Harris-Braun/Michaud Families

Graduation Party, July 4, 2017


Earthsong is not a last HOORAH. It’s not an all-night party for those of you moving on. The boundaries are not magically relaxed for graduating seniors. Just because you can, don’t. Remember that Earthsong is everyone together, from 7th graders to 12th graders, from long time attenders to fairly new friends. It’s a loving send off to spread the joy that abounds here out into the world. It’s a passing of the torch to those remaining. It’s a celebration of the wonderful spirit that binds us together.
The three nurture questions are important. Your actions affect the program. They affect the group. Be aware of the whole picture.
We expect everyone to be in their assigned rooms Friday and Saturday nights from 12:30 a.m. until 7:30 a.m.
Our experience has been that all- night reminiscing draws the seniors away from the rest of the community.
It has also dissolved in the past into a type of partying not appropriate for Powell House, resulting in hurt feelings and tension among youth attenders.
That said, let us be really clear. Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco. Leave them home. As a community, in 2007, the youth approved a minute stating that drugs and alcohol should not be a part of the Powell House experience. We have seen the strain, divisions and pain caused by drugs and alcohol in our community. For this reason, youth who use or possess these items will be sent home. If you are with people using you will be sent home. Not everyone agrees with this consequence. Many do. Mike and Chris, as the designated adults, feel strongly that this is a fair and reasonable response to acts that are intentionally disrespectful and detrimental to the group well being and to the program as a whole.
Graduated or not, you are part of this community for life. There is strength in that: Deep friendships, a place to turn to, and to return to. There will be sorrow. There will be joy. There is always love. Even though you are moving on, you are responsible to us. Do good with your life. Discover your callings and follow them. Keep yourself well. Let the best of who you are shine out. Smile a lot. Love fully. Be courageous. We’re  responsible to you too. To keep this space a safe, welcoming, nurturing, challenging place. To be here when you need us. To ask help from you when we need it. To hear our callings and follow them. To smile a lot.
Several summers ago three hundred PoHo grads, their spouses and children gathered for an amazing four days to celebrate life, grieve death, reunite with friends and share an important part of who they are with their families. There was an abundance of laughter and lots of tears. There was great tenderness and raucous joy. There was a spirit that gathered us and held us in such a clear and whole way that we knew we were deeply loved and that “all shall be well again.”
You are part of this large and wonderous community. 
In Peace and Joy and On-going Friendship,
Chris and Mike, Youth Directors
May 2017

Powell House welcomes many types of events, including:

  • non-profit groups,

  • social services,

  • schools,

  • churches and faith-based gatherings,

  • family reunions,

  • weddings,

  • memorial services,

  • and personal sojourns or retreats.

Many groups use our campground, the trails, and the swimming pond for an outdoor retreat experience.

It is a perfect place to gather away from the usual crush of technological communications and daily "to-do" lists.

As part of our commitment to creating community, guests assist in mealtime and other minor chores. Powell House has cooks available to provide meals though some groups choose to do their own meal preparation. We also have flip-chart easels and audio-visual equipment. Varying levels of service can be accommodated to ensure the experience at Powell House fits the budget and needs of the group renting the facilities.

To reserve space for weekend meetings or conferences, we often require at least nine months to a year in advance.  Midweek dates can usually be arranged with a few weeks notice. Day use, overnight accommodations and sojourning by individuals and small groups can also be arranged sometimes on short notice.

In keeping with our Quaker principles, Powell House does not allow use of alcoholic beverages by our guests, and limits smoking to a designated area outside. We also do not allow guests to bring pets on the campus.

Located in the foothills of the Berkshires between Albany, NY and Pittsfield, MA; Powell House is 150 miles north of New York City and 150 miles west of Boston. 

Brooklyn Friends School 12th Grade Retreat.  September 5-6, 2017

Registration only through Brooklyn Friends School.

 February 24-26

If art leads you to a deeper spiritual journey or your spiritual journey leads you to be more creative or if you just want to explore the relationship between creativity and spirituality, this retreat is for you.

Through all forms of creativity we find opportunities for deepening our spiritual journey. In a creative community we will delve into the interrelationships between creativity and spirituality through a variety of art forms: quilting, weaving, sculpting with clay, painting with watercolors, knitting, crochet, music, cooking/baking, or origami. Each area will be led by a specialist and the time will be rich with worship and creating. The weekend culminates with a whole group sharing of our creative process and our creations.

Click here for more details:  Creativity & Spirituality 2017

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