2016-17

Planning 2016 9th -12th Sept 16-18, 2016
Oh Snap! 6th - 8th Sept 23-25, 2016
JCT 9th - 11th Oct 7 - 9, 2016
Slice It, Dice It, Spice It 4th -5th Oct 21-23, 2016
Come From The Shadows 9th -12th Oct 28-30, 2016
Making Change 6th - 8th Nov 18-20, 2016
Star Light 4th - 5th Dec 2-4, 2016
Winter Song 2016 7th -12th Dec 9-11, 2016
Safety Pins and Other Symbols 6th - 8th Jan 13-15, 2017
When It's Quiet 9th -12th Jan 27-29, 2017
Breathe, Just Breathe young adults including 11th/12th grade Feb 10-12, 2017
When the Spirit Says Sing 4th -5th grade Feb 17-19, 2017
 Give Me Space  6th-7th  March 10-12, 2017
Thinking Inside the Box 9th - 12th Mar 17-19, 2017
 Getting Started 4th -5th  April 7-9, 2017 
 Orient Yourself 5th - 7th May 12-14,2017 
Earth Song  7th - 12th  May 26-28, 2017
Unwinding 9th - 12th July 13-16, 2017

 

Planning

9th – 12th Conference

September 16- 18, 2016

We arrived to Powell House to a delicious dinner of spaghetti with tomato sauce. We settled into session where played various games and talked about conference topics we have enjoyed and new ones we would like to have. After that we laid down and listened to our friends stories in “news of me out of the Silence.” We enjoyed being together in free time where we got to say hello to our friends we had not seen in a while while eating a snack. We took advantage of the cool evening and full moon to walk down by the pond, where we sat in silence for a good while and listened to the night sounds.

 We woke the next day and ate frittatas and bagels. In session we broke into small groups, taking turns practicing telling our personal stories and focussing on the story teller. The listeners then drew the message that they had heard in their friend's story. In pairs, we looked at the list of conference topics from the night before and selected six out of the 20 or so topics. Then each pair paired up with another pair and made one list of six topics between them, until we had one list fo six form the whole group.

 Another free time came and went and slid into a lunch of soup and sandwiches. After lunch, we did work projects and bonded with friends. After that, we were pooped so had a long free time followed by a guided meditation led by our own Chris. After being very centered, we dispersed into self space.

 The bell was later rang for supper where we ate a garden salad, fancy rice and chicken thanks to our new chefs, Glenn and Tony. After dinner we self-assigend to small groups to start to design a conference on one of the topics we had picked out in the morning. We participated in a coffee house-style cabaret and finished off with two rounds of sardines. Then we hadsnack and went to bed after a story. We slept like logs.

 On Sunday, we woke up, made our beds and then ate a good breakfast of oatmeal and eggs. Most of us cleaned up while some wrote the epistle. We had sesison with a nice round of Molly's game in which we gave affirmations to describe a mystery person. We sang together and settled into a nice silence with some messages for the group. We finished off the weekend with the greatest lunch ever and said our goodbyes. RIP September PoHo 2016.

 plan to go back to the top

Oh Snap!

 September 23-25, 2016

 6th to 8th Grade

 Friday night we drifted in from near and far. Our new attenders were welcomed and shown some of the cool spots around PoHo. After a dinner of spaghetti, meatballs and black bean balls we had session. We played “What are you Doing?” and “Standing Ovation” where success was applauded and failure ignored. Then, we did tarp games that became quite ripe with the new plastic smell and all of us under them. Once session was over we had News of Me, going into free time and Sardines. Finally we heard a story and went to sleep.

 On Saturday we had hash browns for breakfast. Then we had a name whip during session where we shared something that makes us snap. We built a stress tower in small groups. It inevitably crashed but the group did pretty well balancing our stresses. We went outside to practice fox walking and owl looking. We found that it was relaxing and allowed us to see things in the woods differently. Some of us snuck around in search of shoes during a new game we learned. We finished the morning with Frisbee practice and discovered that after repeated throws people actually threw better when they closed their eyes.

