Youth conferences are for those who wish to grow, share, and care in community. We welcome all youth. The group thrives in the wide diversity of spiritual traditions that our attenders bring. We practice and experience the testimonies of peace, equality, simplicity, integrity, and community.
Chris DeRoller and Mike Clark, youth directors, lead the conferences. Powell House is the conference and retreat center of New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
What is a youth retreat?
It is a place to be safe and open, a time to rest and reflect, and a group in which to feel deep relationships. You bring yourself and not much else: a commitment to respect and be present for the other attenders, some clean clothes, a willingness to be open to the experiences that present themselves, and anything that is listed in the confirmation letter. It is a weekend to step back from the busy world and leave behind the stuff that clutters our lives. We sing, dance and slouch on the couch. We swim, sled and swing. We play games, learn names and share a massage. We sit, we run and we nap. In the midst of all that, we connect with ourselves and each other.
AGE GROUPS: We have three age groups.
- 4th & 5th grade
- 6th to 8th grade
- High School (9th to 12th grade)
Conferences begin with registration at 6:15 p.m. on Friday evening and dinner is at 7:15 p.m. Conferences end after lunch at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday unless otherwise noted. Sunday worship (singing and silence) is from 11:15 - 12:15, we strongly discourage pick-ups during this time.
$160. Longer conferences will cost more. Scholarships are available for all Powell House Youth Program conferences. Tell us how much you need. First-timers receive the $30.00 Youth First-Timer Discount.
There is an additional $30 late registration fee if you register less than one week before the event. Last minute registrations take more time to process and confirm, as well as taking significant time away from preparations for the event.
Our new fee structure will start August 1, 2018 (beginning of our program year)
Fee for standard two night conference: $160
For three night conference: $200
Fee for a parent/child weekend: $200 per pair
First Time Discount: $40
Late Registration (1 week or less before a conference) $30
Frequent attenders discount:
Attend two or more conferences in a season and receive $30 off for each conference. Register for two or more conferences at the same time to receive the discount.
A season is the time period covered by our semi-annual brochures: 1) August - December 2) January - July
Make sure we know your travel plans at least 72 hours prior to each conference.
Whether you need a ride or if you have room for riders in your car, please check the carpool box on the registration. We will make one list and send it to everyone on the list.
From points south, Amtrak stops in Hudson at 5:15. From the west Amtrak stops at the Albany/Rensselaer station at 7:00 p.m. (www.Amtrak.com for reserving tickets and more info).
You will need to arrange for a taxi from the station to Powell House. (Green Bee We Taxi Service 518-392-0461). If you check the box on the registration form, we’ll send you a list of other attendees traveling by train. We are about 30-45 minutes from the train stations. The Green Bee We taxi service is one of our neighbors and we have sent our own kids with her. Her phone number is: (518) 392-0461
We supply bed linens and towels. Bring casual clothing and outdoor wear. During swim season bring swim suits and beach towels; during winter, ice skates. Powell House has a stereo system for CDs and connection for MP3 players, so you may bring appropriate music to share with your friends.
DO NOT BRING:
Please leave radios, cell phones, laptop computers, and other electronic devices at home. Cigarettes, other tobacco, e-cigarettes or vaping, illegal drugs and alcohol are not allowed at conferences.
Tasty, nutritious vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals and snacks are provided. Please do not bring your own snacks and food unless you speak to Mike or Chris first.
LOST & FOUND:
Items are only kept one month, so claim them immediately. There is a $5.00 + postage charge for mailing lost items. Labeling clothes helps get them home.
AT THE END OF THE CONFERENCE:
Those leaving by car should by picked up by 1:30.
Those traveling by Amtrak train should arrange to be picked up at Powell House an hour before their train is scheduled to depart. We are 45 minutes from the Hudson train station (south bound folks) and 45 minutes from the Albany-Rensselaer station (west bound and north).
FINANCIAL AID & DISCOUNTS:
Scholarship monies are available for those who need them. Pay what you can. We ask that everyone pay at least the $30 deposit, but let us know if that is a hardship at any time. Write the amount of aid you need for each conference on your registration form. There is a $30 discount for first timers. Don't forget that your local Meeting may also be a source of assistance.
Our sources of financial aid include the Mark Seiler Memorial Fund, NYYM Black Concerns Committee, Nine Partners Quarterly Meeting, and several monthly meetings.
Register early! Space is often limited. Please register at least three weeks before the first conference you would like to attend. Fill out the registration form and send it with a $30 per person per conference deposit to: THE POWELL HOUSE YOUTH PROGRAM, 524 PITT HALL ROAD, OLD CHATHAM, NY, 12136-3410. Or find a conference and register on line here.
CONFIRMATIONS & CANCELLATIONS:
Confirmations are mailed approximately two weeks before each conference. If you must cancel, call us immediately, as we often have a waiting list. If you cancel by 5 p.m. the Friday one week before a conference, your deposit will be credited to another conference, or returned. You will be notified if you are on the waiting list.
IF YOU HAVE A CONTAGIOUS ILLNESS, PLEASE STAY HOME:
Germs travel quickly here. We will either return or forward your deposit to the next conference. Just let us know as soon as possible. We'll look forward to seeing you next time.
Guest fees only cover 50% of our operating budget. The balance is raised through fund appeals. We encourage and appreciate any contribution you can make to help. All contributions are tax-deductible.
The purpose of the Powell House Youth Center is to be a gathering point for young people.
The basis for all that goes on here is spiritual.
From this basis, growth is fostered – growth of love, leadership, acceptance, honesty, sensitivity to the needs of others, and self-knowledge. These elements become a way of life.
We translate spiritual light into the realities of day-to-day living. There is risk involved in living honestly and openly.
The purpose of the Powell House Youth Center is to be a place where it is safe to be vulnerable.
- November 1974 Youth Planning Conference