Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Seventh through Ninth Grade

Children and Teens
Date and Time: 
Sunday, July 5, 2015 - 2:00pm

Oaks  (Rising 7th, 8th and 9th Grades)

A time to explore leadings, to begin discovering more independence, and to start preparing to transition to the High School Gathering. In the Junior Gathering Program, Oaks is the name we call Friends who will be in 7th, 8th, and 9th grade in the fall. Click the links in the menu below to learn about this group.

“I met and made so many new friends.  There were many fun activities to do.”                       Oak Participant       

Morning and Evening Program Time
What to Bring
Typical Day
Plan to attend Sunday night orientation

  “Everybody was really exciting and entertaining to be around.  They were also accepting and welcoming to all newcomers.” Oak Participant

Daily Routine

Mornings – Attend a workshop in small groups of 8-12 middle schoolers.  Samples of previous workshops: 

  • Leadings and Spirituality
  • Community Service
  • Gourmet Baking
  • Book Making
  • Leadership
  • Nurturing Your Inner Nerd
  • Art and Spirituality
  • Superheroes
  • Theatre Games and Improv
  • And more! 

Sign up for your preferences at the orientation Sunday evening.  

"There was an amazing sensation of community and friendship.  We all sang songs as we worked and there was a general feeling of acceptance.” Oak Service Project Participant


  • Share in small support groups with 5-6 other Oaks and 1 staffer for part of the time: worship sharing, games, check-ins, and personal discussions about identity, spirituality, and other topics that arise. 
  • The rest of the evening, join in a variety of recreational options in larger groups. Samples include (but are not limited to):
    • sports
    • crafts
    • music
    • games
    • art projects
  • Different activities are offered each night.  Staff are happy to tailor those activities to the interests of participants.  Have an idea for a fun group activity?  Suggest it to one of your leaders ahead of time.  It may appear on the agenda!

Outside of Program Time: This is a great time for youngsters and parents to begin to practice setting boundaries, as kids begin to build independence and trust with the adults in their lives.  We encourage families to check-in regularly, preferably several times a day. Oaks can (with parent or sponsor permission) sign themselves in and out of program time. It is important to stay in touch throughout the day, so we strongly suggest meeting up:

  • at meals
  • during the afternoon
  • during the evening – right after program time.

 We count on Oaks to:

  • make good decisions
  • follow all guidelines
  • actively work to maintain a healthy community inside and outside of program time. 

Parents and sponsors, we remind you that you are in-charge of setting boundaries and enforcing those boundaries during the afternoons and after 9:00 pm.  The dynamic community we look forward to creating every year comes together best when parents, Oak participants, and staff can work together to ensure a safe and happy environment for everyone.


Before Gathering

Help us prepare to give your teen 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  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). This is also where you will learn what workshops will be offered for oaK Group.

Check out the Junior Gathering FAQs on our website.

Connect with other parents who have attended Gathering before.

What to Bring:

  • An alarm clock (Punctuality is important!) 
  • A watch or other way to tell time during the day (Punctuality is important!)
  • If you plan to use a bike or scooter, bring a HELMET.  It is Gathering Policy that all attenders must wear a helmet if they use a bicycle or scooter.

If you might want to do a community service project, bring:

  • closed toe shoes
  • long pants

For free time:

  • sunscreen
  • swimsuit
  • bug spray
  • flashlight
  • camera

To share something you love with your new friends:

  • a musical instrument
  • favorite photos
  • games to share
  • music to share

What not to Bring to Program Time

  • cell phones (Leave them in your dorm or in a bag – turned off!)
  • other electronic devices  (Leave them in your room or at home!)
  • anything that can't be shared--if it must come to Gathering, leave it in your room
  • anything you would be sad about if it got lost or broken!


“I loved the people, snacks, workshops, and especially the community the youth created.”                                                                                    Oak Participant

A typical day:

7:00-8:30 AM Breakfast
8:45-12 noon Oaks Workshops (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 Oaks Support Groups and Recreation (Parents at Plenaries)
9:15 PM Oak group participants and their parents reconnect about evening activities, which are under parents' supervision.  
Bedtime for little ones with cooperative childcare in the dorm so parents can go to Late Night Sings, Films, or Contra Dance.  
10:00 PM Quiet Time – All Gathering wide quiet time in dorms until 7:00 AM
11:00 PM Curfew – all Oaks Group Participants must be in their dorm rooms


Oaks Required Orientation: A Key to understanding the week

Sunday evening after plenary. Required for Oak participants and their parents. Please make travel arrangements so you can attend.


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