Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Gathering FAQs

This list is partially updated for the 2020 Gathering. Many questions pertain to the online registration process, which opens April 1.

Want to talk to someone coordinating a particular program or with a specific role? Use the Gathering Contact Form.

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 Radford campus

Other Questions

Completing Registration and Making Payments

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

Your confirmation is 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.

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.

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 make a payment?

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 check:

  1. Make out the check to Friends General Conference and write "Gathering" in the memo line along with the names of everyone you're paying for
  2. Mail the check to: Friends General Conference

    1216 Arch St, #2B

    Philadelphia, PA 19107

To make a payment by credit card:

  1. Follow this link for the Gathering event. (link will be active after April 1)
  2. Click "Already Registered"
  3. Enter primary registrant’s name and email address, exactly as entered on the registration form.
  4. Enter Confirmation Number (it’s in the primary registrant’s confirmation email, or you can click on the request button).
  5. Click "OK" button.
  6. Click "Submit Payment" tab (only appears if you have a balance due).
  7. Complete credit card information, and the "Apply the Payment to Your Order" section.
  8. Double-check the amount at the top of the form. Is the total listed at the top really what you want to pay?
  9. Click "Submit Payment" button at the bottom of the page.

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.)
  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 and contact the Gathering Office (215-561-1700, option 2 on the menu, or [email protected]).

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

If the above 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!

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

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

Changing Your Registration Form

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 fee-related choices - like housing and shuttles - 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 (link will be active after April 1)
  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 fee-related choices - like housing and shuttles - you made, and the follow up questions
  7. Make desired changes
  8. Click NEXT Button until  you see a FINISH button
  9. Click FINISH

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. Please allow several days for us to correct your account and send you an updated financial statement.

How do I cancel?

All cancellations must be submitted in writing (email, fax, or postal mail) or completed online by the registrant. We strongly recommend that financial aid recipients, or anyone cancelling one person from a multi-person registration, contact us rather than cancelling online. Cancellation fees apply, except in a few circumstances. Read the cancellation policy & instructions for how to cancel.

Housing and Meals

Will I have access to a fridge?

Because there are very few refrigerators in the dorms, all fridges will be restricted for medical use. Friends with medical needs for refrigerators will need to mark that on their Gathering registration. Please bring a cooler for snack/food needs. 

Can I buy just a few meals in the dining center?

You can purchase individual meals at the cafeteria in the Student Center.

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. View the prices for individual meals.

What food is available on campus or nearby?

The campus Dining Room will be open for three meals a day starting with dinner on Friday, June 26th. (Gathering meal plans begin with dinner on Sunday, June 28th, unless you've purchased a pre-Gathering meal plan.)

There are several restaurants and a convenience store in walking distance of campus.

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

We expect that there will be thermostats in rooms, but buildings are set in a temperature range so there is not total control. Attendees should bring additional blankets or sleepware to ensure comfort.

Packing and Traveling

Confused about when you should arrive?

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

Friday: The Nourishing Our Spirits to Enliven Our Quaker Practice retreat begins Friday afternoon. The Retreat for People of Color and their Families, Quakers & Business Conference, and Adult Young Friends Retreat begin Friday evening.

Sunday morning: Junior Gathering training begins on Sunday at 10:00am. Workshop leaders are expected to check in, pick up your packets, and read through them before your 3:15pm meeting. You might want to arrive Saturday night.

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

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 9:00am start time for your workshop. The second half-Gathering meal plan begins with dinner.

Late night arrivals: Please plan to arrive by 9:00pm Sunday June 28, or 7pm if arriving on 6/26 or 6/27. If you plan to arrive later or if you are unexpectedly delayed, you must CALL US or sign up on the online Late Arrivals list by 5:00pm in order to have your dorm key available later. We will sign out your key to you, and you can check in the following morning.

