Youth conferences are for those who wish to grow, share, and care in community. We welcome all youth. The group thrives in the wide diversity of spiritual traditions that our attenders bring. We practice and experience the testimonies of peace, equality, simplicity, integrity, and community in a variety of ways.
Chris DeRoller and Mike Clark, youth directors, lead the conferences. Powell House is the conference and retreat center of New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
Letter from our Fall 2018 Youth Brochure:
In a time of ever-fuller schedules and competing opportunities you may ask, “Why come to Powell House?” Why send your kids? Why invite your friends? Sure it can be a lot of fun and even deeply meaningful. But… it’s a long way to come for many of you. It’s a whole weekend commitment. You often share a room with people you may not know. You have to dodge ticks. We ask you to turn off your phone. There’s not much time for homework. We discourage laptops. With so many other good things happening around you, why come here?
Because here, together, we develop the skills needed to actively participate in the evolution of humankind. The evolution of humankind? Really? Really.
Here, through activities and discussions, you’ll hone your:
- Emotional literacy and empathy
- Active listening skills
- Ability to be present: to yourself, to others, to mystery
- Ability to articulate your experience
- Creative approaches to problem solving
- Situational awareness
- Joyful self-expression
- Sense of wonder and ongoing curiosity
As a participant in the youth program, you are part of a cultural revolution that is reshaping how we interact with our environment and those in it. It is work being done around the world and at home. It is a revolution that values listening, respect, honesty, touch. It is a culture that is both playful and serious. That is open and inclusive but does not tolerate bullying or apathy. That accepts us where we are yet challenges each of us to stretch and grow. That is strong enough and loving enough to reject fear and embrace what is real.
Of course one of the things that is real is our need to stay, if not in the black, at least in the pink. So we’ve had to raise our fee for the youth program to $160 per conference. As always, financial aid is available upon request. We ask you to pay as much of the full cost as you are able to and we will waive the remainder. We also know that the program benefits from having a solid core of youth who attend regularly. To encourage, support and hopefully broaden that group we are offering frequent attender discounts. Attend two or more conferences in the fall and receive $30 off each conference.
Being present here is a gift you give to yourself and the youth program. It almost always nurtures you, the group gathered and the wider community. It prepares you to positively engage with an ever-changing world. And it really is a whole lot of fun.
Peace, Joy, Love, Play
Chris DeRoller and Mike Clark
What is a youth retreat?
It is a place to be safe and open, a time to rest and reflect, and a group in which to feel deep relationships. You bring yourself and not much else: a commitment to respect and be present for the other attenders, some clean clothes, a willingness to be open to the experiences that present themselves, and anything that is listed in the confirmation letter. It is a weekend to step back from the busy world and leave behind the stuff that clutters our lives. We sing, dance and slouch on the couch. We swim, sled and swing. We play games, learn names and share a massage. We sit, we run and we nap. In the midst of all that, we connect with ourselves and each other.
AGE GROUPS: We have three age groups.
- 4th & 5th grade
- 6th to 8th grade
- High School (9th to 12th grade)
Conferences begin with registration at 6:15 p.m. on Friday evening and dinner is at 7:15 p.m. Conferences end after lunch at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday unless otherwise noted. Sunday worship (singing and silence) is from 11:15 - 12:15, we strongly discourage pick-ups during this time.
$160. Longer conferences will cost more. Scholarships are available for all Powell House Youth Program conferences. Tell us how much you need. First-timers receive the $30.00 Youth First-Timer Discount.
There is an additional $30 late registration fee if you register less than one week before the event. Last minute registrations take more time to process and confirm, as well as taking significant time away from preparations for the event.
Our new fee structure will start August 1, 2018 (beginning of our program year)
Fee for standard two night conference: $160
For three night conference: $200
Fee for a parent/child weekend: $200 per pair
First Time Discount: $40
Late Registration (1 week or less before a conference) $30
Frequent attenders discount:
Attend two or more conferences in a season and receive $30 off for each conference. Register for two or more conferences at the same time to receive the discount.
