Living as a Quaker 2019

A BYM event at the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire – report by Rafa

I went on Living as a Quaker 2019 in a Sustainability Centre. The aim is to keep everything sustainable. It’s in the middle of nowhere. They have 55 acres – huge. There were 9 other young people, four of which I already knew – all from the Bristol area.
The centre runs lots of activities which we could do. For example den building, they didn’t tell us how long we had, they just said they’re a lot of logs here, but then after roughly 20 mins they announced that we had 5 minutes left, we didn’t get any help, we made one pillar with forked logs, laying two against each other, and that held the rest up. We also made an arch you could crawl underneath, out of sand bags, vertical, built over a tyre. We had to squeeze them really close together. And then pull the tyre out. And we had it so that 2 people could stand on it. It was impressive and it showed really good teamwork. We also made sustainable smoothies, pressing the apples by hand… It was all really fun.

And we went looking for dormice, which are very rare, there are not very many of them. You can tell what animal has eaten the hazelnuts by the way it has been chewed.

Of course we played lots of games, chaos tag was really fun, and it was a good way to get to know other people.

Later on in the weekend we learned about how to explain about Quakers to other people. We had a questioner and a quaker. I was a questioner, and Jethro, one of the adults, was the quaker. By asking him questions I learned a lot about Quakerism. Before then there was lots I didn’t know, about the history and other things. I also heard about testimonies, which are important things for Quakers, for eample we used ‘PIES’ – peace, integrity, equality and simplicity, and more recently sustainability has become really important, which is connected to simplicity.

And we also had multiple meetings for worship in different places. Some of them in the dark, there were owls and there were so many different kinds of birds.

It was really fun, and I got to know some new people really well. I was sharing a room with Daniel who I didn’t know before, which was good, because I already knew the people from Bristol well. Our youth worker from Bristol teamed up with the one from Sheffield, so the other young people were mostly from near there.

They are organising something similar in March that I would really like to go to and I heard about an event that lasts a whole week long with lots of activities.

It barely rained at all. The food was all really good. The beds weren’t all that comfortable so I didn’t get so much sleep but overall it was amazing and I enjoyed it a lot so would like to go on more trips like it and encourage any other kids to come as well because they will enjoy it so much!

Rafa Allport