 Work projects were a snap! We prepared a bunch of green beans for dinner and put together raspberry jam s’mores for the campfire, collected sticks and set up the campfire and re-discovered the waterfall trail which had almost completely disappeared under the weeds. Rattler and miner settled us before three-way massage where the group energy went from ZING to AAH very quickly.

 Supper was pulled pork and quinoa patties with our tasty green beans and sweet potatoes. We had a peach crisp and ice cream for dessert! We played a spirited game of Giants, Wizards, Elves with sides dwindling to nearly no-one than filling up again as the tides turned. The game ended with a flying hug from one team to the other. We started the evening session with a name whip about when you notice people. Then we spent some time “Floating on the Ocean” and “Wrist Dancing” to experiment with being aware of one another. We had some role-plays around conflicts or snap moments that we had seen. There was a lot of humor and some funny moments and an awareness too of what helps when we’re upset or angry: Release, Comfort, Getting Away, Reconciliation. After a brief prep time we returned to the common room for an excellent Cabaret. A new act: a treasure hunt for Big Chin was both cleverly constructed and fun to watch unfold – definitely a crowd favorite. The evening closed with a large campfire under a beautiful starry sky complete with story telling, jokes and raspberry jam s’mores.

 Sunday started with French toast and raspberries, followed by an energetic clean-up of the youth center. We left the paper memes that sprung up throughout the weekend where they were for future groups to find. Then we played Primate Bellows. We took turns affirming one another. After a short break we returned for singing and open worship. Strombolis awaited us for lunch – The weekend having gone by in a snap!

 SNAP back to the top

 

Slice It, Dice It, Spice It

Oct 21-23, 2016

4th - 5th grade

We were excited to come to Powell House.  We wanted to play and fun came to us every day.  We liked building pillow structures together.  We played many games to make us happy and make us feel like we belonged.  “Streets and Alleys” was changed to “Slice It, Dice It, Spice It”.  The “Islands” game got all 24 of us together on just 4 cushions.  “Amoeba Sardines” in the dark got us all together on Friday night.  The dark building made us feel like we were dreaming.
The JCs really liked hanging with the younger kids.  We all really liked the food, the games and cabaret.  We, the 4th & 5th graders, sliced, diced, and spiced a bushel of apples (and a pile of mangoes) to make :

  • apple pie with homemade crust
  • apple sauce
  • apple cinnamon rolls
  • diced fresh mangoes.

 They were all delicious!
This weekend went by quickly.  We are sad that we have to leave and will miss the friends we are here with, but we look forward to coming back with these and other friends.  In all, Powell House brings us together and that is why we came here.

peel back to the top!

Come From the Shadows
October 28-30, 2016
9th to 12th grade

What an invigorating weekend!   The “Come From the Shadows “ conference was focused on social justice and empowering us, the youth, by giving us ideas and opportunities for taking action on important issues.   Upon arrival we all noticed how small the group was and throughout the weekend this small group allowed us to deeply internalize the feeling of the group.  We felt hopeful, together, serious and funny, sometimes all at the same time, sometimes separately.
    These wonderful feelings started at dinner on Friday.  Predictably we had spaghetti, but topped it with primavera for a nice change instead of tomato sauce.   That was followed by a wonderful apple cake covered in simply scrumptious cream cheese frosting.   Filled with delicious food, we entered a session in which costumed trolls hid in the ACC and the rest of us found them.   Once found, the trolls dressed themselves with various other articles of clothing (arming themselves with love) and transformed into peace warriors.  In a fashion show, the groups that did the finding, showed off their powerful peace warriors.   News of me afterwards served as a quiet time to reflect and listen, and then in free time we all got to know each other.  Johanna read us an excerpt from This is an Uprising before bed, which was very informative.   At the end of the day we went to bed with lots of hugs.
    Waking up on Saturday was a struggle as always but well worth it.   Eggs and potatoes filled us up before a powerful session.  In groups we created ideas for solving issues that we have the power to solve in our circles of influence.  Each of us has influence, in school or the workplace, home or friends or any other important environment.  Just as the issues are, these circles are connected.   Following lunch, we participated in work projects, including song writing, leaf raking and making art for the youth brochure.   Some of us carved pumpkins, making us all laugh.   Check-in, 3-way massage and self-space followed.   Our cabaret was a coffeehouse style and it really represented the group because of all the cuddling, improv, talent-showing, and an act in which all the audience went up on stage, leaving Johanna and Chris, our wonderful co-facilitators, behind to entertain us.  The spontaneity and whole group participation required to pull this off reflected how cohesive our group had become.  We chilled for a little bit while a campfire was set up and then we went outside to make s’mores and sing.  It was a beautiful night!  After a while outside, we came back in and heard a moving story about congressman John Lewis and went to bed to be refreshed for Sunday.
    Sunday breakfast was oatmeal and banana muffins.  We cleaned up after filling up and moved into session.  Primate Bellows was energizing as always.   To continue our theme of social justice, we brainstormed beliefs/values, behaviors, knowledge and characteristics of our PoHo community that we can bring to other places and use to empower ourselves.   Water affirmations made us feel loved.  We had lunch and free time and left with many hugs and good feelings.
    Many thanks to the cooks, butler and Johanna and Chris our co-facilitators, you made the weekend great.

