Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

2016 Gathering FAQs

Email the Gathering staff, or call us at 215-561-1700, option 2 on the menu (Monday-Friday, 9:30 am-4:30 pm EST).

On Campus Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about completing and paying registration

Questions about changing your registration form

Questions about Junior Gathering

  • Click here to see Frequently Asked Questions about Junior Gathering

Housing and Meals questions

Packing and Traveling Questions

Questions about what to expect on the College of St. Benedict campus

Other Questions

My meeting has given me a scholarship. To whom do I send the check?

Before June 10: Mail the check to the Gathering Office, payable to Friends General Conference. Make sure that the memo line includes your name and "FGC Gathering."

The mailing address is FGC Gathering, 1216 Arch St, 2B, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

After June 10: Bring the check with you to the Gathering. Meanwhile, please e-mail the check amount and the names to the Gathering Office with a subject heading "Gathering Payment." Checks should be made out to "FGC Gathering," with a note in the memo line that includes the name of the registrant.

I'm stuck in the online registration form and can't move on.  Help!

I click NEXT and nothing happens.  Scroll to the top of your screen to look for a red error message.  If you missed answering a required question or didn't use the required format (for example you used a space or a letter when a number was required), the form won't let you proceed to the next page.  But it will describe the error to you.

I've tried everything and I'm still stuck!  Click SAVE at the bottom of the page and leave a message at 215-561-1700, option 2 on the menu. We can finish your registration by phone. If you get stuck right before a deadline, we will check e-mail and phone messages for technical problems before closing those options.

How do I make a partial payment at the end of my registration form?

If these instructions don't help, then click "Needs staff processing (aid, refunds, adjustments)" as your payment option and contact the Gathering Office. Do not leave your credit card number on our voice mail!

I made a larger credit card payment than I intended.  What should I do?

Send an email to [email protected] with your name, the amount you charged, and the amount you wanted to charge. We can only issue a credit to your card once your bank has processed the transaction (not necessarily the same day). Please do not send your credit card number to us via email and do not leave it on our voicemail!

What is the difference between Half-Time and Part-Time registrations?

Half-Time registrants may choose on-campus housing and a meal plan.  There are only two half-time options: Sunday-Wednesday, or Wednesday through Saturday.  Read more about the Half-Time registration.

Part-time registrants may register for as little as one day.  There is no on campus housing or meal plan for part-timers.  Individual meals are available for purchase at the cafeteria.

Both Half-Time and Part-Time options are only available to adults. Children and high schoolers must be full-time registrants.

How do I enter my completed registration to change it?

Adding or changing information about financial aid or workgrant request? Please do NOT make changes in your registration form. Instead, email the new information to [email protected].

Option A (easiest method): Use link in primary registrant's confirmation email

  1. Follow the “Click here to view event summary” link from the primary registrant’s confirmation email
  2. Click “Already registered?”
  3. Enter Confirmation Number (it’s in your confirmation email)
  4. Click "OK" button
  5. Click "Modify" button
  6. Choose either the “Information” or the “Registration” links on far right for the appropriate person
    • Information” is the first set of questions you answered, all the way up to financial aid
    • “Registration” is for the workshop and and fee-related choices you made, and the follow up questions
  7. Make desired changes
  8. Click NEXT Button until  you see a FINISH button
  9. Click FINISH

Option B: Use generic link to completed registration forms

  1. Follow this link for the Gathering event
  2. Enter primary registrant’s name and email address, exactly as entered on the registration form
  3. Enter Confirmation Number (it’s in the primary registrant’s confirmation email, or you click on the request button)
  4. Click "OK" button
  5. Click "Modify" button
  6. Choose either the “Information” or the “Register” links on far right for the appropriate person
    • Information” is the first set of questions you answered, all the way up to financial aid
    •  “Registration” is for the workshop and and fee-related choices you made, and the follow up questions
  7. Make desired changes
  8. Click NEXT Button until  you see a FINISH button
  9. Click FINISH

How do I make a payment?

On-site, we strongly urge people to pay with check or cash. We will be accepting credit card payment at Check-in for the first time. Checks should be payable to FGC Gathering. Credit card payments may be made online at any time. Follow the instructions below to access your registration account online.

Make a payment by credit card:

Please minimize use of "reward" credit cards. FGC pays twice the fees when you use a reward credit card, especially Mastercard World Elite and Visa Signature Preferred cards. To help FGC minimize the fees it pays, whenever possible:

  • Make payments over $400 by check
  • Use a debit card instead of a credit card
  • Minimize use of “Mastercard World Elite” or “Visa Signature Preferred” reward cards. Regardless of the amount of payment, FGC always prefers a check to payments by these cards.

