YAFs’ Families & Elders Retreat 2016 – Three days before Annual Session (Wed-Fri, June 15-17)

You are cordially and enthusiastically invited to attend the Young Adult Friends’ pre-annual-session retreat, hosted this year at Redwood Forest Friends Meeting in Santa Rosa, CA. The retreat will be held from June 15th through the 17th (Wednesday to Friday), as PYM has decided to begin annual session on Friday, June 17th this year.

Continue reading “YAFs’ Families & Elders Retreat 2016 – Three days before Annual Session (Wed-Fri, June 15-17)”

Spring Youth Service Learning Camp –March 2016– with Quaker Oaks Farm & the Wukchumni Tribe



See the Quaker Oaks Farm website’s camp page for details and registration information, including:

  • Registration Form — Please fill out and submit early — spaces are limited
  • Flyer Please post and share widely
  • Save-The-Date — Please post and share widely
  • Enrollment Packet — Will be sent once the Registration Form is received
  • Ways to Support Camp
  • YouTube Video from 2015 Camp




Quaker Oaks Farm
Spring Youth Service Learning Camp 2016
Visalia, CA

March 22-26, 2016

All interested middle school and high school aged youth are invited to Quaker Oaks Farm‘s 2016 Spring Service Learning Camp, in partnership with the Wukchumni Tribe and the Youth Programs of Pacific Yearly Meeting Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

If you, your Friends Meeting, or your organization is interested in supporting camp, please see our Fundraising Letter or the Quaker Oaks Farm website for info about our needs and how to contribute. Many thanks!

This will be an opportunity for Quakers and Native Americans to share and learn from each other: who we are, where we come from, historical events not usually taught in school, interactions with Tribal Elders, local Wukchumni Traditions, the opportunity to participate in a sweat lodge ceremony, and many other fun activities. Come learn, make friends, and have fun!

For more information or to state your interest in being adult staff or a youth camper, contact Melissa Lovett-Adair, Darlene Franco, or Alyssa Nelson. See Quaker Oaks Farm website for contact info.

qof_camp_sweatlodge qof_camp_tree

YPCC Report to Annual Session 2015



Web Version: 

Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC) & Coordinator (YPC)
Pacific Yearly Meeting – Annual Session 2015
7 July 2015

Summary Report

This Summary Report gives an overview of what the PYM Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC) and the Youth Programs Coordinator (YPC) have accomplished in 2014-2015, some plans for next year, and what we have found engaging, exciting or challenging. Friends are invited to read our more detailed Extended Report, appended to this Summary.

Simply put, our work falls into two main categories: 1) committee work with support from the coordinator and 2) coordinator work with support from the committee. This work is organized around a Goals and Objectives document and subcommittee structure that the committee approved in June 2014 and which is posted on the PYM website at: http://www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ypcc_GoalsObjectives_2014_06_AnnualReport.pdf .

Work of the Committee

Youth Programs Fund
During the past year, the YPCC has put the new Youth Programs Fund (interest from the Bob Vogel Endowment) to work, both by awarding grants for projects proposed by others and by sponsoring activities of our own initiative. We wrote guidelines for the application process in alignment with our goals and objectives, devised a calendar for the receipt and consideration of applications, and created a process for making awards. So far, we have made minor revisions to our procedures after each application cycle, and we intend eventually to have an online application form to make it easier to fill out and submit. The Committee has received 16 applications and has funded 12 of them, as well as co-sponsoring and partially funding the Spring 2015 Youth Service Learning Camp with Quaker Oaks Farm and the Wukchumni Tribe. (Particulars of the awards and the events they supported may be found in the Extended Report and Appendices.)

The committee is currently considering our fourth round of applications. Both the process and the applications are getting better each time as committee members work with applicants to refine their ideas and within the committee to smooth the process. Many thanks to the Treasurer and Finance Committee for their work to manage the endowment’s investment and accounting, and especially the Treasurer for handling our requests to write and send checks.

