Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice


Children and Teens
Date and Time: 
Sunday, July 2, 2017 - 2:00pm to Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 11:00am
Niagara University

Pinecones (full-time only)

Pinecones are what we call our preschoolers in the Junior Gathering Program. Click the links in the menu below to learn about this group.  This is the group for those who have not yet completed a year of kindergarten. Typically they are ages three and four.

NOTE:  Niagara University prohibits scooters  and skateboards on campus.  Please do not bring scooters or skateboards to the 2017 Gathering.

Letter from Pinecone Leaders 

Junior Gathering Times Summer 2017  NEW!!!!      and Winter Junior Gathering TimesFebruary 2017  


Junior Gathering Times, June 2016   - Our newsletter for families with children (last summer's edition)

Junior Gathering Times, June 2015 - (summer 2015 edition)

“We will come back next year.  She is loved and loves well here.”                   Pinecone parent


Daily Routine
What to Bring
Toddler or Preschooler?
Typical Day
Open House

Daily Routine  

Preschoolers spend their mornings in a variety of spirited outdoor activities, such as water play, ball play, and tricycle (car, fire engine!) riding. They will sing songs and hear stories and make beautiful crafts. Children who are mostly able to take care of their bathroom needs but have not yet entered Kindergarten are in this group.

Preschoolers partake in a healthy snack, typically fresh locally grown fruit (when possible), fruit juice, cheese and crackers. Those preschoolers who still take a morning nap will be accommodated.

While we provide programming in the evenings, some families choose to have an earlier bedtime or to keep their little ones with them during their evening activities.

These young friends are grouped primarily by age, and lovingly cared for and under the supervision and direction of a handful of adults -- one primary coordinator with 3 to 4 well qualified staff, which may include a High School Friend who is taking the Ministry With Children workshop.

You can rest easy knowing that your preschooler's needs for fresh air, nutritious food and rest are being met.


"What did I like about Junior Gathering this year?     Positive identity development as a Quaker.  The lived experience of belonging and community within a religious context."
     Pinecone parent

Before Gathering

Help us prepare to give your child the best possible week by sharing with us:

  • dietary needs
  • joys
  • struggles
  • achievements
  • challenges and/or
  • recent significant changes in your child's life.

Indicate these on your Parental Release form or by email to [email protected]  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).

After April 1, 2017, check out the Junior Gathering FAQs on our website.

You may wish to connect with other parents who have attended Gathering before.

What to Bring 

Please clearly label anything you wish to take home at the end of the week.

Pack for your child to bring to group each day:

□      Stroller (if you use one)

□      Photo of your family (you can email us one, if you prefer)

□      Sunscreen

□      Insect repellent (if you use it)

□      Bathing suit

□      Towel

□      Hat

□      Rain jacket

□      Sweater or sweatshirt

□      Change of clothes in case we get dirty

□      Flip-flops or sandals that can get wet

□      Sneakers or shoes that tie on

□      Labeled water bottle

      Other important items for Gathering:

□      Sleeping Bag or bedding if your child is sleeping on the floor in your room

□      If you’re staying in the dorms be sure to bring a pillow and pillow case for each family member (Niagara University will not be providing pillows this year). 

□      Helmet: you must have a helmet if you bring a bike.  NOTE:  Niagara University prohibits scooters and skateboards on campus.  Please do not bring scooters or skateboards to the 2017 Gathering.


What's the difference between Toddlers and Preschoolers? Or how do you tell an Acorn from a Pinecone?

We will rely heavily on your opinion for determining whether your child is a Toddler or a Preschooler. Typically the preschool group will be doing activities that require more small and large motor skills, a longer attention span, and more interaction with other children. Pinecones are usually 3 to 5 year olds, while Toddlers are 2 and 3 year olds.  If you have a question, please contact the Junior Gathering Coordinator.

A typical family day:

7:00-8:15 AM Breakfast
8:15-8:45 AM Community Worship
9:00-12:15 PM Junior Gathering Morning Program (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 Junior Gathering Evening Program (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.

Open House: Sunday evening after dinner for all children up to those who have finished 5th grade (Acorns, Pinecones, Sprouts, Seedlings, Saplings & Pinetrees). This is a time for you and your child to come and get acquainted with the caregivers / staff and the other children. Coordinators will discuss their plans and expectations for the week. Parents and/or Responsible Parties will be asked to list those adults who have permission to sign out their child. If permission has not been granted, your child will not be released. Open House is a good time to share dietary or other needs with the Group Coordinator, particularly if you forgot to share these with us ahead of time.

Help us prepare to give your child the best possible week by sharing with us dietary needs, 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 protected].

Updated June 15, 2017

Children and Teens Registration Deadlines

May 31, 2018: Junior Gathering (infant through current eighth grade) 

June 10, 2018: High School (current ninth through twelfth grade)


Return to  Children and Teens program menu.