|Transitions||3rd- 4th with parent||Aug 31 - Sept 2|
|Evolution||9th -12th||Sept 14-16, 2018|
|Clan Tastic||6th - 8th||Sept 21-23, 2018|
|Super Hero You||4th - 5th||Oct 5 - 7, 2018|
|Junior Counselor Training||Oct 12 - 14, 2018|
|I Hear You||6th - 8th||Nov 2 - 4, 2018|
|Connectivity||young adults, including 11th -12th||Nov 16 -18, 2018|
|That's The Spirit||4th - 5th||Dec 7 - 9, 2018|
|WinterSong||7th - 12th||Dec 14 -16, 2018|
|Art and You: Gotta Love It||9th -12th||Jan 11-13, 2019|
|Meet Death||6th - 8th||Jan 19-21, 2019|
|It's All Around Us||Young Adults||Feb 1-3, 2019|
|Greens, Blues, and Other Hues||4th -5th||Feb 15-17, 2019|
|Comfortably Uncomfortable||6th -8th||March 1-3, 2019|
|Escape Into Now||9th -12th||March 8-10, 2019|
|FCNL Spring Lobby Weekend||9th -12th||March 22-26|
|Love Those Trees||3rd - 5th||April 26-28, 2019|
|Journey to the Center||5th - 7th||May 10 -12, 2019|
|Earth Song||7th -12th||May 31 - June 2|
|Reunion classes 2014 -2017||young adult||June 7-9|
|Wild Edibles I||3rd - 5th||June 14-16|
|UnWinding||9th -12th||July 4-7|
|Stars Above, Earth Below||rising 6th - 8th||July 12-14|
9th to 12th Grade
September 14-16, 2018
We arrived Friday night, welcomed to a dinner of salad, rice, naan and curry. We greeted friends, new and old, and hurried into session and news of me. During session we supported one another as we built an imaginary Bernini Fountain. We then shared about our core selves and things we have experienced as true and also situations that had caused us to change After, we settled into free time. Later we gathered outside to stargaze and listen to a great story. We sang a song and went to bed.
The next morning, we awoke to the smells of French toast sticks and eggs and sausage. We had another session, which included building a raft, burning burdens we wanted to let go of, and then sending the raft and ashes onto the pond. We began the session with a brief silence, which centered us as we moved into a listening exercise and then shared where we saw light shining through in the world.
After some free time with couch piles and jokes from the joke book, we had a lunch of veggie sandwiches and salad. We played an impressive game of wink’em with no casualties (but some rug burn). We separated into small groups to do work projects: berry picking, lopping vines, cooking with Tony and cleaning up the campground, fire pit area and the labyrinth. After, a group of us cooled down by swimming in the pond. Another group of us played the first of many games of Mao a card game that developed our skills in non-verbal communication.
After a calming free time, we settled into 3-way massage and self-space. We had a dinner of savory puff pastries and more salad. We sang Happy Birthday to all of us and had macaroons (and sorbet) made by our lovely kitchen crew. Evening session began as we “passed the face” dissolving frequently into laughter. We had spirited and thoughtful conversations in small groups about the components of the youth program that could be uncomfortable initially but that helped us grow individually and as a community. These included “news of me”, small groups, wink ‘em, 3-way massage, couch piles and sitting in silence.
We enjoyed a fabulous cabaret and had many different activities. Some of us had a dance party and some took a night walk to a bonfire while others played Mao or piled on the couches. We listened to another story, sang a song, and went off to bed.
The next morning, we cleaned our rooms and had a delicious breakfast of bagels, oatmeal and fruit. We cleaned the ACC then gathered for our final session. We spent some time coming up with conference ideas for the coming year. We talked about what activities and questions might be part of the themed weekends. We ended with singing and a gathered worship. We had an amazing pizza lunch and bid farewell to our friends.
Throughout the weekend, our theme was evolution. We explored how we as individuals, as a community and as the world are evolving and want to evolve. Our conversations were rich and interesting and gave us much to think about.
On Friday, we arrived and greeted each other. There was pasta for dinner. Afterwords, we had session and discussed the meaning of clans and which ones we are part of.
