cold of swimming to the always-energetic Cabaret. A bonfire preceded quiet time and a story before we all got some sleep.

On Sunday morning we ate carbonara, which is an arrangement of noodles, eggs and garlic. We also had the option of Jacki’s bread or cereal. All in all, a great weekend with the perfect amount of brainstorming for future conferences and a dandy lunch followed by good-bye hugs.

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Epistle for Walking in a Water Wonderland
4 & 5th Grade
June 5-7, 2009

Friday night at Walking in a Water Wonderland started off with a spaghetti dinner. After dinner we had a session filled with name whips and wagon wheels. During free time, Ping Pong, K’nex, pillows and just hanging out was a great time. We played Sardines after a yummy snack. A youth attender arrived with a broken foot. He was the first youth attender to use the wheelchair accessible ramp. We had quiet time and gave each other massages.

On Saturday, we had oatmeal and cereal for breakfast. At session we explored the maze and got hats made of really big leaves. Then we got back and shared our discoveries: frog, carp and turtle sightings, mud adventures and more. Following session we really experienced the water by swimming in the pond. We also had free time and lunch. Next we did work projects. After work projects we did a game called War Lords and Peace Flags. The adults and JC were the warlords and when peace kids were in their territory the warlords could tag us while we tried to get our flags in the circle. The kids won using creativity, different strategies, cooperating and trying out different paths and new ways to get to the circle. We cooled off with the slip and slide and watermelon.

Check-in followed. People shared that they were wet, tired, sleepy and happy, content and waiting for cabaret. People also shared what stood out for them in the weekend. Some of the things they shared were: fun to be with kind people, the warlords and peace flags game, the calm of a few inside while others were swimming, people wanting to help injured friend, passing the swim test and swimming to the dock, the slip and slide, session in the morning and walking in the watery areas, free time, feeling at home, constant snacks, Frisbee and seeing the great big fish. The afternoon ended 3-way massage and self-space.

After a tasty chicken and potatoes dinner we had a session where we shared times when we felt like a raging river and times when we were calm and peaceful. Then came cabaret with music and skits and amazing tricks all captured on a wonderful water-themed sign-up sheet. After that we had free time with a walk to the pond in the moonlight, two stories involving headfirst dives and then we went to bed.

Sunday morning started with making our beds and packing our bags. We had a delicious egg and potato breakfast. After eating breakfast we did our cleanup. Then came session with primate bellows, some water brainstorming and an affirmation circle with pitchers of water and glasses to be filled. After drinking in our affirmations there was singing and worship. We had a taco lunch then it was time for good-byes. Everyone will bring home great memories.
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Youth Conference  Epistles  2010 - 11

EarthSong 2011 8th - 12th grade May 27 -29
Clan-tasmagorical 6th - 7th grade May
Silence Unfolding 8th - adult April 29 - May 1
What's So Funny 8th - 9th grade April 8 - 10
The World's A Stage 10th - 12th grade March 25 - 27
Myth Makers 6th - 7th grade March 11 - 13
Fictional Friends and Foes 4th - 5th grade March 4 - 6
Lovin' It 8th - 9th grade Feb 11 - 13
If God is Love, What is Sex? 10th - 12th grade Feb 4 - 6
World Jam 6th - 7th grade Jan 28 - 30
Layer It On 4th - 5th grade Jan 14 - 16
WinterSong 8th - 12th grade Dec 10 - 12
Joy, Joy, Joy 4th - 5th grade Nov 5-7
Cosmic Comic 10th - 12th grade Oct  29- 31
If It Were Up To Me 8th - 9th grade Oct 8 -10
Surviving and Thriving 6th - 7th grade Oct 1-3
Fruity and Nutty and Just Plain Funny 4th - 5th grade Sept 24 -26
Planning – 2010 8th - 12th grade Sept 17 - 19

EarthSong XXXVII

MAy 27 - 29 , 2011

Many came this weekend with happy hearts and high hopes for a great weekend. You could tell how ecstatic everyone was to be reunited again, for some of us hadn’t seen one another in quite some time. Following supper, which was wonderful of course, we broke off into smaller groups for session. We reminisced about PoHo’s 50 years and our many memories, while creating symbolic trees. After a great story, we went off to bed, even if it was not to sleep.

We woke up Saturday to a delicious breakfast, followed by a rousing game of musical butts. We set off for workshops, which included a game of Capture the Flag, PoHo in a box, gardening, card art and restoring a bench and old EarthSong signs. Free times were filled with music and conversations. Though fewer in number than usual, couch piles also formed and were enjoyed. We had lunch then set off to the pond for some much-needed swimming. Several folks enjoyed a walk to Dorson’s while others engaged in productive work projects, followed by a choice of 3-way massage or Tai Chi. As people got ready for the dress up dinner, a wonderful meal was created. After dinner, we had some ultimate Frisbee time and a wonderful cabaret. Many people showed off talents and received very creative awards. A much-needed snack was fed to the hungry youth and then we had some dancing and a moonlit walk. Some more fabulous stories were read to us and then the tired youth attenders went off to bed.

We woke up again to good food and good friends. Clean up was quickly carried out then we walked out to the senior graduation ceremony where we gathered to say our fond farewells.

Group Epistle

Silence Unfolding

8th grade and up

We entered the weekend in a rush of talking before the silence.

The silence came. Long and glorious and much needed. Waking up the next morning we learned a new language. Family-style meals facilitated our non-verbal conversations. Breakfast was awkward, dinner not nearly so. We settled in for a first silent session, learning to understand one another in a large group. On our walk to Dorson’s we took in noises and smells. We trusted the silence for guidance…and one another. A unique hand movement became each person’s name so that our silent conversations were more personal. By the end of the day we were practically fluent in non-verbal communication. And even though silent we laughed just as much.

Self-space spontaneously emerged after lunch. We experienced new forms of creating. Color. Sand. Cloth. Old friends and new. Sitting down with a book. Sound of moving air. Catch that Frisbee. How loud the apple. Paint the walls, cut the board, rake the leaves, plant the lettuce, clean the frog pond, oil the shelves, varnish the oars, banish the bishop’s weed. Who needs words to work.

Silence broke like increasing waves. The peace and tranquility of the silence was strange to lose.

Songs were song, stories were told. We sat around the fire gold.

top, top, take me to the top

The World's A Stage

10th - 12th grade

March 25-27, 2011

We arrived, we supped, we brainstormed a list of our problems from dying plankton to an excess of baked goods in our lives, and we slept, eager for the fun that awaited us.

We started Saturday with a problem-free breakfast and then we were led by Maizy & Cleo in several "Heart& Soul'-felt exercises, including a 10-minute hug and exploring zero-gravity with the help of our supportive friends.  Then, we luncheoned.

We spent the next hour alleviating some of Powell House's problems, like moving an excess of lumber from point A to point B, moving a bunch of dead leaves from the flower gardens to the not flower gardens, & moving more wood from point C to point D.  Then we snacked.

After session with check-in, we 3-way massaged, guided meditationed, and then self-spaced.  Then we supped.

We watched an intriguing movie (TED talk( on vulnerability which completely redefined what it means to be happy.  We then cabareted..... hard.  There was music making, dancing, problem solving and jujitsu.  We snacked again.

There was a bonfire in the woods enjoyed by many.  We returned to the ACC and, before bed, added exploding cows to our list of problems.


We woke up.

We cleaned our stuff.

We ate breakfast.

We cleaned PoHo's stuff.

We acted out some resolutions to our problems, listened to some good words from Japan, and had some time to think about problems, solutions, and the part we play in the process.

We Molly's-gamed.  We sang.

We sat in Silence and heard each other.

We luncheoned.  .

We hugged. We left.

Myth Makers

6th & 7th Grade
March 11-13, 2011
We came here to POHO to have fun and joyous joust.  We were all so happy to be in one house.  When supper crew was called it was a quest to feed them all.  Some ate big and some ate small as we all shared spaghetti and meatballs.  To session we went and were welcomed by all: Chris the cook, Bryant the AP, the JCs Ella, Jack Caitlyn and Bevin and the facilitators Miriam and Chris.  In session we learned new names and played a lot of games.  We had News of Me then free time with Sardines.  A story read to us to end the day.  Then lights out and time to hit the hay.