Interest Groups and Activities at Annual Session 2015

  • We are scheduled to report to plenary during the first business meeting, Tuesday, July 14 between 3:15 and 4:30 PM.
  • Members of the YPCC and the YPC will be available to chat during the Committee Fair on Tuesday, July 14 at 4:45 PM.
  • Our first of two interest groups is “Growing Intercultural and Intergenerational Relationships on the Land: Friends, the Wukchumni People, and Quaker Oaks Farm,” with Melissa Lovett-Adair, Wukchumni elders and youth, Jim Summers, Alyssa Nelson, and teen camp participants from PYM. It will be held on Wednesday, July 15 at 1:30 PM. An article about this collaboration was published in the most recent issue of Western Friend (July/Aug 2015).
  • We are hosting a joint discussion on “Membership” with teens, young adults and Discipline Committee on Thursday, July 16th at 8:30 PM.
  • Friends with a particular interest the YPCC Youth Programs Fund are invited to attend our interest group on that topic on Friday, July 17 at 1:30 PM.

Developing Adult Allies to Youth
The committee continues to sponsor “Adult Allies to Youth” workshops, as described in the Work of the Coordinator section below. In response to multiple requests from members of the wider PYM community for the YPCC or YPC to find or recommend “Friendly Responsible Adult Presences” or other youth-workers, the committee has labored and found unity as expressed in the following guidelines:

Minute of the YPCC regarding requests for lists of youth-workers (July 2015): The Pacific Yearly Meeting Youth Programs Coordinator (YPC) and Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC) continue to be available to consult with groups in PYM on developing safe, reliable, well-known and well-prepared adults to work with youth (“youth-workers”) whose interests and abilities match the specific program needs. The Committee believes that, due to the broad geographic span of PYM, widely differing program needs, and the necessity for frequent updates, any lists of potential youth-workers should be developed and maintained by those groups or programs at their own local levels. The YPC and YPCC will not provide a general or central list of youth-workers, nor certify the qualifications of potential youth-workers. While the YPC will continue keeping a working list of numerous individuals in PYM who play roles in youth programs, that list is an internal resource for the work of the YPC and YPCC, not for circulation.

Caveats and Rationale:

  • Pacific Yearly Meeting spans three countries and three US states. The YPC Committee’s objective is to assist local communities to draw on local resources rather than to produce a generic, sometimes outdated central list.
  • The Committee will continue to administer criminal background checks at the request of a PYM program and with the permission of the person being checked.
  • The Committee will also continue to verify participation in its “Adult Allies to Youth” workshops with the caveat that participation in this workshop does not necessarily mean the person is qualified or recommended.
  • Information provided by the Committee on potential youth-workers should not be a substitute for personal knowledge, reference checks and other forms of discernment or outreach in the Good Order of Friends. We strongly recommend that selection of youth-workers for PYM activities be in compliance with any pertinent current policies, such as the PYM Abuse Prevention Policy.
  • Upon request, the YPC and YPCC members may serve as references for individual applicants –in their own private capacities and at their own discretion– but are not expected to do so as part of their duties.
  • Reference Material: PYM Abuse Prevention Policy (June 2015 revision of May 2010 document, to be presented by M&O to Annual Session 2015)

Background materials and further detail concerning this minute are included as an appendix to our Extended Report.

Work of The Youth Programs Coordinator

It has been a busy year for the Youth Programs Coordinator (YPC), Alyssa Nelson, as well. She has now visited 34 of PYM’s 44 Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups in California and Nevada since she began her position four years ago and has been regularly attending most of both Quarterly Meetings’ gatherings, where she has been a resource for the planning committees and teen programs. She and the YPCC are still working out how best to serve the five Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups in Hawaii, as well as the two meetings in Mexico City and Guatemala.

Alyssa has supported, helped plan, and attended several Young Adult Friends (YAF) events over the course of the year. The annual YAF Retreat, co-organized by Alyssa and YPCC member / YAF Co-Clerk Kylin Navarro, will be held the weekend just before annual session this year (as it has been for the past two years), this time at the Berkeley meetinghouse. The retreat is predicted to again attract around 30 Friends, including some elders. Two of PYM’s invited guests, Paula Palmer and Lloyd Lee Wilson, will attend, and Paula will be giving her workshop, “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples.”

Alyssa has again led, with the assistance of committee members, “Becoming Adult Allies to Youth” workshops in both Northern and Southern California; since 2011, a total of 65 Friends have taken the workshop. Meetings willing to host an Adult Allies workshop this coming year should contact Alyssa.