The next morning, we got into our new clans and cjose our names. We went into the woods to see our clan territory and planned how our clan would operate.
In the afternoon we played Clan Quest, trying to capture the other clans treasures and win lives from the Wise Women. (Note: the kids have asked that this game be redesigned to make it more collaborative so all the clans reach a goal together.) After the game, we came back for snack, 3 way massage and guided meditation. Then we went into self space.
After dinner everyone was SO excited for cabaret that we skipped the sessio0n and went right into cabaret. There were jokes, pillow racing, bus stop, musical performances and a great JC skit. Later, some people went for a night walk to see an almost full moon. We stopped to look at the clouds, the moon, and their reflection in the water. ON the way back we found glow worms in the grass.
Next, everyone had snack and some people danced in the common room.
On Sunday we cleaned up, had session, and sang songs together. We had pizza for lunch and hugged our friends good-bye. After a fun and meaningful weekend, we all knew each other better and had learned about working together in our PoHo clan.
4th & 5th Grade
October 5-7, 2018
This weekend we had a super hero themed time. We made a mask and received our powers. During Super Hero training we got to practice skills including observation, coordination and imagination by drawing, throwing, catching, creating stories, identifying squiggles, noticing what changed, figuring out what was in a box, working together to get a ball under and over a limbo stick. With our super powers and in teams, we saved the JCs.
Yay too for marshmallows and the awesome super hero training staff.
November 2-4, 2018
6th to 8th Grade
Hello Parents and Families,
This weekend involved lots of pillow/couch piles, ping pong and tons of piano. We had a lot of interesting conversations and a couple of hard ones. Oliver D liked Sardines in the dark. Gemma liked Cabaret and Jon E liked free time. This conference the theme was “I Hear You” listening to other people, other people’s bodies and ourselves and our bodies. One of the exercises/activities we did was sitting back to back with another person and in turns leaning on them and going back and forth. This gave your concentration to the person and you felt the warmth of their back on yours. Noah says it was fun and the hike was cool.
The hike must have been the highlight of the weekend. We went up high on a grassy hill. The hill is on our neighbor Lynn Cross’s farm. There is a gravestone and some flowers for Nicholas Kolesnikoff, Lynn’s son. We looked at the Catskills across the valley and the wind blew our hair. Then we walked back and had chocolate bread. Noah brought down some herbs (thyme) that he’d found and Tony our cook put them into the olive honey chicken for dinner.
In conclusion, we had lots of laughter and couch piles.
Young Adults (including 11th & 12th grade)
Nov 16-18, 2018
Despite an early November snow, on Friday evening we all established a physical connection to Powell House. Over the weekend we explored themes of connectivity of all kinds through intimate small group discussions and guided meditation (both back-to-back and individually on the floor). We strengthened our connections with trust falls and games, such as wink’em muddy ultimate Frisbee, Honduran hat game, will you buy my donkey, and many card games. Our weekend was punctuated with cuddly free times and several cozy fires in the fire place. We took a meditative, snowy walk to the Cornfield this time. Cabaret was delightful, if brief, followed by an “epic 2000s dance party.” We learned about Mike’s fish eating habits, as applied to romance as well. Our food this weekend, brought to us by Tony, was excellent as always. Overall, our weekend was defined by our wonderful small group discussions, and our feeling of unity and closeness.
4th & 5th Grade
Dec 7 - 9, 2018
Powell House is really fun. We came to JC* or be JCed*, to hang out with friends and to make new friends. It’s a place where people don’t tease you. And when we have conflicts we try to work them out.
We connected by talking to each other and playing games and by having new roommates. Three-way massage connected us to the whole group. Painting to music connected us to our creative spirit.
We’re going home with our friends phone numbers, a better understanding of what spirit is, hopefully with a smile on our faces, good memories and happy feelings. And carrying our new friends in our hearts.
*JC is a junior counselor – the high school youth who help facilitate the conferences for the younger kids.
