Wow-wee kids, young humans. But not so-o young-old enough to know there is plenty of reason
for cynicism in this culture, the human-created version of “order”, the way things are. Yet you go
forward learning how it works, thinking about ways it could work better, learning and inventing
better ways to love each other, and by extension, I believe better ways to love the rest of the
creation we find ourselves in. I feel lucky to be invited in, as a person a half century more
“seasoned” than many of you, to share your wisdom and your trust.
My first SAYMA with SAYF. What a revelation. I have done some pretty powerful ritual with my
pagan friends, but I had absolutely no idea that there were Quaker mystery rites that go on
nearly to dawn. until last night. Y’all blow me away!
I’m back baby….after 2 long. I’ve missed so many retreats, I can’t think of a
….metaphor (a word I can’t spell to save a muskrat) I’ve missed da retreats
cuz…well….Some times lady luck smiles and waves, other times she waves with one
finger. So any ways…..ya….um….(insert worship journal entry that actually makes
some sense and….ya)
PS Muskrats must be smart to spell their own name
PPS I like skitz
PPPS as in acing
PPPPS but I’m cool if you dat dosics
PPPPPS I’ll shut up now
Holy cow this is my last epistle as a SAYFer! Most of this retreat felt really surreal for me
possibly due to lack of sleep but probably not. I loved the dance/walking/meditation
workshop a whole lot, so I want to thank Ron McDonald greatly. I enjoyed worship
sharing as well. I am glad that I got to meet the newbies this weekend even though I
won’t really see you again for a long while at least.
I love this community, and I have one request for the people I’m leaving it behind to:
take care of SAYF, love it, and remember the importance of the spiritual aspects as well
as the social ones (though those can be spiritual as well). I don’t know if anything would
bring me greater joy than coming back to visit and finding SAYF thriving as much as
ever. I love you. I’ll miss you. But I hope I’ll see you soon.
SAYMA IS THE HAPPIEST AND SADDEST RETREAT OF THE YEAR. It is the happiest
retreat because it consists of 4 days instead of 3, yet SAYMA can be a very sad retreat
because we must say goodbye to all of the seniors.
Matthias, if you come back there will eb cake, I swear.
Meagan, there will never be another SAYFer quite like you.
SAM, LM I don’t think anybody will ever replicate your amazing antics.
Liza, um…never mind…I’ll miss you.
Sam P You are smart and witty.
Raf, I don’t really know what to say.
Anyway, I felt really awake and aware this retreat which usually means I HAVE NO IDEA
WHAT IS GOING ON. However, I managed to pick up interesting tidbits from my
surroundings. First off, the beds at the dorm were really, really comfortable. This was not
enough to make me sleep in them. The cafeteria food was very tasty at times but the cafeteria
breakfast was subpar. (even though they had soda). Pie was a nice alternative to the usual
This retreat, more than any other, involved the theme of music. There was a workshop about
pianos which was very great, and the FAPs brought some wonderful instruments, including
bongo drums, guitars and (yes!) and acoustic bass. And no, I did not forget Sam and Sam’s
So, until next time, I will miss many of the finer things of SAYF, such as phillip’s hair, Sam
M’s Z-ness, Casey’s unfathomable wisdom and Doug’s laugh.
In search of sleep,
PS Ben Hamill’s handwriting is radioactive. It decays over time.
PPS I’m really hungry. Those berries are starting to look good…
PPPS The hammock is really comfy yet it is also slowly decaying.
Winnie is a good pillow
PS Saw the logs,
SAYMA to blogs.
This has been my second time at SAYMA, and my second SAYF retreat. Out of
these two SAYMAs that I have been at, I must say that this one has been the lost
fun. This is especially true, because I actually made some new friends and
acquaintances besides those that I already knew. This retreat has also been
greater spiritually because the serene landscape of the campus has helped me relax
This is my fist year or weekend at SAYF. I loved it. Everyone is so nice to me. They made me
feel comfortable. I am so going to come back!
Right now, for some reason, I have the graduation on my mind No, I’m not suffering from the
common illness where you ignore people’s flows and start crying about how you are going to
miss them, I was thinking about how everyone was talking about how far the seniors would go
And I thought about it, actually something I saw this morning brought it up, Matthias, you are
going to go far in life. Now I’m not gonna say anything about Karma, but I think that you are
going to go very, very far. I swear Matthias, you are probably going to be the best con artist
America has ever seen. As for everybody else, I would say mean things about you too but a) I’m
to nice and b) I’m to lazy, so enjoy your lack of smart ass comments which you can. Onwards to
another random subject!