Return to Top

Star Light
December 2-4, 2016
4th & 5th Grade

    The reason we came together was to get to know each other and to let new people enjoy our company and find out what we do here.  The games and food and work projects brought us together.  On Friday night us kids ventured out into the pitch-black darkness and found our colored lantern, which our JC was holding.  Then our JC walked us back to their tarp.  The tarp had sleeping bags for us to lie on.  There was also another sleeping bag as our blanket.
    Saturday morning, we told stories and drew paintings with chalk on brown paper like we were cave people.   Then we got our coats on and went outside for work projects.  The projects were: raking leaves, a firewood brigade, sawing up fallen trees, picking up branches and lopping vines to clear the path.   We also liked playing Bubble Talk, a recently donated game.  For snack we ate stars and moons (star fruit and clementine slices).  We also made paper and clay stars.
    We heard the story of how we came from stardust.  Other things we did in the dark were discovering other cave people’s drawings with a lantern and acting like archeologists finding a new discovery.  We also played amoeba sardines (obviously).
    Sunday we wrote this epistle, cleaned up outside and inside the building.  We played Primate Bellows and Sausage, had an affirmation circle, sang songs and had a power-worship (short but deep).  Other games that we played on Saturday included: Islands, Will You Buy My Donkey, and Cabaret.  In cabaret the JC skit was fun.  Us kids and JCs (junior counselors) really liked it here and you will too.
    The end.

Top, to the top we say

WinterSong 2016

Dec 9-11, 2016

The ending of 2016 has come far too quickly as the 7th -12th graders gathered once again for another wonderful Winter Song. Friday evening started off with a bang, literally and figuratively when a rather intense game of fruit bowl was started.  Our new chef, Tony, treated us to a dinner of baked ziti and garlic knots, after which we descended into session where we discussed the rules for the weekend, things we enjoyed putting in our mouths, and emotions.  We made up words using the letters of our names to describe emotions. We also used actual emotions to talk about how we were feeling and some of the recent adventures we went on in our personal lives. 

The next day arrived almost in the blink of an eye with a breakfast of eggs and home fries.  Session brought some pretty deep questions like “What makes you jump out of bed in the morning?” and “What can you give to the person next to you to make them happy?”  Next, we went into workshops where we made cookies and conversations.  There was also a walk, a healing circle, an improv group, peace tree decorating, and story telling.  Then as lunch came to a close, we went into more workshops.  This time we passed our time by decorating the dining room, de-vining the forest, frosting the cookies, discussing books, delving into conversations, another walk, and singing.