December 14-16, 2018
7th to 12th grade
This weekend we came together from various corners of the northeast to celebrate winter’s arrival and all the joyous holidays that come along with it. We explored themes of family tradition, belonging, and what brings us hope. Amidst the cold, our life’s challenges, and a tumultuous political climate, we hunkered down together and kept each other warm, safe, and loved.
Starting the weekend we settled in and caught up with our friends. After dinner we had free time. In session we broke up into small groups and talked about our favorite winter memory. We created ornaments out of ourselves and then broke into News of Me. We shared moments of happiness and some sadness. Then free time again. We went off to bed.
On Saturday we had session then workshops where we made cookies, decorated the tree, cut vines, conversed about the universe, spirituality and alternate perceptions of the world, made music, played games or participated in a blind-folded walk to Dorson’s Rock. We had free time again, then lunch. Right after lunch we did our workshops once more, this time with dining room decorating, a book discussion group and improv added into the mix. Then later that day we had 3-way massage and the main attraction of the night, the dress up dinner. An impromptu dance party ensued afterwards. Then we had Cabaret with many great acts. There were jokes, performances, and poetry. We watched the Grinch and spoke about how he is actually very scary. Then, still cozily piled into the corners of the common room and spilling out towards the center, we sang “Here Comes The Sun” and settled into a moving silence with the query “What has given you hope in the last week?” We broke the silence by lighting the hope tree and hearing a beautiful Hebrew song of peace sung by two of our friends.
On Sunday we cleaned our rooms and beautified the building. We gathered for one more large group game and an affirmation activity then sang ourselves into worship to close our time together.
Over the course of this weekend we recharged our batteries, celebrated our differences and lit up our hope tree with love, joy and a continuing commitment to changing our world. We will all bring home a piece of that light and the memories of loving, good people who perpetually lift us up.
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It was a Friday
We re-kindled our friendships
Food was super sublime
We drew and others drew too
Cabaret was cool
Haikus are quite hard
Sunday morning is so sleepy
I don’t want to leave
Highlights of the conference: Learning to crochet, ART! Especially collaborative art projects & little canvasses & yarn crafts, Nature walk to get inspired, the numbers of games especially 4 on a couch, Tony Shiri & Art’s food! Good amount of free time, Great cabaret.
Jan 19-21, 2019
6th - 8th grade
During this conference, we discussed a lot of thought-provoking questions about death, grieving, how to recognize grief and how to cope with it. Despite the sad subject, it was a laughter-filled and loving conference. We all enjoyed the delicious food, new games and, most especially, the hilarious cabaret.
Due to snow, we started Saturday at noon and ended on Monday mid-day. Saturday started with games like “Elbow Tag”, sharing our expectations and a round of “What Is This” with a scythe. The evening had a snowy, full-moon walk in the forest and a bonfire.
On Sunday, we woke up at 8 and had a filling breakfast. Shortly after, we played “What Are You Doing” and discussed the safety guidelines for sledding and boot skating on the pond session. We all went outside in the snow and chose whether to sled or shovel so we could boot skate. Sledding was super fun but exhausting and boot skating was fun but it was kind of hard to shovel. Otherwise, we all had loads of fun skating around.
Lunch soon came around and afterwards we played a quick game of “Rattler and Miner.” In small groups, we discussed topics like grieving, dealing with loss, and supporting others who are grieving. Something that we did to explore the theme of the weekend was to read a memorial minute for a woman named Ellen Flanders and discussed ways Quakers have memorial services. We talked about stages of grief. During this entire conference we learned a better understanding of death and how to acknowledge it.
We then had free time with a fun and loving couch pile. We finally had check-in and then a much-anticipated three-way massage. After a relaxing massage or a nice book with soothing music, we had self-space which many enjoyed. Soon after we had supper and another session to play “Wax Museum” and “Molly’s Game” - an exercise in affirmations.
Then we had cabaret!!! It had great improv skits, music and a fun talk about a lizard conspiracy. We had more free time afterwards and a Native American story to think about before bed.
All in all, it was a fun yet serious educational experience. We learned how to comfortably talk about the idea of death and grieving. We all get to take home a new perspective on death.