Oaks (6th, 7th and 8th 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 we call Friends who are currently in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Oaks . 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. Samples of previous workshops:
- Leadings and Spirituality
- Community Service
- Gourmet Baking
- Book Making
- Nurturing Your Inner Nerd
- Art and Spirituality
- 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):
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 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:
- bug spray
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
- Our Family Place: 1:30 - 4:30
- MultiGen activities
- Field Trips
- Make your own plans
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 email@example.com