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
“Everybody was really exciting and entertaining to be around. They were also accepting and welcoming to all newcomers.” Oak Participant
Mornings – Attend a workshop in small groups of 8-12 middle schoolers. Usually there are 3 or 4 workshop choices offered. Care is given to having variety: at least one artistic or creative workshop, a spirituality workshop, and always a community service workshop that involves physical labor.
Participants indicate preferences at the orientation on 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 sports, crafts, music, games, and 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.
Help us prepare to give your teen the best possible week by sharing with us:
- dietary needs
- challenges and/or
- recent significant changes in your child's life.
Indicate these on your Parental Release form or by email to email@example.com. 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.
- Our Family Place: 1:30 - 4:30
- MultiGen activities
- Field Trips
- Make your own plans
Sunday evening after plenary. Required for Oak participants and a parent or sponsor. Please make travel arrangements so you can attend. NOTE: This is when Oak participants indicate their workshop choices!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org