The YAF Coordinator, along with volunteers, organizes quarterly weekend retreat for young adults (age 18-35ish) in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting area and beyond. The retreats are held quarterly – fall, winter, spring, and a YAF community at PYM Annual Sessions in the summer.
Retreats are usually held at a meetinghouse, and typically begin on Friday night with dinner, and run until the rise of meeting on Sunday morning. During the retreat, expect worship sharing, workshops, games, and fellowship as our time is centered around a theme. YAFs are at different places on our journeys, and we come together for rejuvenation, relaxation, and to deepen our connection to one another & the Spirit. Good food and fun are also assured!
The exact schedule of the retreats vary a bit, but all include a mix of large & small group program and free time. We usually have a choice of workshops, and some time for Meeting for Business. We eat together and can accommodate a variety of dietary needs. We cook and clean up meals in small groups. For more of an idea of what a weekend retreat can look like, check out our 2012 YAF Fall Retreat and 2015 YAF Winter Retreat schedules!
To help build a sense of community, we encourage everyone to attend the full retreat. But we realize that we all have other things going on in our lives, so you can also come part-time if that makes it more possible for you to attend. At each retreat, there are a few YAFs who attend Friday night-Saturday night or just for Saturday. There is a spot on the registration form to say when you plan to attend, and your registration fee is pro-rated.
Young Adult Friends Retreats typically cost $35. This covers meals & programming. To make these events accessible to as many young adults as possible, we keep costs low by sharing the cooking and clean-up chores, and sleeping on the meetinghouse floor (so bring a sleeping pad or air mattress to make it comfier!)
Additionally, financial aid & work grants are available. There is a spot on the registration form to request financial aid, and there is a spot to donate to our scholarship fund.
Wondering why you should come to a retreat? Here’s what some YAFs say
“The PYM YAF retreats are one of the most beautiful and authentic interpersonal spiritual experiences I have in my life. I deeply appreciate having a chance to connect with such an array of people and personalities, and to be able to do that over a shared dedication to spiritual community and listening.” YAF Retreat participant, January 2017
“The ability to share intimate and personal experiences without fear of judgment makes me feel more connected to this community, and the theme of this retreat really solidified this feeling of trust for me. I also came away with more appreciation and insight into my relationships outside of the YAF community.” YAF Retreat participant, January 2017
“YAF events are always a time for me to very seriously face my reasons for being a Quaker and breaks up the routine of just going through the motions of being a Quaker.” YAF Retreat participant, May 2016
“I feel like I got exactly what I wanted and needed out of this weekend. The revitalization, support, and (re)connection that I was longing for were all available to me in abundance this weekend. I feel so grateful!” YAF Retreat participant, May 2016
“At YAF retreats I find a sense of spiritual community that supports and fulfills me like none other. In a time of wandering roots, I know I can always call this group my home.” YAF Retreat participant, January 2015
“This retreat invited me to stretch my comfort zone, without forcing me in any way whatsoever, and to really consider and value the interrelationship between self-care and community care. I feel inspired to bring more of myself and my gifts out into the L/light!” Danni Green, October 2014
“The retreat helped me connect my spiritual journey with those of others, in a safe, nurturing environment. I had a wonderful time, and I look forward to the next retreat.” YAF Retreat participant, May 2014
“This weekend reconnected my spiritual life, and gave me a safe space to work through some difficult problems that I’ve been facing recently.” YAF Retreat participant, May 2014
“This retreat was perfectly timed to offer me a space of reflection and daily-routine-breakage just as I am heading into the new year and reconsidering some things in my Adult life. The theme, “What does it mean to be a Quaker Adult?” spoke directly to some of these questions I am currently grappling with. And there was the right amount of conversation, games, and fun to put me in an inspired and happy mood that I’ve continued to ride over the past few weeks!” Andrew Thompson, January 2014
“Young Adult Friends retreats give YAFs a rare chance to experience Quakerism in a peer group. The value of this experience cannot be overstated, for it allows YAFs to connect to Quakerism in a way that is personally fulfilling and grounding, and allows Quakerism to continue to be an exciting part of the lives of young adults.” YAF Retreat participant, May, 2013
“Going to the YAF retreat has reawakened my spirituality in ways I didn’t know I was missing.” YAF Retreat participant, January 2013