On the weekend of October 12-14, 2007 Southern Appalachian Young Friends met at Old Greer House in the beautiful North Carolina mountains for a retreat about energy. This is our story:

My brain (Quaker grey matter) is completely void of all creative thought. My only hope of describing this retreat lies in cave-talk.


4:30 wake up call. (Ryan not Alise OOPS.)




1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!-9!-10!-11! 12/12 :( ...1-2

You is free chil

Cookie cake.


Lullaby and goodnight.


Cider and food.


So basically I enjoyed myself the past few days with you kitties. Shout out to Emma, Ry-Ry, Lydia and all the other cool kids on the block I didn’t know before. I will be the first Nashvillian in quite some time to attend Chapel Hill retreat. Holla.


PS If you happen across a small shiny silver ring, it is Bonnie’s daughda ring from Ireland & you should admire it. And then give it back to her.

PPS Laura told me a secret – She has top secret magical fairy tentacles which is why she exhibits god-like tendencies & does such a phenomenal job lead-FAP-ing retreats. Kudos my Friend.

Waaaah! Another SAYF retreat has come to an end. Although this was inevitable, it makes me sad to think that I have to go back to school. However, this retreat has also given me plenty of memories and it gave me time to talk to people I don’t get to see every day. And now to say a few things about people here, and if you aren’t mentioned, I love you anyway.

Phillip: You & Phorest & pelvic thrust& me drinking milk = me almost snorting my milk. And, you’re just awesome.

Ellen: Glad I got to see you again. You’re awesome & sweet. Love you!

Joseph: I love your glasses!

George: You’re am awesome guitar player. And sadly I’ve run out of things to say about people. But I love all of you!!!

             ---Autumn Trayham---

PS Taylor says hi!

PPS Ian told me to let all of you know that he couldn’t be here because he is visiting his older brother in Ohio.

First of all, huge thanks to Laura and the planning committee. It is much harder to plan a retreat for a place you have never been to, and you all did an awesome job!

The love, caring and acceptance you show towards one another is just amazing. When you read about Jesus telling his disciples to love one another, he is talking about what you all are doing (although in all honesty I have trouble picturing Peter and John yelling “Buffalo!). As you go back into a world that isn’t so loving and accepting, are there ways you can still show that love to the people around you so that they might have some small experience of what it nis like to be here.

With much love,

Mark Wutka

Ok so this was a great retreat. I had loads of fun playing capture the flag. And getting in trouble in silent football....so a lot of people who said they’d be here weren’t and that was saddening. I have to admit this retreat was very different altogether, one my sister not being here, and two barely any people came L When I came here I felt as though I never left SAYF in the first place, because of how often I think about being here...if that made any sense!

The games we played outside were fun, the elephant game and that sensing game were amazingly fun! The trampoline was fun too, and everyone knows I did catch Bethany! Even though after she fell back on the trampoline & me almost falling on top of her.

This weekend was amazing I must say! The newbies are amazingly awesome! The music played by George and Ryan amazing, and I know one of these years I’ll be able to play that well....maybe....who knows.

The way up here was fun, besides the no finding of SQUEEZIES!! Oh and Trivia games...not for me when I don’t know who someone is.....

Well I guess I’ve run out of things to say....oh and new cell# for anyone that needs it: 678-231-0759.

I feel like I am forgetting to write something....just don’t know what it is...Wink...that’s what it was!...it was crazy.. and strange...no more fake wink. I like circles...not rotations! Oh and the never completed puzzle...ha ha nice...i don’t know why I just wrote that!

Oh and flexible people...i am jealous...for I have lost a lot of mine...take it to another room...just kiddin I love you guys!

I have a note from my sister to put in the epistle. So ya...bye! I u all!



