PYM Youth Programs have been busy connecting in-person! Two recent programs included a trip to Washington DC for older youth and a Family Overnight for children and families.
The weekend of January 27-29, ten Young Friends (high school) and Middle School Friends from three local meetings traveled to Washington DC with Friendly Presences (adult volunteer chaperones) and Youth Program staff to spend the weekend building friendships, learning more about African American history, and reflecting on how to be agents of change in our world. The group stayed at Friends Place on Capitol Hill, a Quaker learning center and guesthouse. The trip was conceived by the youth from Lancaster Monthly Meeting, who wanted to visit DC and meet other Quaker youth. They collaborated with staff from the yearly meeting Youth Program to organize the itinerary, plan programming, and invite other youth from around the Yearly Meeting.
Time in DC was spent building relationships, playing games, cooking meals, exploring museums and monuments along the National Mall, and finding a bubble tea shop that was open late!
The highlight of the trip was a visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, followed by the opportunity for reflection and conversation. Friends Place staff facilitated this conversation and posed queries for the youth to ponder as they consider their role in building a more equitable society. They contemplated how the history presented in the museum differed from what they learn in school. They shared thoughtful reflections and ideas about what injustices they would like to dismantle and how to overcome the challenges of doing this work. The final query was to think about what specific steps they will take after returning from this trip.
The youth worked together with adult chaperones and PYM staff to plan the trip and to set the expectations for living together in community. They are looking forward to engaging more young people from around the Yearly Meeting and to making this an annual trip. As PYM Youth Programs continue to reach out and seek to build community with youth and families, we look forward to more collaborations such as this!
The weekend of February 4-5, PYM families gathered at Camp Onas for the annual Winter Family Overnight! On Saturday, children and adults enjoyed a Stone Soup story and dinner, indoor s’mores and “stargazing,” and a bedtime story.
The following morning was spent listening to a story, making mindfulness glitter jars, and going on a mindful nature walk. The overnight provided families with a relaxing space to make connections and to have fun together.
Thanks for such a peaceful and renewing weekend. We had a blast and I just loved the serenity of being with others even though we didn’t know them at first.
Spring Programs & Events for Children, Youth, and Families:
- February 19: Quaker Parent Postlude (every 3rd Sunday — register and join when you can!)
- February 25: Author Talk with Pamela Haines on her book Tending Sacred Ground: Respectful Parenting
- March 2: Raising Anti-Racist White Children — a 4-part workshop on Thursday evenings; open to all
- March 11: Spring Continuing Sessions. The afternoon program for fellowship and fun will be at six regional locations!
- April 29-30: Spring Family Overnight at Camp Dark Waters in Medford, NJ (watch for registration soon!)
- May 5-7: PYM Youth in grades 6-12 join Caln Quarter youth (and adults!) at the annual Camp Swatara Retreat