World of Fun 4th -5th Aug 29-31
Planning 9th - 12th Sept 19-21
Middle Ground 6th -8th Sept 26-28
Junior Counselor Training 9th - 11th Oct 3 -5
The Great Pumpkin 4th - 5th Oct 11 - 13
Connect Four
9th - 12th Oct 31-Nov 2
It's Great 6th - 8th Nov 21-23
Dark and Light 4th - 5th Dec 5 -7
Winter Song 2014 7th - 12th Dec 12 - 14
Oh So Sweet 9th - 12th Feb 6-8, 2015
Snow Castles 4th - 5th Feb 20-22, 2015
C.A.T.S. 6th - 8th March 13-15, 2015
Earth Song 7th - 12th May 23-25, 2015


Planning 2014

32 of the youth left early Sunday on bus for the People's Climate March in New York City.  400.000 people there and the rest of us went up to Dorson's Rock on Sunday morning for worship, so the epistle did not happen.

Middle Ground

6th to 8th Grade

September 24-26, 2014

On Friday we came into a rowdy game of banana tag.  Then meal crew prepared dinner while we had free time.  Dinner was a lovely Mac and Cheese and salad spread.  Then we had free time amd session in which Chris told us the rules and where we played the Elephant/Palm Tree Game.  Then we played amoeba sardines outside and went stargazing and had a cold story time under the stars.

We woke on Saturday to the delicious smell of oatmeal cooked by Jacki.   Then we had session.  We played the Honduran Hat Game.  Later we split into separate groups to find a place in the forest that was special to us.  We worked in groups to find this place. Lots of groups built stick forts in their locations.  Then we played wild people.   Two of the JCs were fairly easy to find.  Many of us gave up on the last.   We played lots of games.  By the afternoon we were all worn out.

We had 3-way massage, which only made us more tired.  At self-space, some of us went for a nap and a couple of us accidentally slept through dinner.   Many people were playing Banana Tag.  After Cabaret some of us went on a nature night walk while others of us danced in the common room below the disco ball.  By the end of the day we were all worn out and ready for bed.

Sunday was a super special awesome day.  Everyone woke up in the morning and started tearing off their sheets in honor of the sun lord.  It was awesome but kind of boring considering the sun rendered everyone blind. Then we came down to breakfast, which was bagels and eggs and everyone was eating like a fat cat who had just discovered cheetos.   After breakfast we got straight to work with people cleaning.  *Fun fact: Out of the people surveyed 13 like beavers.*  Then we had session on the ? of chocolate after playing with brooms and not poking an eye out.  Then we started singing songs in honor of Zodaz the marshmallow demon, ate lunch then ran home because pillows were about to drown us.  All together we had a good time at Powell House, the retreat for flesh-eating and vegetarian Quakers.

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The Great Pumpkin

October24-26, 2014

4th - 5th grade

Once everyone was registered Jacki made us a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs.  After supper we had  session and did a name whip.  We said our names and “What the Pumpkin Says.”  We played Snake in the Pumpkin Patch.  Later we split into small groups, shared some optical illusions and talked about looking at things straight on or sometimes considering other things than what you know to be true.  After we danced the Pata Pata and shared News of Me, where we talked about things going on in our lives. Then it was off to bed to read until lights out.

We woke up to another crazy day at PoHo and waited “patiently” for breakfast.  We talked about things we believed in and read Peanuts comics (The Great Pumpkin, of course).  We played a game called an “I Believe” circle which talked about certain topics and what we believe about them.  We then bounded off in small groups to find the pumpkins in the forest, whose names were Simplicity, Equality, Integrity and Peace.  The pumpkins were too shy to speak, so we spoke for them in our groups.  Then we ran back to the building only to find a game of Wild People (and Robin in a pink dress) awaiting us. 
After that, we settled down to some delicious lunch and free time following it.  We did our work projects.  After that we did a group check-in, massage, self-space and dinner.  Later, a crazy cabaret and then a flickering campfire with marshmallows was followed by, surprise, another dessert of vanilla screaming pretzels with M&M eyes.  We heard a story about a ghost dog and his owner, and then went off to bed.

When we woke up, we all made our beds.  Once we had breakfast of delicious pumpkin pancakes, we all did our part to clean up the downstairs, upstairs, outside and kitchen.  We had session to talk about upcoming conferences, play Primate Bellows and do affirmations where we talked about what we liked about everyone.  Each person got a large puzzle piece with a blank backside.  On that blank side, we each illustrated something we believed that is important to us.  Then we flipped the pieces and put them together to reconstruct a painting of a great pumpkin.  Flipping the pumpkin over, we saw how our beliefs fit together in a nice pattern and each person shared what they had drawn.  We sang lots of songs and then centered in silence.  After we had lunch, we were all sad because our friends started to leave.

