Young Friends are a group of members and attenders of the Religious Society of Friends from the Baltimore Yearly Meeting region, between the ages of fourteen (or freshman in high school) and eighteen to nineteen (or senior in high school). Young Friends is a religiously based group designed to meet the needs of young people in the area of spiritual and intellectual development, social action, and general group fellowship. Young Friends also provides opportunities to take an active part in the affairs and concerns of the Religious Society of Friends. Young Friends conduct business in the manner of Friends (Sense of the Meeting). Activities are planned to provide fellowship as well as spiritual and intellectual growth. Young Friends promote individuality as well as the unity of being in community.
You do not need to be a member of a meeting, or even a Quaker, to attend Young Friends conferences, although we conduct business in the manner of Friends and attendance at Meeting for Worship on Sundays is encouraged.
The structure of our community is based off of a set of guidelines expressed in our Handbook, written and revised by Young Friends. Our community is almost identical to the adult BYM community in our use of leadership and Quaker process—we’re just several years younger. The Young Friends Community holds weekend-long conferences five times a year, Friday nights through Sundays.
As the only truly self-governing Quaker youth body in the U.S., the Young Friends nominates a group of people that serve on a representative body known as the Nuts & Bolts Committee. We appoint conference planners who plan conference logistics, such as setting up workshops for Saturdays and loosely scheduling the gathering’s activities. Our meals are planned by food planners. The structure of the conferences is fully run, inside and out, by Young Friends. Friendly Adult Presences (FAPs) attend conferences as F/friends and to help in case of emergency. The FAPs are welcomed with open arms by the Young Friends community.