2905 Camp Swatara Rd
Bethel, PA 19507
Young Friends gatherings create a fun and vibrant community of high-school-aged Quakers and Quaker-friendly folks!
Come join Young Friends for a weekend of fun and community in the woods! We’ll open with games and worship sharing on Friday night, and on Saturday everyone will have the opportunity to hike the rock pile and part of the Appalachian Trail (though there will be an alternate activity for those who do not want to hike). Saturday will continue with workshops and community with Caln Quarter, a meeting with PYM’s Zachary Dutton about staff changes and next year’s gatherings, the annual intergenerational talent show, and singing at the traditional bonfire. On Sunday morning both MSF and YF programs will join together for a bridging / graduation ceremony, in which current 8th graders will be welcomed into the Young Friends program and 12th graders will be welcomed by Young Adult Friends, followed by closing worship with Caln Quarter.
What to Bring:
Bring along clothes, toiletries and bedding for a weekend (but not a sleeping mat! We sleep on bunk beds with mattresses at Swatara. Bring sheets and warm blankets or a sleeping bag + pillow). Camp Swatara also has showers, so bring along shampoo and a towel if you like. It is usually cold at night and in the morning so make sure to bring layers! Check out the standard packing list for further items. Make sure to bring along any Young Friends forms you have not yet completed for this year.
Arrival & Departure:
Camp Swatara is located at 2905 Camp Swatara Rd. in Bethel, which is Northwest of Reading, PA. Make sure you are driving to the right place, as there is a Bethel township in Southeastern PA as well. Arrive between 6pm and 7pm on Friday evening. Please come fed – although there will be snacks, no dinner will be served. Pick up is after lunch on Sunday at 1pm.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What’s the sleeping situation at Swatara? Camp Swatara provides bunk beds with foam mattresses in uninsulated (read: cold at night) cabins. Cabins are divided by gender. If the participant requires a non-gendered sleeping space for any reason contact firstname.lastname@example.org so arrangements can be made!
How do I get financial aid to attend a gathering? Full and partial financial aid is available to all Young Friends for all gatherings. To receive financial aid, simply enter the amount you are able to pay in the online registration. This financial flexibility is made possible by two funds: the Sergei Thomas/Haley Yarmark fund, which memorializes two Young Friends who died before their time (1948 and 2007 respectively), and the Tyson scholarship fund.
Is transportation help available? An email containing a carpool list will go out to all youth registrants about 10 days before the gathering. Those who need rides are encouraged to contact others near them to find one and vice versa for those with space in their cars.