Hey guys! It’s Chrissy...yea I know that I’m not there...but I want you to know that I still love you all! The reason why I am not there is because of homecoming. Yea,yea, I know I told some of you that I was going to be able to go to homecoming and the retreat, but things changed. Now I am going to two homecomings. Yea, so this guy asked me and I was gonna turn him down to go see you guys, but my mom told me that, if I turned him down, I’m not gonna go on the retreat anyways. So yea...i hope you guys had a lot of fun and I miss you all very much! But hey...i will see you all soon. I you guys! Call me: 678-231-3395. Love, Chrissy

PS George, if you are there this time, I am very disappointed in you! I was really sad you didn’t come! And....if you aren’t there, then I am making a fool out of myself by writing this. Well, again I love you all so much! I will see you soon! Bye!

Ok Samantha again. I also enjoyed the energy part of this retreat even though I had none at all! Only enough for wink...ok I’m done Bye!

Hey darlings. Thank you oh so much for the wonderful retreat. I have had a stressful yet relieving past week, full of confusion and miscommunication, and I am so happy to be some where I know who I am, if only for a weekend. Now for a few specialized comments:

1.   Y’all are amazing at keeping me from doing my homework. Whenever I took it out someone distracted me and I did very little.

2.   People act like cats when they are blindfolded.

3.   I should NEVER have been able to take the flag like that. IT SHOULD NOT HAVE WORKED. I am disappointed and proud at the same time. J

4.   The only thing better than singing is listening to others singing. I got both this retreat. George and Ryan, after listening to you play yesterday, I seriously want to come to ATL and hear your band. If only I could convince my parents...

5.   I humbly thank the former and current Mr. Dictators for their hospitality and apologize for my stupidity during that game. Will you take away my 1 ½ points now? Please?

6.   Alise, Lauren, and the others who I had small quiet conversations with upstairs, thank you. You brought a different type of light to my weekend.

Thank you all for truly making me feel loved and accepted. I love you all from the bottom of my heart. ♣

Endless love, Rachel

To the person

Reading this!

(fill in the blanks please!)

This retreat was _________________. After many _____________ hours in the _________ van, we

                              (adjective)                              (adjective) (color)

______________________ arrived at Old Greer House. After a long opening ceremony, we were

(Adjective expressing happiness)

all __________tired. After an amazing 5 hours of rest, it was time for an _______ Saturday. After

      (adjective)                                                                                                                                         (adjective)

_______trampoline, it was time for some capture the flag! Once that finished it was time for


 dinner and other _____ games. Bear was _________ and so was wink. Well this fill in the blank

                               (adjective) (adjective)

 _______ is done.


             Written by Nia

             Filled in by ___________


PS Slap some jam on that.

SAYF Haiku

Lots of new faces

Got to make tons of new friends

Don’t want to go home.

I find that when I’m in a place like camp, or SAYF, where I don’t really know the people so well, it’s much easier to act differently than normal. Compared to a place like school where the social boundaries were set in STONE way before you were born, it’s an almost surreal thing to find yourself in a place where you aren’t expected to play a certain role. I mean, it’s amazing and fun to step out of you are at home, if just a little bit and do things you wouldn’t do normally. Of course, sometimes it is good to have a place where you know what you are supposed to do and have a part in things, but you can almost feel trapped, stuck being someone you’re not sure that you are. Or maybe someone you used to be.....

Example: Things I wouldn’t normally do, but did at SAYF

             . Ran around in the dark with people chasing me (Bear).

Oh, I guess I would do most of the other stuff like playing Capture the Flag, and Wink, going to sleep late (all the time) at pretty much any time.

It’s pretty cool how here people just come up and say “Hi! I’m blah blah blah! Who are you?” and give you a hug or something. School has long ago prevented anything like this from happening by dictating that you must stay in your own small group of people, never perform random acts of kindness like introducing yourself (which not long ago was the only polite thing to do) or show outright happiness. SAYF is the exact opposite. That is why it rocks!

Its so beautiful up here. I had so much fun.

Thanks to everyone who helped me find my necklace.

But I have a confession to make

I found my necklace....in my purse

I feel really stupid

I guess I should have looked there first. Sorry Sorry!!

Sorry Joseph for destroying you. I’m just playin wit ya. But sorry. I hope you feel better.

