Half Yearly Meeting
November 23-26, 2017
Wekiwa Springs State Park, Florida
Half Yearly Meeting is a serendipitous 4 days over Thanksgiving weekend when Friends come together for good food and good friends in Wekiwa Springs State Park. We have exclusive use of the Youth Camp, a natural setting with rustic cabins, accessible lodging, dining hall, kitchen, and conference hall.
Group activities include Thanksgiving dinner, preparing meals together, canoeing, hiking, campfire gatherings, and much more. Youth and intergenerational activities are planned. Friends bring workshops, worship-sharing, music, ideas, crafts, music and games to share. There’s unprogrammed time for spontaneous activities, enjoying nature, and just relaxing.
At least half of the program involves environmental education, a requirement to use the Youth Camp. Wekiwa Springs State Park is an ideal setting: 7800 acres of wild Florida at the headwaters of the Wekiwa River, with 19 distinct plant communities and an abundance of wildlife.
Friends can enjoy the Wekiwa Springs swimming area during daylight hours. Canoes & kayaks can be rented from the Park’s concession for short trips down the Wekiwa State Park section of the river. Longer river trips are planned for Wednesday, Thursday, & Saturday. see below for details.
All the details
- Canoeing & Kayaking
- Thanksgiving Dinner
- Meals & Lodging
- Getting Here
- What to Bring
- Park Rules
As Spirit leads, we will have workshops, worship sharing, nature hikes, games, canoeing, swimming, art, music, and more! Bring your ideas, talents, arts & crafts, games, and music to share.
Some activities that are already planned are:
On Friday evening, Kody Hersh and Jane Westberg will lead a “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples.” In this participatory workshop, we will experience the colonization of Turtle Island from the point of Native peoples. How can all Americans work together now to heal the wounds? This 2-hour experience is best for high school students and adults as well mature middle school students. .
SEYM Field Secretary for Earthcare, Beverly Ward, will share an app for Friends to collect environmental and social data about their communities. She and Kody Hersh will lead a nature hike. She will also lead the youth/and not-so-youth in finalizing the SEYM Earthcare Reference we began at the 2017 FGC Gathering. It will feature photos by Ezra Merleaux and reverses into a poster with artwork by Mary Coelho.
For the No Talent Show, Beverly will lead the Faith and No Practice Chorus in adding new verses to the SEYM Earthcare Anthem —each person writes a verse, The FSE sings the preamble, and the audience joins in with their verses.
10 am: 8-mile Canoe & Kayak trip, for people with their own boat; see details under Canoeing
10 am: Canoe & Kayak trip, for people with their own boat; see details at Canoeing
2 pm: Early Arrival for Cooking
5 pm: Community Time in the Dining Hall
6 pm: Thanksgiving Dinner & Potluck
Morning: Youth Gathering
Afternoon: Imagination Stations
Evening: Environmental Program, Bonfire
Morning: Wekiwa Springs swimming & canoeing; see details at Canoeing & Kayaking
Afternoon: Imagination Stations
Evening: Talent Show, Bonfire
All Camp Clean-up after Breakfast
Worship by the Lake
Swimming, Canoeing & Kayaking
Friends can enjoy the Wekiwa Springs swimming area during daylight hours. Canoes & kayaks can be rented from the Park’s concession for short trips down the Wekiwa State Park section of the river. Longer river trips are planned for Wednesday, Thursday, & Saturday. No swimming in the river—there are alligators.
Wednesday Paddle: For people with their own boat. Meet at 10 am at Wekiva Island, Longwood, for an 8-mile paddle to Katie’s Landing, Sanford. Bring snacks and water for refreshments while staying in your boat. We will return to Wekiwa Island to pick up cars and eat supper. Overnight housing available courtesy of Quakers of Orlando. Fees will be about $10 to launch and $3 for parking. This will be a Meeting for Worship with attention to paddling. To reserve a spot, contact Jerry Knutson , cell 407-595-4880.
Thursday Paddle: For people with their own boat, a Meeting for Worship with attention to paddling and giving thanks. We will meet at 10 am at Katie’s Landing. We will unload boats, shuttle cars and paddle about eight miles to the Swamp House Grill, DeBary, FL (www.swamphousegrill.com). Bring snacks and water for refreshments while staying in your boat. We will eat Thanksgiving dinner at Half Yearly Meeting, Wekiwa Springs State Park. To reserve a spot, e-mail Jerry Knutson or call him at 407-595-4880.