Alyssa supports Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM, the PYM teen program) in its planning process by email and phone and at the JYM planning meeting at Representative Committee Meeting. She has also helped design and facilitate the JYM leadership orientation for the FRAPs, teen clerks, teen M&O, and adult committee members, held on the first afternoon of annual session. She is continuing to redevelop and co-facilitate JYM’s “Respectful Relationships” sexuality education workshop with YAFs. One of her main roles continues to be in helping JYM and YAFs to understand, coordinate with, and navigate within the PYM and annual session structures; and helping other PYM entities understand and connect with JYM and YAFs. She has also provided some such assistance to PYM’s Children’s Program, on a much more limited basis thus far.

Alyssa and her Administrative Supervisor from the YPCC participated in rewriting PYM’s Abuse Prevention Policy. M&O has now asked the YPC to take over the function of ordering the criminal background checks for FRAPs, Children’s Program teachers, and committee members of JYM and Children’s Program, as well as any other youth-workers at PYM-sponsored events. (These are ordered online through a professional company.) Alyssa has provided this service for this year’s annual session, with help and oversight from an M&O liaison and the YPCC Administrative Supervisor.

Alyssa continues to report to PYM throughout the year through occasional epistles, a calendar and youth program pages on the PYM website, and Facebook pages. Throughout the year and especially leading up to annual session, she receives many requests for information, help and referrals; she spends a lot of time online and on the phone, punctuated by opportunities to be with Friends in person.

Word gets around! Alyssa has been contacted by her relatively new counterpart in Australia Yearly Meeting (AYM) with a request from AYM to learn from PYM’s youth programs work, including an invitation to attend AYM’s annual gathering in July 2016 and to sojourn among other local and regional Friends meetings there. Travel costs will be paid by AYM. As well as sharing what she has learned as PYM’s Youth Programs Coordinator, Alyssa looks forward to learning from Australian Friends about their relationships with Native Peoples and their work on restorative justice.


In closing, the YPCC anticipates that the year ahead will be joyfully filled with receiving, refining, and funding grant applications; continuing to support teens, young adults, and adult allies to youth; and further co-sponsorship of activities with Quaker Oaks Farm and the Wukchumni People. Our vision PYM as a whole, intergenerational, interactive community with a vibrant youth component continues to guide our work together.

Submitted on behalf of the YPCC,
Mary Klein and Jim Summers, Co-Clerks, Youth Programs Coordinating Committee
Alyssa Nelson, Youth Programs Coordinator

[Please see link above to download the full report with appendices.]

2015 JYM – What to Bring – Packing List

Hey everybody! It’s time for Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) already, and we’re super excited for another amazing year together. We, the JYM committee,would love to extend a warm welcome to all who are planning on attending JYM this year! This year’s co-clerks are Natasha Herrera-Hillman, Maya Price, and Jarod Rischapter.

JYM has a range of ages from 13 to 18. We have our own schedule and activities that are going to be a blast! We have amazing activities planned by the JYM committee including Community building games, Ultimate Frisbee, an awesome service project, Respectful relationships, many intergenerational games and activities, Mini AVP workshop, a Friday night Community Dance with a “Outer Space” theme, and much much more. Through these activities and others we build a strong community that helps nurture the spiritual growth of the group as a whole with an emphasis on the inner light in everyone. We will take time as a community to develop agreements and expectations that reflect our Quaker testimonies. Since JYM is a part of PYM, we do participate in many of the greater gathering’s activities including some plenaries, intergenerational games, and the all ages dance and community night.

JYM is a safe and close community we have found it important to have gender separated sleeping arrangements to allow for maximum fun and safety. Please don’t bring any drug or alcohol. We’re so looking forward to seeing everyone and having a great time as a community during our week together at Walker Creek Ranch!

Packing List:

  • Sleeping Bag or sheets and blankets
  • Pillow & Pillow Case
  • Towel (s) for showers and swimming
  • Toiletries, Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Clothes fit for any weather- 6 days
  • Warm clothes for night
  • Pajamas
  • Hiking shoes
  • Shoes you don’t mind getting dirty for the service project
  • Casual shoes
  • Socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Daypack
  • Flashlight
  • Clothes for the dance – “Outer Space” themed
  • For Sharing Creative Expression – Poem? Music?, Art? ???
  • Mp3 or Cd with music for the dance
  • Frisbee, cards, board games, etc.
  • Musical instruments
  • Idea’s for family night talent show- a skit? Poem? Music?
  • Faith and Practice, Bible, other spiritual readings, Journal
  • Handwork for quiet times, knitting, friendship bracelet

For more information, contact the JYM Committee: jym@pacificyearlymeeting.org

YAFs’ Families & Elders Retreat – The weekend before Annual Session (July 10-13, 2015)

You and yours are invited to the Pacific YM Young Adult Friends’ Family & Elders Retreat (aka YAF Retreat) at Berkeley Meeting (July 10-13, 2015). This is the weekend right before PYM annual session.