After that we split up for some much needed relaxation.  Some stayed for a massage where as others went to participate in a meditation with some trippy music and spirits of the north, south, east and west.  Finally, after self-space and a dinner of stuffed mushrooms and some other fancy stuff, came cabaret.  We enjoyed various talents as well as the traumatic experience (their shtick) that was the relationship of the two emcees.  After the JC skit we geared up for a cold moon-lit night walk around the freshly frozen pond, returning in time for a cheese and cracker snack before watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (original cartoon version).  For quiet time we gathered by the fire and the beautiful peace tree.  We offered anonymous affirmations to people we had seen doing nice things this weekend.  We heard the rest of the new Pooh story with Penguin and settled down for a long winter's nap, only to be awoken with the sad realization we'd soon be heading our separate ways.

Sunday seemed to come and go almost in no time at all. After a bagel breakfast and various clean up jobs, our group sat down for Molly's game, singing and worship.  Although we were all sad to see it end, this Winter Song was amazing and we can't wait to do it again.

trip by to the top, in a contemplative mode

Safety pins and Other Symbols
6th to 8th grade, January 13-15, 2017

    We trickled into PoHo and ate the traditional spaghetti dinner (disguised as eggplant parmesan and penne) before gathering into session.  The theme of the weekend was about being an ally and we started with a name whip – something you are passionate about.  A relay race involving self-affirmations led to an interesting game of four corners where justice and other values were compared to big chairs and butterflies.  Starting the discussion of ally-hood, we brainstormed things that people get harassed or challenged about.  Then we brainstormed issues we want to confront but don’t know how.  We delved into these topics throughout the weekend.  After some inclusive couch-pile filled free time, we wandered in the dark looking for the Sardine.  Then we listened to a pair of inspirational stories, personal accounts of being an ally before heading to bed.
    We woke up at 8, some reluctant to get up from a late Friday night of PoHo fun, but we must’ve remembered how delicious breakfast is, and we all hurried downstairs to a breakfast of eggs, hash browns and fresh fruit.  At 9:30, we gathered together for session and split into small groups to talk about being an ally in everyday places we go.  We came back together in one big group and made a robot rainstorm followed by a discussion of individual rights and some concepts around communication and ally-ship.
    Then we broke into free time in which banana tag was canceled due to the lawn becoming an animal restroom.  But we made up for it with a massive couch pile.  There were many laughs.  At 12:30 we ate lunch and then everyone went back to couch-piling, magic playing, reading, ping pong playing and anticipating work projects which featured symbol making with gingerbread cookies and breadsticks, vine lopping and banner making.  After work projects we ate the symbols and gathered back in the common room to check in and play Will You Buy My Donkey before doing three-way massage as others read books.  We settled into self-space and then had dinner, after which the oyster introduced oyness, and converted many to his “not a religion but a state of being”.
    At 7:15, we played Prui and had a chat with a “Trump supporter.”  The group listened and argued intently but respectfully. We had about 15 minutes to get ready and then we settled in to watch amazing skits and talents, including juggling and bus stop.  Then we had snack and free time before listening to a story from Ta-Nahisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me.
    Sunday everyone slept in past wake up time before making beds and eating a breakfast of bagels and oatmeal.  We vigorously cleaned an equally vigorous mess born of creativity and play.  After session and Molly’s Game we gathered to sing and worship.  After more inclusive couch piles, we ate lunch before saying our good byes.  The deep conversations and focus on being aware of others spilled over into our free times and improv moments, filling the weekend with laughter and empowering us to go out and make a difference in our communities.

Click here for the safe way back to the top

When It's Quiet (A Silence Conference)

Jan 27-29, 2017

A quiet weekend can't start quiet.  In fact, ours started quite loud with welcomes, instructions and a dinner of home-style Italian food.  We settled into session where we broke into small groups and planned out the weekend including what personal gestures we would use to refer to each other during the silence.  After that we came back together as group and played a few games such as Mrs Mumbley.  We settled into silence after a poem during a relaxing time.

The next morning, we gathered for a silent breakfast where we were treated to bacon, eggs and hash browns.  Several of us had picked up the handouts and quietly read several excerpts about silence and its effects on the body.  After free time we joined together in session and played games such as rattler and miner, Herman, and silent pattern ball.  We split up to do work projects: clearing trails, cleaning, dusting, creating fruit platters, drawing for the brochures, and  making a photo collage of attenders.  From there, we went our separate ways to focus on ourselves during a relaxing self space.