We woke up all sleepy and tired, then breakfast came.  We were all so excited.  We then had session.  It was a smash.  We started off playing a game we now call B.A.S.H. (back roads, alleys, streets and highways).  We brainstormed about heroes and their challenges.  We broke up into small groups and created a room in a mythical place.  We went around with mythical challenges we had to face.  Then we transferred our “dooms” back into rooms and went into free time.   We headed off to lunch and had soups and sandwiches.  Free time once again followed.  Then came Hero Training.  There amidst flying balls and near falls, we learned we could trust one and all.  There was no draggin’ as we circled the wagon and sculpted each other.  We had check-in and 3 way-massage.  Then next was self-space and many hit the showers or wandered the maze.   We had supper with barbecue chicken and tofu with a nice dessert. An energetic cabaret started off the evening.  There were a lot of mythical creatures and singing and gods.  We then on ambrosia the snack of the gods and drank nectar.  Some limbo and amoeba sardines led into a late night session of Prui and Light as a Feather and sharing what we learned this weekend.  We snuggled for a story and hit the hay hard once again.

We woke up very early and did not get much sleep.  Time shifted forward on us.  Now we have to clean our home without a peep.   Session ensues where a  primate bellows and we affirm our gals and fellows.  Tea, a bathroom break some Pata Pata then back for singing and worship together.  We have lunch as we say good bye with sadness and hugs and tears in our eyes.  We gather our things and depart, feeling fuller in our hearts.

Fly back to the top of the mountain on a winged horse

Fictional Friends and Foes

4th  – 5th grade
March 4-6, 2011

This was a great weekend at Powell House from the magical quests to the fun games and walks.  We arrived on Friday night wondering what we were going to do.  We had a delicious dinner of macs and cheese.  Some kids started a game of Harry Potter, transforming fallen branches into magic wands.  After session, we had a great game of Amoeba Sardines (invented this year by one of our own age group) and quiet time with many massages and a reading of The Tale of Jeremy Fisher and went to bed.

We woke up on Saturday ready to start the day.  We had a breakfast of oatmeal with a bunch of toppings including chocolate chips, nuts and brown sugar.  We had a great session that included the small groups going to different stations to get powers, allies and problems for writing and acting out quests.  The afternoon had more free time, work projects, a relaxing three way massage and a great self space in which many of us took a nice walk around.  The free times had a lot of spontaneous games we started ourselves like “Stick in the Mud”, chess, ping p[ong and more Wand-erful Harry Potter.   Several attenders remarked on how we played and worked well together.  A fun cabaret with lots of variety and night walk filled the evening hours before quiet time with A Tale of Two Bad Mice. 

On Sunday we woke up sad because we had to leave.  We slowly made our beds and went downstairs.  We had a very filling breakfast of pancakes and eggs.  We cleaned up the ACC.  We played and chased each other and the JCs.  We had an affirmation circle where we poured water with each affirmation until that person’s glass was full.  We sang, spoke out of the Silence and ate lunch before heading home.

If God is Love, What is Sex?

10th to 12th Grade
February 4-6, 2011

Sex.   A word we were taught by today’s society to be taboo.  God.   A word that means something different to everyone.  Love.  A word that is universal.  Something which so many of us seek to find and hold in our lives.   These were the topics of this weekend:  what they meant, how they felt, how they fit together and the importance of discussing them.
We arrived to welcoming open arms of friends and facilitators.  Ready to dive into the challenging and important discussions and activities we would soon face.  And to boldly go where no youth conference has gone before -  at least in recent memory.
After a delicious dinner, we settled into session and talked about relationships and what they mean to us.  We then divided into small groups and took on the roles of each weekend topic: Sex, Love and God. We discussed why we (Sex, God, Love) exist.  What we’re here for.  How we’re experienced by humans.  If we’re needed and what would happen if we weren’t present. This exercise turned out to be more difficult than expected.
Later that night we settled into “News of Me”.  Out of the silence we listened to each other’s tales of triumph and trouble (try saying that five times fast).
After breakfast on Saturday, we split the group by gender and talked about what attracted us to others and what we wanted in a relationship.  We tried identifying what the other gender was looking for.  We then attempted to write personal ads extolling our virtues and specifying what we were looking for.  Another hard to do exercise it turns out.   We shared our insights with the larger mixed group, surprised in a good way by some of what we learned.
Next was a hearty lunch followed by same gender group discussions where we talked about our opinions, experiences, fears and feelings of sex and what it means to us.   Unfortunately time encroached and work called.  We went off to Godly work projects (snow removal), Lovely work projects (exploring the mysteries of the art and game closets) and Sexy work projects (making cinnamon rolls, deviling eggs and dipping pretzels in chocolate).
Free time followed before a much-needed three-way massage and self-space.  A smooth transition into the evening began with a delicious dinner and a rousing game of Four on a Couch.  Cabaret was fabulous with improv games like bus “sex” (bus stop with a twist) and songs of consensual sex.  While cabaret was racier than usual, it was done tastefully and tenderly – poking fun at the humanity and divinity that sex can highlight.
We scurried off to bed, ready to brave the new day and the things it would bring.   Session the next morning included a terrifying game of The Wave that morphed into Primate Bellows.   We began worship with songs and a quote from Psalms 46:10 Harpu u’de’u ki-anokhi Elohim.  Often translated as “Be still and know that I am God” Chris shared a weighty Friend’s rendition “Shut up and make love to me” and then her own version based on the original meaning of the Hebrew words “Let go and experience me”
This weekend we did let go and experience meaningful conversations and much fun around topics that are often difficult to talk about.  We never did formally answer the question “If God is Love, What is Sex?” Maybe next time.


World Jam

6th & 7th grade
January 28-30, 2011

On Friday night, we arrived at Powell House geared up and ready to go.  We sat down to a delicious meal of spaghetti and meatballs.  After dinner, we grabbed cushions for session and played fruitbowl.  We broke into small groups and worked as teams to come up with as many holidays and celebrations as we possible could.  After putting all those on the wall, we realized how many things there are to celebrate in the world.  We gathered to discuss and discover what PoHo is truly celebrating:  Friends!

We turned the music on to dance the Pata Pata before settling down to share during News of Me out of the silence.  Stumbling through the dark, we played a game of sardines.  We packed ourselves together, heard a story and went off to bed.

Saturday wake up was at 7:30.  We ran downstairs excited for the day.  Jackie made us a yummy pot of oatmeal for breakfast.  In session, we learned about some holidays unfamiliar to most of us.  We went into new small groups and studied up on one big holiday that we would later present as a group to the circle:   Holi (India), La Noche de los Rabanos (Oaxaca, Mexico), La Tomatina (Spain),  Chinese New Year, and Khovsgol lake Ice Festival (Mongolia).

There was more teamwork as we moved into a game of four on a couch, girls vs. boys.  We let off our steam into the snow while sledding.  An art project was both fun and entertaining.  We made posters of our own personal holidays.

We did some more sledding and came back to unwind into three-way massage.  Self space was a break from all the craziness of the day.  We had a great dinner of Chinese mu shu pork and cabbage.  Then Jacki brought out the delicious pumpkin cupcakes.  We came together as teams to find Mrs. Mumbly to save our partners from a hat in the Honduran hat game.  We had a surprisingly long cabaret and went to bed.
Sunday morning, we woke up at 8:00 and made our beds.  We came down to the smell of pancakes for breakfast.  When our stomachs were satisfied, we did clean up.  

A game of Primate Bellows brought us into session.  Each person stuck in the middle had to act out one of the celebrations from our Friday night list.  Everyone calmed down for affirmations.  Each person who gave an affirmation poured water into a glass for that person.  When the glass was full, that person was given their glass and we moved on to the next person.  Singing and worship ended the session.

We had lunch and said our good-byes.  Special thanks to our directors Mike and Liz, our cook Jacki, our butlers Willy and Claudia, and our four new JCs Jen, Jack, Jan and Alma.