To make a payment by credit card:

  1. Follow this link for the Gathering event.
  2. Enter primary registrant’s name and email address, exactly as entered on the registration form.
  3. Enter Confirmation Number (it’s in the primary registrant’s confirmation email, or you can click on the request button).
  4. Click "OK" button.
  5. Click "Submit Payment" tab (only appears if you have a balance due).
  6. Complete credit card information, and the "Apply the Payment to Your Order" section.
  7. Doublecheck the amount at the top of the form. Is the total listed at the top really what you want to pay?
  8. Click "Submit Payment" button at the bottom of the page.
  9. If your address does not fit the format provided, please make an appointment with our on-site Gathering office for Monday or Tuesday.

I'm having trouble making a credit card payment online. What should I do?

  1. Make sure that the amount you’ve entered as your total payment is equal to or less than the balance due on your account—the form won’t let you overpay. (If you want to make a donation, we can add that to your registration and process your payment at the College of Saint Benedict.)
  2. If paying less than the total due on your account, make sure you have itemized your payment (for example, if you want to make a payment of $100, you need to say whether you want that applied to your program fee, housing, etc). You can’t pay more than is due on any single item, and the total in those item boxes must add up to your total payment.
  3. Check the formatting of your total payment. It should have a dollar amount, decimal point, and cent amount, with no dollar sign or other punctuation. For example, if you were paying $100, your total amount should look like this: “100.00” not like “$100.00” or “100”.
  4. Please make sure that your billing name and address exactly match your credit card bill. Slight variations (such as “Ave” instead of “Avenue”) can prevent your charges from going through for some banks.
  5. If you still have problems, click "Needs staff processing" to complete your registration form. When you check in on campus, check at the Information Desk to find out when the Gathering Office can process credit card payments on Monday and Tuesday.

I changed my registration.  Why is my bill wrong?

When you ask us to change a financial item (e.g., change from a single to a double room), the registration software adds the cost for the new item (the double) to your bill.  But it does not remove the cost for the old item (the single).  Staff has to do this manually. We have been processing dozens of these changes, and might not finish before we print invoices for check-in. Please bring your invoice to the Money Matters table when you check in, and we will correct your account. Thanks for your patience!

What is provided for dorm linens?

Sheets, pillowcase, two towels, wash cloth, pillow and a light blanket are provided for each bed.  No linens are provided for children on the floor. If a light blanket is not enough, you will need to bring your own additional blanket.

If I want to buy just a few meals in the dining center, what are the prices?

Adult:  Breakfast: $8.50 Lunch: $10.50 Dinner: $12.00  Youth (7-17) Breakfast: $6.75  Lunch: $8.25  Dinner: $9.00  Child (4-6) Breakfast: $4.75  Lunch: $5.75  Dinner: $6.75

Pre-Gathering meals (Friday night through Sunday lunch) had to be pre-purchased via your registration form by June 10.

During the Gathering (starting Sunday night), everyone who has on-campus housing must have a meal plan.  However, you may choose to buy a two-meal plan and then choose to occasionally buy breakfast in the dining center, or you may be staying off campus and choose not to have a meal plan.  Note that buying a meal plan is less expensive than buying many meals on a cash basis.

Will I have access to a fridge?

Priority access to all refrigerators will be for Friends with a medical need for one (as reported in their registration form), and Junior Gathering use. We cannot tell each person in advance where they will be housed or whether there will be a fridge close by. Please put medications in a plastic bag clearly labelled with your name. If you want to store some food we recommend arriving with a small cooler or arriving ready to purchase a small cooler.

Will I be able to control the temperature in my room if I pick air-conditioned housing?

Some, but not all air-conditioned rooms have thermostats you can adjust. If there is a medical need, please indicate this on your registration.

Can I get housing if I need to arrive a day early?

To request housing earlier than your scheduled arrival, call the Gathering office at 215-561-1700, ex. 3200 or email [email protected]g with your name, currently scheduled arrival date, and requested arrival date. DO NOT ASSUME you can arrive early unless you get a reply from us. We will do our best to respond to requests promptly, but may not get to all of them.

If we do not confirm that we can accommodate you earlier than your scheduled arrival, and if your dorm room is not available, you will need to find other housing off-campus until your scheduled arrival date.

As of June 1st, there is a $15 change fee for all housing change requests.

What food is available on campus or nearby?

Campus Sandwich shop:  pre-Gathering Tuesday June 28 through SaturdayJuly 2, 9 am to 1 pm
                             Sunday July 3 through Friday July 8, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
                             Saturday July 9, 8:30 am to 1 pm

Campus Dining Room pre-Gathering:  Tuesday June 28 through Friday July 1, 7:45-8:45 am, 11:30 am-1 pm, 5-6 pm
                         Saturday July 2, 7:30-8:30 am, 11:30 am-1 pm, 5-6 pm
                         Sunday July 3, 7:30-8:30 am, 11:30 am-1 pm, 5-7pm

In St Joseph there is an Italian restaurant, several pizza places, and a diner.  All of them are about 3/4 of a mile from the center of campus.  There is a gocery store 1.25 miles from campus. 

How can people reach me at the Gathering?