I love you guys.

I love you all.

Lauren Hudson


Sophie, Thnxs for the lovely note. Its amazing!

I’m happy....for lots of reasons. Here are just a few:

-     I’m soooo happy to have brought Lekey, Delaney and Lydia with me for their 1st SAYF retreat. I’ve been grinning all weekend.

-     It was nice for em to think about food and energy this weekend. After al, it is a pretty big part of our daily life.

-     And, of yeah, did I mention that I am going to Swaziland...to see Raffi...on Tuesday?

I love you all,


Julie vs George (Haiku Battle)

Julie:                                                                                               George:

stab the monkeys dead

help them on their heaven quest

rivers of ape blood

anti-monkey charm

given by gypsy goddess

prevents chimpanzees

My skin is falling

right off my monkey-bitten

body. WTF?!

Rub-a-dub-dub, girl

Why you be makin’ crab face

My legs are all gone.

Your vibes are like ants

itchy, itchy in my panty

do the itchy dance

Cringing is better

than waking up with no face

Like, where did it go?

Don’t call me a frog,

I only rabbit sometimes,

unzip your man fly.

What is your fault though

Global warming and Hitler

Thanks A LOT turd bag

You make Jesus cry

You know, your leg is pube-like

Just like a big pube.

Sweet bouncing tacos

Your words are like ninja swords

Haiku battle won.

purple monkeys dance

on platforms of ecstasy

they go to heaven.

ghost of monkeys drift

away from icky carcass

and haunt the stabber

gypsy goddess lies

her charms are quite the bomb

and you paid too much

ah oh now you’re dead

and you died quite painfully

what a major bitch

I apologize

for sending of unchill vibes

will fix in future

Oh my jesus Christ

so graphic with the itching

it makes me cringe some

it went to the land

of desire and Swedish fish

much grams of sugar

oh you honky bitch

the vibes have turned unpleasant

and it ain’t my fault

but Stalin’s all yours

starvation and HIV

and plagues and what not

again with the ick

Jesus weeps for your soul sick

Your pores are oozy

Julie’s Winning Haiku

I accept your defeat

With grace and much prettiness

Cause that’s how I roll

This was quite possibly my favorite retreat ever. I loved all the games we played, from stare –someone-in-the-face to Bear to modified wink. I also really like the greer house in general. OK I was going to try to make this flow, but I think I’m doomed to a series of nonsequiter (sp) remarks – also known as LEFT-FIELD WARBLERS.

I thought sleeping on the porch would be really cold, but thanks to that quaker tendency to try to cram way to many people into a small space, I was toasty warm. This made up for the cramped-ness. I would like to remember forever the ninja-like blindfolded battle between Mark and Bert. It was epic. Also, Austin is way too good at bear for his own good. Oh jeez, I’m rambling. I guess that’s all.



PS Are you looking for answers? Unity? Relief from human emotions and desires? Would you like a magazine subscription? Talk to me or Austin. The leader has answers. Purify.

PPS Would you rather be a blind lumber jack or a compost bucket?

Eeeh! Morning! There is nothing worse than the last day of SAYF; I can never do anything but sit while the weekend.....ends. There were great games happening and great food, there are two coffee cups on the table that keep giving us string cheese. When I heard about the (pardon the spelling) trampoline I said “Yes this is guna be cool, a (pardon the spelling again) trampoline five feet off the ground, Yeaa” I walked outside and my five foot (pardon my spelling) trampoline was in a HOLE! But hey, jumping is fun but not after you get off it, you jump teo inches after getting off (he he “getting off”).

OK I’ve taken up enough of your time now.

-     Phorest

PS Keep yur face away from Jacob K.Y.F.A.F.J.

PPS I hate when people say “PS” but when they say “PPS” it sucks bad.

PPPS I just wanted a sheet of paper! HA HA HA HA HA HeeHooooooooooo.


This was a wonderful retreat for me. I wasn’t going to come because of work, and the need to study for upcoming ACTs, but after the week was almost through I decided that I was also in need of some SAYF nourishment, and that everything else could wait. I am so glad that I came.

