Sunday, July 2 – Saturday, July 8, 2023

Junior Gathering is:

  • Home base for newborns to rising ninth graders (Click here for High School program)
  • Where young people learn, play, and thrive at the Gathering
  • A time for games, songs, and stories
  • A place to make friends and experience Quakerism with Friends from across the continent
  • Full of fun and educational Quaker-based activities led by a diverse, caring, and skilled staff

Junior Gathering offers:

  • Morning program (8:45-noon), while adults attend weeklong workshops
  • Inter-Gen activities (1:30-3:15 PM) for all ages to play and learn together
  • Evening program (6:45-9:00 PM), while adults attend plenary sessions

The Junior Gathering staff were great- full of lightness and love.

Sprouts Parent

Junior Gathering Groups

Participants are placed in age-based groups during Gathering week. The child to staff ratio is 4:1 for older children and 2:1 for infant and toddlers. Junior Gathering staff strive to keep our Junior Gathering community engaging, nurturing, inclusive and welcoming of all children and families. Learn more about specific age groups by clicking the + symbols below.

Preparing for Junior Gathering: Visit this link for packing lists and other steps to get ready for Junior Gathering!

Acorns: 0-5 years

Acorns is our group of youngest Friends, including infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Infants spend the morning as they would at home. Our experienced staff support each child’s needs of feeding, diapering, napping, comfort and care. Older Acorns spend the mornings in a variety of spirited outdoor activities, including water play, ball play and tricycle (car, fire engine!) riding. They will sing songs, hear stories and make beautiful crafts. Though we provide programming in the evening, parents may choose to have an earlier bedtime or keep their little ones with them during the evening. Acorns are lovingly supported and cared for by a coordinator and 3-4 well qualified staff. Please indicate special needs, including nap times on the parental release form.

Children in this age group must be signed in and out of the group by a responsible adult.

Sprouts: Rising K-2nd

Sprouts is our early elementary group. They spend their morning and evenings with peers and are lovingly supported and cared for by a coordinator and 2-3 well qualified staff. Activities are planned by the coordinator and can include anything from art-making to singing, dancing, outdoor play and worship. Many activities are tied to the Gathering theme and are designed to introduce children to Quaker testimonies and values.

Children in this age group must be signed in and out of the group by a responsible adult.

Pinetrees: Rising 3rd-6th

Pinetrees is the older elementary group. Pinetrees spend their morning and evenings with peers and are lovingly supported and cared for by a coordinator and 2-3 well qualified staff. Activities are planned by the coordinator and can include anything from art-making to singing, dancing, outdoor play and worship. Many activities are tied to the Gathering theme and are designed to introduce children to Quaker testimonies and values.

Children in this age group must be signed in and out of the group by a responsible adult.

Oaks: Rising 7th-9th

Oaks is our Middle School group and the oldest Friends in Junior Gathering. Oaks is a time to explore leadings, discover more independence and create a Quaker community with Friends from across the continent. During Morning Program, Oaks participate in a workshop with other participants and a pair of workshop leaders. There are typically a variety of workshop choices that offer artistic, active, and spiritual options. Evening Program is spent in small support groups for worship-sharing, games, check-ins and explorations of identity, spirituality and other topics. There is also time for recreational activities as a large group such as sports, cooking, music, and arts projects. Different activities are offered every night. Staff tailor the activities to participant interests.

Outside of Junior Gathering, youth and parents begin practice setting boundaries as youth build independence and trust. Oaks can sign themselves in and out of the program (with parent/sponsor permission). We encourage families to check-in regularly, preferably several times a day. It’s 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 the program

Parents and sponsors, we remind you that you are in charge of setting boundaries and enforcing those boundaries during the mornings before program time, all afternoon, and evenings after 9 pm. The dynamic community we look forward to creating every year comes together best when parents/sponsors, Oak participants, and staff work together to ensure a safe and happy environment for everyone.

Supervision of children during Gathering

Parents or sponsors are responsible for supervision of their children at all times except during Junior Gathering programming. Plan to spend all meal times, afternoon free times, and evenings after 9:00 PM together as a family.

A Typical Day in Junior Gathering

A picture of a staff member reading to two children.

7-8:30 Breakfast

8:45-12:00 Junior Gathering Morning Program (parents/sponsors in workshops)

12:00-1:30 Lunch

1:30-5:00 Afternoon Family Time

  • InterGen activities 1:30-3:15 Capture the Flag, Kites and More!
  • Borrow books, balls, board games & more at the Junior Gathering Office!
  • Field Trips
  • Make your own plans

5:00-6:30 Dinner

6:45-9:00 Junior Gathering Evening Program (parents at Evening Plenary).

Children join all Gathering for the Wednesday All-Ages Plenary!

9:15 Bedtime for little ones – cooperative childcare in the dorm for parents to go to Late Night Sings, Films, or Contra Dance.

10:00 Dorm Curfew – all Oaks Participants must be in their own dorms. Quiet Time (Gathering quiet time from 10 PM – 7 AM)

11:00 Room Curfew – all Oaks Participants must be in their own rooms.


For more information, visit the Junior Gathering FAQ page.

If you want to learn more about Junior Gathering or have questions, please contact: Gathering Youth Coordinator or the co-clerks at JG@fgcquaker.org

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