Print Page   |   Sign In
Sign In


Forgot your password?

Find a Meeting for Worship

Quakers in Australia

2016 JYF at SilverWattle

Next crop of young Aussie Quakers getting down to earth at Silver Wattle

Epistle from the national Summer JYF gathering

Dear Friends

From the 2nd – 6th January, JYFs, YFs and adults gathered from around Australia to participate in a Summer Gathering at Silver Wattle Quaker Centre. There was a fairly broad range of age groups who attended, some for their first camp, others for their last. The purpose of the camp was to not only bridge the gap between Yearly Meetings but to spend time with new and old friends. There were three main aspects to the camp: service, recreation and spiritual enrichment.

As the camp was held at Silver Wattle, JYFs expressed their gratitude to those who offered this warm hospitality by helping in the maintenance of the property.

In two groups we did a variety of service activities, which included: constructing and installing tree guards for the recently planted native trees, moving bricks to be reused on the property, restoring 'the stables' and general gardening, including: splitting wood, picking plumcots and weeding. With thirty able bodies this work was completed efficiently, the staff at Silver Wattle greatly appreciating our efforts, which went toward maintaining a sustainable environment. This experience was rewarding for all who lent a hand.

Other than volunteering our time for service, we took part in many other activities e.g. building billy carts, ice skating, orienteering, mapping, free time, sleeping, the 'Suffragette' film and a range of games. Designing, building and racing billy carts was a particular highlight for many. This was found to be a great team-oriented activity, which was challenging at times. Overall a good time was had with friends. ‘It was rewarding to see a finished product after spending the day building our cart,’ said Lachlan the 12-year-old first timer.

Although the activities took most of the time, the most valued time spent was with friends and family. This time spent with friends is extremely important, as one week must make up for a year apart. Although this may be a final get together for some, the connections made through JYFs have been an integral part of our lives. The general consensus was the camp had a fun atmosphere and was an exciting time. Sunny's thoughts on the week was reflected in the hearts of many campers, ‘As a new JYF, I felt welcomed, included and had a chuff of a time with new friends.’

Along with fun and games, JYF's worshipped daily and had discussion sessions aimed at being more in touch with one’s spiritual side.

On the second last day of the camp, we visited the National Gallery of Australia at dusk to witness a permanent light installation by James Turrell; American Quaker. We sat in silent worship and were even joined by some people who had also come to see the changes in light. It was a very peaceful experience and that amazing colour display made many appreciate the simple things in life.

We'd like to thank everyone who volunteered their time to make this camp possible. Especially the JYF committee members, who, in an interview-styled session shared how much they had committed to making the camp a fun and educational environment. The staff of Silver Wattle, the Bourne-Bray's particularly for their invaluable support and the wonderful assortment of treats and meals. Finally, we'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land of which Silver Wattle stands. We look forward to future camps and opportunities to strengthen our valued relationships with one another.

JYFs at Summer Camp.
........................................ Find a Meeting for Worship in Australia ........................................
................................................................................................................................................................................................
If you have any comments or are unable to find something within this website, please contact Yearly Meeting Secretary,
Difficulty with links or the operation of the website, please contact web troubleshooter.
.........................................................................................................
© The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia Inc. in ACT
PO Box 556, Kenmore, Queensland 4069 AUSTRALIA
Phone 07 3201 2685
Email