Atlantic Friends Gathering 2024

Camp Geddie: a Presbyterian Church camp near Merigomish, NS about 18 kms from exit 27 of Hwy 104.
Victoria Day Weekend, May 17 to 20, 2024. Friday Evening – Monday at Noon
Click here to register Click here for directions to Camp Geddie
See photos from 2016, 2018, 2019 2024 AFG’s

Children performing at Atlantic Friends gathering 2019 Family and Friends Night

Atlantic Friends Gathering is an annual event linking members and attenders of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) from across Atlantic Canada.


A weekend of creative sharing to refresh and rejuvenate


We gather at Camp Geddie near Merigomish on Nova Scotia’s north shore. Camp Geddie is owned and operated by the Presbyterian Church in Canada and is accredited by the Camping Association of Nova Scotia. See the Camp’s website at

NOTE! Camp Geddie is a smoke-free, alcohol-free, and recreational drug-free zone, and does not allow pets on any part of the premises.

The spacious grounds include nature trails and a spectacular beach on the Northumberland Strait (adjacent to a piping plover protected area). The healing atmosphere of being in a welcoming nature retreat offers an opportunity to open ourselves up to whatever we feel leads us, and to make this a weekend of renewal of our individual and our group spirit. This is a weekend for fun and enjoyment for Friends and friends of all ages. There are no compulsory activities.

We welcome members and attenders from our Atlantic region, as well as guests. Those who are interested in learning more about Quakers are also welcome. Please feel free to enjoy the weekend in your own way.

AFG 2024 is once again offering a “hybrid” experience. The option of joining the Gathering on Zoom will enable Friends who are unable to attend in person to still be a part of AFG. See further information below. In the schedule, ** indicates these program elements will be available on Zoom.

AFG 2024 Planning Committee

  • Jessica Tellez (Co-Clerk)
  • Brenda Bratton Blom (Co-Clerk)
  • Jackie Bonner
  • Daphne Davey
  • Daniel Haartman
  • Mary Petrie
  • Matthew Hayes, Registrar

For general enquiries, email: .

The Planning Committee will operate AFG following Nova Scotia government and Camp Geddie guidelines. We ask all Friends to be mindful about both their own and others’ feelings regarding COVID. You are welcome to wear a mask, although this is not compulsory. If you have concerns about COVID, please insert your query in the Comments box of the registration form.

Those Friends unable to attend in person have the opportunity of joining some parts of the program on Zoom, and will receive advance eBulletins containing technical and other information. Tech Support Friends will be available to smooth away any technical bumps. The registration fee for “Zoomers” is lower, since their fee does not include costs for food and accommodations.

“Zoomers” will have access to those sessions marked with a double asterisk (**) in the Program schedule below.

A Weekend of Enjoyment and Spiritual Renewal for All Ages!
Enquirers are Welcome to Attend!

Our core program is in two parts. The first is titled Compassionate Communication, Conflict Transformation, and Quaker Perspectives, presented by Mel Burns (she/her). Drawing from both Are We Done Fighting (Matt Legge) and Listening Well (William R Miller), we will review some practical guidelines for Accurate Empathy and Non-Violent Communication to help us grow in our ability to navigate difficult conversations with Friends, loved ones, and the world around us. Mel is a member of New Brunswick MM and attends Saint John Worship Group. She is currently working on her Master’s Thesis in Religion, Peace and Justice, and is a member of CFSC’s Peace Committee.

The second part is titled Puppet Creation and Storytelling
We will be creating puppets and telling stories as part of conflict transformation. The children are welcome to join in this activity. Skits with the puppets may be performed at Family Night.

We will offer the following other programs:

  • Children’s Program (babes to teens)
  • Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
  • Meeting for Readings
  • Meeting for Healing
  • Family Night

Atlantic Half-Yearly Meeting for business is scheduled on Sunday, followed by evaluation of the weekend.

Please bring musical instruments that you can play (any level of competence), and Songs of the Spirit and Rise Up Singing, if you have copies.

