Attending Annual Session 2023 ONSITE

This page provides information about attending Annual Session (July 21-26, 2023) ONSITE at Mount Madonna Center, near Watsonville, California.

Questions? Please contact your Arrangements team at

Registration to attend Annual Session has closed.

All registered participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and arrival details (for Friends attending onsite at Mount Madonna) before the end of the day on Wednesday, July 19th.

Registration Fees

This gathering welcomes people of all economic levels. If the full cost of registration is not reasonable in your budget, pay what works for you (pay-as-led).

You can also ask your Monthly Meeting for financial support to attend Annual Session … many Meetings have funds for this.

Pacific Yearly Meeting is covering the registration fees for Friends 18 years of age or younger. Donations are appreciated to support this cost.

All indoor spaces are double occupancy, with the exception of Seminar House.


For the schedule of activities available for Friends attending Annual Session ONSITE (in-person), click HERE
(a downloadable pdf of the onsite schedule will be available in early July)

Covid Safety Policy

  1. Vaccinations are strongly recommended but not required to attend Annual Session onsite at Mount Madonna.
  2. Friends will be asked to test themselves before leaving home (within 24 hours of anticipated arrival at Mount Madonna) and to stay away if they test positive or are feeling ill.
  3. We also ask Friends to bring extra covid tests to test themselves during the week of Annual Session, if necessary.
  4. Friends will be asked to wear a mask indoors, except when actively eating or drinking.
  5. Any Friend who becomes ill during Annual Session will be asked to leave as soon as arrangements can be made for their safe travel home. A quarantine space will be made available at Mount Madonna, if needed.

Friends attending Annual Session onsite at Mount Madonna will be asked to confirm their agreement with this policy on the registration form.

Questions about the COVID Safety Policy for Annual Session 2023?
Write to Heather at

About Mount Madonna Center

Mount Madonna Center sits on a mountain-top with 380 acres of redwoods and grasslands. There are hiking trails, two small ponds, and spaces for us to gather – indoor and out. Most of the areas we will use at Annual Session are on a reasonably flat road. The rustic campsites are a ten minute walk up a fairly steep hill. Our meeting rooms are all accessible, and Friendly Golf Cart drivers will be available to help us get around.


For a map of Mount Madonna Center, click HERE

Indoor Lodging

Mount Madonna offers a variety of hotel-style rooms (without phones or televisions).  A few rooms have private bath, most have a shared bathroom nearby (private while in use).  All rooms have two or more twin beds. Linens will be provided for Friends sleeping in indoor lodging. This will include one towel per person.

Conference Center – Centrally located, near where the plenaries and other sessions will be held.

Seminar House – Families with children under 13 will be staying here and the meeting room will be available as a play space when not in use for scheduled activities.

Oaks Cabins – A 10 minute walk up the hill from the meeting and dining areas. Cabins have heat and electricity, but no plumbing. There is a bathhouse nearby.
Young Adult Friends or YAFs, without small children, will be staying in the cabins nearest to the Assembly Room.


The Oaks Campground is a 10 minute walk up the hill from the main area. There is a centrally located bathhouse and there will be port-a-potties for the campsites that are further away. Campers will need to bring all their own equipment.

Friends will be able to drive close to the campsites to unload equipment. Then, you will be asked to park your vehicle in a designated area nearby.

General campsites will be first come, first served or ‘choose your own’ (i.e. not pre-assigned).
Families will be camping near Seminar House.
The teens (JYM) will be camping in the area around Orchard House.
Young Adult Friends (YAFs) (without small children) will be camping towards to the top of the Oaks Campground (near the Assembly Room).

RV/Camping Vehicle

There are a few spaces available at Mount Madonna for RVs or other camping vehicles. Some have access to electricity, but not other hookups. Showers and restrooms are available in the campgrounds and buildings.

What to Bring

We can expect temperatures at Mount Madonna to be between mid-70s and mid-80’s during the day, possibly going down to mid-40s at night.
In consideration for sensitive Friends and Mount Madonna’s policies, please refrain from bringing or using fragrances or scented products.

