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. We call our middle school age Friends in the Junior Gathering Program Oaks . Click the links in the menu below to learn about this group.
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.
- Share in small support groups with 5-6 others middle schoolers 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 interest in oaK Group. 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: Middle school 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 them during the afternoons and after 9:00 pm. The dynamic community we look forward to creating every year comes together best when parents, Oaks Group members, 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:
- 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 bring 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 (in your dorm or in a bag – turned off!)
- other electronic devices (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!
- 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 Support Groups and Activities (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. oaK group participants and their parents reconnect about evening activities, which are under parents' supervision.
- 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
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