Celebrate your return to the top of the page!

Layer it On

4th & 5th Grade
Jan 14-16, 2011

We arrived eager and excited on Friday night to a great supper of mac and cheese.  Then we did a random and fun pata-pata.  We shared about things that recently happened to us in news-of-me.  We played ping-pong and had fun at free time.  We had some quiet time, listened to a story then hit the sack.

On Saturday we woke up at 7:30 ready for the new day.   After a yummy breakfast we pretended to be archeologists and discovered new civilizations than we created a museum room dedicated to ourselves.  We went sledding and played in the snow.  Tired and hungry we came in for a delicious lunch.  After we made lots of layered foods such as s’mores, lasagna, layer cake, bean dip and shepherd’s pie.   We had a fun free time and then some snacks.  We had session with three-way massage that melted into self-space.    After supper we had cabaret, which included tons of different talents, lots of laughs and cool magic tricks.  At 9:15 we had s’mores for snack, a game of Amoeba Sardines, a story than lights out.

Sunday morning we had a cheerful breakfast.  After we cleaned up our messes we sang.  We sang lots of good tunes that made us better friends.  We gave each other put ups and glasses of water.  We had silent worship together and then a wonderful lunch.  With lots of hugs and sad good-byes we left to go back to our own houses.

WinterSong 2010

Dec 10-12, 2010

On Friday we all gathered in the PoHo spirit and the spirit of Emmanuel (God with us).  As always, we were welcomed by friends new and old and friends we didn’t even know we had, which we probably met in a previous lifetime from a WinterSong in years past, as well as the ever smiling faces of Chris and Mike.  Then off to supper we went to enjoy salad and spaghetti.  Afterwards, we were introduced to the cast and crew.

Crew: Jacki & Chris K in the Kitchen; Mike and Chris facilitating.  
Cast:  Butlers -Julie and Martha, Adult presences- Jill E, Birdie C and Derek P.  JCs – Rob K, Julia K & Eva T.

We broke into small groups to learn more about what you can’t know about each other just by looking.  The Pata-Pata dance preceded our review of what every cool place has -  the rules.  News of Me out of the Silence and the following fun, free time gave us time to learn what is new in each other’s lives.  Quiet time stories of a fractured fairy tale version of the Elves and the Shoemaker and a Joan Baez skit on non-violence.  We made a big huggle, enjoyed a lullabye, and went off to bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.

Saturday was filled joy and immense amounts of fun.  We woke up to another of Jacki’s delicious meals.  Session started with small group discussions.  Then we went to various workshops of illustrating the new PoHo cook book, dining room decorating, cookie baking, talking about addictions, board & card games, and dances of Universal Peace.  

Lunch led into a rousing game of Ultimate Frisbee.  Afternoon workshops were sharing about the whole process of childbirth, a walk to Dorson’s Rock, stacking lumber, caroling, planning the Hope Tree ceremony, and cookie decorating.  

Many participated in the much-needed three-way massage, while other went to Pitt hall for tai chi and energy work.  We settled into self space before preparing ourselves for the beautiful dress up dinner.  Everyone looked stunning in their fancy attire.  The food was delicious and we enjoyed friendly conversation with good company.
After the formal dinner, we gathered for together time in the ball room while meal crew cleaned up.  Once everything was tidy, we gathered for an amazing cabaret featuring rappers, dancers, singers, some games and even a mystery story.   

After a laughable JC skit, we all walked a candle-lit path to the ACC’s sun room where our Hope Tree was lit.  We shared stories of the things gained and experienced since we first started attending.  Everyone who shared put all their heart into it.  Many people were teary-eyed by the time it was over.  All the hugs and comforting words people shared showed how close we all are.  We had some free time that included a very funky dance party to burn off energy, a star-light walk around the frozen pond to name our own constellations, and a great cuddle-up in the common room to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  This may have been the moment in the weekend when the entire group was the most concentrated and intrigued.  A whole-group huggle and lullaby again sent us off to bed.

Sunday, we woke up to a wonderful breakfast presented by the kitchen cast and crew, then we headed off to our clean up jobs.  We gathered in session with a round of “What are you doing?,”  talking about upcoming conferences, read the epistle and evaluated this conference.  We played Molly’s game and sorted through the lost and found.  After a break, we re-gathered for singing and worship which was followed by a simple but scrumptious pizza lunch.  We said our sad good-byes as our friends departed, all of us hoping to meet each other again.

Sing your way back to the top!!

Joy, Joy, Joy

November 5-7, 2010
4th & 5th Grade

We came together on Friday night, some of us new, and some coming back to see old friends.  We all felt welcomed.  Our conference was about joy, and we discussed it after a tasty supper made by Jacki.
We played lots of fun games, such as Hagoo and a new game called Human Hurdle.  We danced the Pata-Pata and shared some of our personal experiences during News of Me.  The evening ended with a rousing game of Sardines, followed by quiet time and a story about puppy joy.
On Saturday after “Buying Donkeys” and “Running in the Alleys” we broke into small groups and shared stories about times we feel joyful and where that feeling comes from.   Along with that we created “Joy” books, which were filled with pictures and words to represent joy.  We had a lot of fun doing it.
During free time we played lots of Ping-Pong, did string and art projects, laughed, explored the maze and had a good time.  We worked for Powell House in the afternoon-it’s not all play here.  Some raked leaves, some cracked walnuts, some created pictures for the new brochure and others searched for autumn olive berries and crab apples.  3-way massage was a relaxing start to self-space, so we could recharge our batteries before dinner.
After dinner we played some of our favorite games like Snakes in the Grass, Fruit Bowl, Head Honcho and Amoeba Sardines.   Cabaret was great!  It included a fashion show, art auction, jokes and a great game of bus stop.  We dance partied before snack.  Some friends went to a campfire together after snack and then came back for more stories and quiet time.
We were all feeling very happy that we were here with new friends and old.  Everyone seemed to fit right in.  We came to share joy and are looking forward to going out into the world to spread more joy to others.

Return to the top of the page and core of JOY!

Cosmic Comic

Oct 29 – 31, 2010

10th 12th grade

We could start with a joke, but that might not show the seriousness of the weekend of mirth and merriment.  Our small group of 12 high school youth was made complete by the facilitation and presence of three young adults.  The small size of the group made for a conference that felt more intimate, close knit and autonomous in our choices.  There were no junior counselors, so we each had to play the leadership role at times.

The Saturday morning session started with a hike to Dorson’s Rock.  Outside in the beautiful fall morning, with a view of the Catskills Mountains, we adopted random alternate identities, broke into small groups and “found” each other in the woods in an improv exercise.  We talked about how identity plays out in our lives.

We laughed, we talked, we told jokes funny and lame.  We had small groups that all presented a skit for cabaret.  We shared a bonfire that lit up the night and then went back to the building for a late-night, no-lights, giant black felt hanging across hall and doorways version of Wild People upstairs in the ACC.

We came to laugh and be with friends.  We took away a sense of peace.

If It Were Up to Me

8th & 9th Grade
Oct 8-10, 2010

Good things come in small packages.  A small but very driven, very passionate package.   The weekend started with much hugging and joyous shouting and it never really stopped.

Throughout the weekend games included wink’em, ultimate Frisbee, blind person and the bomb, blind car and honey of you love me.

However the theme of the weekend wasn’t a game.  Whether you were a 13 year old or an 18-year-old JC, the attendees were impassioned for change.   They dealt with issues ranging from homelessness to equal rights and representation for all.   They then came up with tangible solutions and presented them to a panel of experts (cough, cough, Chris, EJ and the JCs, cough,cough).  The young men and women were eloquent and passionate about their cause.   It was great to hear and anyone after listening would have high hopes for the future.

Cabaret was wonderful, graced with lovely singing including Emma, Jenifer and Skyler (who, for the first time ever didn’t tell a joke).  There was the concluding episode of Detective Wilkinson and an awesome jazz improv piece with piano, guitar and trombone.