Marilyn invites Friends who already can do Tai Chi to join her for a shared meditative experience.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

A time slot is available on Sunday for SIGs. Friends wishing to present a SIG should include details in the Comments box of the registration form. Note that the SIGs will run concurrently. We will be unable to accommodate last-minute requests. Spaces for SIGs will be negotiated at AFG.

Display tables

Some tables will be available for Friends to set up displays. Please indicate your interest in the Comments box of the registration form. Note that room space is limited, so please be prepared to squish into half a table if necessary. Tables will be assigned on site. Separate tables will be available for the exchange of free books and clothing. A box for voluntary donations to the CFSC Peace Committee designated for Gaza relief will be on the free book table.

Members of Atlantic Half-Yearly Meeting Ministry & Counsel will be available over the weekend as listeners for any Friends wishing to use this service. Names of Friends acting in this capacity will be posted.

** indicates these program elements will be available on Zoom


Before 5:00 pm
Friends who arrive before 5 pm may have to wait until 5 pm to register and locate their room, although they will have access to the Lodge. Please be patient as there is much work to be done to set everything up during the afternoon.

5:00 – 8:00 pm: Welcome. Soup is on!
Teens check-in (with Daniel and Jackie).
Registration and room assignments.

8:00 – 9:00 pm:  Welcome, brief introductions (name/meeting), orientation
Jessica Tellez, Co-Clerk, AFG Planning Committee
Sign up for meal tasks, housekeeping, and activities.

11:00 pm: Lights out

6:30 am : Early-bird worship, meditation, walks

7:30 – 8:30 am: Breakfast, clean-up

8:30 – 9:00 am: Worship Sharing groups

Comfort break

9:15– 10:15 am: Introduction of Friends **
Barbara Aikman, Clerk, AHYM Ministry & Counsel

Comfort break

10:30 am – 12 noon: Compassionate Communication, Conflict Transformation, and Quaker Perspectives **
Mel Burns, CFSC Peace Committee

12:00 – 1:30 pm: Free time, lunch, clean-up

1:30 – 3:30 pm: Puppet Creation and Storytelling ** (available for Zoomers, pending tech support and interest)

3:30 – 5:15 pm: Free Time (optional extra Puppet time)

5:30 – 7:00 pm: Supper, clean-up, free time

7:00 – 8:00 pm: Meeting for Reading **

8:30 – 10:00 pm: Sing-along, folk dancing, social and snack time

11:00 pm: Lights out

6:30 – : Early-bird worship, meditation, walks

7:30 – 8:30 am: Breakfast, clean-up

8:30 – 9:00 am: Worship Sharing groups

9:15– 10:15 am: Meeting for Worship **
Barbara Aikman, Clerk, AHYM M&C

Comfort Break

10:30 – 11:45 am: Special Interest Groups

12:00 – 1:30 pm: Free time,lunch, clean-up

1:45 – 3:00 pm: Atlantic Half-Yearly Meeting for Business **
Barbara Aikman, A/Clerk AHYM

Evaluation, plans for the future – Barbara Aikman **

Comfort break

3:15 – 5:30 pm: Free Time (optional extra Puppet time)

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Supper, clean-up

7:00 – 9:00 pm: Family & Friends Night **

Individuals and small groups may put on a performance of their choice: stories, poems, skits, songs, instrumental music, magic, a nature talk. Puppet performances limited to five minutes each.

9:00 – 10:00 pm: Snack and social time

11:00 pm: Lights out

6:30 am: Early-bird worship, meditation, walks

7:30 – 9:00 am: Breakfast, clean-up

9:00 – 9:30 am: Meeting for worship

9:30 am on: Group clean-up, packing, departure

Farewell until next AFG!

The Children’s Programs will have something for children of all ages, offering fun and age-appropriate activities that will include learning about Quakers.

Possible activities: Nature walks, crafts, outdoor games, drama – and much more. Would you like to volunteer? We welcome your assistance for an hour or two during the weekend with these programs. Please indicate your willingness to volunteer in the Comment section of your registration form. Children of all ages are welcome to attend any other parts of the weekend program.

Parents, let us know your children’s ages and the activities they might like to do, so that we can plan for them. Click here to register.

IMPORTANT! Children and youth under 19 years who are attending without a parent or guardian must be accompanied by an adult sponsor and bring the signed consent form.