A season is the time period covered by our semi-annual brochures: 1) August - December 2) January - July
Make sure we know your travel plans at least 72 hours prior to each conference.
Whether you need a ride or if you have room for riders in your car, please check the carpool box on the registration. We will make one list and send it to everyone on the list.
From points south, Amtrak stops in Hudson at 5:15. From the west Amtrak stops at the Albany/Rensselaer station at 7:00 p.m. (www.Amtrak.com for reserving tickets and more info).
You will need to arrange for a taxi from the station to Powell House. (Green Bee We Taxi Service 518-392-0461). If you check the box on the registration form, we’ll send you a list of other attendees traveling by train. We are about 30-45 minutes from the train stations. The Green Bee We taxi service is one of our neighbors and we have sent our own kids with her. Her phone number is: (518) 392-0461
We supply bed linens and towels. Bring casual clothing and outdoor wear. During swim season bring swim suits and beach towels; during winter, ice skates. Powell House has a stereo system for CDs and connection for MP3 players, so you may bring appropriate music to share with your friends.
DO NOT BRING:
Please leave radios, cell phones, laptop computers, and other electronic devices at home. Cigarettes, other tobacco, e-cigarettes or vaping, illegal drugs and alcohol are not allowed at conferences.
Tasty, nutritious vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals and snacks are provided. Please do not bring your own snacks and food unless you speak to Mike or Chris first.
LOST & FOUND:
Items are only kept one month, so claim them immediately. There is a $5.00 + postage charge for mailing lost items. Labeling clothes helps get them home.
AT THE END OF THE CONFERENCE:
Those leaving by car should by picked up by 1:30.
Those traveling by Amtrak train should arrange to be picked up at Powell House an hour before their train is scheduled to depart. We are 45 minutes from the Hudson train station (south bound folks) and 45 minutes from the Albany-Rensselaer station (west bound and north).
FINANCIAL AID & DISCOUNTS:
Scholarship monies are available for those who need them. Pay what you can. We ask that everyone pay at least the $30 deposit, but let us know if that is a hardship at any time. Write the amount of aid you need for each conference on your registration form. There is a $30 discount for first timers. Don't forget that your local Meeting may also be a source of assistance.
Our sources of financial aid include the Mark Seiler Memorial Fund, NYYM Black Concerns Committee, Nine Partners Quarterly Meeting, and several monthly meetings.
Register early! Space is often limited. Please register at least three weeks before the first conference you would like to attend. Fill out the registration form and send it with a $30 per person per conference deposit to: THE POWELL HOUSE YOUTH PROGRAM, 524 PITT HALL ROAD, OLD CHATHAM, NY, 12136-3410. Or find a conference and register on line here.
CONFIRMATIONS & CANCELLATIONS:
Confirmations are mailed approximately two weeks before each conference. If you must cancel, call us immediately, as we often have a waiting list. If you cancel by 5 p.m. the Friday one week before a conference, your deposit will be credited to another conference, or returned. You will be notified if you are on the waiting list.
IF YOU HAVE A CONTAGIOUS ILLNESS, PLEASE STAY HOME:
Germs travel quickly here. We will either return or forward your deposit to the next conference. Just let us know as soon as possible. We'll look forward to seeing you next time.
Guest fees only cover 50% of our operating budget. The balance is raised through fund appeals. We encourage and appreciate any contribution you can make to help. All contributions are tax-deductible.
The purpose of the Powell House Youth Center is to be a gathering point for young people.
The basis for all that goes on here is spiritual.
From this basis, growth is fostered – growth of love, leadership, acceptance, honesty, sensitivity to the needs of others, and self-knowledge. These elements become a way of life.
We translate spiritual light into the realities of day-to-day living. There is risk involved in living honestly and openly.
The purpose of the Powell House Youth Center is to be a place where it is safe to be vulnerable.
- November 1974 Youth Planning Conference