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.

 Back to the Top




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.

 Simply return to the top


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.



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