REGISTRAR: Matthew Hayes, 263 St Peters Rd., Sydney, NS B1P 4R2 403-678-1483,

NOTE! The Registrar’s email is for general registration enquiries only. Please see below for instructions for sending fees by e-transfer.

Please register online at this link. If you prefer not to go this route, please contact the Registrar by phone or email (see above).

Every person attending AFG, whether in person or by Zoom, must pre-register. Friends planning to attend for the day(s) only, with no overnight requirements, should still register. The Registrar, Kitchen Coordinator, and others need to know.


  • Regular:  MAY 1
  • Registrations received after May 1 will be charged a late fee of $10 per person.

After the May 1 deadline, eBulletins will be emailed to all registrants. If you need guidance on how to use Zoom, let us know in the Comments box of the registration form.


  • Children and youth under 19 years who are attending without a parent or guardian must come with an adult sponsor and bring the signed consent form. (Click link to download.)

NOTE! Please see below for instructions for sending fees by e-transfer. The Registrar’s email is not for this purpose, but for general enquiries. Advance payment is strongly preferred.

Registration for In-person attendance (click here)
Registration fees for attending Camp Geddie in person include Camp rental fee, accommodations, food staples, honoraria, and technical equipment.

Adults $185 (by May 1) per adult for the weekend
Children and youth (10 – 18) $90 for the weekend
Children 9 years and under No charge
One overnight (two days of programming and meals) $90
Day rate (no overnights) $50/day
Late fee (after May 15) Add $10 per person

Registration for Zoom attendance
One fee of $25 per household for any or all of the weekend. The link provided will permit unrestricted access throughout the weekend. (click here)

Payment options
E-transfers: Transmit to the Atlantic Half-Yearly Meeting account (set up for auto-deposit) using the email address .

Cheques: Mail in advance, payable to Atlantic Half-Yearly Meeting, to Dick Cotterill, Atlantic HYM Treasurer, 17 Eastmoor Drive, Bible Hill, NS, B2N 2X2.

Cash: Payable at Camp Geddie. Exact change will be appreciated.

Financial assistance

We strongly encourage Friends feeling the financial pinch to plan to come to AFG! Those who cannot afford the registration fee may pay less. Those who can pay more are invited to donate towards costs. If you need financial assistance for registration fees or travel expenses, please approach your local Meeting first, before contacting Atlantic Half-Yearly Meeting (attention Ellen Helmuth, Clerk) at or CYM Education & Outreach Committee (attention Leigh Turina) at .

If you are still stuck, please do let us know! Email the AFG Planning Committee at for a confidential consultation. We will reply to your request promptly. Please know that we desire there to be no barriers to your participation, and will work hard to make sure everyone who wishes to attend may be able to do so with the full support and blessing of Friends.

If you need assistance, please give details on your registration form, or as soon as possible after registration:

* Halifax airport pickup: date/flight number/arrival time
* Car pooling: pickup location

Driving time from Moncton to Camp Geddie is approx. three and a half hours, including a comfort break (260 km).

Driving time from Halifax to Camp Geddie is approx. three hours, including a comfort break (190 km).

Click here for directions to Camp Geddie

Friends are encouraged to bring any of

  • – pre-cooked casseroles which only need heating
  • – cooked side dishes
  • – breads, rolls
  • – sandwich makings
  • – cereals
  • – butter, nut butters
  • – yoghurt
  • – salads
  • – desserts

We will need hot meals from Saturday morning breakfast through Sunday evening supper. Staples of food and drink will be provided by the organizers.

Sharing a meal at AFG

Please note: We will endeavour as much as possible – and ask you also – to provide local, sustainably sourced, fair trade organic produce and products.

All prepared dishes must arrive with two copies of the ingredients (especially meat or meatless, or gluten-free), one for food storage and one to be displayed on the food serving tables in the dining room. If you have serious dietary concerns, please arrange to bring your own needed materials. The Kitchen Coordinator will coordinate menus for breakfasts, lunches, and suppers. Friends are expected to sign up for food preparation, dining room set-up and/or clean-up.

