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A View from the Children's Sessions

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Jad Tamari, St. Louis Friends Meeting

In 2007, being around four or five years old, I went to my first ILYM Annual Sessions. I do not remember much but I bet I was scared or did not really care. The first thing I remember was seeing and meeting Liam, Quinn, and Anya at Camp Cilca. I thought to myself, “I don’t like the faces of those people.” Now I am good friends with all of them plus Nathan, Kiva, and Anna.

Being in a camp we have to do classes. We all have to go to a group class in the morning being taught by an adult. We all read the same book every year, Drama. It is a graphic novel about a drama class. We all hate that book because we have read it so many times.

However, it is a good book for the age range of us. We also make a band. If we had a name for our band, it would be Pots and Pans. We use pots and pans or even the wall to make sound.

Other things we do at camp is that all of us hang out in super hot cabins when our parents are trying to find us. When we would eat food made my Kiva’s parents, we eat in the corner, not because we are shy, because there is a plug in for a charger for our phones.

There is stuff we do that includes everyone at Annual Sessions, like the variety show, square dancing, and bonfire. The variety show is cool because we see some people who perform very “cringeworthy” shows but the others are good. The high school group always does the variety show. They see who does a better skit. For some years, Kiva and Nathan were the emcees. You always see the normal singing or dancing acts. My favorite ones are the story ones read by an elder person. The younger kids might sleep through them, but I like the stories. The square dancing is fun also. The singers come to play instruments and sing. One year, we did the square dancing inside because of the rain. The bonfire is great because we have good snacks. The bonfire is great for friends coming together and great for the game of telephone.

Being a middle schooler going to the high school group will be great to learn more stuff and finally having air conditioning. That is going to be great! I have been here for about ten years and that is mind blowing to me because I made more friends than I ever imagined. Thank you to Liam, Quinn, Ayan, Kiva, Nathan, Anna, and everyone.


Editors’ note: Illinois Yearly Meeting approved a one-year appointment of Joy Duncan to be the Children’s Religious Education Coordinator.   She is bringing in new programs, curriculum, and energy to the Children’s Sessions. The youngest participants are enjoying a new “camp” experience.