Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This year is the 10th Anniversary of the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference, which is being held this year at Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville, VA. The conference is a place for leaders at each of the Friends schools to get together and talk about how things are done at their schools. There’s usually at least one workshop, a service project in the local community, and groups meeting with queries. The conference started over ten years ago when The Meeting School and Brooklyn Friends School exchanged students. It became such a good experience for the students at our schools that other schools started doing the same, and so on. As it became bigger, and schools had a harder time hosting so many students throughout the school year, the idea to turn it into a once a year conference was born. A High school conference about leadership for Juniors going into their senior year; a great idea for students, and schools. The location changes from school to school each year, up and down the east coast.
This year’s conference in Charlottesville, VA at Tandem Friends School was attended by two staff members, and five students from The Meeting School. We spent a night in Providence at Lincoln School, and left at 5:00AM on a bus with Lincoln School and Moses Brown School. The trip took about ten hours which was much faster than we had expected. The weather was remarkably similar to what we’ve been experiencing here in New Hampshire with temperatures in the lower 30’s, and predictions of snow.
Upon arrival we each received a t-shirt, folder with conference info, and lanyards with our names, school, and service project location on them. The Head of School, and conference organizers welcomed students from over 20 schools including the Ramallah Friends School in Palestine, and Friends Meeting School in England.
The Meeting School students had a great time at the conference, and are looking forward to spending more time with students from Lincoln School and Moses Brown. Next year’s conference is being planned and co-hosted by our three schools. Planning began on the bus ride back to Providence where we brainstormed ideas and things we want to do differently.

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