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Connect 4

October 31 to November 2, 2014

Senior High


‘Twas Halloween and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even Jacki’s mouse

Then with a start the door opened wide

Someone walked in and said surprise

‘Twas the 9th to 12th graders here for some fun

So they started greeting each other one by one

We connected four in colors of day and night

And alter while trick or treating we had a great fright

Then we communicated with ancestors past

And built bonds that forever would last

With stars in our eyes and dreams in our head

We had a good cuddle then went to bed.

The very next morning we woke with a start

And we ate oatmeal to warm up our hearts.

Fire, air, water and earth

We created rituals that made us laugh with mirth

Games of ultimate and wink’em left us tired

And then we had 3-way to the sound of a fire.

Food was delicious made by work projects and Jacki

Some dressed up in costumes and others in drag(y)

Next came a fun-filled time with Bill Clinton, Ews, laughter and hoorays

In an awesome amazing Cabaret.

Tree stories and cuddles galore

Went off to bed where some of us snored.

We woke up to pumpkin muffins and tea

We cleaned up the Powell House to the way it should be

We sang and had worship then ate some lunch

Then we had to leave though we were such a tight bunch

With hugs and cuddles we said our good-byes

While some of us had tears in our eyes.

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“It’s Great”

 6th –8th grade
November 21-23, 2014

This weekend we all had a lot of fun.  We had cool name whips like preferred pronouns for yourself (she, he, they), and “if you could have any present in the world, what would you give yourself?”  In sessions, we played fun games like Will You Buy My Anything? and Mrs. Mumbly.  In free time, we found other fun times to do.  In one free time on Saturday afternoon, we started a game of Banana Tag with a small group of people, but as the game progressed, more and more of the community joined in.  After Banana Tag, we came inside to gather in groups for our work projects like making gingerbread cookies, raking leaves, making pita bread, apple sauce, zebra cookies, hummus and a vegetable snack tray.  When we finished, we had a short unscheduled free time where some people played “around the world” at the basketball hoop. We had snack – most of the food we had prepared during work projects – and then three way massage.

Everyone sat down to a delicious supper.  For dessert we had the apple sauce that a group from work projects had made and we celebrated November and December birthdays.  We gathered with a game and shared how we answered three questions: What is light?  What is the inner light?  What does it mean to hold someone in the light?  In the darkened room, each person had a candle that they lit while thinking of  someone they wanted the group to hold in the light.  We had time to get ready for cabaret where people shared a variety of skits and talents.  We then had a bon fire to follow the previous light ceremony.

On Sunday, we all cleaned up our rooms and packed our bags while thinking about what wonder full weekend we had had, yet the weekend wasn’t over yet.  We still had breakfast, more session (with games, clean up and singing) and lunch to look forward to.

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Dark & Light

December 5 to 7, 2014
4th & 5th Grade

Ah, yes.  A new PoHo weekend!  We arrived and ate a delicious dinner of spaghetti, played sound charades, pretended to be seeds in the dark earth and then heard the story of the Biggedy-Boo and went to bed.

After a delicious breakfast we played Snakes in the Grass and did a Qi Gong energy exercise.  We broke off into small groups before lunch held one another in the light, made tissue paper candle holders and led each other blindfolded around the ACC.   After lunch we did our work projects (cookies!).  We made Zebra cookies, Mamoul (date ball) cookies, Chocolate Almond Candy canes, Coconut Balls and Deviled Eggs.  After work projects and free time, we played Head Honcho, then did three-way massage.  After supper, we played the Blanket game.  Our beautiful little candle holders were lit and distributed across the vast realm of…the DOWNSTAIRS.  We found them in the dark and sat quietly by them thinking about what made us light up inside then came all back together in a colorful glowing heart in the Common Room.  After that it was (finally) time for Cabaret!  After a snack of Date cookies and coconut balls, it was bed time.

We woke up to make our beds, but it paid off when we found out it was bagel breakfast day.  We found out about the upcoming conferences and played Primate Bellows with a side of Mrs. Mumbly.  We shared what light we saw in each other in two affirmation circles.  After a short free time, we sang songs and had a cheesy pizza lunch.  We said good-bye at the end of a fun PoHo weekend.

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Winter Song 2014

December 12-14, 2014

7th-12th grade (80 youth)


-- Sung to the tune of The Grinch --


You’re a sweet place Powell House

You have warm hugs for miles

We arrive to cheerful faces

With some new and some old

And eat Jacki’s world famous

Pasta with cheese on top

You’re a cool place Powell House

You’ve got warm hearts in each room

You’re as cuddly as a couch pile

Powell House

You have passion that inspires

With love and laughter like no other

And as charming as a prince

Powell House

You’re a triple decker love, peace,

Warmth and more than friends

But family

Sandwich with arsenic sauce.