  • 2 unopened covid antigen or rapid tests
  • Sufficient N95, KN95 or KF94 masks
  • Comfortable, appropriate clothing for a largely outdoor site – bring layers!
  • Shoes that you can easily slip on and off (Mount Madonna asks no outdoor shoes be worn on carpeted floors)
  • Sun hat, sunscreen + insect repellant (fragrance-free or unscented)
  • Reusable water bottle / travel mug
  • Flashlight (especially important if you are camping)
  • Mount Madonna will provide shampoo, conditioner and body gel in the shower facilities (if you bring your own toiletries, please ensure they are fragrance-free or unscented and gentle on the environment)
  • An item of clothing to tie-dye at the Community Sharing activity on Saturday
  • Pack your best animal or landscape costume for the Dance on Tuesday night. The theme is: “The Peaceable Kingdom” (no human costumes please)
  • Musical instruments for sing-a-longs
  • Bible for Bible Study on Saturday and Sunday

If you are staying in covered lodging (Conference Center, Cabins, Seminar House or Ram Cottages), bed linens and one towel will be provided.

If you are camping, please remember to bring all the camping gear you will need. Campsites are approximately 10′ x 10′.

Getting to Annual Session

  • Driving directions are detailed on the Mount Madonna website
  • There is no public transportation to the site from towns nearby (Watsonville and Gilroy are each a half hour away). If you are planning to arrive to Watsonville or Gilroy by bus or by train, let us know and we’ll make arrangements to collect you.
  • Pickups from San Jose or San Francisco airports (an hour to hour and a half away) can be arranged.
  • Consider carpooling with other Friends. Reach out to your local networks and email lists to ask for a ride … or to offer one!
  • Let us know your travel plans. Perhaps you could collect someone along the way or be a volunteer driver.

Arriving on Friday

Please plan to arrive with enough time to check in and get set up in your room or pitch your tent (there is no lighting in the campground after dark). Ask Arrangements about times for setting up meeting rooms and other spaces.

Check-in on Friday, July 21 is from 3:00 to 5:15 pm on the patio outside the Conference Center.

Arriving and being together prior to dinner helps us to be gathered and ready for the first plenary. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:15 pm, and the first plenary will follow immediately.

Phones & Internet

Wifi is available in our meeting spaces, in the dining room areas, and in most guest rooms. Campsites and cabins do not have wifi. Cell phone reception can be spotty, though texting works well. Verizon works best, AT&T is decent, and Sprint and T-Mobile are limited.

Meals & Food

All meals at Mount Madonna are vegetarian, with vegan and gluten-free options. In respect of the Mount Madonna ethos and community, Friends are asked to not bring food onto the site. If these guidelines pose a difficulty for your dietary needs, please note this and any concerns on the registration form. Arrangements Committee will contact you to discuss options.

Breakfast is 8-9 am, lunch 12:30-1:30pm and dinner 5:30-6:15pm.
Snacks will be served at the Conference Center Tea Bar in the evening.

Drop by the Tea Bars in the Community Building (Dining Hall) and the Conference Center any time for teas, coffee and hot chocolate. A basket of oranges and bananas is always available in the Conference Center and the Community Building.

Accessibility & Golf Carts

We hope everyone who attends Annual Session at Mount Madonna will feel comfortable moving around the site and participating in the various gatherings. Here are some useful details:

Golf Carts with friendly drivers will be on hand to help Friends get around.
Friends who are mobile, but perhaps a little less agile than they would like to be, will likely be okay getting themselves between the Conference Center (most indoor lodging and the Main Room where plenaries and other sessions are held) and the Community Center (the dining hall), but may appreciate the golf cart to get to/from the Seminar House (where some sessions are held) as it is down the hill from the main Conference/Community Center area. Check in at the Information Desk to schedule a ride.

Mount Madonna is ADA compliant, but we recommend talking with Arrangements if you are planning to bring a wheelchair.

Information Desk

This is your go-to place for answers to all your questions! Can I get a site map to help me get around?  Do you know where my worship-sharing group is meeting? Can I sign up for a ride down to Seminar?  May I borrow a pencil and paper? I need some first aid supplies, do you have band-aids?  The answers to all these questions and more is…yes!
The Information Desk will be in the Conference Center.

Additional Notes

Laundry. Sorry, Mount Madonna does not offer laundry facilities due to limited water resources and a commitment to stewardship of the land that sustains us.

Swimming. Swimming in the ‘lake’ near the Conference Center is not advisable. You might consider bringing a bathing suit for the hot tub near the Wellness Center.
The Children’s Program and Junior Yearly Meeting are planning a trip to a local pool.

Yoga. Yoga classes can be arranged for a fee. Contact

Translate »
Scroll to Top