As always Jacki’s cooking was the highlight of the weekend and enlightened the entire building with wonderful fragrances.   A night walk in the dark was blessed with the beauty of the sky and, if we listened hard, we could hear a coyote’s lonely, mournful cry.

The weekend was on the whole a great success and if it were up to us we’d do it again.


Surviving & Thriving

Oct 3-5, 2010

6th & 7th grades

On Friday night we arrived here
Friends new and old began to appear.
For dinner it was mac’s and cheese
Every one said “More, more please!”

Session games were so much fun
We played elbow tag and Island
If we were abandoned out in the sun
“How to survive?” In small groups we did question.

We danced Pata pata, played sardines
Then went to bed to have sweet dreams.

We woke up in the morning, refreshed from our nap
Breakfast and session we did in a snap
We went to small groups to build shelter and fire
To show we weren’t the consumer and buyer

Lunch was good bread and oh so hot soup
We played “Oh, Deer!” and to work projects we trooped
Three-way massage was very relaxing
Guided meditation to self space kind of taxing 
From panel discussion to cabaret we slid with ease
To bed time and snack, though we wouldn’t sneeze.

We woke up on Sunday and stripped our beds
Breakfast and clean up woke our sleepy heads
We sang and we worshipped and played Primate Bellows
All that thinking made us happy fellows
We went through "good-byes’ and lunch all with out a tear
We’ll have this much fun on our next visit here.

back to the top

Planning – 2010

Sept 17 - 19, 2010

8th - 12th grades

If a person walked from off the street, unknowing of the Powell House rituals, Friday night they would be overwhelmed by the group of youth, yelling and hugging, obviously elated to be reunited with each other.

Later in the evening we got to the point of the conference which was to think of ideas for future weekends.  We played many games including Wink’em, Catch Your Partner (with live accordion music), Molly’s game, a spontaneous Ultimate Frisbee match, and Coffee Pot-edly.  Saturday night, we had cabaret with some jokes “I can’t tell you because you’re not a Catholic priest” (the punch line of one said joke).   After cabaret, we went on a beautiful; night walk around the pond. 

The weekend was graced with Jackie’s masterpieces (some call them food) and by the welcoming Powell House Spirit.  We all had a blast and will come to the conferences we planned and have tons of fun then too.

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 Youth Conference  Epistles  2011 - 12

Planning 2011 8th - 12th grade Sept 16-18, 2011
Picking Party 4th - 5th grade Sept 23-25, 2011
Thingamajig 6th - 8th grade Oct. 7-9, 2011
Worlds Beyond 9th - 12th grade Oct 28-30, 2011
Junior Counselor Training 9th - 11th grade Nov 4 - 6, 2011
Celebration Creation 14th - 5th grade Nov 18 - 20, 2011
Simply Present 6th - 8th grade Dec 2 - 4, 2011
WinterSong 8th - 12th grade Dec 16 - 18, 2011
Snowballs 4th - 5th grade Jan 20 - 22, 2012
Burrowing In 6th - 8th grade Jan 27 - 29, 2012
Dreams 9th - 12th grade Feb 3 - 5, 2012
Inner Space, Outer Space 4th - 5th grade March 9-11, 2012
Moving and Grooving 6th - 8th grade March 16-18, 2012
Sex! Love! 6th - 8th grade Jan 27 - 29, 2012
Splash 4th - 5th grade May 11-13, 2012




Planning 2011

 7th to 12th grade

 September 16-18, 2011

 Friday night excitement hung in the air when many said their first hellos in the first conference of our PoHo year. After a satisfying dinner of Jacki’s spaghetti, we got down to business with a round of wagon wheel. We had the chance to share with one another about our summer, the first few weeks of school-like stuff, and experiment with describing the Powell House experience in an interplanetary language. We then brainstormed in small groups about what we’d like to learn or talk about and what we needed more of and less of. Using our brainstorming we came Saturday morning we woke up to Jacki’s cooking to fuel us as it di throughout the whole weekend. We had small groups that included bean counting to help us come up with different conference ideas. Later we had work projects including destroying the couch, cutting weeds, measuring floor space, cleaning the breezeway, setting up the campfire and planting flowers. That night we huddled around a blazing bon fire after laughing our stomachs empty at Cabaret in order to fill them with sweet fluffy s’mores.

 Sunday morning we had singing and silence and ended with a bittersweet lunch and good byes.

 Throughout the whole weekend we smiled and laughed. Several group games such as BF Skinner, the Blanket Game , Cupcake, The Honduran Hat game, wink’em and Ultimate Frisbee helped meld the group across the age span. We left the weekend with positive thoughts and excitement for the future conferences.

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Picking Party


September 23 -25, 2011


4th & 5th Grade

 We came to the weekend to make new friends and pick stuff. We climbed ladders to pick apples, went in a row boat to pick grapes, went everywhere to pick autumn olive berries, carried buckets for black walnuts and used bags for chestnuts.

 We made lots of new friends as well as apple cider, applesauce, apple concoctions, wild grape syrup and autumn olive berry smoothies. We roasted the chestnuts. For some, they were super good and other thought they were a bit crumbly.

 We played many games including

 · Mrs. Mumbly,

 · ping pong,

 · wild people,

 · Will You Buy My Donkey?,

 · Honey if you love me..

 · soccer

 · ultimate Frisbee, and

 · of course, Fruit Bowl.

 Picking berries and other stuff along with games was a great way to make new friends and to practice our picking and making stuff abilities. In conclusion, this weekend was awesome.

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6th to 8th Grade


October 7-9, 2011


On Friday nigh

enjoying the warm and wonderful weather

 Macaroni and cheese was our first meal

 energetic and crazy our bodies did feel.

 Then sardines came , it was lots of fun,

 then we slept 'til up came the sun.

 Oatmeal and inventions came the next day

 next was free time, time to play!

 Capture the freeze people was lots of fun!

 Until the time the bandana's (or was it non-bandana's?) won.

 Three-way massage made us lazy,

 showers in self-space made the rooms hazy.

 Casserole and chicken to cabaret

 where lots of acts made us yell Yay!

 We went to bed without a peep

 everyone was tired and wanted sleep.

 We woke up on Sunday full of sorrows

 knowing we wouldn't be here tomorrow.

 Cereal and French toast were really yummy.

 It warmed our hearts and filled our tummys.

 Primate Bellows and Molly's Game,

 singing, worship and lunch then came.

 Then came time to say good-bye,

 and a few of us started to cry.

 Long car-rides for some and farewells to all,

 We are glad we can come back later this Fall.

 Bounce to the top



Worlds Beyond


Oct 28 – 30, 2011


9th - 12th grade


Are we really here? Have we done this before? Is everything an illusion?

 Together and in small groups, we pondered this. We discussed the different forms of the unknown. Swimming through a fish bowl experience, we were able to really hear our peers.

 We enjoyed the eight inches of unexpected snow falling for most of the weekend. Some of the group went out to play in the blizzard while others played endless hours of Spanking Yoda in the warmth.

 Those of us who were willing to be firsthand witnesses followed Lily on a night time winter wonderland walk. Along with that cold escape there were other cool things to do, including a bonfire, work projects, eating the delicious cake Jacki had prepared and multiple snow fights. The night was capped off by remembering our ancestry with Jacki.

 For those eager to meet at the next weekend, the good-byes were not as sad as usual. We ended the weekend playing Primate Bellows and Molly's Game., We left the weekend thinking and questioning the mysteries around us.

 Return to the top of an alternate reality


Celebration Creation

November 18-20, 2011

4th & 5th Grade

This weekend was awesome! We did a lot of games, we met new friends, and we worked together. We created pillow forts and made our own celebrations. Some of them were: Crazy Sports Day, the Day of Transformation, Animal Day, National Cat Day, Pink Fluffy Unicorn Day, Music Month and Hats Week! We played Ping-Pong, Capture the Flag, Banana Tag, Will you Buy my Donkey, We reintroduced the game of Loose Caboose plus played the Honduran Hat Game and then CABARET! We shared our habits for holidays. We had delicious food from Jacki, the cook! We will remember our friends. We will take back hope for the next generations. We learned a lot at Powell House!


