Young Friends Survey!

Young Friends

Are you a Quaker in the PYM area (Pennsylvania – Delaware – Southern New Jersey – Eastern shore Maryland)? Are you also: a high school aged person, the parent of a high school aged person, someone who attended Young Friends and completed high school within the last few years? If any of these describe you, then the PYM Young Friends Program …

Former Young Friends Invited to Visit YF Christmas Gathering

Young Friends

We’re coming to the end of the fall and with it, the close of the “reunion season” for many high schools and colleges – however December is the prime reunion time for the Young Friends (YF) community, as many newly graduated Young Friends are back in town for the holidays. In past years it’s been somewhat unclear how former Young …

Consequences in Community

Young Friends

“Community” is a word that comes up a lot in the Young Friends program. It summons lots of warm-fuzzy feelings of acceptance, sharing, closeness and trust. This summer at the 2014 Camp Onas gathering, Young Friends started the process of taking further responsibility for their community by engaging with the guidelines, revising them to reflect current commitments and needs. This …

New Logo for Young Friends Community!

Young Friends

You’ve probably seen one: the T-shirt with a silhouetted circle of old-fashioned Quaker youth holding hands with the words “Young Friends” in an arch above the image. These well-loved shirts have been worn with pride by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Young Friends and adults who were associated with that program for over a decade! While these T-shirts remain dear to our hearts, current Young …

An Exceptional Experience

Young Friends

The Young Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting call 5-day gathering with the wider Yearly Meeting at Annual Sessions “an exceptional experience.” Here’s what else they have to say: Dear Friends, Young Friends would like to recognize the epistle put forth by the members of PYM. With more than 20 people attending, we began the gathering with several games focused on community …

Update: Youth Programs Transgender Policy Reconciliation Process

Young Friends

The beginning of Summer has brought with it a sense of affirmation and relief to many Friends as a formal reconciliation process concerning the PYM Transgender Youth Policy has concluded its initial steps. This past winter, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting asked the Traveling Ministries service of Friends General Conference to help our community address and resolve the various conflicts and hurt …

It’s Gonna Be Great! Annual Sessions 2014

Young Friends

“I’ve just got a feeling. It’s gonna be great!” Arthur Larabee, General Secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, stood before his staff during staff meeting with palpable anticipation. He’s excited about Annual Sessions this year, and you should be too! Annual Sessions, taking place July 23rd through 27th, is the gathering of Friends from all over Philadelphia Yearly Meeting at Muhlenberg College …

Young Friends Approve New Leadership

Young Friends

The first weekend in May, PYM Young Friends gathered at Camp Swatara, in Bethel, Pennsylvania for fellowship and fun with PYM Middle School Friends and the Friends of Caln Quarter. It was a weekend of hiking, laughing, singing, and sharing; of saying goodbye to our graduating Friends and welcoming those becoming Young Friends. Young Friends also attended to several items …

Young Friends & Education Standing Committee – A Reconciliation Opportunity

Young Friends

Last summer, the Education Standing Committee approved a policy titled “Supporting Transgender Youth Participants in Young Friends.” The Young Friends community experienced disruption, hurt and anger when they learned of the contents of the policy, which called for new practices in the program that were not affirming to participants’ gender identities. This policy as well as many of the reactions …

Discerning Liaisons to Wider PYM Community

Young Friends

The Young Friends Discernment Committee was created by a business meeting in December of 2013 to steward the nominations process for Young Friend leadership positions. Historically, the only positions that have gone through a nominations process in the Young Friends community are the Clerk positions, however, at the same business meeting in December, the Young Friends community charged the new …

The End of “It’s too far awaaaay!”

Young Friends

Have you ever read seen the location of a youth programs event and thought to yourself, “Oh look. It’s another gathering for cool young people my age / my friends that’s taking place hours and hours away from where I live … I guess I’m not going to go this time.” Or maybe it’s more like, “What?! The next gathering …

Worship and Young Friends: A Continuing Revelation

Young Friends

Waiting worship is one of the most quintessential characteristics of FGC-affiliated Quakers, yet many of us benefit from multiple means of accessing Spirit. Many (though not all!) young people often feel challenged by sitting quietly with the intention to focus inwardly, listening for that rather elusive still small voice. Inspired by suggestions from the Young Friends Clerking team, the Young …

New Adult Clerk of Young Friends!

Young Friends

The Young Friends Sustainability gathering that took place November 1st through 3rd at Lancaster Friends Meeting had many moments of classic Young Friend-ly fun and celebration. Whether we were whizzing down the long and steep slide in the back yard, warming up by an outdoor fire post-service-project protecting native plants, or dancing the wobble in elaborate Halloween wear at the …

Young Friends and the Rewards of Committee Work

Young Friends

“Throughout the week we… formed new committees to attend to the evolving needs of YF business…” This quote from the Young Friends epistle of this summer’s Camp Onas gathering refers to a new development in the Young Friends community, a concept with which the average Quaker reader may be familiar – committees!  In recent years, the Young Friends community has …

Young Friends Epistle – Camp Onas Gathering 2013

Young Friends

To friends everywhere: This year’s Camp Onas YF Gathering was a huge success and tons of fun!  We had visits from YF alums and were reunited with friends not seen since our last gathering.  We also met friends new to the Young Friends community.  We enjoyed the experience together. Throughout the week we actively participated in various workshops, formed new …

Honoring Zan Lombardo, Outgoing Adult Clerk of Young Friends

Young Friends

Have you ever had a person in your life who sticks up for you, gives you guidance and comfort when you’re feeling lost, encourages when you are uncertain – a person who will laugh uproariously with you, play as long and hard and fun as you, and dare you to dance just that much more freely?  If you have, you …

New Youth Programs Assistant!

Middle School Friends, Young Friends

PYM’s Young Friends and Middle School Friends Programs are pleased to announce Kody Hersh as the Youth Programs Assistant. The Youth Programs Assistant is a new position that incorporates the former Young Friends Program Assistant and the Middle School Friends Program Assistant into a single role, creating greater continuity between the two programs and providing a familiar face and personality …

Changes in Young Friends Staffing

Young Friends

Cookie Caldwell has served Philadelphia Yearly Meeting as the Young Friends Coordinator for 34 years. He is leaving some big shoes to fill when he retires at the end of December – this is a change Young Friends hasn’t seen in generations. Literally, Cookie’s gatherings include the grandchildren of his earliest program participants! Careful consideration has been given to the …