Welcome to the Adult Young Friends info page!
The Adult Young Friends (AYF) program is a self-led intentional housing cluster and community of Friends age 18–35 who come together at the Gathering to support, inspire, and challenge each other in our life journeys. We represent a variety of backgrounds, and hail from all over the world of Quakerdom.
Participants in AYF are involved in every aspect of the Gathering as a whole. The community also hosts a number of AYF specific events throughout the week. We strengthen our community through worship, AYF affinity groups, Meeting for Business, and share in fellowship and celebration. We create a community in which we can grow, bond, and strengthen our connection to our chosen faith.
How to Participate
Check the AYF program box when you register and we will send you more information about specific events as the Gathering nears.
You are welcome to participate in our program to whatever degree you find most beneficial. You can choose to stay in our housing cluster, or you can live in whatever other housing arrangements suit you. In either case you may attend your choice of AYF activities while still participating in as many of the other Gathering options as time and energy allow. You are welcome to come and just hang out, but if you'd like to become more involved with the AYF program at Gathering that would be fantastic too.
Adult Young Friends Retreat
The AYF Pre-Gathering Retreat provides an additional day for self selecting AYFs to gather. Past retreats have been spaces for self-reflection, exploring how our Quaker values can influence and impact our day to day lives, and how our Quakerism impacts the wider world. The topic for this year's retreat will be announced at a later date.
Not sure you can afford to come to Gathering? There are many financial aid options available, including travel grants for some young adults, Friends in certain regions, and Friends of Color.
Affinity Groups, also known as Support Groups, are an optional component of the AYF Program at the Gathering. These are small groups which provide Friends the opportunity for daily check-ins about how the Gathering is going, bonding, and fellowship time within a smaller group of peers with similar interests or “affinities.” These groups range from worship focused groups, such as worship sharing, waiting worship, spiritual accountability and support, to groups focused on play, games, and napping. You have the opportunity during registration to express your interest in an affinity group, as well as the time of day you’d most prefer to meet, and interest in leading a support group.