The Camp Swatara gathering bridges the community of Young Friends and Middle School Friends — Quaker and Quaker-friendly folks!
Registration & Cost
All Young Friends and Middle School Friends register online. You must register by the April 19th deadline. If you have missed the deadline, contact the Youth Engagement Coordinator to get on a wait list in case of cancellations. This event is hosted by Caln Quarter, and the registration for Early Bird and regular registration is set by the Quarter each year. No walk-ins are permitted!
Register for the early bird rate of $120 by March 31!
On April 1st the cost becomes $135. The FIRM registration deadline is April 19th.
Full and partial financial aid is available for Middle School Friends and Young Friends via the online registration.
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, finishing the day off with singing at the traditional bonfire (weather permitting). On Sunday morning both MSF and YF programs will join together for a bridging 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 standard toiletries and bedding for a two-night overnight (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! Please be sure to send any Medical/Permission or Young Friends forms you have not yet completed for this year to the Youth Engagement Coordinator in the 1515 Cherry Street office, or bring them along to give to a program Facilitator on site.
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 6:00pm and 7:00pm on Friday evening. Please come fed – although there will be snacks, no dinner will be served. Pick up is after lunch on Sunday at 1:00pm.
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 separated by gender; if your child requires a gender-neutral sleeping space, please contact the MSF or Young Friends program Facilitator in advance to arrange something.
How do I get financial aid to attend a gathering? Full and partial financial aid is available. To receive financial aid, simply enter the amount you are able to pay in the online registration.
For Young Friends, 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. If you cannot find a ride, please contact the Youth Engagement Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least one week before the event so staff can check other possibilities if necessary.