Quaker Family Retreat

May 10-12, 2024

Program description
Facilitation Team
Registration information

You are welcome to enter registration information if you’d like to be added to the list (you do not need to make a program payment unless/until your participation is confirmed).


Join with Quaker caregivers and kids for an opportunity to co-create an intergenerational Quaker retreat:  a time of play-filled learning, in which  adults can share joys and challenges of Quaker parenting-as-spiritual formation, and Quaker children can renew and deepen bonds with others. Participants will experiment, in embodied way, with being Quaker families, in a broader community of Friends. We are planning a weekend infused with joy, fun, music, crafts, and play.

We’re so grateful for support from the Obadiah Brown Benevolent Fund and the NEYM Emerging Youth Ministries Fund to make this retreat happen!

PLEASE NOTE: Participants are strongly encouraged to attend as much as possible of the weekend; please speak with the facilitation team in advance if you are unable to attend the full program.


Gretchen Baker Smith (Westport Meeting)
Gretchen has been involved in Quaker youth ministry for 35 years, and wasthe former Children & Family Ministries Coordinator for New England Yearly Meeting. She currently co-leads online Quaker parent conversations, including one with Quaker Parenting Initiative’s founder Harriet Heath, is a member of the Fun for Everyone Committee at Westport Meeting, and facilitates a monthly Seekers Group at her meeting that has met continuously for 9 years. She and her husband Buddy have 3 adult offspring who grew up in the love and hospitality of both Westport Meeting and the youth programs of NEYM.

Jennie Isbell Shinn (Mt. Toby Meeting)
Jennie carries a ministry of spiritual companionship, encouragement and pastoral care for individuals and groups who are seeking to respond to glimpses of the Holy in their own lives. The outward forms this ministry takes at present include serving as a spiritual director, facilitating groups for ministers, leading retreats and programs, and providing hands-on prayer and care/massage therapy for hospice patients, caregivers and oncology patients. Jennie currently serves on New England Yearly Meeting’s Legacy Gift Committee, the 2024 NEYM Sessions Themes and Speakers Committee,  and on the oversight of ministry committee for a Friend in Mt Toby Monthly Meeting.

Kristina Keefe-Perry (Fresh Pond Meeting)
Kristina carries a Minute of Release from Fresh Pond Friends Meeting (Cambridge, MA) for the creation of Quaker Community, with a concern for Quaker worship and community. A major project has been the creation of Three Rivers Worship Group – under the care of Fresh Pond. Kristina is a member of the Friends United Meeting (FUM) Board where she serves on the North American Ministry Committee and Advancement. Kristina is the Worship Coordinator for NEYM Sessions, and delights in supporting all-ages worship. She serves on the Anti-Racism Consultation Working Group of the Permanent Board. Kristina is the mother of an amazing t/weenager and longs for a Quaker community that takes spirituality of young people seriously. Kristina was a board member of Quaker Voluntary Service.


Plan to arrive after 4:30pm Friday evening, in time for dinner at 6:30. The workshop will end by 2pm on Sunday. We are centrally located in western Massachusetts, close to both I-91 and Route 2. For those  arriving by car, we will send directions after you register. Please let us know if you’d be interested in car-pooling. The nearest Amtrak train station is in Greenfield (MA). Vermont Transit and Peter Pan bus lines also stop in Greenfield. Please contact us in advance to see if we can arrange a ride from these stations.

Our 19th-century farmhouse has hand-hewn beams and wide pine floors, with simple dorm-style lodging. The meetinghouse and the first floor of the main building are wheelchair accessible. Our cabins have electricity, woodstoves and outhouses. We serve nourishing, primarily vegetarian, home-cooked meals and always offer a vegetarian option. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions. Part of the community building at each retreat includes the joyful sharing of meal chores and final clean-up.

Please bring your own toiletries, towels, and bedding (sleeping bag or sheets and blankets or comforter).  Pillows are provided. Be sure to bring seasonally appropriate clothes and comfortable indoor and outdoor footwear. You might also like to bring a flashlight, journal, musical instrument… Please do NOT bring pets or candles. We have limited internet access and cell phone reception. We encourage guests to consider how cell phone or computer use may detract from their experience of being fully present, here and now.


REGISTER ON-LINE for this program (be sure to complete two steps: fill in the registration form and then submit a payment). Or contact Margaret Cooley at Woolman Hill if you need an alternative way to register: margaret[at]woolmanhill.org, 413-774-3431.

You are welcome to enter registration information if you’d like to be added to the list (you do not need to make a program payment unless/until your participation is confirmed).

The standard rate for this retreat is $50 per family. The fee includes program, lodging and food from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. Please encourage your faith community to financially support your participation if that is appropriate, and please ask if you need additional scholarship funds. A non-refundable deposit is required to hold a space for the program.

We look forward to welcoming you to the hill!