Half Yearly Meeting
November 28 – December 1, 2019
Wekiwa Springs State Park, Florida
Half Yearly Meeting is a family-friendly, 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, workshops, worship sharing, canoeing, hiking, swimming, bonfire, a ‘Talent’ Show, art, music, games, — and more! Friends bring their ideas, crafts, music and games to share. There’s unprogrammed time for spontaneous activities, enjoying nature, and just relaxing.
Half of our activities focus on the environment, 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.
Field Secretary for Earthcare Beverly Ward, will be bringing earthcare resources, workshop and worship sharing topics and activities to share. The troupe, Bohn Jeverly, will perform a play from the Climate Change Theatre Action 2019 Lighting the Way cycle. Interested in the plays? Contact Beverly Ward
Youth & Young Adult Coordinator Kody Hersh will be on hand to lead activities with kids, teens, and young adults.
Kody and Beverly will co-convene an SEYM Virtual Climate Strike at Half Yearly Meeting, with worship, mini workshops, teach-ins with SEYM Friends, examples of Earthcare actions, and more.
Saturday evening special event: Houston Cypress, two-spirit poet, artist and activist from the Otter Clan of the Miccosukee tribe and a director of the Love the Everglades Movement, will be our featured speaker on Saturday night. The Love the Everglades Movement works for the restoration of the Everglades ecosystem, with a holistic focus on issues such as the urgency of cleaning up the water and respect for Miccosukee Sovereignty. They integrate a Spiritual approach in their efforts to educate and connect with as many people, communities and organizations as possible.
All the details
Thanksgiving dinner kicks off HYM at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Here’s how it works:
- Some Friends arrive early (2pm) to cook the main meal.
- Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, & a vegetable are provided.
- Everyone else brings cold sides, desserts, bread, salads, vegetables, casseroles, etc. Did we mention dessert? Bring prepared dishes only—there’s no extra space in the kitchen.
- Community time in the Dining Hall is from 5-6 pm. Have a game you can bring?
- Dinner is served at 6 pm.
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 trips down the Wekiwa State Park section of the river. No swimming in the river—there are alligators.
For more details, visit canoewekiwa.com>
We prepare all the meals ourselves. You can get involved by leading a cooking team, helping to cook, or cleaning up— working together makes it FUN! Contact the HYM Food Coordinator, Caroline Kaufmann if you’re willing to lead a meal team. Sign-up in the dining hall to help cook and clean.
Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free food choices will be available.
- Thanksgiving Dinner: $8/Adult, $4/Youth
- Breakfast: $3/Adult, $2/Youth
- Lunch: $5/Adult, $3/Youth
- Dinner: $6/Adult, $3/Youth
The Wekiwa Youth Camp has group cabins. Unfortunately, we cannot use tents in this area. Families and friends are housed together as requested. Attendees 18-35 years old can opt to stay together in a “Young Adult” cabin. Gender-neutral housing and handicap accessible cabins with ADA compliant restrooms are available.
Bring your own sheets, blankets, and pillows – average low temperature at Thanksgiving is 60 degrees, but it can get cold! The Infirmary building has burned down, so there is a somewhat limited availability of heated cabins with bathrooms.
There are two types of lodging:
Newer cabins: have heat and bathrooms in the building.
- $16.00/night for Adults
- $8.00/night for Youth (under 18)
Rustic Cabins: These are the older cabins with nearby bathhouses. They have heaters, but they don’t work very well, and the buildings can be drafty.
- $12.00/night for Adults
- $7.00/night for Youth
Day Use Only: $2.00/Adult per day, Youth attend free
Don’t let money keep you from attending! Scholarships are available.
How it works:
As soon as possible prior to Half-Yearly Meeting, contact Jerry Knutson, HYM Clerk, to discuss how SEYM can help. Also contact your Meeting’s Clerk or appropriate committee to see how your Meeting can help.
You can go ahead and register —please register early. On the Registration form, check the box for “Applying for Scholarship.” Under “Payment Options,” select “Pay at Check-In,” and submit your form.
Our HYM Clerk, Jerry Knutson will work with you on the details.
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 the Registrar’s cell for entry code: 305-582-3027. Let us know if you are arriving after sunset 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, pillows, towels, 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