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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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