Summer Sessions 2019

Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 5:45pm to Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 12:00pm
Silver Bay YMCA
87 Silver Bay Rd
12874 Silver Bay , NY




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

When is the last time you spent a whole week in a beautiful place among hundreds of people who all share your Quaker values? A place with beautiful lakeside beaches, smiling faces of all ages who meet to share stories about their Quaker leadings and good works—and the opportunity to do business, using best Quaker practices, that supports your spiritual community?


George Fox envisioned “a great people waiting to be gathered.” With Pay as Led, we need wait no longer! At Silver Bay, on beautiful Lake George, even our YMCA campus hosts share the best of Christian values. The feeling of the Light shining forth from a great people is everywhere and is a great uplift for the Spirit. Come to learn or to share or just for the respite from the muck of angry political discourse. Meet wonderful Friends and hear about the remarkable good works they do. Sit in deep worship sharing every morning after breakfast with a small group, if that is your inclination. Take part in Bible study. Join or listen to singing in the wooden rocking chairs on the long front porch of the Inn. Take part in interest groups that speak to you. Come to business meetings that provide our way forward for our community for the next year. Play frisbee with happy children on the front lawn. Participate in intergenerational events. Or just bask in the fullness of Spirit all around you.


This year’s theme is Friends Come in All Ages, Sizes and Colors: Our Path toward Being Inclusive. We will be celebrating the joys of our diversity and learning how to become even more expansive. For many Friends-—especially for children and young adults—the week at Silver Bay is a needed re-charge for the rest of the year. Come celebrate what it means to be a Friend in a challenging time. Welcome all Friends!



  • Decide on your arrival and departure dates. The full week is July 21–27. You can also attend for a half week or single day(s).
  • Determine who you will be rooming with, if possible.
  • Pay As Led: Starting this year, New York Yearly Meeting's annual Summer Sessions will be funded through a spiritual experiment we call Pay As Led that relies on each of us to do our part to support the wider community. To understand how Pay As Led works, visit our Pay As Led page.
  • Parents of children ages 3-18: Read the Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) section below.
  • Parents of children ages 0-2: Read For children under 3 years old within the JYM section below.
  • Read the Participant Expectations and Agreements here, as registering indicates that you have agreed to follow them.
  • Register online at If you cannot register online, or need assistance, please email [email protected] 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 of your Spark.
  • You will receive a confirmation email after you’ve registered.
  • A few days later, once you’ve been assigned to a room, you will receive an email with the Pay As Led rate options. If you plan on receiving financial aid from your local meeting, regional meeting, or committee, 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 at 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, a gymnasium, archery, and shuffleboard, among other amenities. Friends often take advantage of these activities during their free time. Visit for more information.


On Sunday July 21, arrival day, check-in 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.


Every day at Summer Sessions, Monday through Friday, follows roughly the same schedule:

  • 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
  • 9:30-10:30 a.m.: Worship Sharing
  • 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Meeting for Business (Tuesday: Discernment)
  • 12:15-1:30 p.m.: Lunch
  • 1:30-5:30 p.m.: Committee Meetings, Free Time, Special Events...
  • 5:30-6:30 p.m.: Dinner
  • 6:45-7:30 p.m.: Bible Study (Mon-Thurs)
  • 7:30-10:00 p.m.: Plenary, Interest Groups, Contra Dance, Café Night...


Plenary Speakers

Chris DeRoller and Mike Clark, Co-directors of the Powell House Youth Program

“For almost two decades we have had the joy of being with young people and older folks as we co-create an inclusive, accepting, yet challenging space where Friends’ testimonies and experiential spirituality come alive. When we started, the kids had piles of CDs for their music. Homework was done on paper. Cell phones, if you had one, would not work in the Powell House area. Those things have changed, but the moving of Spirit has not. We’ll share insights we’ve gained, mistakes we’ve made, and the vision and practical steps we have for keeping Friends relevant.”—Mike and Chris


Worship at Summer Sessions

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 Community Worship. Need time for quiet reflection during the course of your day? Waiting Worship is available all day, all week, (in a location to be announced in July.) In addition, your worship and your discernment are needed at Meetings for Worship with a Concern for Business. Join us!


Interest Groups

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 an example of interest groups offered last year, visit


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 ([email protected]) or Helen Garay Toppins ([email protected]).


Special Events

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.


Room Information

Go to the page with Silver Bay Room Rates.

Click these links to see what the rooms are like and where they are on campus.


Silver Bay YMCA is a campus of buildings with different levels of accommodations, with a range of prices to match. All rooms lack air conditioning, phones, and television. Note that room fees include NYYM’s program, all meals, and access to Silver Bay’s facilities, including swimming areas, boathouse, gym, and craft center.


When you register, you will choose your room 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 $650 per person. The most affordable building, Overlook, is around $400 per person in a double, but the building is small and fills up quickly. If you’d like your first choice of room, register as early as possible. Rooms that are larger, more central, or have a private bath cost around $850-950 per person in a double.


Rates are discounted for children and for more than one roommate. Children ages 0-5 are free, and there are reduced rates for older children. Rates per person go down if more than two people are sharing a room. For example, the standard rate for a spot in a double room with a shared bath in the Inn would be around $830, but a spot in a triple (with two roommates) would be $700, and in a quad (with three roommates) would be $650. A half-week stay costs around half the weekly rate, and a single night costs around 1/6. Remember, room rates include meals!


