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Junior Young Friends

The dates for the Junior Young Friends (JYF) Conferences for 2021-2022 are being planned!

Stay tuned for the schedule to be announced by signing up for our emails here!


What is Junior Young Friends?

As one of the youth programs of Baltimore Yearly Meeting, we hold a series of weekend retreats for 6th-8th graders, whom we call Junior Young Friends (JYFs). JYF conferences or “cons” are held at different Quaker Meetinghouses throughout the school year. Cons are a fun way to see friends from other Meetings or camp, make new friends, and retreat from the pressures of teenage life, while still developing skills around living in community and having a lot of fun. Sunshine Klein, the BYM Youth Programs Manager, and Ana Phillips, the JYF Assistant, facilitate these weekends in conjunction with the Youth Programs Committee

When attending a conference, please bring a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes, toiletries. Many JYFs also enjoy bringing things to help them foster relationships like music, sports equipment, or games.

You'll need to register your JYF online here or by clicking the "JYF Registration" link to the left. Each in-person conference costs $40. For the first conference your JYF attends each school year, you'll need to complete and submit the Medical Information form.

JYFs are not the only people at a JYF con. Adults also participate in the community. We call them Friendly Adult Presences (FAPs). To become a FAP, fill out the application page here. You will be informed of the next available training, which you must participate in before you can serve as a FAP. While adults plan the program and meals at these conferences, JYFs are required to participate in cooking, cleaning, and making decisions that affect the group.

To join our mailing list sign up here. Make sure to check the Junior Young Friends box!


What to expect from a con:

Con is full of activities! The general schedule is outlined below and to the left. JYFs and FAPs play games, participate in workshops, and have time, space, and materials to make crafts. JYFs prepare and clean up the meals under the care of their Color Group FAPs and we all share the meals together after we share in a MOSHH.

Know the lingo:

Color Group = These small groups mix age, gender, and number of conferences attended. Along with JYFs each color group has a Friendly Adult Presence(FAP) who helps facilitate the groups meetings. Color Groups are both for socializing and choring. 

MOSHH = moment of silence holding hands, this usually happens before a meal is started.

Check-in = a time to get together and each answer, “Are you having fun?,” “Do you feel included?,” and “What is the name of one new friend that you made today?” Sometimes they answer different questions, or reflect further on the workshop/theme.

Meeting for business = which includes choosing who will clerk, record, what sleeping arrangements will be, what the morning schedule will be, and at least one other item of business.

Thank-you circle = where JYFs respond to the queries “What made the weekend special for you?”, and/or “What are you grateful for?” out of Worship. One FAP double checks the cleanliness of the Meetinghouse


Junior Young Friends Gathering Expectations

JYFs try new things, attend all community meetings and events, and participate in color group activities and chores.

JYFs practice enthusiastic consent - asking for, and getting, permission before touching other members of the community or using their stuff - and treat community members, their belongings, and conference venues with care.

JYFs are kind and encouraging, don’t exclude people, listen to and respect others’ opinions - and their need for rest.

JYFs think before acting, use good judgment, and practice self-care. And they abide by any other decisions or rules made at a particular conference, particularly those involving sleep schedules and spaces.

Behavior that threatens others or makes them uncomfortable, or disrupts or destroys community, will not be tolerated. Nor will bringing or using any form of tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs - or engaging in any form of sexual activity or harassment.

If a problem arises, JYFs notify the Youth Programs Manager or a FAP.

Consequences for violating these expectations are decided by the Youth Programs Manager, in consultation with the DFAP, other FAPs, and the JYF or JYFs involved.

Parents of JYFs are informed of any serious transgressions involving their child, either immediately or at the end of the conference.


The below sample schedules are for reference. When registration opens, the schedule for that con will be included on the registration page.

Sample One Day In Person + One Day Virtual JYF Con Schedule

 Saturday- Sunday

Time Frame Activity
Saturday
10:30 AM Arrival and Registration- JYFs play freely
11 AM Orientation and name games
11:30 AM First color group meeting
12 PM A color group makes lunch
12:30 PM Lunch
1 PM A color group cleans up lunch
1:30 PM Big, run around game time
2:15 PM Workshop
4 PM Free time/snack
5 PM Gather for Meeting for business, which begins with 20 minutes of silence to gather and settle
5:30 PM Meeting for business
6:30 PM Color groups check in
7 PM All JYFs return to the custody of their parents/guardians and the conference is over
Sunday
10 AM Join Meeting for Worship over Zoom with a Monthly Meeting
11 AM Online games
12:30 PM Thank you circle!

Sample Overnight JYF Con Schedule

 Saturday- Sunday

Time Frame Activity
Saturday
10 AM Arrival and Registration- JYFs play freely
11 AM Orientation and name games
11:30 AM First color group meeting
12 PM A color group makes lunch
12:30 PM Lunch
1 PM A color group cleans up lunch
1:30 PM Big, run around game time
2:15 PM Workshop
4 PM Free time/snack
5 PM Color groups check in
5:30 PM A color group makes dinner
6:30 PM Dinner
7 PM A color group cleans up dinner
7:30 PM Gather for Meeting for business, which begins with 20 min of silence to gather and settle
8 PM Meeting for business
9 PM Dessert/bedtime snack
10 PM Bedtime
Sunday
7:15 AM Wake up
7:30 AM A color group will make breakfast
Everyone else cleans up their personal belongings
8 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM A color group cleans up breakfast
The color group who made breakfast cleans up their personal belongings
9 AM We clean the Meeting House, pack up and put away the group materials
9:30 AM Thank you circle!
10 AM Attend Meeting for Worship with the host meeting for the amount of time that is traditional for children at that Meeting
10:20 AM 1st day school with the host meeting or another workshop session on the topic of the weekend
11:15 AM Return to Meeting, introduce ourselves, and thank the Meeting for the use of their space
11:30 AM JYFs play freely while they wait for their parents to arrive
12 PM All JYFs return to the custody of their parents/guardians and the conference is over

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