What should I 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:

  • An extra blanket if you think you'll need one (more about linens)
  • Raingear
  • Sunglasses, hat, fragrance-free sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Water bottle (labeled!)
  • Sweatshirt or jacket for cooler evenings
  • Bathing suit and towel (more about swimming)
  • Extra bath towel
  • Doorstop, in case you want to prop open your door to be social with your neighbors
  • Fan or white noise maker to help disguise dorm noises
  • Earplugs
  • Reading light
  • Coat hangers
  • Alarm clock
  • Cloth napkin
  • Rise-Up Singing and Rise Again (also available at the Gathering Store)
  • Driving directions to Radford University (follow this link for information on traveling by car)

Don't Bring:

  • pets (working service animals are permitted on campus.)

What is provided for dorm linens?

Two bed sheets, a lightweight blanket, a towel & washcloth, a pillow, and a pillowcase are provided for each bed.  You will need to bring any additional blankets. No linens are provided for children on the floor.

How do I view the carpool list?

You first need to register for the Gathering. Then you can view the carpool list:

  1. Return to the registration site by following this link (link will be active after April 1)
  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.

How can I take my name off the carpool list?

If you initially signed up you do not need carpooling, or have confirmed a ride/passengers with someone on the list, you can remove your name from the carpool list. To re-enter your registration summary:

Return to the registration site by following this link (link will be active after April 1)

Enter your Confirmation number (it's in your confirmation email) and click the OK button.

Click the Modify button in the "My Registration" tab

Click on the Information link to the right of your name (under "Modify")

Look for the blue "Not Carpooling?" stripe near the bottom

Change your answer to "No" for this question:"Do you want your name listed as interested in carpooling?"

Click through to last page of your registration and click "Finish."

What to expect on the Radford University Campus

Is there Internet access?

The college reports that there is free wireless in all of the rooms of all of the dorms, and throughout campus.

Will we have access to a swimming pool on campus?

We will not have access to a pool on campus, and there is not a public pool in Radford. 

There are several swimming options a 15-20 minute drive from campus 

- Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg, VA

- Randolph Water Park in Dublin, VA

- Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin, VA

Some who might want to consider bringing a swimsuit anyway are:

  • Young children who will have access to wading pools during some Junior Gathering times
  • Adult Young Friends program participants who might be going in the water during the AYF out trip
  • High School Program participants who might be going in the water during the High School out trip
  • Friends staying in the area before and after the Gathering to enjoy the river and lakes in the region

Where can I find a map of the campus?

Check out Radford University's interactive campus map or view a downloadable PDF map of campus

View Radford University on GoogleMaps

Is there laundry on campus?

There are washing machines in dorms, and FGC will provide fragrance-free laundry detergent. We are still checking to see if it is free or paid using quarters or a card.

Other Questions

How do I sign up for field trips?

Field trip sign ups start Sunday June 28, at the Gathering. Payments for field trips are only by cash or check. Read the Field Trip descriptions.

Do you have advice for people who are new to the Gathering?

Yes! Once you're at Gathering, there are many choices about what to do, and many people who are there. We're compiled some suggestions for first time attenders for self care, connection, staying grounded, and navigating the facilities. Read Tips for First Time Attenders at the Gathering.

Can I come to the Gathering from outside the US & Canada?

Everyone is welcome at the Gathering, and each year we have a number of Friends from other continents and other branches in the Religious Society of Friends. However, as an organization, our core mission and our core constituency is serving Friends in Canada and the United States. We cannot provide consulate letters or travel support, and we likely cannot provide any financial assistance for attendees from outside Canada & the US. Read more about attending the Gathering if you're coming from outside the US & Canada.

Can I come to the Gathering if I'm not Quaker?

Yes, but read our tips for a non-Quaker at the Gathering. Non-Quakers are also typically not eligible for scholarships.

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 Joe Rosenfiled Center (JRC). The Gathering Office (215-561-1700, option 2 on the menu) can take non-emergency messages during office hours (8:00am-9:00pm) and post them on the message board. It is up to Gathering attenders to check the board for messages.

What is the mailing address for conference registrants?

Check back in the spring for this information

How do I contact someone about a specific program or activity?

Use the Gathering Contact Form

Don't see the answer to your question here?

Email us at [email protected], or call 215-561-1700, ext. 2