The Youth Group is made up of the Meeting’s 6th through 12th grade youth. It is organized under the staff supervision of the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator and falls under the care of the Youth Programs Committee. Teens in the program are decision-makers about their activities and also administer a Youth Leadings Fund that helps to support Young Friends’ desire to complete service efforts. Teens periodically report back to the Meeting as a whole about activities and goals.
Youth kick off the year in early September, when everyone comes together to meet one another and brainstorm themes and activities of interest. Throughout the year, the group meets approximately once per month. Although specific activities vary based on the interests of the group, events emphasize community building, spiritual seeking, and service. Past activities have included:
Halloween pumpkin carving
A session on the spiritual meaning of the Mexican Day of the Dead. Youth made sugar skulls to represent loved ones who had passed on and heard a presentation from a Meeting member about her experience at Casa de los Amigos in Mexico City.
A session on the nature of spiritual leadings. A member of the Meeting shared her own personal experience with leadings.
Baking fundraiser. After a fun-filled evening of baking (granola, pies, etc.), youth discern together about what to do with the money they have raised. For the past two years, at least part of the proceeds have been brought to Haley House; in 2011, a donation of $295 to Haley House enabled the purchase of more than $2,000 in pantry food for people in need in the Boston area. In 2012, the FMC’s young friends decided to put some proceeds toward creating a Youth Leadings Fund.
Volunteering at the Haley House soup kitchen, where individuals in need can find a healthy meal
Easter egg coloring with fellow Meeting members
Bread baking and spiritual reflection
Participation in building a First Day School labyrinth
Every other Sunday of the month (October through June), junior and senior high school students have the option to gather in the far parlor for worship and discussion. They are encouraged to attend the regular Meeting for Worship when they are ready.
Youth Programs Committee
The Youth Programs Committee works together with the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator to fulfill its mission of promoting a sense of community among the Meeting’s Junior and Senior High students. In the spirit of fostering young Friends’ Quaker identity and sense of community, the committee works with students to organize fun, spiritually enriching activities. The Committee, together with the First Day School teachers and First Day School Committee, aims to enrich the students’ understanding of and commitment to Quaker principles and practice.
Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator
In working with the Youth Group, the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator aims to promote a sense of community among the Meeting’s Junior and Senior High students. He works with the Youth Programs Committee and the Meeting’s young Friends to organize Youth Group activities during the academic year. These include monthly social, service, and worship activities. For more information, contact the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator at email@example.com.
Beyond the Walls of Friends Meeting at Cambridge
Boston Area Quaker Youth Group: For high-school aged youth. Quakers and non-Quakers are invited to Saturday night gatherings for dinner, Quaker Spirit, and fun; from 6:00-9:30pm. The group gathers at Wellesley Meeting unless otherwise specified. Send questions & RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior High Retreats
The high school-aged youth group for NEYM is called Young Friends. They hold 5 weekend retreats throughout the school year plus a 4-day retreat over winter break. For more information about these retreats and what you could expect, send an e-mail to the Young Friends Coordinator, Nia Thomas: email@example.com; or go to: neym.org/young-friends.
Junior High Yearly Meeting Retreats
Junior High Yearly Meeting (JHYM) is a Quaker youth program within NEYM for middle school-aged youth in grades 6, 7 and 8. They hold 5 weekend retreats between September and May in various locations throughout New England. These provide wonderful opportunities for Quaker middle school youth to be part of a wider spiritual community beyond the walls of FMC. The JHYM Coordinator is Gretchen Baker-Smith. For more information, contact Gretchen at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to: neym.org/junior-high.