Main Lodge at Camp Geddie

MAIN BUILDING (Irwin Lodge) is a heated two-storey building with stairs (no elevator). This heated building has an upstairs sleeping capacity for 30-35 in double and single beds, and communal bathrooms. Rooms with more than one bed will not be assigned to one person only, unless there is plenty of room for all. The main floor of the building includes a kitchen, dining area, comfy central lounge/meeting area with fireplace, library, laundry room.

All washrooms will be designated gender neutral. If you require more information, please contact the AFG Planning Committee.

A-FRAME (Margaret MacDougall Lodge) is a small, heated single-storey wheelchair-accessible building. The A-frame is heated and sleeps five with a kitchenette and bathroom. If more than five Friends need accessible sleeping accommodations, the first five to register will be assigned rooms in the A-frame. Other Friends will need to seek other options on or off site.

The cabins are unheated. The nearby washhouse building is unheated, but has hot water and showers.

The washhouse will be designated gender neutral. If you require more information, please contact the AFG Planning Committee.

AFG is unable to financially support Friends needing off-site accommodations or assist with bookings.

Friends wishing to stay extra nights during the weekend (additional to those they registered for in advance) may do so. However, they will have to move to a cabin if a bed cannot be found for them in the Main Lodge without inconveniencing other Friends.

In all types of accommodation, participants must provide their own bedding and other personal needs. No linen is provided, but spare blankets are available. See What to Bring, below.

Camp Geddie has a wide-open field, spectacular beach, a place for a campfire at night, and many hiking trails, with an amazing view of show-stopping sunsets. No pets are allowed on the site, so the field should be free of at least domestic doggy-doo. This area is an ideal place to let off youthful steam flying kites, playing soccer, etc.


Friends, especially parents, should be aware that ticks found at Camp Geddie may be carriers of Lyme Disease. If anyone finds a tick on themselves or another person, they should report to a member of the AFG Planning Committee (listed at top). There is a safe way of removing ticks. Tick-collection kits will be available with the first-aid kit so that affected Friends can choose to send off the tick for identification. An information sheet about Lyme Disease and how to safely remove ticks will be posted in the Main Lodge. Refer also to

* Health Canada at

* Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme) at


  • Sleeping stuff: Sleeping bag, blankets, pillow. While the rooms in the two lodges are heated, the cabins can be chilly at night. Mattresses only are provided in the lodges and cabins. Extra blankets are available.
  • Let there be light! Bring a flashlight and spare batteries for walking between buildings in the dark, and for the cabins.
  • Toiletries: Bring soap, towels, facecloth, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
  • Scent-free items: Avoid bringing scented products such as soaps and personal-care products. Use scent-free laundry soap and softeners. We will provide Down East hand soap (contains no dyes, scents or fragrances).
  • Clothing: The Camp is located on the shore of the Northumberland Strait. During the daytime it can be quite warm, but the evenings are still brisk. Bring a range of clothing options, from T-shirts to mittens/sweaters, rubber boots and rainwear.
  • Readings: Consider bringing a short reading (story, poem, inspired reading) that you enjoy or that reflects a deeply held belief or concern of yours. You will have an opportunity at “Meeting for Readings” for people to get together in worship-sharing about the readings and ideas that Friends bring. Perhaps choose something that relates to our AFG theme
  • Musical: Bring a musical instrument that you can play (any competence level), and don’t forget to bring Songs of the Spirit, Rise Up Singing or Rise Again song books.
  • Puppet-making materials: Do you have any odd socks kicking around, buttons, felt bits, fabric pieces, etc.? Bring what you have, and we will supply materials as well.
  • Other items: Fly repellant (natural alternatives such as lemon eucalyptus or citronella are an option), sunscreen, canoes, kayaks, and swimsuits for the extremely brave. Also, books or clothing you’d like to rehome on the free-exchange tables.
  • Smoking, alcohol, and recreational drugs (not!): The Camp is a Smoke-Free (including vaping) and Alcohol-Free zone.
  • Pets (not!): The Camp does not permit pets on any part of the premises. Service dogs excepted.
  • Humour and fun: DEFINITELY!

Info last updated: 2024-03-18 10:00 PM ADT

Click here to register.

Quakers meeting outside at AFG