Ida Trisolini attended her first FGC Gathering with her children in 2008. Seeing her own children’s response, as well as her own — I had a blast! — Ida knew she would not only go back, she would be involved.
As a middle school teacher, Ida had experience and insights to offer. She began as an Oak Group leader, then became Junior Gathering co-clerk in 2016 and 2017. “The Gathering had been such a gift to me and my children. It made me want to give [that gift] to other people’s children.”
Ida shares how many Quaker children don’t find other Quakers in their schools. Even in First Day School, groups are small and their ages can range widely. At the Gathering, children are with dozens of young Quakers. Ida has heard young attenders say, “This is the only week of my life where I can see who I am.”
The Gathering offers people a chance to “take risks in sharing,” Ida observes, “They know they can allow themselves to feel vulnerable, and from that place, form deep and powerful friendships. Children watch how adults interact during the week, and seeing adults in a loving space sets an example.”
To Ida, the intention of Junior Gathering is “to meet every child with love first.” That intention started each morning as the staff gathered for worship—a time Ida treasured. A time Ida describes as “love before work.”