Emergency calls can be made to the Gathering Office (215-561-1700, option 2 on the menu) at any time. After hours this will ring to a staff person's cellphone, so please ask anyone who receives this number to only call after hours if it is urgent.

There will be a message board in the University Center. The Gathering Office (215-561-1700, option 2 on the menu) can take non-emergency messages during office hours (8:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m.) and post them on the message board. It is up to Gathering attenders to check the board for messages.

Where can I find a map of the campus?

You can download a map from this page. Next week we hope to post a more detailed map showing FGC parking lots and buildings.

How do I sign up for field trips?

Field trip sign ups start Sunday July 3, at the Gathering. Payments for field trips are only by cash or check.

Is there Internet access?

The University reports that there is free wireless in all of the rooms of all of the dorms, and throughout campus. However, use of campus computers is NOT free and is not available to Friends General Conference participants. (Computer use was not part of the college's contract with FGC.)

Every wireless device is different, but the following instructions should connect your device to the Guest wireless network.

  1. From the list of available networks, choose Guest, and click Connect.
  2. After the connection is established, open an internet browser (i.e. Internet Explorer or Safari).
  3. Type in the username and password in the appropriate fields.
  • Username: friends
  • Password: csbconference16

Will we have access to a swimming pool on campus?

Yes but it will be limited.  Some who might want to consider bringing a swimsuit anyway are :

  • Young children who will be playing in water.
  • Young adult Friends who might be going to water on the AYF outtrip.
  • People who want to play in the fountain near the University Center.
  • The High School Program might have an opportunity for wading (not swimming), so shorts or roll-up pants might help.
  • Friends staying in the area before and after the Gathering to enjoy the streams and lakes in the region.

I haven't received a confirmation email--am I registered?

Your confirmation is very, very likely in your Junk Mail or Spam Mail folder.  Go find it and other emails from the Gathering!  Read more about Gathering email being treated as spam. If you do not find your confirmation, please call the Gathering Office. Do NOT assume that your registration is complete without a confirmation letter.

What is the mailing address for conference registrants?

Please plan for mail to arrive after June 29th.
[Recipient's name]
Friends General Conference
37 South College Avenue
St. Joseph, MN 56374 

Check at the Gathering Office to pick up your package.

Confused about when you should arrive?

Before Friday: Only staff and a few volunteers by will be on campus by pre-arrangement. Call the Gathering Office if you're not sure.

Friday: The Retreat for People of Color and their Families and Quakers & Business Conference both begin Friday evening. If you pre-ordered supper on Friday, it begins at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday: The Adult Young Friends Retreat and Is Your Meeting Online start at 9 a.m. You might want to arrive Friday night. Workshop leaders are welcome to arrive Saturday.

Sunday morning : Junior Gathering training begins with a light breakfast together at 8:30 a.m. Workshop leaders are expected to check in, pick up your packets, and read through them before your 3:15 p.m. meeting. You might want to arrive Saturday night.

Sunday afternoon : Regular check-in begins at 1:00 p.m. The High School Dorm opens at 2:00 p.m. The Gathering begins with supper Sunday evening at 5.

Wednesday : The second half-Gathering begins. If you plan to attend your workshop Wednesday morning, allow time to check in and find your workshop location before the 9:00 a.m. start time for your workshop. The second half-Gathering meal plan begins with supper.

What do I need to bring?

Definitely bring:

  • If you have a child sleeping on the floor: sleeping bag/bedroll, linens, pillow and towel for that child
  • Fragrance free toiletries (including fragrance-free insect repellant). Dorm residents will receive one small bar of fragrance-free soap.

Consider bringing:

  • Raingear (We expect several afternoon thunderstorms.)
  • Sunglasses, hat, fragrance-free sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Labelled refillable water bottle. (St. Ben's is an environmentally proactive waterbottle-free campus. There are no bottles of water available for purchase on campus.)
  • A sweatshirt or jacket for cooler evenings
  • Swimming suit and towel
  • An extra bath towel
  • A heavier blanket if you want more than one light blanket.
  • A doorstop, in case you want to prop open your door to be social with your neighbors
  • A fan or white noise maker to help disguise dorm noises
  • A reading light.
  • Coat hangers
  • Alarm clock
  • Cloth napkin
  • Earplugs
  • Rise-Up Singing (also available at the Gathering Store)
  • Spare pillow if needed

How do I view the carpool list?

There is a copy of the carpool list at the Information Desk in Gorecki. Here is how you view it online.  At this point we are unable to add or remove names from the list during the Gathering.

  1. Return to the registration site by following this link: Click here
  2. Enter your Confirmation number (it's in your confirmation email) and click the OK button.
  3. Click on upper INFORMATION tab at the top.
  4. Click on CARPOOL LIST tab on the next line down
  5. The list is arranged by state. Look at the column listing departure date. The two far right columns (scroll all the way to the right) list train and airport ride-sharing requested.

Don't see the answer to your question here?

Email us at [email protected], or call 215-561-1700, ex. 3200.