Experiences of Summer Sessions

Friends responded to an open request to share their experiences of Summer Sessions.


Nancy Kraus
Purchase Meeting


I enjoyed Summer Sessions at Oakwood. The location is more convenient for the majority of New York Yearly Meeting members and allows for train travel. Overall, people who came, came for the business and not as a vacation; there were fewer temptations than at Silver Bay. The food was great, but if we had a bigger attendance, we would definitely need a second hot food line and more seating. I think having the high school kids in one dorm, a la Friends General Conference's senior high program, is great; hopefully, next year, more kids will come. The tech worked great! Kudos to that team. I wish that everyone who plans to attend Summer Sessions would read the advance materials and take advantage of the multitude of opportunities to season business items before they actually come to the floor for approval or denial so business meeting the last night doesn't extend into the wee hours!  And I know the kids were disappointed that they didn't get to file in that last afternoon so let's fix that next year.



Morgan Adcock
Albany Meeting


I loved being in a Quaker space, and I think it's a great choice for yearly meeting in almost every way.  I found Oakwood much easier to get around under my own power than Silver Bay, so maybe that was part of it. With Poughkeepsie's being the northernmost point on the commuter line, Metro-North, it must be easier and cheaper for people from downstate to get to than Silver Bay. Much better pricing more than made up for any issues, and having the option to stay at the Holiday Inn Express for less than the cheap rooms at Silver Bay was wonderful.


The theater was hard to move around in, particularly for those of us with physical mobility issues, but I know that's not going to change.  I would have liked to have had closed captioning on the big screen behind the clerks' table when it wasn't being used otherwise. With my mild hearing loss and visual issues, I had to move across the front of the meeting to get closer to the screen in the middle of one session. Also, the clerk appeared to have a hard time seeing people in the cheap seats—perhaps there are lights at the top which could have been turned on.


Noise in the dining room was loud enough at meals that my watch/phone advised me to leave a few times, but going downhill and across the road (where the dining tent was), then back again wasn't a possibility for me. Could the dining tent be moved to space adjacent to the dining hall?


I think that having shorter business sessions turned out to work against us. Effective communication appeared to be hampered by trying to move forward faster.



Anita Paul
Schenectady Meeting


Big Plusses 

the ice cream truck 

the contra dance

closing worship

the efficient operation of the dining room—no long waits

tagless tag sale

...and all the other things that made it seem like always

fine, workable location

many, many rest rooms

flatter terrain


Not So Plus

Given all the things that had to be curtailed, Meetings for Discernment shouldn't get an entire day—if you cut out one of the sessions, folks might realize that they need to speak up sooner

Start on Friday evening. Maybe start with dinner and then worship sharing groups, to knit us together early

Check out Vassar for more rooms and perhaps a pool

There is a need for places to rest for those not staying on campus



David Gerhan
Schenectady Meeting


It worked well for the numbers who attended. The dining and meeting spaces might be quickly overcrowded if numbers grow much.  


The campus has many more public restrooms than Silver Bay does and that helped a lot.


For those who stayed in the motel off campus there was a shortage of indoor places during the day to rest and find quiet, so you could return to the blessed community re-energized.


We were fortunate to move the contra dance to an outdoor patio rather than endure the stifling heat of the gymnasium. If we return next year, we should plan on using that Reagan Dorm patio space with the addition of a large enough tent nearby in case of rain.


In short it felt like it worked out well, with those caveats in mind.