Middle School Friends came together for our Winter Wonderland gathering January 18th-20th, our first gathering of 2013. 25 Middle School Friends and 8 Friendly Adult Presences (FAPS) gathered at Newtown Meeting for a weekend focused around joys and sorrows, happiness and sadness, and thinking about finding joy even in the cold, dark days of winter.
During the weekend we took time to express personal gratitude’s about the gathering or life in general, and answered worship-sharing questions about the things that bring us up when we’re feeling down, and the things that make us most happy. We also played cooperative games, created candles and designed and played our own board games during workshops led by longtime FAPS Kamali Busch, Carrie Engeman-Sandler, and Harriet Hart.
The weather was incongruent with the gatherings title in that instead of icy-cold days with snow on the ground, we had what felt like early-spring weather. We were happy to play Frazzley-Rham (a field game borrowed from the Baltimore Yearly Meeting camp program) outside in our t-shirts on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon. Fortunately, we were also able to get our share of human-made winter wonderland by taking a bus to Bucks County Ice Sports for two hours of ice skating that night!
On Sunday morning we took time for a Meeting for worship with a concern for business, expressed gratitude’s one more time (this time towards one another in the form of an energetic stomp circle) and joined Angela Ratliff’s excellent first day school class on Quaker history.
We are so grateful to Wendy Kane, Angela Ratliff, and Newtown Friends Meeting for helping to make this gathering happen!
Next up for Middle Schoolers is our March Gathering at Haverford Meeting, the 15th-17th. We’re also looking into potential hosts for next year’s gathering. Would your meeting be excited to host a Middle School Gathering? Email Middleschoolfriends@pym.org or call 215-241-7171 to get in touch with Matt Sanderson, Middle School Friends Coordinator.