New York Yearly Summer Session

July 19, 2020 @ 1:45 pm - July 25, 2020 @ 1:45 pm
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NYYM Summer Sessions

July 19-25, 2020
Silver Bay, NY


Welcome! You are invited to join New York Yearly Meeting Friends at Summer Sessions!


Welcome to Summer Sessions 2020, New York Yearly Meeting’s 325th annual gathering, and to the second year of the Pay as Led experiment, designed to encourage as much participation as possible. Not all of those 325 years were at the beautiful Silver Bay YMCA facilities on Lake George, but we are their longest returning organization, having met there for more than a half century. (Are there any among us who remember summer gatherings before Silver Bay?)


This year’s theme is Embracing our Past, Envisioning our Future. We are a yearly meeting in transition, and we are facing many different changes, as is the rest of the world. Change can be difficult, but our Quaker process, rooted in deep listening to all voices, helps us move forward in the Light with love for each other and for our community. As a community, we have much to offer to each other and to the wider world. The summer schedule is chock full of opportunities to gather, as it always is, but each of us can participate to the extent we are led. What is your favorite part of the day? Morning worship sharing? Group singing on the front porch of the Inn? Bible Study? Interest groups? Intergenerational activities, planned or unplanned? Maybe even the good work we accomplish when we labor together in committees and in business sessions? Come for the spiritual re-charge that a week in a beautiful setting with hundreds of Friends can be.


Last summer, Pay as Led was a wonderful success. It helped bring more Friends to Summer Sessions, some new or coming back after a long absence, and led to an increase in youth and young adults. We look forward to more of the same this year. Read below for more details. All Friends are welcome to attend this year’s historic 325th gathering of New York Yearly Meeting!

—Jeffrey Aaron, NYYM Clerk



  • Decide on your arrival and departure dates. The full week is July 19-25, 2020. You can also attend for a half week or single day(s).
  • Determine who you will be rooming with, if possible. Please note that children under 18 must room with a parent or in an adjoining room.
  • Choose your housing preference. The building and room rate list will be available online by Feb. 1.
  • Parents of children ages 3-18: Read the Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) section on page 8.
  • Parents of children ages 0-2: Read For children under 3 years old within the JYM section on page 8.
  • Read the Participant Expectations and Agreements on the page, as registering indicates that you agree to follow them.
  • Register online at If you cannot register online, or need assistance, please email and provide your phone number and times that we can call you. If you don’t have email, please mail in the form on page 8.
  • You will receive a confirmation email after you’ve registered.
  • Within two weeks, once you’ve been assigned to a room, you will receive an email with the Pay As Led rate options. If your local meeting, regional meeting, or committee will be financially supporting your attendance, you should request that now, and factor in that amount when determining which rate you will pay.
  • Parents will receive a follow-up email that will include any additional forms they may have to fill out for their children. Parents and children will also receive information from their JYM group.


NYYM Summer Sessions is a week-long gathering for Friends to strengthen our bonds with one another, to renew ourselves spiritually, and to discern and conduct business as a body. Together we form a blessed community.


Our host is Silver Bay YMCA, a conference and family retreat center on the shores of Lake George within New York State’s Adirondack Park. Silver Bay has a variety of buildings for meetings and accommodations scattered across a beautiful campus. Staying at Silver Bay includes access to swimming, boating, a craft shop, and a gymnasium, among other amenities. Friends often take advantage of these activities during their free time. Visit for more information.


On Sunday July 19, our arrival day, there will be a first-time attenders orientation at 2:30 p.m., then registration starts at 4:00 p.m. Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) registration is also at that time. After dinner, there is opening worship with a roll call and introductions, including JYM groups and leaders.



