What's a Retreat?

JYM child on beach fence

Retreats are a way for NEYM youth to explore in community what it means to live as a Friend in the 21st century. They can be welcome breaks from day to day lives and responsibilities, a place to reconnect within. For many, retreats are also a safe place for everyone to be themselves and feel accepted while having a lot of fun. (Photo by Kevin Lee ©2019)

Friday nights can be pretty loud. There is generally a lot of excitement in being together. We share a pretty quick supper and then dive into an evening program that always begins with introductions and reminders about how our community strives to grow, and then some mix of small groups, singing, and get-to-know-you games. 

By Saturday morning, we've settled into a groove with less noise and more attention to the group as a whole. Saturday’s programs include large and small group conversations, games, crafts, free time, worship, and singing. Afternoons might include a range of workshops, a special craft project, a game of Capture the Flag, or time to hang out. We try to provide a mix of active and quiet times, using different mediums and senses in order to meet the rhythms and styles of everyone. We have an hour of Quiet in the late afternoon that is peaceful and welcomed. 

Saturday evenings often are a time for large group singing, thoughtful conversations, art-based meditations or, in JYM, a talent show. Each program tends to have it's own traditions before bedtime—all are cozy and full of gratitude for friendship and the Light. Chores, including meal setup and cleanup, are shared by everyone throughout the weekend. 

Sunday morning focuses on cleaning and packing, and then bringing closure to our time in community. Families are welcome to join us at the host meeting's First Day worship and share lunch afterwards. (Check with us for the exact time of worship.) We ask that all attenders be picked up by 12:30 Sunday afternoon.

JYM group beach walk

Photo by Kevin Lee ©2019

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Sample Schedule JYM

What a typical JYM Retreat Schedule looks like

Sample Schedule JHYM

What a typical JHYM Retreat schedule looks like