Phorest, can I please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please,
please, please, please PLEASE keep your awesome jacket? Please? It fits me better than you
anyway, and, and, and,….Oh whatever, please let me keep it, or at least borrow it until….next
SAYMA, or how about April, yeah, next April, or even March, I can do that too.
Oh, and Liza, I just wanted to say, one last time that I love and worship our STFU shirt. Worship
it. Or at least I do. Then again……lets just not get into weird religion practices shall we?
Actually, you know what? Just ignore what I wrote from the end of the thing about Phorest on
down. Don’t get mad at me, I just wanted a full page, is that such a crime? Say it, Say it, SAY IT!!
Ok fine, I’ll give in to my inner Dex….
Chickens go BOK BOK BOK, Willamae
Hello People! Wow, This is amazing! I wish all SAYF retreats could be like this, Yes, 5
days of hanging out, sleeping, playing games,[playing music and pigin out! I can’t
believe that I’m not going to see all of you for 5 months (NOOOO). Recently we have all
been talking about the seniors. Now I’m going to talk about other people (not that I
don’t love all you seniors).
Willamae: Give me the jacket back!
Ernest: Why did SAYMA have to be without cheesecake?
Philup: I miss your old hair.
Will: I love your guitar.
And everyone else, sorry I could not get to you, but…..well I love y’all anyway.
Lots of Love (and bad spelling)
PS Steven wanted me to write something for him so here goes:
Hello SAYFers, YAFs, and FAPs! I miss you all so much and when I heard that Worship
Journals are now called epistles I told Phorest to write:
“Nuts to Epistles. I am going to say Worship Journal, Worship Journal Worship Journal
Worship Journal Worship Journal Worship Journal Worship Journal etc.
SAYMA has been quite a lovely experience for me. About this time a week ago, I was
surrounded by my notes and textbooks, studying in 2 hour blocks, only breaking for food and
sleep. My last exam was on Wednesday and then I left for SAYMA. What better way to begin my
summer vacation? Being this is my first SAYMA, I got see the many ways it is different from
SAYF. More people, more pools, more days, and NO DINNER CLEANUP!! But I must also say
goodbye to many wonderful people who have shaped my life over the past year. Since SAYF, not
only do I feel a stronger connection to Quakerism but a stronger connection to myself. SO now
we must return to the cloudy vague world that is non-SAYF (Anti-SAYF at times). I say goodbye
until I see you again, and have a grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat summer.
I don’t understand myself. Sometimes I’m completely exhausted and can’t talk easily to
anyone, and later in the same day I drink one sip of watered down lemonade and get so hyper
I start to fear that people will think I’m high on something, which of course, I never am.
Okay, how about the retreat. This retreat was wonderful! From Thursday night to Sunday, I
have really enjoyed myself. The music walk we did Friday morning was extremely fun. I love
dancing. The second song played, though, the Gitliner Fugue, I was having trouble walking
to because I played that song in the band this year. I played the huge oboe solo at the start of
it, so while Ron played it I was having trouble deciding whether to cower in the corner or sing
my part, either of which would have made me look extremely silly. On Friday, I participated
in the healing workshop. It was an amazing experience. On Saturday I went to the piano
workshop. That was also extremely nice. He is an amazing pianist. Just for a slightly random
thought, did anyone else notice the walls were made of foam? Yes, I know, the foam helps
capture the sound so it doesn’t echo endlessly through the room. But still, I could have pulled
off chunks of that stuff if I wanted to.
The talent show was also very exciting. I must admit, the entire time my brother was up there
rapping, I was sitting, thinking, What is that boy doing! Stop embarrassing me Sam! You
can ask the people sitting with me, I was saying it aloud. I love you Sam. Graduation was
very moving and _______________ at the same time. I loved seeing the seniors playing with fire,
and I also managed to pour hot was all over my hands, legs, and neighbor. Sorry Eli. Alright,
I’ll stop talking now. I really will miss all the graduated, and the rest of you, come back next
- Rachel Leeman-Munk
Cathi’s Collection of Random Thoughts:
Max I hope you are feeling better and I wish you had been able to come! We all mis you.