Saturday November 25 Paddle: for all Friends. We will meet at 9:30am SHARP in Youth Camp Kitchen to make lunches, and leave at 10 am SHARP to drive to King’s Landing, 5722 Baptist Camp Road, Apopka, Florida 32712. However, friends that want to float with the current and paddle leisurely should make lunches at 9 am and then go to King’s Landing and launch. Cost is about $20/person (but a solo kayak is $40.) King’s Landing will shuttle us back to put in. We will eat lunch while staying in our boats. You might want to bring some cash for refreshments at take out–Wekiva Island. No alcohol allowed in boats and no swimming in the river. To reserve a spot, e-mail Jerry Knutson or call him at 407-595-4880.
Saturday Short Trip: for all Friends. A relaxing trip on the Wekiwa State Park section of the river will be organized at the camp. Canoes and kayaks can be rented from the park’s Concession for about $20.
Thanksgiving dinner kicks off HYM at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Here’s how it works:
- Early arrival to cook the main meal.
- Food provided: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, & a vegetable
- Potluck from everyone else: cold sides, desserts, bread, salads, vegetables, casseroles, etc. Did we mention dessert? Fix enough for a crowd! There is not space in the kitchen to cook these extras – please bring it already prepared.
- Community time: Let’s play games, make crafts, and hear music in the dining hall from 5-6 p.m. Have a game you can bring?
We prepare all the meals ourselves. You can get involved by leading a cooking team, helping cook, or cleaning up— working together makes it FUN! Contact the HYM clerk if you’re willing to lead a meal team. Sign-up in the dining hall to help cook and clean.
- Thanksgiving Dinner: $6.50/Adult, $4.00/Youth
- Breakfast: $2.50/Adult, $1.75/Youth
- Lunch: $4.00/Adult, $3.00/Youth
- Dinner: $4.50/Adult, $3.00/Youth
There are group and family cabins at Wekiwa. Unfortunately, we cannot use tents in the Youth Camp area. Families are placed together, and there are some handicap accessible cabins with restrooms. Bring sheets, blankets, and pillows – it can be cold!
Facility Use Prices:
- $12.00/night for Adults
- $8.00/night for Youth
- Day Use Only: $2.00/Adult per day, Youth attend free
Wekiwa Springs State Park is just north of Orlando, at 1800 Wekiwa Circle Apopka, Florida
• From I-4 near Longwood-Altamonte Springs: Exit 94. Go west on Hwy SR 434 (Sanlando Springs Road) about 1 mile. Go northwest on Wekiwa Springs Road about 4 miles. Follow signs to park.
• From Hwy 441 through Apopka: Turn east onto Hwy SR 436 (Semoran Blvd). Look for left turn onto Wekiwa Springs Road. Go several miles to park.
At park entrance gate:
- Tell ranger you are going to Youth Camp for the Quaker gathering.
- Free park entry; it’s included in your registration.
- Gate locks at sunset. Call clerk’s cell for entry code: 305-667-6779. Let us know if you have a late arrival so we’ll be looking for you.
HYM works because everyone pitches in to help out. You can sign-up on your Registration Form, in the dining hall when you arrive, or bring some projects with you.
- Meal Preparation: lead, cook, or clean-up.
- Sunday Cleanup: everyone, please!
- Discussion Sessions: want to lead one about the environment?
- Imagination Stations: bring anything to share that could spark our creativity: crafts, games, outdoor games, science projects, etc.
- Talent Show: bring musical instruments, skits, or stories to share.
- Worship Sharing: set a time, bring some queries.
- Photographer: capture our memories & send them in to the Office for posting on the website.
What to Bring
- Warm bedding, towel, personal necessities
- Appropriate shoes, outdoor clothes, coat
- Flashlight, water bottle
- Games, craft supplies, toys, telescopes, binoculars
- Talents, story-telling, painting
- Musical instruments
State Park Rules
- Wear helmets while biking
- Camp must be cleaned for inspection by rangers
- For Youth Camp use, 50% of program must be environmental
- No tents or RVs in the Youth Camp area
- No alcohol
- No pets
- No firewood collecting
- No removal of natural objects