For 2020, Sessions Committee has approved shifting the morning schedule. Instead of community worship followed by worship sharing followed by JYM and business meeting, we are experimenting with the following changes: community worship at 8:45 a.m. will be followed by both JYM and business meeting, then worship sharing at 11 a.m. The idea behind this is that there will not have to be a break and a moving around (of adults) between community worship and the following business meeting. This new arrangement is an experiment that will hopefully allow community worship to set the tone for business meeting, as well as save time.


The daily schedule for Monday-Friday this year:

7:30-8:30 a.m.: Breakfast

8:45-9:15 a.m.: Community Worship

9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: JYM Programming

9:15-10:45 a.m.: Meeting for Business (Tuesday: Discernment)

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Worship Sharing

12:00-1:00 p.m.: Lunch

1:00-2:00 p.m.: Rest and Relaxation

2:15-5:15p.m.: Committee Meetings, Free Time, Special Events…

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Dinner

6:45-7:30 p.m.: Bible Study (Mon-Thurs)

7:45-10:00 p.m.: Special events: Plenary, Interest Groups, Contra Dance, Café Night…




The address for Silver Bay YMCA is:
87 Silver Bay Rd., Silver Bay, NY 12874


If you can offer a ride, or if you need a ride, please visit


Via public transit: You can take an Amtrak train to Ticonderoga or an Adirondack Trailways bus to Lake George Village. Going by train or bus and want to travel with other Friends? Contact Helen Garay Toppins at



A screening of the documentary film
Quakers: The Quiet Revolutionaries

Followed by Q&A with Janet Gardner, Producer-Director, and Richard Nurse, Narrator


Janet Gardner and Richard Nurse are members of Princeton Friends Meeting in Princeton, NJ, part of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. They will present their acclaimed documentary about Quaker history up to and including the present and talk with us afterward. A shortened version of the documentary was presented on WLIW21 Public Television, at the NJ Film Festival at Rutgers, the New Hope Film Festival, and elsewhere. The documentary celebrates the good works and deep spirituality of Friends, but does not shortchange some of the problems in our history. It will serve as a good starting point for a week of exploration of our strengths and our weaknesses. It will help us discern how to go forward with joy and pride, with a recognition of the need to labor together to remedy those areas where we sometimes fall short. You can watch a short preview of the film at



NYYM Summer Sessions provides many opportunities to worship and share with the Peaceable Community. Everyone is invited to attend opening worship on Sunday evening, community worship each morning, meeting for discernment on Tuesday, and closing worship on Saturday. Worship sharing groups will meet every morning after business meeting. Need time for quiet reflection during the course of your day? Waiting worship is available all day, all week. In addition, your worship and your discernment are needed at meetings for worship with a concern for business. Join us!



Interest groups are a good way to introduce yourself to a topic or dive deeper, to learn and to share, and can consist of a presentation, slide show, film, discussion group, or other activity. For the list of interest groups offered last year, visit Meals with Meaning are conversations or presentations on topics of interest to Friends given during a meal.


Do you have expertise or knowledge to share with Friends? Volunteers are needed to lead interest groups. Interest groups should relate to our theme and/or the NYYM Leadings and Priorities in general. If you feel led to run an interest group, contact Martha Gurvich ( or Helen Garay Toppins (



On Wednesday afternoon, the Junior Yearly Meeting presents the Fun(d) Fair, a fundraising fair that includes games, crafts, and refreshments. At the same time, there is the Tagless Tag Sale, at which you can “pay what you wish” for items donated by Friends. Please consider bringing used items in good condition to Summer Sessions so they may be sold at the tag sale. On Thursday evening, the senior high group produces Café Night, an all-ages talent show during which hats are passed to collect donations. Bring your instruments and props and join the fun! All of these events raise money for the NYYM Sharing Fund and Powell House.



Silver Bay YMCA is a campus of buildings with different levels of accommodations, with a range of prices to match. We are a little heartbroken to announce that Hepbron Hall, one of the largest and oldest buildings on campus, has been deemed unsafe and is no longer available. To make up for the loss of those rooms, the Sessions Committee is working with Silver Bay YMCA to identify cottages and other rooms we can use.