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Oh So Sweet 

9th – 12th Conference

February 6-8, 2015

 We arrived Friday night excited for the weekend ahead.  We sat down to a scrumptious dinner of spaghetti and sausage.  After dinner we had a session with a wagon wheel and a thought provoking “Would you rather …?” activity.  After a fantastical reading from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we went to bed.

Saturday morning we woke up to a delicious breakfast of bagels and eggs.  We had a fun game of Kitty Wants A Corner during session before splitting into two groups.  One group cooked sweet treats for the rest of the conference including truffles, chocolate cream pie (with tofu), and molé sauce.  The other group broke into small groups to talk about their sweetest day and the little things that make our lives sweet.  Free time was a little more dangerous than usual with sledding and wink’em.

Lunch of Jacki’s bread and our own chocolate chili was savorynot sweet, but still amazing.  In the afternoon the two groups switched to do another round of cooking projects and sharing our we make our lives sweet. Three way massage was relaxing break from the hectic rush of the weekend.  After self space, we went into an exotic dinner of chicken, or tofu, and molé sauce.  
We had a session where we discussed how we can make the world sweeter for others.  Cabaret was exciting as usual with singing, dancing, and Shakespearian Star Wars.  We had a snack of popcorn and breadsticks - the very ones we had made in the afternoon and baked during cabaret so they were hot.  Another reading from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sent us to bed with sweet thoughts in our heads.

We woke up Sunday morning sad that some had to leave early because of the weather.  We had a delicious breakfast of hash browns and hardboiled eggs.  We had a final session of Molly’s Game in the mix, then singing and worship before lunch.  We said good-bye sadly, but happy we had so many sweet memories


(Creative Artsy Terrific Stuff)
March 13-15, 2015
6th –8th grade

Dear Friends,

We came to be together as cat crafters.  We started off the weekend playing and eating and having a good time.  We lapped up the joys of friendship.  We played around with purr-fect cat puns.  Then we learned events of each other’s lives.  We were all juggling a lot of stuff.  Our growing hearts openly shared all of our stories, in the gift of silence.  We let our inner kitten out with play.  We wrapped our tails around the three nurture questions, caring for ourselves and the people around us. 

Sharing a painting experience helped us connect.  We never used PoHo as a scratching post.  Instead, we chased balls of yarn in a knitting frenzy.  A cat-stretch and a nice massage helped us release tension.  We did small group activities to help us balance and that life is hard but you need to have faith and celebrate Pi Day.  Instead of cabaret we had “Cat-beret” with jokes and music.  It was magical. 

We’ll take home our colorful group experiences and memories of couch piles and the gift of friendship.  We could have not done it without all of the creative working together.


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Earth Song 2015

7th - 12th grade

May 23 – 25, 2015

It's the year 2015, the month of May, the weekend of Memorial day.  The young Powell House youth attenders gathered with the seniors one last time before they adventured off into the world to find jobs, significant others to spend their lives with, and pets if they can't find those things.  It started on Saturday, weirdly enough, with arrivals, hugs, obnoxiously loud screaming and crying (joy), and a supper of spaghetti, salad and meat things.  After dinner, people played some kind of sport and there was much rejoicing.  This then led to session where we broke off into groups led by our awesome youth directors, JCs and adult presences.  We played the world debut of a new game: Melbow Ratts.  (Elbow tag and Rattler & Miner combined).  People partnered up and found out information about each other like how far they have walked in one day.  Bedtime came next with a story and a song.

The next day came far too quickly, leaving everyone tired the next morning.  But with the help of coffee and Jacki's home fries, people soon got into the PoHo spirit.  After breakfast crew, and couch piles, was session #2 where we played some quick games of head honcho, streets and alleys, and outbreak with our small groups and then ventured into the first workshops of the day.  Some had cooking, others had improv, but everyone had fun.  Free time and lunch followed and people finally got to eat outside – Thank you, Sun!  Then we had our second round of workshops.  After that there was a session where everyone realized how close the weekend was to ending (insert frown face icon).  Three way massage followed and then an extremely relaxing self space when some slept, walked or showered. As that came to an end people began preparing for the amazing dress-up dinner.  Everyone looked so beautiful!

 Following dinner came cabaret with talent and passion and complaining.  After free time, featuring a techno dance party DJed by AP Andy and a long night time walk around the pond, the group came together for a story about the demise of Señor Pez.  After a beautiful eulogy, the group went to bed.

Monday morning came like a slap in the face, with eggs for breakfast and a sad graduation for lunch.  We will forever love and cherish the time we got to spend with our beloved seniors.  So go out into the world and don't screw it up!

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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