Our schedule will have a good balance of yummy meals and snacks, hang-out time, sleep(!), singing, and organized activities. Berkeley Meetinghouse has great indoor and outdoor spaces as well as easy access to the surrounding city and nature (for walks, runs, bike rides, etc.).

PYM’s invited guests Lloyd Lee Wilson (North Carolina YM-Conservative) and Paula Palmer (Intermountain YM / Boulder Friends Meeting) will also be part of our retreat!

COST: Suggested sliding scale of $40-$75 (please bring your check or cash to the retreat). No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Thanks to the PYM Youth Programs Coordinating Committee, Berkeley Meeting, and PYM YAFs for help making this gathering possible.

Please register asap!

Although we expect the majority of our participants will be in the YAF age range (18-40ish), elders and youngers are very welcome as important parts of our community. Please invite your friends and ask them to fill this out asap so we can get accurate info for meals and activity planning.

More info about PYM Young Adult Friends and this Retreat, including the schedule, can be found at:

Please email Kylin Navarro if you have any questions or concerns!

Looking forward to seeing you in Berkeley soon!

Volunteers Wanted for 2015 JYM/Teen or Children’s Programs: Applications Online

Dear PYM Friends,

Can you think of a Friend who’d be a good fit to volunteer with children or teens at Annual Session? Please send this message to them!

One fantastic way for adults to experience PYM Annual Session is alongside young Friends, either as a “FRAP” for Junior Yearly Meeting (teens) or as a Children’s Program “Teacher.” Come join us July 13-18 at Walker Creek Ranch near Petaluma, California, USA!

Applications and information about volunteering as a FRAP or Children’s Program Teacher are online, and deadlines are coming up soon (6/1 & 6/2):

Children’s Program:



Besides getting your registration cost waived, adults who spend the week in the youth programs regularly come out oozing joy and excitement about these lively core communities within PYM. Youth and adult Friends build relationships that strengthen and enliven our multi-generational Religious Society of Friends today and into the future.

Did you know: Children and teens may come to Annual Session without their parent/guardian by having an adult sponsor?! Please encourage the young people in your Meeting or Worship Group to attend, and help them find a sponsor if their parent/guardian can’t come. For youth who have few or no Quaker peers at their local meeting or at school, participating in regional gatherings is often a highlight of their year and the basis for a lasting connection to Friends’ community.

Also, REGISTRATION FOR ANNUAL SESSION IS NOW OPEN! Sign up by May 18th for discount. Financial aid is available, too. The theme for this year’s session is “Fruits of the Spirit: Love and Justice,” with guest keynote speaker Lloyd Lee Wilson and presenters Jose Aguto of FCNL and Paula Palmer of Intermountain Yearly Meeting. “Facing urgent needs for justice … we easily become self-righteous, impatient, strident. Learning of the oppression of indigenous peoples, the harsh reality of racism today, the gravity of environmental decline, or violence of any kind, we may be overcome by outrage that blocks the healing power of love. Living in love is essential not only for our spiritual health, but also for effective work for justice.” Youth will engage with this theme through games, singing, movement, workshops, interest groups, worship sharing, service, play and rest.

Questions about the teen or children’s programs or the volunteer application process? Wondering in which program a young Friend would best fit?

* For Teen Program (JYM), contact adult co-clerk Sue Torrey (Central Coast). Deadline June 2nd (new date) for FRAP applications. JYM will be selecting FRAPs on a rolling basis, so early applications will be considered first.

* For Children’s Program, contact adult clerk Heather Levien (Berkeley). Deadline June 1st for teacher applications.

Sent on behalf of JYM and Children’s Program Clerks …. in your service,

Alyssa Nelson, PYM Youth Programs Coordinator