There is an awesome group of newbies here, and it was nice to get to know everyone better, and see old friends.

I love you all very much, and am so glad to be a part of this community. (Two years!)

Love, Winnie

So, I didn’t terribly want to write an epistle, but I have a couple of things I have to say:

1.   thank you Laura for leading this retreat J

2.   Dex wanted me to let everyone know that he has no plan of returning to SAYF, but he does say goodbye to everyone and the like.

and that’s all, Alise (or Aleese thanks to Austin)

PS You kids that aren’t here are LAME * cough chrissy sam Conrad max cough*

“Weep no more, oh weep no more, oh weep no more.

Dry your eyes, oh dry your eyes.

For I was schooled in paradise,

To ease my breast of melodies.”

             -From Daniel Childs song for chorus

This poem is from a song my daughter’s chorus sings. Those words and several ill anticipated weekends over the last couple of years have been a blessing in my life.

At 53 I know a few things about myself.

1.   I don’t like going out of county, or traveling overnight.

2.   I am irritable after 9 PM and before 9AM.

3.   I am often controlling and manipulative & can be way more than irritable when I am trying to “manage a situation”.

4.   I snore & sing in my sleep sometimes & that can be scary.

But this weekend I think I finally got it....or just a piece of “it”, for why SAYF is so important for Bonnie. Why SAYF is so important to all of you who come. Why & how SAYF can be...is important for Friends.

SAYF becomes a “paradise”. The word is from the Persian (another impact on the Hebrew faith tradition from the Babylonian Exile). Literally paradise means “walled garden”. A paradise is an intentionally sheltered natural space that by being claimed, and delineated, and guarded becomes sacred. This sacred space is meant to be used lovingly. The way such space is used shapes its spirit. Traditionally these walled gardens are incorporated into shelters for the functions of healing, education, nurture, recreation and play.

SAYF is a place where all these life lessons can be schooled. Many older friends may wish to believe Friends, young Friends especially do not need to practice playing, sleeping, eating, or drying tears. – I am convinced such care does need to be demonstrated & exercised.

-     Kathleen Hardie

It seems like I meet new people at every retreat or re-meet people that I haven’t seen except for once or twice. It was wonderful to see everyone again, and I hope everyone will be able to come to the next retreat as well. I loved this house with the mirrors and (as Jacob put it) “tacky” colors. I didn’t think we would be able to play wink in such a small room, but we managed it & had a great time. I also loved Capture the Flag and Bear and silent football. I love you all and I’ll miss you until next month!

(Falling Together)

The invigorating rush of life

Before the fall;

Hearts turn toward the brightness

Like leaves turn toward fire red & goldens end

Living lives of today,

Before the fall into darkness

And gray, when the cold becomes part of the whole

Until we join together again,

Let life fulfill and ignite us.

             - In the light, many thanks, FAP Laura

Dear retreat friends,

             This is my very first time being at a retreat and it was the funniest thing to. I had a really great time and it was beautiful just to be around lots of people that I’ve never even met before from all over the United States. It was just so incredible just how everyone connected in their little ways. And how people could just express and be their selves by music and singing and drawing and by gymnastics and games which was very cool.

But now the fun is over and its time to go home and get ready for skewl. Bu it was a happy and fun ending.

             Lydia Lear

Hey everybody!! I missed you all so much for the past years, and I’m really glad that this was a retreat that I could actually come to.

Last time I was at a SAYF retreat I was a teeny tiny newbie, and I clung to 2 people the entire weekend. This time though, being able to branch out was really great. I loved sitting outside in the sun and just enjoying people’s company. And it was great to meet everyone!! Half of you I’d heard about but never actually met, and the rest of you I was happy to see again.

Thanks to all of you for a really great retreat. I’ll try to actually make it to a few more this year!

             ♣♣♣ Emma

Ps I love this house! Can we come back some time?

Pps You guys who were singing last night sounded great. Thanks for your songs.

