Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

2017 Gathering FAQs

Email the Gathering staff, or call us at 215-561-1700, option 2 on the menu (Monday-Friday, 9:30 am-4:30 pm EST).

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 Niagara University campus

Other Questions

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.

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.

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

If these 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!

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 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 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
  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 you made, and the follow up questions
  7. Make desired changes
  8. Click NEXT Button until  you see a FINISH button
  9. Click FINISH

How do I make a payment?

Make a payment by credit card:

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
  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.
  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 can click on the request button).
  4. Click "OK" button.
  5. Click "Submit Payment" tab (only appears if you have a balance due).
  6. Complete credit card information, and the "Apply the Payment to Your Order" section.
  7. Double-check the amount at the top of the form. Is the total listed at the top really what you want to pay?
  8. 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]).

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.

What should I bring?

Definitely Bring:

  • A pillow, pillowcase and blankets (more about linens)
  • 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:

  • A passport, if you have one (you need one in order to cross the US/Canada border)
  • 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 the Niagara University (follow this link for information on traveling by car)

Don't Bring:

  • skateboards or longboards - they aren't allowed on the Niagara University campus
  • two-wheeled scooters (eg Razor scooters) - they aren't allowed on the Niagara University campus

What is provided for dorm linens?

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

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

You can purchase individual meals with cash or credit card in the cafeteria, starting with Friday dinner (6/30) and continuing through the week of the Gathering.

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. 

Will I have access to a fridge?

Priority access to all refrigerators will be for Friends with a medical need for one (as reported in their registration form), and Junior Gathering use. There is only one refrigerator per dorm building. Please put medications in a plastic bag clearly labelled with your name. If you want to store some food we recommend arriving with a small cooler or arriving ready to purchase a small cooler.

Why can’t I register for a double room with air-conditioning?

The ONLY air-conditioned housing available this year is apartment-style, with four adjoining single rooms and a shared bathroom. We expect relatively mild temperatures, especially overnight.

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

All air-conditioned rooms have thermostats you can adjust.

What food is available on campus or nearby?

The campus Dining Room will be open for three meals a day starting with dinner on June 30th. There will be two food vendors open in the student center, during the Gathering: Tim Horton's from 7:00am to 2:30pm and the Gally Grill from 10:00am-3:00pm.  A small convenience store will be open from 9:00am - 5:00pm.  (Hours are subject to change)

There are no restaurants in walking distance of campus. There are many in the tourist area near the Falls, and some in Lewistown and Niagara Falls.

Where can I find a map of the campus?

Check out Niagara University’s interactive map here!

How do I sign up for field trips?

Field trip sign ups start Sunday July 2, at the Gathering. Payments for field trips are only by cash or check.

Is there Internet access?

The University 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 expect limited access to the on-campus pool, including one free swim day, and possibly other days that Gathering attenders could pay for access.

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 on 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 lakes and rivers in the region

What is the mailing address for conference registrants?
Note to those mailing packages in advance of Gathering: we are renting a Post Office Box on the Niagara University Campus. We will not be able to pick up any mail or packages until Friday, June 30th. Please do not send any mail before June 21st.

For US Post Office mail:
The FGC Gathering
PO Box 2000
Niagara University, NY 14109
Attn: [Attendee's Name]

For FedEx and UPS:
The FGC Gathering
11 Vincentian Dr
Unit 2000
Niagara University, NY 14109
Attn: [Attendee's Name]

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 Gallagher building. The Gathering Office (215-561-1700, option 2 on the menu) can take non-emergency messages during office hours (8:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m.) and post them on the message board. It is up to Gathering attenders to check the board for messages.

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 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.
 

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

Your confirmation is very, 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.

Confused about when you should arrive?

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

Friday: The Retreat for People of Color and their Families and Seeking Joy as Quaker Business People conference both begin Friday evening.

Saturday: The Adult Young Friends Retreat Grown-Up Skills: Who Was Supposed to Teach This?? begins Saturday morning. You might want to arrive Friday night.

Sunday morning : Junior Gathering training begins with a light breakfast together at 8:30 a.m. Workshop leaders are expected to check in, pick up your packets, and read through them before your 3:15 p.m. meeting. You might want to arrive Saturday night.

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

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 9:00 a.m. start time for your workshop. The second half-Gathering meal plan begins with supper.

Late night arrivals: Please plan to arrive by 10:00 p.m. If you plan to arrive later or if you are unexpectedly delayed, you must CALL US BY 10:00 PM 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. There will not be any overnight university staff available to let you in, so we must have all latecomers' keys pulled before they go off duty.

How do I view the carpool list?

  1. Return to the registration site by following this link: Click here
  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.

Don't see the answer to your question here?

Email us at [email protected], or call 215-561-1700, ex. 3200.