Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

First through Sixth Grade

Laura Pickering Ford
Children and Teens
Date and Time: 
Sunday, July 2, 2017 - 2:00pm to Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 11:00am
Niagara University

Sprouts, Seedlings, Saplings & Pinetrees (1st to 6th Grades, full-time only)

Sprouts,  Seedlings, Saplings & Pinetrees are what we call our four groups for elementary age Friends in the Junior Gathering Program. Click the links in the menu below to learn about these groups.  These children should have completed Kindergarten.

Winter Junior Gathering TimesFebruary 2017  NEW!!!!

Junior Gathering TimesJune 2016 - Our newsletter for families with children

Letter from Sprouts Leaders coming in June

Letter from Seedlings Leaders coming in June

Letter from Saplings Leaders coming in June

Letter from Pinetrees Leaders coming in June

Junior Gathering Times, June 2015(summer 2015 edition)

Daily Routine
Preparation (Before Gathering)
What to Bring (list provided in June)
Typical Day
Open House

Daily Routine

Sprouts, Seedlings, Saplings & Pinetrees spend their mornings and evenings with approximately 15 of their peers, grouped primarily by age. They are lovingly supported and cared for and under the supervision and direction of a handful of adult Friends -- one primary coordinator with 3 to 4 well qualified staff, which may include a High School  Friend who is taking the Ministry With Children workshop.

Activities are planned individually by the coordinators and run the gamut from fabric arts to woodworking to instrument making to painting to just about anything you can imagine. They will be singing and dancing and playing outdoors, and even worship. Generally some of the activities are tied to the Gathering theme and are designed to introduce the children to Quaker Testimonies and values.

The children will be provided a nutritious snack, in the mornings, typically fresh locally grown fruit (when possible), fruit juice, cheese and crackers.

Children in these age groups must be signed in and out of group time each day by a responsible adult.  You can rest easy knowing that your child's needs for fresh air, nutritious food and exercise are being met.

“We are very happy with the support, care, love, and activities that we witnessed here.” Sprout parent 

Before Gathering   

Help us prepare to give your child the best possible week by sharing with us:

  • dietary needs
  • joys
  • struggles
  • achievements
  • challenges and/or
  • recent significant changes in your child's life.

Indicate these on your Parental Release form or by email to [email protected].  You can rest assured that your child is being cared for lovingly as you attend your morning workshop or evening plenary.

Carefully read your confirmation email and the mailing from Junior Gathering in early June. (JG Times & a letter from your child’s group leader).

After April 1, 2017 check out the Junior Gathering FAQs on our website.

Connect with other parents who have attended Gathering before.

We’ll be here every year.  I’m eager for her to grow up in this community." SEEDLINGS parent

What to Bring (list provided in June)

Please clearly label anything you wish to take home at the end of the week

A typical family day:

7:00-8:15 AM Breakfast
8:15-8:45 AM Community Worship
9:00-12:15 PM Junior Gathering Morning Program (Parents in Workshops)
12:00-1:30 PM  Lunch
1:30-5:00 PM Afternoon Family Time options include:
  • Our Family Place: 1:30 - 4:30
  • MultiGen activities
  • Field Trips
  • Make your own plans

5:00-6:30 PM Dinner

6:45-9:00 PM Junior Gathering Evening Program (Parents at Plenaries)
9:15 PM Bedtime for little ones with cooperative childcare in the dorm so parents can go to Late Night Sings, Films, or Contra Dance.


This was my grandchild’s first time away from both parents for a week and he wasn’t homesick at least partly because he was so content." SPROUTS grandparent                                              

Open House: Sunday evening after dinner for all children up to those who have finished 5th grade (Acorns, Pinecones, Sprouts, Seedlings, Saplings & Pinetrees). This is a time for you and your child to visit the room and get acquainted with the caregivers and staff as well as the other children. Coordinators will discuss their plans and expectations for the week. Parents and/or Responsible Parties (sponsors) will be asked to list those adults who have permission to sign out their child. If permission has not been granted, your child will not be released.  Open House is a good time to share dietary or other needs with the Group Coordinator. especially if you forget to share these with us ahead of time.

Help us prepare to give your child the best possible week by sharing with us dietary needs, joys, struggles, achievements, challenges and/or recent significant changes in your child's life. You can indicate these on your Parental Release form or by email to [email protected]


Updated March 4, 2017

Related Content

Children and Teens Registration Deadlines

May 31, 2017: Junior Gathering (infant through current eighth grade) 

June 10, 2017: High School (current ninth through twelfth grade)


Return to Children and Teens program menu.