Rooms generally don’t have air conditioning, phones, or televisions. If you require air conditioning, we can work with Silver Bay on your behalf to reserve rooms in the new, air-conditioned William Boyd Center. Rooms in the Boyd Center are substantially more expensive than other buildings, and Pay as Led minimum rates are not available.


Room fees include three meals per day and access to all of Silver Bay’s facilities.


When you register, you will choose your room and building preference. Room rates vary. If you are a single person sharing a double room in a dormitory-type building (the most common room type), the Pay as Led standard rate, which is the actual amount NYYM owes to Silver Bay, is around $550 per person. The most affordable building, Overlook, is around $350 per person in a double (there are no singles) but fills up quickly. If you’d like your first choice of room, register as early as possible. Rooms that are more central or have a private bath cost around $850-1,000/person in a double.


Children ages 0-5 are free, and there are reduced rates for older children. Rates per person are also discounted if more than two people are sharing a room. Half-week and single night stays are pro-rated. Room rates include meals!


If you will be staying with a roommate(s) or in a family group, please make sure you name each other on your registration forms. If you need a roommate, NYYM will make every effort to assign one to you.


The 2020 room rates with their Pay as Led options were not ready at press time but will be available by the start of registration on Feb. 1.



Do you camp? Silver Bay YMCA offers lean-tos and tent platforms on their campus. Experienced woodland campers may consider the Silver Bay YMCA Adirondack-style lean-tos on Ryan’s Ridge. Closer to campus are two raised wooden tent platforms near the gym. Rental is $30 per night, per person, and includes the daily membership fee which allows campers to use the Silver Bay facilities. Meals are not included and must be purchased separately.


Off-campus camping options include Rogers Rock State Park, near Ticonderoga; find it on or call 800-456-2267. The nearby Brookwood RV Resort has tent platforms: Friends staying off campus must still pay the Silver Bay day membership fee and register with NYYM.



Food Service

Meals are included in your room fee if you stay on campus. Off-campus and campers can buy meals separately. You will be asked if you are vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free when you register. If you have other questions about Silver Bay’s food service and accommodation of special diets, ask Martha Gurvich,


12-Step Meetings

12-Step Meetings will be held every day during Summer Sessions. 12-Step Meetings are under the care of Sessions Committee, which has named Roseann Press as coordinator. Roseann needs people who would be willing to facilitate one or more of the meetings. To volunteer, please contact Roseann at or Susan Bingham at


Healing Work

Friends create and maintain a Healing Center during the week. Modalities offered may include energy work (healing touch, Reiki), massage, craniosacral therapy, and spiritual counseling. The type of services offered depends on the skills of those who volunteer. If you are skilled in a healing art and you’d like to volunteer, please indicate that on your registration form.


Disability Concerns

Friends who indicate special needs on their registration form will be contacted by the NYYM office to gather further information. Several mobility-accessible sleeping rooms with bathrooms are reserved in the Inn for those using wheelchairs (and their roommates). Other more accessible rooms in the Inn may be reserved by people who need them. Friends who require assistance with personal needs must arrange this assistance on their own, and the person assisting them must stay in their room with them. Please indicate on your registration form if you require help with hearing or movement. Note takers can be provided or accessible locations allocated for worship-sharing groups and committee meetings.


Golf Carts

Silver Bay is a beautiful place, but it can be challenging to walk up and down its hills and from one meeting place to another. As in previous years, we will have golf carts to help Friends get around. We need volunteers to drive the carts. Driving is easy, fun, and a great way to get to know Friends of all ages.