Simply Present

 Dec 2 – 4, 2011

 6th – 8th grade

 We came together to the Simply Present youth conference. There was much excitement in the air as people greeted their old friends and met new ones. For dinner, we had the traditional spaghetti and meat balls. The bell rang for the first session of the weekend.  We played an awesome game of Snake in the Grass. Then free time led to a game of Sardines which led to sticky situations on top of the dryer and washer. (Note: Mike says don’t hide on top of the washer or dryer again!)

 We go to bed excited for Saturday.After breakfast in the morning, we had session and made felted soap, dipped candles, melted together crayons, and created pencil holders to give to a loved one.This part of the weekend stood out for many people.We had lunch and went to work projects.We made delicious cookies and many people loved this activity.We organized a great game of Capture the Flag and it was a Quaker tie.Even so, this was a great part of the weekend.

 Next came three way massage and self space. For dinner we had chicken and mashed sweet potatoes. Cabaret brought infectious laughs and many messes. A night walk brought peace to many, while the dance party brought out the crazy. Hot cocoa and cookies ended the day and we go to bed sad because the day has faded away.

 After cleaning in the morning, we enjoyed pumpkin French toast to our hearts’ content. We went to work groups and cleaned up the ACC. We departed after lunch, sad, but happy to have been at Powell House.

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WinterSong 2011

 December 16-18, 2011

 Chris once said “If you can make it through Friday night, you can make it throught he whole weekend.” Indeed the chaos of hugging, shouting ecstatic youth attendees are a bit much for anyone except the attendees themselves. We had a delicious supper, session and played a semi-chaotic game of Prui (there were no serious injuries, which was an impressive feat!) We laughed and loved the whole evening and went happily to bed.

 We all woke up on Saturday morning excited for what the rest of the day had to offer. We had breakfast with session following after. We played games and then went into workshops which included creative space, cookie baking, dining room decorating, God improv, winter work projects and guitar riffing. We had free time with wink'em and then lunch. We had more workshops in the afternoon including hiking, hope tree decorating, caroling, practicing mindfulness and continuing creative spaces and cookie decorating. We then had a choice of a relaxing three-way massage session or healing energy work followed by self-space. Once everyone was calm we had our formal dinner of chicken and rice. Later we had cabaret in Pitt Hall with many great musicians, the classic bus stop and other great improv skits. Then we had a tree-lighting ceremony where we sang songs and sat in silence. A moonlit walk under the frosty skies and a small but energetic dance party recharged us. We then had the greatest snack ever with avocado-frosted Grinch cupcakes and cookies.. We watched “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and snuggled up. We heard some Sherlock Holmes and went to sleep.

 Sunday morning had a melancholy feel or maybe everyone was just tired from the great weekend. Once again we were graced with a feast for breakfast, did our Sunday morning clean up, session with loose cabooses and danced the Pata Pata and the Salty Dog Rag. Beautiful singing and worship followed and finally our mouthwatering but simple lunch. Our good byes were heartfelt but hopeful as we left our dear friends.

 The whole weekend was full of love, laughs, music, smiles, games and fun. A weekend fondly remembered and not soon forgotten.

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Burrowing In

 6th-8th grade

 January 27 – 29, 2012

 On Friday we all had huge smiles on our faces as we walked through the door, ready to start another amazing Powell House weekend.We had free time as we hugged and greeted our friends and made new ones.Then came a delicious meal of spaghetti, meatballs and fresh salad.Then came session where we welcomed the youth directors -Mike and Adrienne, our cook – Jacki, our butler – Bronwyn, our AP – Risa, and our JCs- Holden, Deidre and Emma.After a name whip, we played Rabbits and Warrens (like Squirrels and Trees).

 We discussed what a burrow is. We broke into small groups that each learned about a different type of animal burrow and made a commercial promoting that kind of burrow. We presented them and everyone had a great time. Afterwards, we made sure everyone knew the behavior guidelines so as to stay safe. We played B.F. Skinner, which was loads of fun. We had News of Me when people cold share happy and sad things in their lives. We played Sardines in free time. Finally, we got ready for bed, heard the beginning of “The Hobbit,” in which we learned about hobbits’ burrows, and said goodnight.

 On Saturday we awoke from our warm burrows to the smell of eggs cooked by Jacki. When breakfast and the announcements were finished, we were released into free time while breakfast crew worked their magic. We gathered for session and played Mrs. Mumbley. We built our mental burrows by dancing the Pata Pata, doing yoga sun salutations, being guided through an imagery of burrowing, and finishing in a simple breathing meditation. Small groups went off to discuss questions about what makes us feel safe, happy and what else we need. Those same groups made individual collages representing their own burrows. Cleaning that up, we made egg noodles and tofu noodles. That merged right into free time and building burrows that became house and cities with the many cardboard boxes. We also built new friendships.

 The lunch crew helped Jacki set up a sandwich lunch.Work projects followed: peeling and quartering apples, making pie crust to fold over the apples into individual tarts or dumplings, rolling out three flavors of bread sticks, picking up fallen branches in the campground and setting up the Capture the Flag area.

 Free time was a pleasure with our homemade snacks. Session followed and consisted of check in, Head Honcho, and three-way massage. Self Space calmed people down further. For supper we had our own-made noodles with chicken paprikash or a garbanzo veggie dish. The evening session linked us together with Elbow Tag and Will You Buy My Donkey. Cabaret made people laugh. Free time was a joy. Many people went on a night walk. When 10 p.m. rolled around, we went into quiet time with a story of Pooh getting stuck in Rabbit’s burrow. Off to bed we all went to burrow in.

 Sunday, we woke up drowsily, many of us thankful for the extra half hour of sleep. We cleaned up our rooms and packed our things. The delicious smell of Jacki’s baked French toast drew us into the dining room for breakfast. After a satisfying meal we moved into the clean up projects. With team work and cooperation the ACC was cleaned up in no time at all. As always, A Primate Bellows brought smiles and laughter to the group. After singing and worship, we ate lunch and said our goodbyes. People mentioned how they were glad to have learned about animals and their burrows. They were also happy to have made new friends here at the Powell House community.

Inner Space Outer Space

 4th –5th grade
March 9- 11, 2012

 This Friday we drove all the way to Old Chatham, New York,  When we got to to Powell House we saw bowls of yummy food waiting for us on the table.  We sat and had a feast, then after that we were called to session.  We were asked to make a web that represented the Universe.  After that we were called to the dining room to eat some yummy ice cream with some sweet blackberries on top.  Finally we were dismissed to go play sardines in the pitch dark.  The Sardine was hard to find, but after a while we walked into a room filled with whispers. 

Saturday was when we did many of our activities.  We played “Will You Buy My Robot,”  which was a variation of Will You Buy My Donkey.  We played Streets and Allies because we needed practice steering our spaceships.  We then had free time before lunch.  After lunch was Wild People, a game which many kids loved.  Wild People was very energetic and crazifying.   After getting all riled up, we had to calm down in 3-way massage.  Self Space did not get us crazy again as we spent a long period in individual quiet time. A very fun Cabaret followed supper.  Then we went outside to see the stars because our theme is Inner Space, Outer Space.

Next it was bedtime.



 Youth Conference  Epistles  2012 - 13

Planning 8th - 12th grade Sept 14 - 16, 2012
That's the Spirit 6th - 8th grade Sept 21-23, 2012
Trees, Please 4th - 5th grade October 5 - 7, 2012
Let's Talk 9th - 12th grade October , 2012
Can It Or Not
6th - 8th grade November 2 - 4, 2012
Pop, Pop, Popping 4th - 5th grade Nov 30 - Dec 2, 2012
WinterSong 2012 9th - 12th grade Dec 14 - 16, 2012
Fantastical 4th - 5th grade January 25 -27, 2013
Really Now 9th - 12th grade Feb 15 - 17, 2013
Ark-itecture 4th - 5th grade March 1 -3, 2013
Shh...Do You Feel That 9th - 12th grade March 8-10, 2013
Mythically Speaking 6th - 8th grade March 22-24, 2013

Tuning In, Opening Up,

Drawing Together

9th - 12th grade April 19 - 21, 2013
Stretching Up, Up, Up 4th - 5th grade May 10-12, 2013
EarthSong 2013 7th - 12th grade May 24-26, 2013
Under the Stars 6th - 8th grade June 14 -16, 2013
UnWinding 2013 9th - 12th grade July 11-14, 2013



 Sept 14 – 16, 2012

 On Friday evening, everyone arrived to the smiling faces of their friends. Jacki’s spaghetti filled our stomachs and fueled us for the r4est of the night. Following supper, we had and interesting session with lots of ideas for conferences to come. The excitement of session reached a pinnacle in the Honduran Hat Game. Sardines followed snack in free time and then we collapsed.