In the times where we would have normally talked, we made due with laughter and barely stifled giggles.  At lunch especially, there were particular shenanigans.  We were even laughing through our silent yoga and  afternoon winter walk out to Evelyn's pond and back.  By the pond, in the spread out meditation that we did, it started to dawn on some that the silence took different forms, with some having would-be conversations in their heads and others noticing the physical details (from the intricacy of twigs to the presence of people).

>We came back to an exotic, bountiful arrangement of fruit for snack, from dragon- to star – to spiky ball- fruit (rambutan).  A check-in via gestures and then three-way massage, in silence with a fire in the fireplace, continued the deepness.  Following was self space where people spread from naps to puzzles to (almost) silent couch piles.

The Silence was doomed once Wink'em started with reflexive statements of “NO” ringing with a following chorus if “shhh.”  Our last meal in silence, rice and stir fry, was less silent than most would have hoped, but still held the buoyed spirits from wink'em and free time.  There continued the morning and overacted gestures of the mute, and the smiles and confusion that came with it.  A small bit of free time came before a final silent session where a great “Hello” broke us all back into conversation. We had a moment to reflect on the silent weekend.  Difficult for some but natural for others, the silence opened people to look beyond their normal conversation for more simplified communication of gestures and expressive touch, reversing the normal order of connection.

We broke out for more free time before and after cabaret.  Cabaret featured a home-made rap, a homemade dance, a home-made instrumental duo on just one guitar, and the home-brewed fun of bus stop and freeze.  Later in the night came a snack of bread and jam, along with a ring around the bonfire.  After a story of snow and a walking snowman, we shuffled up to bed.

Sunday morning started with a bagel breakfast and lots of conversation.  After morning clean up, we gathered for another session for games and to evaluate the weekend.  After singing and worship, we ate lunch and began to say our good-byes.  This weekend we learned how much we take talking for granted and that silence can really help calm the nerves.  

to the top

Breathe Just Breathe
11th & 12th and Young Adult Retreat
February 10-12, 2017

Empathy, laughter, social, inclusion. These were some of the words that we sculpted one another into Saturday morning.  This was a follow-up to the breathing and energy exercises we did with Birdie Friday night (Who also delivered a baby early in the morning Saturday. What a champ!)  Eric led us in shape shifting and Playback Theater as we explored how improv opens us to one another and helps us just breathe into the moment.  We cared for one another and ourselves during work projects where we made pupusas, Mike’s power cookies, and a giant fresh fruit platter or wandered into the snowy landscape to de-vine trees or shared how we felt the spirit moving within the Powell House Youth Program community.  Birdie continued teaching us about self-care and care of others with instruction in massage during our afternoon session.  Lean don’t push was good technique and life advice.

Our weekend was shortened by the impending threat of a blizzard.  We even lost some of our friends to the storm Saturday night as they raced home before the snow arrived.   Saturday during free time there was sledding and snowball fights, followed by a rousing, mutilating rendition of wink’em   Cabaret was splendiferous, with Shakespearean tales of galaxies far, far away book ended by some soulful sax.  We were amused by a song of a Canadian girlfriend and moved by freestyle rap.  We heard jokes, had important life questions answered and learned about the “wolf who cried boy.”   We froze.  We bus stopped.

We laughed, we cried and nobody died.

to the top

When the Spirit Says Sing

 4th -5th grade

 February 17-19, 2017

 We all walked into Powell House with big smiles and with great moods. Once everyone had arrived, we settled in and had a delicious meal. The meal crew that night did a fantastic job. Once everything in the kitchen was done, all of us joined together to sing a song called Singing for Our Lives. After we learned the song together we played a game called Snake in The Grass. Soon after that we were all tired and ready to snuggle in and relax for quiet time.

 On Saturday morning, the counselors asked a meaningful question. We had to answer it to the best of our ability. After everyone had answered the question, we all gathered in the common room to learn and sing another song. After we sang it as a group, we split into small groups to create new verses for the song. After we came up with new verses, everyone joined together to sing the song along with the new verses. After that happened, we made ice cream of all different kinds (even though there were only 4 flavors). It was fun because everyone could try every flavor if they wanted.

