What are MSF gatherings like?

A typical Middle School Friends gathering consists of anywhere between 15 and 35 middle schoolers and 6-10 adults (staff and volunteers). Our program is a mix of play, discussion, spiritual education, arts/music, and community-building activities.

Middle School Friends gatherings vary widely in theme and focus, but they all have several things in common:

  • Every MSF gathering gives participants the opportunity to explore Quakerism and spirituality.
  • Every MSF gathering offers a safe space for middle schoolers to be authentic and open.
  • Every MSF gathering has a mix of high energy running around, low energy winding down/sleepy time, wild wacky fun and thoughtful exploration of new ideas.
  • Every MSF gathering has a mix big and small group activities.
  • Every MSF gathering includes workshops, games, worship, and community building.

 

Below is a sample gathering schedule. The bold items are concepts or activities that appear at every or almost every Middle School Friends gathering throughout the year, although the order may change.

Friday Saturday Sunday
7:00 Breakfast prep small group gets up 7:00 Breakfast crew gets up and packs
7:30 Everyone else gets up; crew reports to the kitchen 7:30 Everyone else gets up and packs, gets stuff ready to go
8:00 Breakfast 8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Breakfast clean up 8:30 Breakfast clean-up
9:00 Small group session: worship sharing 9:45 Meeting for worship with a concern for business
10:00 large group workshop/game/activity/ project 10:30 Stomp circle (appreciating one another)
11:30 Lunch prep 11:00 Worship with our host meeting
Noon Lunch 12:00 The end, get picked up, leftovers are up for grabs!
12:30 clean up/ free time
1:15 Large or small group workshop/game/activity/project
3:15 Often multiple workshops at the same time, with MSFers choosing the one that best fits for them
4:30 Activities by grade level
5:30 Dinner set up
6:00 Dinner
6-7 Everyone arrives, welcome! 6:30 Dinner clean-up
7:30 Program begins, intro games, discussion of guidelines/rules 7:30 Evening event: Dance/talent show/ ice skating/graduation depending on the event
8:30 Small group introductions, game worship sharing 9:00 small group session
9:30 Snack and clean up 9:30 Snack
10:00 Bedtime and staff meeting 10:00 Prepare for bed: story time/singing/guided meditation
10:30 Lights out 10:30 Lights out