Youth Epistles 2019-2020

Are You For Real  6th - 8th  Sept 13-15
Future Scape 9th - 12th Grade Sep. 27-29, 2019
Tag Not Tag 4th - 5th Oct 4-6, 2019


Future Scape

9th - 12th Grade

September 27-19, 2019

On Friday night we all arrived, some of us adjusting to new schools and social situations. We were met with joy and laughter and bright smiles from dear friends. We enjoyed a spaghetti dinner and conversation. We then circled up for session where we practiced the playful tradition of dancing the Salty Dog Rag. After a great deal of stumbling and mirth, we sat and listened to a beautiful song “Everything Possible.” The song was soothing and allowed us to release some built up tension about the future. We discussed what parts of the song were most meaningful to us and when we feel most comfortable being ourselves. We then settled into silence to share news in our lives. People carried different burdens and we were able to connect more deeply by sharing with each other. After some free time, we formed a big huggle and went off to bed.

We rose the next morning, ate, and circled up for session once again. This time, we exercised our imaginations in an improv game called “Will You Buy My Anything.” After a lot of laughter we formed small groups where we discussed the Quaker practice of discerning what is important in life. We realized many of the things that seemed important were not deeply important in our lives. We discussed other’s expectations for our futures and the resulting pressure we felt.

We then moved outdoors where we grounded ourselves through listening and connected to the group’s energy.

We walked up to Lynn’s field where we shared meaningful songs with ourselves and the wind. We then paired up and led each other around blindfolded, allowing us to connect and trust one another. We enjoyed indoor and outdoor work projects, then relaxed with a 3-way massage. After a relaxing self space we enjoyed dinner and some free time. We then moved into a light meditation where we processed hardships and important questions internally. We talked things through with trusted friends, then broke into more freetime with couch piles, games, and laughter.

After a Cabaret filled with creativity, beautiful music, and hilarity, we went off to bed, dreaming fondly of the future. We ended the conference with Molly’s game, singing, and worship.

Overall, we felt sessions were fun and light-hearted, yet carried the spiritual undertone had by all at Powell House gatherings. We felt that Powell House truly is a place where it’s okay to relax and be ourselves, and where personal growth is encouraged. During light meditation, we were able to make peace with ourselves and our lives just a little bit more. The tone of the conference was one of peace and contentment. We saw our friends again after a very long time apart, and were able to give them lots of hugs. One adult-ish presence said he re-met a lot of heckin’ dope people. We shared stories and experiences and all became wiser for it.

We left carrying new found wisdom, wonderful memories and contentment in our hearts.

 back to top

Tag Not Tag

4th - 5th grade
October 4-6, 2019

Games! Games! And more games!  Was the topic theme of this weekend, Tag Not Tag.  Therefore we were all really excited to get together on Friday night for a dinner of delicious macs and cheese. But before, while waiting for more friends to arrive, we played a fun game of Fruit Bowl.  After supper we all gathered in session for a few games such as Snake In the Grass and Snake Tag. Also we discussed what we like and did not like about games.  And we talked about what makes games fun for us individually. Next was snack with some free time before we jumped into our pajamas, heard a story and went to bed.  All knowing we had many more fun games to play.

Saturday morning we awoke with cheerful smiles, plenty of energy for the day to come and a wonderful breakfast of yummy pancakes.  Our name zip for the first session was something we enjoy in a group game.  After a funny game of Honey If You Love Me, we split up into small groups to discuss what isn’t fun about games.

Each group created a game of their own.  So once we got back into the larger group we had some some new games to play We played the three new games made by our small groups: Pick Pocket, Broken Economy, and Trolls and Treasure, which we went outside to play. We discussed what we liked about each game and how the rules got everyone included.  We shared and discussed our advice from small groups for having the most fun playing games.

We let out more energy during free time and then we got hungry. So lunch was served which consisted of quesadillas.  Our work project brought us together to rake the trails of the PoHo grounds.  Since we were already outside in the woods, and the adult presences and junior counselor got lost, we had to play a fun game of Wild People Eating Sardines In the Forest to save them.  With more free time we got even more of our energy out.  So we gathered back together for check-in and for massages.

After a relaxing self space, we were hungry again.  So Tony fed us all yummy chicken tenders and Tony fries.  Cabaret started with Animal Fashion and ending with Why Are You Late.  It was really getting late, so we all had some free time.  But by then we really ran out of energy for the day, so it was story time and then to bed.

Sunday morning we awoke, made our beds and had an oatmeal and bagel breakfast.  Everyone worked really hard on cleaning the building up before a fun game of Primate Bellows.  After a quick game of Fox and Squirrel (a tag version of passing balls around the circle), our affirmations of each other were done by passing a ball of yarn.  We made a web to connect us while also lifting up one in another. We had a little bit more free time with some individual games we came up with.  For our regathering session game we searched for Mel Mumbley ( note from youth director: a non-gendered, no age or married status implied adaptation of Mrs Mumbley), sang songs and settled in for worship.  We ate lunch and then parted ways. Upsetting to say good-bye and leave, but we had great time, made friends, and we were looking forward to the next conference.


from 4th - 5th graders
On playing games, but not just for games

    • Play fair.
    • Don’t cheat.
    • Make sure everyone is inlcuded.
    • Make it interesting.
    • Keep it simple.
    • Don’t make too many rules.
    • Communicate clearly
    • Listen to others.
    • Don’t change the rules to your advantage.

 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
phone  518-794-8811
fax     518-794-8815
Adult Program
Youth Program