 We ran out of time writing this.

The group would like to conclude by saying:

 We played fun games.

We came here for happiness.

P.S. It was amazing.

Here are links to the songs we learned:

Singing For Our Lives

 http://music.peacefuluprising.org/track/singing-for-our-lives - Holly Near

 Rise Up Singing Struggle p. 218

 Ain't Gonna Let Nobody

 https://www.google.com/search?q=ain%27t+gonna+let+nobody&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

 Rise Up Singing Freedom p. 58

 Never Turning Back

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPwRnS7ZEA0 Pat Humphries

 Rise Up Singing Struggle p.216

 Peace Is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD6pyUPhFFE Fred Small

 Rise Up Singing Peace p. 163

hum back to the top

  Give Me Space

Closing Thoughts
(in lieu of an epistle)
6th -8th graders

Comfort.
    Wonderful.
        I found my people.
            Fun.
        Friends.
    Grateful.
Memories.
    Cold Feet (literally).
        Awareness.
            Calm.
        Relaxation.
    Loving community.
Community.
    I love you guys.
        Warm.
    A time to get together and learn.
Gathered.

 back to top

Thinking Inside the Box
March 17-19, 2017
9th to 12th Grade

We arrived Friday to familiar warm hugs and a couch pile followed by a wonderful dinner of mac and cheese and homemade bread.  We planned box forts and discussed things such as the nature of intimacy, love and belonging. From this we went into News of Me. We had a wonderful free time followed by quiet time with excerpts from a “bridge to Terebithia.”  With a huggle and a lullaby, we went off to sleep.
    Saturday morning shone with the promise of box forts, but first a bountiful breakfast of fruit and fruit pancakes and session.  Session was a mix of trust exercises that brought us from the relaxing ocean to the windful willow forest.   Afterwards the group broke into the box fort crew, the small hygge* space builders and a discussion group.   The box forters worked a master construction, starting with grand entryways to a walled in main room – a duct-taped, cardboard OPUS.
    After was free time, followed by a filling lunch of turkey burgers and sweet potato wedge fries.  There were almost two hours after lunch of free time, which was filled by sledding, cookie making, and yet more cuddling.   Snack was a group effort of variously sized almond cookies and cheese-stuffed pupusas.   
    By session time, halfway through the afternoon, everyone was ready for the relaxing exercises we worked through regarding trust.  Partners worked back-to-back, using descriptions and questions to guide each other through drawings then knee to knee as we guided our partners’ hands through motion, eyes closed, just by touch.   3-way massage followed, and proceeded in the usual warm relaxing manner.   Dinner of quinoa and stir-fry went before a stunning chocolate cake and blackberry whip.
    Evening session came soon after, with a tweaked version of “what are you doing” to demonstrate consent.   Later we broke into smaller groups for a wider discussion of saying yes and no and a warming game of Ha Ha.
    There was then a dispersion as groups got ready for cabaret, though the common area was taken over for a vicious but loving game of wink ‘em.  With skinned elbows and worse for the wear knees we settled into a Ryan-and-Zach hosted shenanigan show.  We had entertainment in rap, skits, bus stop, a surprise guest, and dress up.   Free time followed, with snacks and a game of sardines, before a two-part story time and then we were off to bed.
    Sunday we woke up early, drowsy youth attenders making their beds.  After a rendition of “Rise and Shine”, we gathered for a hearty breakfast of egg sandwiches, oatmeal and fruit salad topped with a beautiful apple-pear swan, hand made by our wonderful cook Tony and our excellent butler Patricia.
    Our last session of the weekend consisted of the traditional Primate Bellows and loving affirmations.  Grabbing tea before we began, the group had a session of singing and worship in which we connected to each other, feeling the the love of the weekend.  We had lunch together.  Hugs were exchanged and lamentations about the speed of EarthSong approaching.  There were lots of good-byes, and we all went back to our lives with a good, cozy feeling in our hearts.  Cozy like a cat curled up in  a box.

