Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Upcoming Youth Retreats!

Winter Wonderland: February 19-21st 

Friends, join us in celebrating the snowy season! We'll take advantage of the fun aspects of winter: sledding and making snow-people and anything else we can think of, while taking the time to wonder about the meaning of this time of year. How is our experience of winter different from those who lived a hundred years ago, or those who live in other parts of the world? We'll talk about what we do to keep from getting bored or depressed in the dark months, and explore how different plants and animals adapt and sometimes rely on the cold weather. We'll spend plenty of time playing and exploring outside, followed by time drinking hot cocoa in front of the fire. We'll once again have Anna's tasty food and Franklin's bedtime stories, but we'll also welcome Natalie to the group. She just arrived from Ecuador, which has a very different winter experience from upstate New York, and she's a whole lot of fun.

Creating a Safe Space: March 12-14th
We all need a place to feel safe - safe from physical violence, but also from ridicule, judgment, and embarrassment. We're hoping to build just such a space in the YFIR program, and we want you to help us to do that this weekend. We'll nurture our budding community through trust exercises, cooperative strategy games, and group discussions. In addition to creating a safe space in our community, we'll explore ways to extend that feeling of security to the outside world - we'll talk about dealing with bullies and the role friendship plays in building safe communities.

YFIR!? Because… April 16-18th
Calling all high schoolers: we need your help! We are building a program of retreats for 6th-9th graders that would greatly benefit from your gifts and experience. We also want to have a few retreats a year for 9th-12th graders (those 9th graders get to have all the fun). As the first of these, this weekend will focus on the Young Friends In Residence Program - how it came about, where it's going, and what role this age group can play in it. The weekend will include some Junior Counselor training, so that those who are interested can help us facilitate other retreats, but there will also be lots of games, discussions, and free time to enjoy each other's company and to explore our new home at the Perry City Meeting House

Living Planet April 30th-May 2nd
It's great to be alive, and this weekend we'll celebrate the new life emerging this time of the year. We'll explore our surroundings and look for signs of new life and new growth as the world shakes off winter's embrace. We'll get our hands dirty and our thumbs green planting things (maybe even a tree, since Friday is Arbor Day). We'll talk about different ways in which people throughout the world and time have observed the changing of the seasons. We'll also discuss ways in which life on Earth is connected, and what we can do to keep our planet healthy. We will learn, explore, share, and most of all, celebrate!

You Are What You Eat June 18-20th
This weekend will be all about food. We'll talk about what food is (do we all consider the same things to be food?), where it comes from, and how it affects our lives. We'll explore our place in the food chain and how our appetites change the world around us. We'll discuss dietary restriction - biological, personal, religious, and cultural. We'll look at different rituals based on food, and how food has brought about war, slavery, new technology, and great prosperity. We'll be eating local food, and we'll talk about what that means, as well as help Anna prepare it. Be sure to bring your taste buds and appetites.

H2Oh yeaaah! August 6-8th
Our bodies are mostly water, water covers more than 70% of the Earth, and yet millions of people don't have access to clean water. This weekend we'll talk about where water comes from, who has it, who doesn’t, and why. We'll talk about why we (and other forms of life) need it, and the properties that make it special. We'll also take the time to enjoy it - we'll explore the creek behind the meeting house, take bucket showers, and throw water balloons. Water: let’s talk about it, play in it, drink it, change it, and…

Contact us at for registration sheets, or if you have questions.

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