 Saturday morning’s breakfast of eggs and bagels roused us from a sleepy state, followed by a game of “Would You Rather…” and small groups talking either about relating PoHo to the world or discussing the quote: This is what Friends are about: drawing many into one, as we search for right action in the world, both individually or as a group.

 Jacki’s home-made bread made a delicious lunch. Wink’em left everyone with rug burns and laughing faces. Frisbee fun also made people laugh and work projects made everyone exhausted. 3-way massage was relaxing, self-space was rejuvenating, and dinner was fantastic souvlaki and falafels. After dinner, we played Four on a Couch and Will You Buy My…Whatever. We chose conference topics and had a rousing cabaret.

 Sunday morning, we had French toast, cleaned up everything, played Primate Bellows, sand and entered into silent worship. After lunch, we exchanged heart-felt good-byes and wished to see each other again.

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That's the Spirit

 6th to 8th Grade

 September 21-23, 2012

 When we all walked in, everyone felt the happy spirit floating around. That night we got energized with some laughing yoga and a spaghetti dinner. Chris read us a story before bedtime.

 The next morning we did a name whip with similes. After playing games we did small group questions and breathing/focusing exercises outside. The small groups became larger groups that worked with colors, music and movement. Toward the end of the morning space invaders snatched our JCs and we had to find the wild people with the help or not of two wood spirits. After lunch the work projects commenced! And we got a LOT done. Like always 3-way massage was great! It was relaxing for those of us giving and getting massages and those of us resting and reading on the benches. Dessert of cake and ice cream started off a fantastic evening. We brainstormed conference ideas in session and put stickers on those we'd like to go to. Cabaret rocked the night with a black light and awesome skits. A glowing dance party was followed by stories from Will and bedtime.

 After wake up on Sunday, we made our beds and had a pancake breakfast. We played Primate Bellows, Molly's Game and Capture the Flag involving lots of humor, affirmations and team coordination. We closed with singing and worship with many different simple instruments. The spirit of the weekend definitely closed on a good note.

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Trees Please

 October 5-7, 2012
4th -5th grade

 On Friday, the 4th and 5th grade kids gathered at Powell House for the Trees Please conference.  We ate Jacki's delicious homemade spaghetti and meatballs.  After supper, we had a fun session and a name whip: "If you were a tree, where would you like to grow?"

During free time, we had ice cream and we went outside to look for meteors!  We saw one or two, but it was still fun.  We heard Mike's funny story about him chasing a bear and seeing a porcupine.  We also heard Tyra's good story of Pooh, Piglet, and Owl in a tree that falls over.

ON Saturday, October 6, we woke up to a wonderful oatmeal breakfast.  During that free time, pillow forts were a big thing. At session, we found out what type of tree people would be.  We discussed how trees might be created in an alternate universe.  We explored the forest and identified trees. In free time, more forts were built.

We played a bunch of games when a cold rain came at the time for work projects.  The blanket game was the best because we met new people and parents messed up their children's names.  Three way massage was a hit.  We had potatoes for supper and cabaret was funny.  Popcorn made our evening snack and then we went to bed.

On Sunday, we played Primate Bellows and gave affirmations to each person while pouring them a glass of water.  We sand sang songs, had a yummy lunch and said good-bye.

All in all we had a fun weekend.  Pillow forts were a priority, while playing sardines, wild people and Will you buy my donkey were also favorites.  Three way massage got lots of good comments as well.  When we left we knew are still always friends.

 ( Grow back to the top of the tree )

Let’s Talk

 Senior High

October 26-28, 2012

 Seeing everyone again was a joyous occasion.

 Powell House is our own special haven.

 We come here to speak our minds,

 during supper, sessions and free times.

 Listening was a topic of conversation.

 A letter from a disabled man before bed a hit sensation.

 Breakfast, a name whip, and talking about topics in groups of 3 or more.

 Work projects made us tired for “shore”

 A soothing embrace with three-way massage.

 Self-space in which some of us made a painting collage.

 We talked about fear and apprehension,

 while playing a game called the Vampire of Strasbourg in session.

 Cabaret was a whimsical musical tale.

 At bedtime we heard a story of a whale.

 A little earlier we had a campfire for all.

 Some of us dressed as Bloody Mary or princesses, looking like beautiful dolls.

 Sunday was bitter sweet

 with work crews and worship and pre-worship treat (Thanks Noah!)

 We will miss you all Dearly Beloveds.

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Can It (Or Not )

 6th - 8th grade
Nov 2-4, 2012

 This Powell House weekend was all about cans!  On Friday we arrived full of enthusiasm.  After we feasted upon spaghetti and meatballs, we had session and met each other through a new game called “Will you sit by me?”  and then heard about each others' lives during News of Me out of the Silence.  In free time, we filled room 9 with sardines and tried to keep quiet.  It worked.  Soon after, we went to sleep happy.  The weekend was in full swing.

In Saturday's session we enjoyed the Hat Game,  one to one conversations in concentric circles and dancing the Pata-Pata.  Small groups discussed what things we keep canned inside ourselves and the ways we get them out.  We cut out magazine pictures and created collages on large human body shapes.  Then we celebrated with an epic game of Capture the Flag.

The afternoon began with Wild People in the woods.  Our work projects all were about preserving food.  Many people cut up cauliflower and other veggies for pickling.  Many volunteered for the garlic gala – cleaning and peeling the piles of garlic from our garden.  A valiant few dug horseradish roots and grated them up to make a horseradish/cream cheese spread.  Will You Buy My __(whatever)__  made us think and laugh.  Three-way massage helped us relax and connect with each other.   Following self space, we had a yummy dinner, some group games and then cabaret.

Sunday came much too quickly.  Breakfast was yummy squash pancakes followed by cleaning everything and then a game of Primate Bellows.  We shared what we had done on the collages and then spread out for a journey through ourselves in a guided meditation.  Molly's  Game was fun as usual and full of affirming insights.  Singing and worship went right up to lunch and departures.

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Pop! Pop! Popping!

 4th & 5th Grade
November 30 – December 2, 2012

 On a Friday night we all arrived at Powell House for Pop! Pop! Popping!   We played name games, like Fruit Bowl, Things That Pop Switcheroo and Poppity, Pop Pop (name game).  To get to know each other better we played a popcorn grouping game.

Sardines proved to be very difficult and fun because our sardine was an expert hider and was very quiet.  To end Friday night we heard a story, gave back rubs and went to bed.

Saturday morning session split us up into small groups and had us thinking about our feelings on the holidays.  Then we learned how to make balloon ornaments covered in starch soaked string.  Before we split up though, we played a game to help us learn more names called the Blanket Game.

Work projects were delicious!  Groups made popcorn balls, applesauce, cake pops and popovers.

To calm down we had a relaxing 3-way massage followed by self-space.  After self-space we gathered together to play “Will you Buy my Donkey?” and then we had an excellent dinner made by Jacki.  Yum!   Then it was time for Cabaret.

Cabaret was filled with lots of funny skits like Bus Stop and the JC skit and wonderful music!  After getting ready for bed we danced away our energy only to have it recharged by popcorn balls and hot apple cider.  Our Saturday ended with story time and bed.

On Sunday we got up and had a delicious breakfast followed by the usual Sunday morning clean up.  Our final session was filled with more games, singing and silent worship.  We will miss our friends and can’t wait to be back for more fun!