Ppps Thanks to the FAPs and everyone who planned this weekend...it was wonderful.

Pppps. (last one) Lydie, is your real name Lydie? I’ve been wondering this all weekend J There are SO many people on this couch.

My dearest lovely SAYFers!

I came to this retreat slightly worried that I should be home resting instead, but I threw my worries to the wind and came anyways. Usually sayf is wonderful, but a little stressful and a lot exhausting, but this retreat was replenishing and fun. I went for a wonderful walk, sat in the glowing sun, laughed and giggled till my sides hurt, sang beautiful songs with beautiful people, slept in a comfy bed, played wonderful games and was loved and cared for in such kind ways. I really thank you all for this weekend. Wouldn’t trade it for a thing! I feel filled by your love, these mountains, and so much kindness! Love and hugs,       Sara G.

Ps See you in CH!!! Sorry about your slightly abusive time here Ryan! Sophie draws wonderful happy pictures. And if you ever get a chance you should play with Winnie’s hair in the sun! hugs & kisses till next time!

String cheese is that one kind of like Lydie.

Elaborations on Warm Fuzzies vs Cold Pricklies

1.   suave shiny vs awkward slimy

2.   sharp sunbeam vs scabby turd

3.   humble Harry / bragging Betty

4.   dead on dart/left-field wobbler

Use them well Friends.

Honky tonk bowling

not a real sport, but kind of

I want bowling shoes

also cat tossing

is not considered legit

but a sport indeed

Cat tossing is nice

Europe allows cat tossing

Asia is ballin

South America

land of much execution

and the cocoa plant

Coffee and cocaine

Someday I will be ruler

of such a country.

Delaney J

So this was my first time at SAYF (as a ‘newbie’) and I really enjoyed it. Even the van up was mucho fun (although Therese and I did encounter some complications in actually getting the van and we had to stop every 30 minutes to pee because we all drank about 279346743.5 sodas/energy drinks). I met a lot of really cool people and mainly did a bit of just hanging out which seems to be a lot of what SAYF is about. We played a lot of Capture the Flag and some other pretty cool games like the staring thing which ended up being really neat after I stopped laughing. Bear and Wink where intense, although I almost died it was still fun. So yeah, in conclusion SAYF was pretty awesome and I hope to come back next time. J J J J

PS Slap some jam on that.


This has been a fabulous retreat! I truly felt I have been spiritually energized by the activities and F/friends this weekend. Kudos to the planning committee. Thanks also to each of you who made this meaningful to me.

The food was simple, delicious and easy to serve. Having beds was great, as is * three * showers.

But the location of a retreat is not what truly binds us. The activities we shared made this feel like a close community, and the people here made that happen.

Thank you for the gift of yourself.



PS What an awesome group of NEWBIES!

I cannot believe how many people are on this couch. I can’t MOVE at all!

I SAYF. I ♣ the colors of trees here.

I love Ellen. Ellen loves Emma.

Autumn is really b-e-a-utiful!

♣ Winona

Yes. My favorite part of this retreat was lying on the grass for unlimited amounts of time, sipping in sunshine and appreciating the beauty of this community. I love you all so much.

Come to Chapel Hill! 3rd week in Novmber.

Tempus loquerdi latini est. Fuit talis tempori ubi altera lingua utertor. Si Oriana sit hinc, non agam hamc, sed puella non est mihi.

Haes retreata erat tant bona sed tanta dificila mihi. Noctum torpet actors. Ago haec ut omni vestrorum amo. Odi et Amo. Exclucior.

I miss Ori and worship journals in foreign languages.

             - Austin

These are the first Words that came to My Head

Austin = unclean, master bear, buttface THIEF OF RYAN!


Ryan + NEWB! Choir Boi tell’em! Barney song (girl voice)

Sara= Bear pahtnah! We are too good!

Sophie=Super Geetar playa! Sings like good.

Mark & Bart = Faptastic. Ninja showdown, Blind-folded badass.


Bonnie =Lovely teeth, bites faces, blows Ryan’s nose.