Volunteer Opportunities

There are many opportunities to help create the blessed community during our week at Summer Sessions. You can indicate your interest on your registration form. Please consider supporting our community by volunteering in one of these ways:

  • Special needs volunteers: Help someone by carrying a tray for them at mealtime, among other ways.
  • Golf cart drivers: Want to drive a golf cart all around campus—AND make it possible for people with limited mobility to attend Sessions? If you are at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license, you can!
  • Healing Center volunteers: Are you skilled in the healing arts? Help staff the Healing Center during the week.
  • Other options: You can also volunteer to serve as a microphone carrier during meetings for worship, including those with a concern for business, or to assist Friends with luggage.


Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM)

Junior Yearly Meeting is the program for children ages 3-18. Groups are arranged according to grade, and meet every morning, Mon.-Fri., from the rise of Community Worship to lunchtime at 12:15 p.m. JYM volunteers plan a community-building week of activities for the children, including games, discussions, art projects, and more. JYM is a time for young people to experience a community based on Friends’ testimonies and practices. Age-appropriate, experiential Quaker content is part of the program, and groups will spend some time in quiet worship or worship sharing every day.


After you arrive at Summer Sessions and check in at the NYYM welcome table, you must bring your child to JYM registration in the Inn’s Gullen Lounge. Parents should provide a cell phone number where they can be reached while on campus.


For children under 3 years old, Silver Bay offers childcare through their Silver Camp on Monday through Friday mornings from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. Parents do not pay for this; NYYM covers the cost. We ask parents who are making use of this childcare service to sign up to cover the time from 11:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. one day so they can attend worship sharing on the other days. If you might use Silver Bay’s morning childcare, you should complete the NYYM–Silver Bay camp form. It will be emailed to you after you register.


JYM volunteers will provide afternoon (PM) childcare in Morse Hall for children up to 10 years old. Parents using PM childcare are asked to volunteer some of their time when they are not in meetings. In a shift from past years, evening (PM) childcare will only be available on Monday, until 9:00 p.m., during the plenary session. Evening childcare will not be available on other evenings. If evening childcare is needed, a list of volunteers who are willing to babysit will be provided at JYM Registration and the JYM table throughout the week. Parents can contact one of those volunteers directly to make arrangements.


Can my child go to Silver Bay without me? Yes! If your child is under 18, they may attend Silver Bay with an adult chaperone. They must room with the chaperone if possible and appropriate; otherwise they should be in adjoining rooms. The chaperone must be designated by the parent/guardian on their registration forms, and must be at least 10 years older than the young Friend they are chaperoning. The chaperone and the child should know each other reasonably well. The parent/guardian must provide a signed note giving the chaperone the authority to care for their child, to be presented at JYM registration.



Registration for Summer Sessions is now completely online. Registering online is more efficient for staff. If you are unable to register online please ask someone you know to assist you, or fill out and mail the form below. We will have volunteers ready, willing, and able to provide online registration assistance.


The online registration form is not for making payments. It is for collecting your preferences so volunteers and staff can plan sessions and assign rooms. After you register you will receive a message describing your Pay as Led options. See the Pay as Led information above. You can pay online or send checks to the NYYM office.


Register online at If you cannot register online, or need assistance, please email and provide your phone number and times that someone can call you. If you don’t have email, please use the form below.


The deadline for registrations is June 1. If you register after that date, we can’t guarantee that there will be a room available for you, and lower Pay as Led rates may not be available. So register as soon as you can! Please attend. We can’t wait to see you.



Within two weeks of registering (typically a few days) you will receive a follow-up email or paper letter with your Pay as Led rate options.  The three options are: the standard rate, which covers the cost of room and board; the full rate, which helps others attend; and the Pay as Led minimum rate, which is the lowest suggested amount. Please factor in any financial assistance that you will request and expect to receive from your local or regional meetings or yearly meeting committee.


Friends should carefully consider how much they can afford to pay. The Pay as Led plan is designed to encourage new people to attend Summer Sessions, and it relies on generosity from those who can afford to pay more. Thank you.


July 19, 2020 @ 1:45 pm
July 25, 2020 @ 1:45 pm