 POP to the TOP

WinterSong 2012

 7th to 12th Grade

 Upon arriving at Powell House, we were greeted with Jacki and Chris’s delicious spaghetti.  We were able to reconnect with 80 close Powell House friends with delightful dinner conversations.  After supper we had session, breaking into small groups to create tableaus, human sculptures, snowflakes, songs and stories to then perform for the whole group.  After free time we were read an excerpt from The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens as we sleepily received and gave massages or snuggled.   After a loving huggle we all parted ways to go to beddy-bed.
We awoke to oatmeal and cereal for breakfast, followed by session where we enjoyed a good game of lap sit.  After a few laughs we split into small groups and talked about what we did and didn’t have in common. Morning workshops were a blast and included music, improv, tree decorating, cookie baking, crafts, discussions on matters of the spirit and what comes next and dismantling the playground. After a delicious lunch, we did afternoon workshops, which followed up on the morning workshops.   We were faced with a choice between 3-way massage and energetic healing.  The dress up dinner was exotic and followed by a cabaret full of talent and laughs.  Those who decorated the hope tree got to show us their creation as there was a ceremony of silence followed by singing.  After that we watched the Grinch steal Christmas (the old school version) and were read the Wild Things by Maurice Sendak.
After a good sleep we woke up to making our beds and sad feelings knowing we would have to depart soon.  After breakfast we did a lot of clean up.  At session we read this epistle and played Molly’s game.  We joyously sang songs and cuddled during worship followed by a good old hearty taco lunch.  We said our melancholy good-byes, going out into the world with a renewed sense of love for our surroundings.

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The Fantastical Epistle

 Jan 25-27, 2013
4th -5th grade

 On Friday, we all arrived, ready for another awesome weekend at Powell House.  After we went upstairs and met our roommates, we came down to dinner (yum!).  After a story about Rikiki, the blue chipmunk, we all went upstairs to bed.

On Saturday, everyone woke up at seven o'clock, some earlier, and we were excited and ready for the weekend ahead. We started the day with some delicious oatmeal home made by Jacki.  After that we had some free time while the breakfast crew was hard at work washing dishes for lunch.  During session we had a name whip and played "Will you buy my (anything)?", which included possessed bananas.  We split into small groups and got random objects that we assigned magical powers.  We then used improv skit guidelines to solve some different situations in a group.  We changed the groups around and then did obstacle courses inside that required us working together.

We had a long, frozen game of Wild People in the woods and ate a deliscious lunch of sandwiches.  Right after lunch, some of us went shoe skating or went to the amazingly frozen waterfall.  In work projects we made lucky medallions, decorated gingerbread cookies and put together herbs for our own potions.  Session followed with three-way massage.  We had a yummy meal of chicken, tofu, fires and soup. We had a hilarious cabaret followed with 45 minutes of dancing, mostly Gangnam style.  We heard about some funny characters and went to bed.

On Sunday we all woke up tired from staying up and dancing sooo long after Cabaret.  We made our beds and came down for breakfast.  After singing and worship and the last session of the weekend, we all said good-bye and went home.  We don't think anyone can wait form the next weekend at Powell House!!


 4th & 5th Grade
March 1-3, 2013

 On Friday we started with a game of Fruit Bowl, then had dinner.  We later had a session with a game of Squirrels and Trees and made up animal home ads in small groups.  We explained some rules, played Sardines and went to bed.
On Saturday, we all gathered in the common room to sing “Yellow Submarine” followed by delicious oatmeal and laughs for breakfast.   When we had session we played “Will you buy my…” and went on a walk to find animal homes.   We found lots of tracks and a surprising number of different types of homes.  When we returned, we made our own homes out of paper and other stuff.  We had a delicious lunch of sandwiches and soup.  We played Outbreak at the start of work projects then made either: noodles, dumplings or fruit balls.  There was snack from our work.  We had check-in and played Head Honcho.  After that there was three-way massage and self-space.  During supper we had potatoes, cabbage and chicken then ice cream with our homemade apple dumplings for dessert.  While dinner dishes were done we played the Honduras Hat Game and Snake in the Grass and shared the rooms we had built with each other.   During Cabaret there were two wolves, a budget cut bus stop, an invisible bench and Justin Beiber.  But who can forget…Disco Grandma and sweaty men, with too many jackets!   We had Jackie-made donuts (fastnachts) and went to bed.
On Sunday the girls woke up to the boys singing:
Two monkeys farted
The world departed
And everybody died
After fixing up the rooms, some of us wrote a response song:
The boys were singing
The girls were sleeping
And then the boys got…
We settled down with breakfast, excellently prepared by Jackie.  We did quite a bit of cleaning.  Then had session and played Primate Bellows.  We did a very nice job of affirming each other, danced the Pata Pata, sang and settled into a short but sweet silence.
After having a great lunch we left and we’ll hopefully see everyone next conference!

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Really Now

 9th - 12th grade

 February 15 - 17, 2013

 At the beginning of the weekend we came here expecting to do much more than hang out with friends and have a good time. The theme of the weekend was about beliefs and dreams. We learned aspects of a religion and how to make one, while learning about religions that have been around for years. We found out about which religions were popular and some which were unknown to some of us. We had discussions and games that contributed to making us more open and accepting to other people's beliefs. Everyone has different beliefs and has different dreams. Overall, we made lots of new friends and came out with a new perspective of beliefs and dreams.

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Shh... Do You Feel That?

March 8-10, 2013

On Friday night we all came here knowing we would have limited time for story sharing and jabbering with our friends, so we said all we needed to before bed time and silence.  We had a wonderful meal thanks to our stand-in cook, Chris K., of soup and garlic bread.  After supper and clean up crew, we had a session with a name whip where we made up a gesture that we would use instead of our names.
After that we played fruit bowl silently and got separated into small groups where we made up silly and serious poems to act out in front of the whole group.  After session we had free time and snack, followed by story time and an "Om" circle to settle into silence.  We went to bed with hugs and kisses feeling tired.
We woke on Saturday morning to the unusual silence.  After a heartening breakfast of bagels and cereal, we went into silent free time with snuggles, reading and contemplation.  In session, we greeted each person present with their "name-gesture,"  their symbol, and played an amusingly non-verbal game of Rattler and Miner as well as human knots which were surprisingly easy to work out without words.
Our work projects, including planting seeds, putting up quotes and dusting, were unusually meditative although it was slightly difficult to communicate effectively.  For the morning self space we wrote in journals, drew and napped.  A filling lunch of spaghetti squash and sausage subs fueled our long, snowy walk in the maze.  The snow, packable and edible, made a beautiful backdrop to our blind-folded partner walking exercise.  Many of us enjoyed the trust needed and snowballs thrown during this time above any other experience that day. 
After we returned, we did an invigorating session of yoga to relax and contemplate.  Our silent check-in was comprised of our symbol and gesturing how we felt.  A long three-way massage ensued with the much-appreciated fire adding warmth and tranquility to the process.  A supper of haddock, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and red cabbage with apples, like lunch, was served family style, where we had to gesture, point and otherwise non-verbally communicate in order to eat.  Although the meal crews took longer to complete silently, many enjoyed the challenge of effective communication and cooperation using no words. 
After supper, we broke the silence at last in a gathering "om, a long hesitation to be the first to speak to the group, and then sharing a token or thought from our experience.  Serenity, contentment, joy and gratitude were among the offerings.  A short but hilarious and musical cabaret truly ended the silence.  A bonfire of singing and pine tree-igniting punctuated our unusual day.  We finished up with a story and loving huggle.
Sunday we had a late start as daylight savings time caused us to lose an hour.  We made our beds and had a simple breakfast of warm muffins, then we gathered for session.  After a quick but exciting of snakes in the grass and Molly's game, we had a short break.  Then came singing and worship where we restored the silence.  We had a delicious lunch made by Jacki which we used as our last chance to converse.  After clean up, reading the epistle, and the evaluation of the weekend's events, we said our good-byes and headed home.

 Quietly find the top of the page...

