Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

2020 Pre-Gathering Events and Children

The Children’s Center for Pre-Gathering Attenders  (Pre-Gathering Events)

The Children’s Center will be available only to children whose parents are attending Pre-Gathering Events. 

The Center will be open for infants through rising ninth grade for Friday afternoon and evening, all day (and evening) Saturday, and Sunday morning - and only for children who are staying to participate in the Gathering. The only exception to this is the Quakers & Business Conference - children of Quakers & Business Conference participants may come to the Children's Center even if they are not staying for the Gathering. If you have signed up for Quakers & Business and not the Gathering you will still need to fill out the parental permission form in order to utilize the Children’s Center during the pre-gathering times

There will be a structure to the day including activities, snacks and quiet times. Children will be under their parents' care when the center is closed for meal times. (See Pre-Gathering Information Packet on arrival.)

If you register for a Pre-Gathering event and have children in this age range arrive with you, children must attend Children’s Center when you are participating in the event OR  must be under the direct supervision of an adult who is not registered for the event (e.g., your spouse, a grandparent).  If the numbers and ages of children warrant, the group will occasionally split into two (for example, to allow older children to run outside in the evening while younger children are involved in quiet activities or sleeping.) Sunday morning childcare may be provided by different people than Friday and Saturday childcare.

Although the Pre-Gathering Retreat of People of Color and Their Families is not designed for children, children are welcome to participate or to move between childcare and the retreat. Children (below middle school-age) do NOT register for the retreat. Instead, adults indicate which children will be attending.

Please complete, sign and return a Junior Gathering Parental Release Form for each child that will be attending the Children’s Center.

All Pre-Gathering event Children’s Center requests must be made by June 10 to allow time for scheduling staff.

NOTE:  The Pre-Gathering Children's Center closes promptly at noon on Sunday, June 28, 2020.

High Schoolers and Pre-Gathering Events

In general, the Gathering encourages high school participants (rising 10th grade through those who just graduated) not to arrive at the Gathering before Sunday.  Sometimes, the only way to get to the Gathering is to travel with an adult who is arriving early.  In these instances, High Schoolers may arrive early if (1) they are willing to sleep on the floor of their sponsor’s room, (2) they are willing to join other volunteers getting ready for the Gathering, and (3) they identify a sponsor who is on campus when they arrive. It is okay to have a different early sponsor than the primary Gathering sponsor.  However, registrants for pre-Gathering events may not serve as early sponsors unless the high school teen is registered for the same event.  For most high schoolers this will mean that they cannot arrive with an adult participating in a pre-Gathering event.

High Schoolers are welcome at these Pre-Gathering Events:

People of Color Retreat

High school aged Friends of Color are warmly welcome to register for the People of Color Retreat. They will mostly participate in the retreat, and there will be a few opportunities for age-segregated conversations and programming. We expect that high school registrants in the POC retreat will be accompanied by a parent. If this is not true for you, please contact Vanessa Julye to inquire about registering. 

Way Opens: Business in the Manner of Friends in this Time of Rapid Change (Quakers & Business Conference)

High school aged Friends interested in participating in the Quakers & Business Conference are welcome to register for the event.  Their sponsors must be on campus when the high school Friends arrive, but the sponsors do not have to be registered for the Quakers & Business Conference.