Being a couple at SAYF takes thought: Not only does one have to balance their inward &
outward focus, but one has to balance their couple & group focus. Couples have existed
gracefully within SAYF in the past - it can be done, kids.
SAYF-T-NET = young & old working together.
Pie is very good food doe retreats- Let’s keep that in mind.
Let me leave you with these words: Be SAFE J
Arrrrrr….. These things are so furiating, epistles. Well, actually no, they’re good for getting your
words out, but we all know that you always forget something, but I’m going to try not to forget
anything, try. First, I would like to recognize some people that are here, and maybe, one or two
that are not. A lot of names may be mentioned, and I know how much everyone loves having
public readings about themselves, so I apologize if I can’t write about you.
Starling - you’re my best friends, and not only will I miss coming to SAYF with you, I will miss
daily life with you.
Ellen – your artistic talent is great, and greatly appreciated. Not only that, you are a great person.
Will H – Thank you for staying in the dorm with me, you didn’t have to, but I really am glad you
did. Who else would I share my……well, who else would I talk to about everything?
Casey – Hooray for you, you and your shirt.
Wren – I applaud you, and all the FAPs, for the work you do.
Liza – How much will I miss you? You can fill in the blank with, “so much whoa crazy now
what!?!” for you and all seniors.
Sophie – Thanks for being my friend.
I love almost, ok, all of you very much and in our own unique way. Each and everyone of you
young friends make great people, and I’m very glad I decided to come to SAYMA, nd my
continuation to SAYF.
See you in August, nurturers, and maybe in September, but most def. October.
I love you,
PS Mithias is rad.
PPS Sorry for all the myspace denials, but I only accept people with “the secret”; however, feel
free to message me anytime.
PPPS Someone kill my myspace account!
PPPPS Conrad is a ho.
I spoke about all you graduates last night, but there are a few other people who are
leaving who I did not yet get to mention. So here goes. Geneva, I love how you can be so
beautifully calm and so full of life at the same time. You were probably one of my best
friends at SAYF. I’ll miss you. Jeremy, I didn’t know you for very long, but you always
struck me as a very cool person who I could talk to easily. Thanks for that. Starling, I’m
sorry I only started really talking to you in January. You are quirky, awesome girl and
those people in Virginia will be lucky to have you come into their life. OK, that’s all the
peopleness for now. It was good to see all you spicy quakers again. Thank you all for
this community so full of peace and hugs and laughter.
I am completely new to this group and there are small chances that I should return. I have made
friends here and it pains me to leave them. But the have taught me more than any school could.
To have fun, you only need yourself and your companions (although squirt guns help too). That
is the greatest knowledge in the world, and I will hold it dear to my hearts a long with my
experiences at SAYF.
This is the 1st time I have ever been 2 SAYF. I came because some friends said it was fun
but the people here are weird. And they were right. I wasn’t expecting as much
strangeness as I got. I mean seriously, some pretty weird shit keeps on happening. But
how I am to judge? I men I think I really freaked out some people with my hyper
moment last night. It was pretty fun 2 see peoples’ faces. U can get some pretty great
reactions from dancing around, more like hopping but whatever, and sing Spongebob.
Spongebob rules, so I don’t see why they were freaked.
Ahh, I lost my train of thought. Got it back! I meant to say that they even though it was
weird, it was loads of fun. I had lots of laughs. And some great memories. I don’t think I
will ever see guys frenching guys and people just jumping on others 4 random moments
or reasons other than SAYF.
This is my first time with SAYF and I think it’s really cool. I really like going swimming and I’m
really glad there were water guns because they were really fun. I think the most fun workshops
was intergenerational games. I think the campus is cool to. I hope you do it here again. I’ve made
some new friends here too.
(also, where #@&!? Is Sam Preston?)
(Was he eaten by BEARS?)
This years SAYMA has been great, hope next years’ will be just as fun.
The bunnies tried to get us this weekend, but the Q ninja squad asked them to leave.
This may be a first…….song lyrics from a FAP. I first learned this a few months ago, though it
isn’t new – and it’s been haunting me
Some day my baby when I am a man
And others have taught me the best that they can
They’ll sell me a suit
And cut off my hair
And send me to work in tall buildings
One of the greatnesses of SAYF is that it’s a place where it’s ok to care about things, people,
ideas – it’s ok to care passionately. So what I hope for all of you, as you grow into adulthood, that
you’ll be able to find work that you care passionately about. If that takes you to tall buildings,
fine. But go with your passion.