Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends


This information is for 2019. Please check back in winter 2020 for information about travel to Radford. 

When to Arrive

The first Gathering event is dinner on Sunday, June 30. All Friends are welcome to arrive Saturday, June 29 if they wish (additional charges will apply.) Some Friends will arrive Friday, June 28 to participate in pre-Gathering events or to serve in particular volunteer roles.

Before you finalize your travel plans consider reasons to arrive Saturday.

  • Explore Iowa
  • Attend a pre-Gathering event.
  • Attend the mandatory training for Junior Gathering staff (starts Sunday at noon) OR the mandatory training for High School staff (starts Saturday 9AM).

Not all clusters may be available when you select early housing. Friday night housing is available only for pre-Gathering attenders and invited volunteers.


We will be using the Des Moines (DSM) airport. There will be Gathering vans transporting attendees from DSM to Grinnell on particular days and times. Reserve your shuttle spot when you register for Gathering - deadline is June 10. See our transportation services webpage for more information.

Buy your airline tickets early! We expect prices to increase as we near the Gathering.

Amtrak Train

For the train to Gathering, we will be using the Ottumwa, Iowa Amtrak station. Gathering vans will serve the Ottumwa Amtrak station for trains arriving Saturday, June 29 & Sunday, June 30 and departing Saturday, July 6. Reserve your shuttle spot when you register for Gathering - deadline is June 10.  Learn more about Amtrak Transportation.

Luggage limitations. We recommend reading Amtrak Carry-on Baggage and Amtrak Special Items (scroll down to Baby Items) or contacting Amtrak if you have questions about luggage limitations. 

Times: View timetables for the California Zephyr Amtrak train that stops in Ottumwa.


Trailways Bus Service stops on the Grinnell College campus, in front of the Rosenfield Center (JRC). The line that stops in Grinnell runs between Omaha, NE and Chicago, IL. To search schedules and purchase a ticket, visit the Trailways website or call 1-800-992-4618 option 2.

Public Transportation

Other than the Trailways bus (above) there is not public transit that serves Grinnell. Grinnell College has a list of taxi services.


The Grinnell College campus is located in Grinnell, Iowa, about fifty-five miles east of Des Moines, IA. View driving directions to Grinnell College. An email will be sent about a week before the Gathering with details on where to arrive on campus for check-in.


Be green and arrive at the Gathering with a full car! Indicate your interest in carpooling when you register, and FGC will tell you how to contact other carpoolers.

After you have registered, to view the carpool list, you must have the registration confirmation number listed in the e-mail instructions. Once you get to your Registration Summary page, click on upper INFORMATION tab at the top (just under the Gathering logo) and then click on CARPOOL LIST tab on the next line down.

Found a ride or have a full car? Learn how to take your name off the carpool list.

Travel Grant Opportunities

Are you 35 or younger and need help getting to the Gathering? See our financial aid pages for information on western travel grants and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting travel grants.

Campus Map