If you will be staying with a roommate 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.


For your reference, the tables of room rates are available at Silver Bay room rates page; these include the Pay as Led rate options for each type of housing.


Camping and Staying Off Campus

Do you camp? Silver Bay YMCA offers lean-tos and tent platforms on their campus for NYYM use. 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 $28 per night, per person, and includes the daily off-campus day membership which allows campers to use all of the Silver Bay facilities. Meals are an additional cost and must be purchased separately.


Off-campus camping options include Rogers Rock State Park, north on Route 9, near Ticonderoga; find it on or call 800-456-2267. The nearby Brookwood RV Resort has tent platforms: Friends staying off campus must pay the Silver Bay day membership fee.


Pay as Led

After you register, you will receive a follow-up email 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.


Monthly Meetings & Pay as Led

Even though Summer Session participants can Pay as Led (PAL), monthly meetings will continue to play a critical role in supporting their members and attenders. Friends seeking to pay less than the standard rate will be asked to approach their monthly meetings for aid, but it’s likely that many Friends will opt to skip that step and just pay less. The PAL experiment may fall drastically short in funds if monthly meetings no longer help people attend. The solution is quite simple! Monthly meetings, worship groups, regions, and quarters are all encouraged to consider what funds they normally provide to members and attenders—and donate that amount to NYYM, with the memo “Summer Sessions.” If your meeting does receive a request from an individual, please send the amount directly to NYYM with the person’s name in the memo. We will use a combination of meeting aid, individual donations, and registrant payments to cover our final bill from Silver Bay YMCA. For our planning purposes, it would be helpful if all donations were made to NYYM by June 12. Thank you for your kind consideration.


On-Campus Resources

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 or Susan Bingham.


Healing Work

Friends create and maintain a Healing Center during the week. Modalities offered may include energy work (healing touch, Reiki, therapeutic touch), 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 and someone will contact you.


Disability Concerns

Friends who indicate special needs on their registration form will be contacted by the NYYM office to gather specific disability information. Five 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, for any reason, find it physically difficult to room elsewhere. Friends who require special 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, and you can indicate your interest in driving on the registration form. 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. 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. Sign up to help on your registration form.

Golf cart drivers: Want to drive a golf cart all around campus—AND make it possible for people with limited mobility to attend Sessions? Are you at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license? Indicate your interest on your registration form.

Healing Center volunteers: Are you skilled in the healing arts? Help staff the Healing Center during the week. Check the box on your registration form.

Interest group leaders: Do you have knowledge to share? Volunteer to lead an interest group. Contact Martha Gurvich ([email protected]) or Helen Garay Toppins ([email protected]).

JYM leaders and resource people: You can volunteer to help lead a Junior Yearly Meeting group or PM childcare. Or, if you have a special talent or information to share, you can be a resource person that visits the JYM groups. Please indicate your interest on your registration form and you will be contacted by a JYM coordinator. Everyone who volunteers for JYM must complete the safety form at before July 1st.

Other Options: You can also check a box on your registration form if you are interested in serving as a microphone carrier during meetings for worship, including those with a concern for business, or with welcoming and assisting Friends with luggage.



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


Driving times: approximately 90 minutes north of Albany; 4-5 hours north of New York City; 6-7 hours north east of Buffalo. NYYM will share a link to a web page where people can arrange carpools. Public transit: take an Amtrak train to Ticonderoga, or an Adirondack Trailways bus to Lake George Village. Friends interested in traveling together via train or bus should contact Helen Garay Toppins at [email protected].



This year, we are making a special effort to encourage everyone to register online. Registering online makes the process more efficient for staff. If you are unable to register online please ask someone to assist you. We will also 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. You will be contacted to discuss your Pay as Led options, after which you can pay online or by mailing payment(s) to the NYYM office.


Register online at If you cannot register online, or need assistance, please email [email protected] and provide your phone number and times that someone can call you.


The deadline for registrations is May 15. If you register after that date, we can’t guarantee that there will be a room available for you, and your Pay as Led options may be limited. So register as soon as you can! We can’t wait to see you.


Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM)

Junior Yearly Meeting is the program for children ages 3-18 during Summer Sessions. 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. We see JYM as a time for young people to experience a community based on Friends’ testimonies and practices. Age appropriate and experiential Quaker content will be part of the program, and each group will spend some time in quiet worship or worship sharing every day.


When you arrive at Summer Sessions, after checking in with NYYM, you must bring your child to JYM registration in the Inn’s Gullen Lounge. Remember to bring filled-out Youth Medical Forms for each child with you. Download the Youth Medical Form here.


Cell phones are our primary way of communicating within JYM at Summer Sessions. If you are a parent or guardian of a JYM registrant, please provide a cell phone number at the time of registration.


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; Sessions Committee and donations cover the cost. We usually ask parents who are making use of this childcare service to sign up to take turns helping cover the time from 11:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. so they can attend the last part of business meeting on the other days. If you might use Silver Bay’s morning childcare program, you will have to complete the NYYM–Silver Bay camp form, which will be emailed to you after you register. 


JYM provides afternoon and evening (PM) childcare in Morse Hall for children up to 10 years old. This is available whenever plenaries or committee meetings are scheduled. Parents using this service are asked to volunteer some of their time when they are not in meetings.


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 should be designated by the parent or legal 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 or guardian must provide a signed note giving the chaperone the authority to care for their child, to be presented at JYM registration.


Session Documents & Resources