Farmington-Scipio Region Youth Institute:
Acknowledging, Affirming and Continuing to Build a Community of Practice Around Youth Work
March 4, 2017 at Rochester Meeting

A community of practice is a “group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better. Members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information. They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other. Members of a community of practice are practitioners. They develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems—in short, a shared practice.”

–Etienne Wenger

This will be a daylong conference for reflecting on, celebrating and strengthening youth work and youth workers throughout the Farmington-Scipio region, facilitated by Melinda Wenner Bradley, Chris DeRoller and Mike Clark and sponsored by the region.  

As a group we will:

  • Share what we are passionate about: why we do this work and what of our own experience with Friends we wish to share with our children. The “why” of the work. (Goals)
  • Describe the current and hoped-for youth program culture within the Farmington-Scipio region: the characteristics, values, behaviors, knowledge and skills that define it. (Our Condition)
  • Explore how expectations of families, of youth, and of youth workers intertwine or collide and identify ways of creating and communicating shared expectations among participants. (Expectations)
  • Develop a plan for sustaining a community of practice around youth work in the Farmington-Scipio Region. (Scaffolding)

In the process, our hope is that individual participants will gain new tools and learning to bring back home to their meetings. Plus experience joyful, spirit-filled, deep community.
 Melinda is the Children and Youth Field Secretary for New York Yearly meeting. She has extensive experience in both leading workshops and retreats for adults interested in Quaker spiritual formation, and creating programs for children and youth.  She is also co-founder of the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative. Her work weaves together interests in children’s spiritual lives, program development and how to support families in local meeting communities.

Chris and Mike are the Youth Program Directors for Powell House.   They have 17 years of experience designing and facilitating both multigenerational retreats and youth retreats for 4th –12th graders.  They have trained scores of teens and young adults as youth workers.   They are particularly interested in the intersection of play and Quaker practice and in creating spaces where youth and others experience the divine.

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