Mythically Speaking

6th – 8th grade
March 22 – 24, 2013

 After arriving at PoHo, we all hung out in the game room.  Then after a delicious dinner fit for a hero,  we had session and created the resident mythical creatures that protect PoHo – the rec-triangular hallway, the fridge and other things like chess, magic carols and the couches.  Lastly, we played Sardines and went to bed.

On Saturday, we woke up to the smell of hot oatmeal and cereal (editor’s note: the cereal does not smell. )  In the session After breakfast, we made mythical creature mazes for our friends to go on quests through and seek knowledge.  We played banana tag outside before having a delicious lunch of Jackie’s amazing cooking.  Then we had a session of Hero Training for trust, dexterity, cooperation, integrity, empathy and sensitivity that included playing games like Sock in the Butt, Fireball and trust falls.  After free time we had a three-way massage, self-space, dinner and cabaret.  Cabaret included Gandalf, Harry Styles and Hitchhiker.  A dance party followed cabaret.  We enjoyed listening to “Trouble” by Taylor Swift while sharing snacks.

On Sunday, we woke up, made our beds and ate blueberry pancakes.  We all did our Sunday morning clean up jobs with our super human hero skills.  We played Primate Bellows and had singing and worship.  After an incredible taco lunch, we all said our farewells and went our separate ways.

click here to find your next quest...

Tuning In, Opening Up, Drawing Together

April 19-21, 2013
9th to 12th Grade

Friday we were greeted with smiles, hugs and kisses.  We heard what was on peeps minds and listened to a story about horses with balanced genders.  Off to bed with hope in our hearts.

On Saturday we woke up to eggs, bagels and in some cases bright and smiling faces.  After breakfast we did energy work, played games and did aura work with a partner.  We felt connected.  We broke for lunch and then we had work projects with the visualization that we were doing them like eating an orange on a bike.   We had a 3-way massage and guided meditation with self-space.  Following all of that with dinner.  After we had a lovely cabaret with many songs, music and skits.  We went to bed feeling loved and full.

Sunday we woke up to the wonderful smell of pancakes, which tasted just as good as they smelled.  Sunday cleanup and bed- making preceded session in which we played Primate Bellows and Molly’s game.   A third sociometrics exercise followed asking us to find someone about whom we learned something new this weekend and to choose a person who has a quality you wish you had.  Singing and worship began to bring the weekend to a close and lunch was followed by hugs and good-byes with everyone sad to leave and already anticipating the next wonderful conference.

Tune yourself back in to the TOP of the page

Stretching Up. Up, Up

 May 10-12, 2013

4th – 5th grade

On Friday we all arrived at PoHo for our next conference – Stretching Up, Up, Up. After signing in and taking our bags to our rooms, everyone went back down stairs for a game of Fruit Bowl that included some pretty strange fruits, such as taro and other exotic things. A delicious dinner of macs & cheese and salad prepared us for session and a game of sardines. After all the lights had been turned off and the sardine was hidden, everyone converged into the darkened PoHo. With the sardine safely found, we all had a snack, heard a story and went upstairs for bed, ready for the rest of the weekend at PoHo.

 On Saturday we all woke up and had a yummy breakfast of muffins, eggs and cereal. After that some people played a JC skit game. During session we played games and talked about things, did some yoga, and then went into small groups for exploring the grounds and meeting some interesting plants.

 At lunch, we ate samwhiches and Snapple-not. Then we played wizards and gelflings, but the wizards were then banished so that the gelflings could proceed with cabaret. After watching funny skits and hearing some great music, we played amoeba sardines. We heard the story of Connor and the Leprechaun. We all went upstairs to bed.

 We woke up at 7:30 on Sunday (some at 8:00) ready to start yet another day of fun. Before breakfast we made our beds, packed and played telephone, which was organized by one of our own youth. We all had a lot of fun doing that until it was time for breakfast. We sang “Rise and Shine” and walked into the dining room to eat a delicious breakfast of vanilla-cinnamon pancakes and fruit. After breakfast, we got sorted into groups to clean upstairs, down stairs, the breakfast mess, outdoors and three of us wrote an epistle. After that, we had session where we played Primate Bellows, heard the epistle, did an evaluation and did a Wagon Wheel version of one-to-one affirmations. We went outdoors for a hard running new game we called “Gelflings Capture the Flags” that had all the younger attenders against the adults and JCs.

 We sang several songs and settled into silence for a good while. Pizza filled our stomachs for the way home and we said our good-byes.

Earth Song 2013 (XXXVIII )

 7th – 12th grade

May 24-26, 2013

 Friday night, everyone came in with smiles and they were excited for the weekend. Jacki made spaghetti for dinner. We had session where we focused on the seniors and split into small groups. In those groups we talked about our favorite place on the PoHo grounds and took the large group on a visual tour. We discussed the rules and the places not to be. We had free time followed by a bedtime story. Then we hurried into our beds to get some rest for the weekend ahead.

 On Saturday, we woke up and enjoyed a delicious breakfast followed by a session. The seniors were asked to answer:

 What they would like to be remembered for,

  • Something they will remember about Powell House, and
  • Where they are heading next.

 We will definitely remember all our seniors. They have left their marks in our memories and hearts.

 After the seniors left to plan their activities, we played the Honduran Hat game. Then we split into three smaller groups for another name whip and more group games. The games were super fun and brought many laughs. Then we re-gathered for workshops that included our Silver Bay connections and expectations, chance conversations, preparing the Pitt Hall dining room for the formal dinner, and creating a Classic Greek-style play.

 During free time a number of brave souls went swimming in the cold rain while others played Frisbee. Homemade bread sandwiched our lunch fixings, followed by another free time when some arousing games of dong pong took place. We played a huge game of Wink’em which resulted in rug burns, but also added to the good times. Two attenders organized a very wet game of Capture the Flag in the maze. We had another round of workshops that included creating cards for the seniors, authenticity (self awareness and expression), thin places (The experience when the distance between heaven and earth collapses ), continuing the Greek play, and preparing food.

 Snack first filled the table and then our tummies. We chose between three-way massage and energy healing. Both were super duper relaxing. Then everyone went into a much-needed self space. A lot of people were tired. Dinner was in Pitt Hall and everyone looked lovely. Then we all gathered in Pitt Hall for cabaret where we asked many questions with clever and educated answers, appreciated beautiful talents, became pizzas and laughed lots. It was very comfortable, happy and connected. Then we returned to the ACC where we danced our hearts out and played a variety of games, including pelvis ball. Finally, we heard a story and went to bed.

 Sunday, we woke up tired and sad to see the seniors leave. We made our beds. We circled up and sang the Noah’s Ark song before a delicious breakfast of warm bagels. We laughed and made jokes while cleaning up the ACC and Pitt Hall. After the place was sparkling clean, we gathered for session, played Will You Buy My Donkey and shared the epistle. We all walked towards the pavilion and the seniors spoke about why PoHo was important to them. We were sad to see them go but we wished them good luck on their journeys. We all had a celebration snack and left with some hugs and good vibes.

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Under the Stars

June 14-16, 2013
6th – 8th graders

 Dear Powell House Community,

This weekend we did many exciting things.  For example, we arrived very excited.   We went swimming in the pond.  We took a walk up to Dorson’s Rock after dinner asnd saw the mountains.  We splashed around the pond and soggy grounds.  We made up stories about stars.  We played exciting games such as Will You buy My Bird and Skink Tails.  Our cabaret was filled with incredible acts and stars.  Keeping up the theme of the weekend, we took a moonlit walk to the meeting house parking lot after a thunder and lightning storm.  The s’mores we got soon became a wonderful delicacy.  Saturday lunch we ate in the campground.  Strawberry tarts were our delicious deserts Saturday evening.  Saturday night we slept in tents under the stars.  We also had really good Jamaican chicken with sweet potatoes and tons of butter.  Blueberry pancakes were good too.  We had a relaxing self space that followed our satisfying and beautiful three-way massage.

Overall, this weekend was arousing success  under the stars.

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Powell House is the conference and retreat center of the 

New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Powell House
524 Pitt Hall Rd
Old Chatham,  NY
phone  518-794-8811
fax     518-794-8815
Adult Program
Youth Program