* A Danish word encapsulating the idea of cozy comfort, the art of creating intimacy, warm, safe, friendly spaces.

up to top of page

Getting Started

4th-5th grade
April 7-9, 2017

Two perspectives
One
We got to Powell House and had supper. Then we did meal crew and started doing other things. When it was time for session we gathered in a circle, did a name whip, played games and talked about ourselves in News of Me. We played sardines in the dark. Around 9:30, we all sat down and Johanna read a book, then we went to bed.

In the morning we woke up and went downstairs quietly and ate breakfast. After lunch we went outside and planted trees, played and walked. When we came back in, there was snack. After that there was a bonfire but a lot of people stayed inside. When everyone came back we made a story and wemt to bed. While we were at Powell House a lot of people did their own things like made things, made friends and played together.

Two
Over this weekend at the PoHo, everyone here not only learned many things, and not only started the lives of many young sycamores, but grew like the sycamores will, as a community. When we first arrived and sat in a circle on cushions, we were not far apart but there was at least 6 inches between each of us. Then, as the weekend wore on, we grew closer together and our circle shrank. Though there was still the same amount of people, we sat close together and felt close. We played games that developed our teamwork and sang together before every meal. We held hands and laughed and joked and we thank PoHo for bringing us all together.

The JCs were always kind and Mike, Johanna and Anne were great to everyone. When we (the epistle writers) asked if people felt like a community here, the answer was always “Yes” from JCs to kids. We all love PoHo.

 

 Earth Song XLIII
May 26-28, 2017
7th - 12th grade


On Friday we arrived excited for a fun-filled weekend ahead.  We had a wonderful supper of chili and rice.  That was a time when we reconnected with each other and made new friends before segueing into session and News of Me.  With some ever-growing games of Cards Against Humanity we buzzed right through free time.  Before bed we listened to a story called Spring, in Which Eeyore suspects another Donkey is after his thistles with the hundred acre woods, Winnie the Pooh, and friends.  

Saturday we woke up, and following one of Tony's wonderful breakfasts, we talked about what we wanted to be remembered for.  People wanted to be remembered for things like their kindness, presence, listening skills, sense of humor, and cuddles.  In session we also played games like thumper and head honcho.  In free time we played Wink'em and the Cards against Humanity game continued.  The card game allowed people to come and go in a dynamic grouping that encouraged creativity and challenges to our personal values.  A huge Frisbee game emerged and our skills evolved tremendously.

We ate lunch outside, stuffing ourselves with bagel & grilled cheese, macaroni salad a green salad with wicked strong vinaigrette.  Also in the morning we broke out into team building workshops such as creating new trails, making cards, baking Sunday desert, and planting flowers.  The cupcakes we baked exploded in the oven and the frosting, with 4 cups of sugar, turned out extra sweet which we combated by adding extra sour cream and cinnamon.  

Our afternoon “playshops” livened spirits.  We played capture the flag in the campground, walked to Dorson's rock, or made wonderful music.  After the playshops, people cooled off in the pond, playing games involving water.   During check-in, people reported being tired and content.  Options of energy healing and massage were both relaxing and centering.  Our self space grounded us in the now.  During the rest of the weekend we had a fancy dinner in Pitt Hall followed by a fire alarm malfunction in the ACC.  Because of that, we couldn't get materials and the sign up sheet out of the ACC for cabaret and it was little choppy.
Sunday was a beautiful day for the senior ceremony.  We walked by the newly planted cherry tree by the pond and wound our way up through the woods to the labyrinth where we sat in silence and waited for the seniors who arrived in style – singing My Rhinoceros while seated in the trailer pulled by the tractor.  After leading us in songs, the seniors settled into silence.  They spoke out of the silence, as did many others, as shared what this community and fellowship means to us.  All told, the weekend was a little chaotic, but we had a wonderful time sending off our seniors, who we will miss.

back to top

 

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
12136
phone  518-794-8811
fax     518-794-8815
Adult Program 
sharon@powellhouse.org
regina@powellhouse.org
Youth Program
chrisandmike@powellhouse.org