BASE GROUP 1 –Next week you will not meet your true love but you will discover a particularly attractive courgette. This courgette will take you places you have never been before! It may lead you through a forest on a train and you will meet many ruined and destroyed bears at Audley End.

BASE GROUP 2 – Tomorrow you will find a cunning young, wise frog. It may slither away from your worries and join you on your voyage to freedom.  BEWARE: a very foolish image will interrupt your whole day it may lead you to go back and rethink, “Why did I pick up that green jelly baby and not the blue one?”

BASE GROUP 3 – Well, well, well; haven’t you been a very naughty base group this summer! You’ve deceived your fellow Quakers just to win a prize. You should be ashamed of your actions; you need to take some time to realise what you have done! (sorry)

BASE GROUP 4 – If you take up a musical instrument this week, you may become a professional basketball player. If you do not, beware of contracting a disease only to be cured by the kiss of life. Boop may dance for you, but do not encourage it- she is contagious.

BASE GROUP 5 – If you look carefully, you may find that great riches await you if you learn to do handstands. However, your parents will discourage you, and try to hinder your acrobatic dreams. Do not let them! Follow your dreams, and believe in yourself.

BASE GROUP 6 – A kind, funny base group. Astrid Corry is a great influence! Have a good day everyone.

BASE GROUP 7 – Wow! Your aura is really shining today! The triangles in your life are a positive thing! Embrace them! Love the reality of your triangular friends. They are beautiful and so are you.

BASE GROUP 8 – The planetary alignment seems to be in your favour for luuuurve. If you fancy them, go for it, trust your instincts. However, throwing small snails is not recommended. Never give up; those snails will come in handy one day, just not today my chum.

BASE GROUP 9 – Do not go outside this coming week, you might be abducted by a gang of threatening alarm clocks. They will take you to their time lair and feed you numbers. However, if you are kind and Quakerly they shall not bother thee.

Maya and Martha.

Summer School Football 2013

By Harry

On Tuesday, we got together to play 5-a-side football for an activity session.

After playing some matches, Jon our staff member decided that we should play a game to help us get used to passing.

What I found best was when we all had to use the ball on our team, without it being intercepted, before we could score.

By the end, instead of everybody running in and trying to score for themselves everyone started passing.

I asked Jon how he thought we’d improved after the hour. “The boys trained excellently. That routine is used by many premiership clubs and I see bright futures ahead for many of these players.”

The teams were made up of Tade, Elliot, Javan, Alfie, Harry, Jed, Ryan, Oliver, Tim and Alastair (a.k.a Alioop).

“It was fun to be outside in the sun playing with our friends,” added Tim.

Fantastic Fashion Fascinates Fans At Friends School

By Kirsten, Katie and Alice

The trash fashion parade was a highlight of the week filled with creative chaos and colourful costumes. Everyone was involved with creating ridiculous outfits from junk and taking part in challenges to win first choice of terrific trash!

In base groups the competitors competed competitively at a series of crazy challenges including a dizzy race and spaghetti marshmallow towers both of which left spectators surprised at the range of results. Teams were scored out of ten at each challenge with the lowest and highest scores awarded on the spaghetti marshmallow challenge. Coming out victorious were base groups three and eight with themes of the Wild West and vegetables and so they were awarded first choice of materials consisting of egg boxes, tissue paper and bubble wrap.

Then costume creation began. Martha from base group three was dressed as a horse being ridden by Selma the cowgirl. She said it was ‘Swag, the horse comfortable was really uncostume [sic].’ And Kirsten from base group one whose group theme was the sea said ‘it was really good fun dressing up Jesse in tinfoil and Clingfilm’. Jesse ended up as Poseidon therefore incorporating the disco theme of myths and legends. Sam from base group six said ‘It was hard to believe it wasn’t a real elephant’. The elephant costume included four people with a complex headpiece and tail.

At the end of designing, a classy catwalk took place – rivalling Paris, Milan and Cambridge – which could also be described as chaotic but gave a chance for each base group to show off their amazing creations and strut their stuff. Favourites included peas in a pod, a remote controlled robot and a moon walking space woman. This proved to be highly amusing to crowds, however most base groups reached the end without costumes falling apart.

Other themes included vehicles, circus and weddings and the whole evening was a great success with even the staff dressing themselves up in old junk. Participants hope that something similar will happen again next year due to popularity and hilarity.


A Boop with a view

By Matthew

We caught up with Summer School coordinator Bethany “Boop” Aquarone to get her views on life, the universe and Imran.

Matt: Hi, how are you?

Boop: Fine thanks.

M: How would you describe Summer School this year?

B: A smorgasbord of possibilities. I’ve got cheese on my mind so yeah, a smorgasbord.

M: What’s been your favourite bit of summer school so far?

B: I liked hearing about Michael’s favourite computer, mine’s the same.

M: What was it?

B: You know, a ram, core processor Intel thingy right? And I really enjoyed the disco.

M: What was summer school like when you were young?

B: We were so much naughtier than you lot, we were swinging on the chandeliers and everything. It was very formative; it changed me as a person. Summer school friends are friends for life; they don’t go away like a bad smell, caring and other horrible stuff like that.

M: What made you decide to staff?

B: I was quite young when I started staffing, just 20 but I needed a reminder of what it was like to have fun, and to be young again. Oh and I missed the barn dance.

M: How long have we had the same people for the barn dance?

B: Years and years, the lead person is the chair of governors here. Whenever we try to get them something he says, ‘I’ve been here for more years than you can count, I don’t need anything.’

M: Which is better: Summer School now or when you were young?

B: Summer School future is my answer.

M: Come on.

B: Fine, now because it feels more complete, more effective, more people, everything is just slicker.

M: Have you got any staff gossip to tell us about?

B: Not that you all don’t know. Actually this is the first Summer school I’ve been on staff when I haven’t kissed another member of staff. There you go, I’ve just realised that.

M: Now what we all want to know. Is Imran back next year?

B: Ooh, all I can tell you is Imran is as predictable as the weather.

M: Can we pay him to come back?

B: (laughs) Yeah, you can pay him or kidnap him if he tries to go to Conference.

M: What can we expect from Summer School 2014?

B: Expect the unexpected.

Activity Haikus

Nut Bracelets:

Plaiting and chatting,

Bracelets with leather and string

Nuts and bolts for beads


Step, step, jump – splash! Wet.

Big time Fun: breathe in and dive

Resurface happy

Ultimate Frisbee:

Swoosh, fizz, sail and soar,

Leap, grab, scramble, drop;

It is ultimate. 



Write; read; quiz; snap; snoop

Informative fun

Epistle 2012 Southern Summer School

To All Friends Everywhere,

Between Saturday 18th and Saturday 25th August a group of young people, between 11 to 14 years, and staff gathered at Saffron Walden Friends School to explore the theme of ‘Quakers around the World.’

Throughout the week all the theme sessions were enjoyed, in particular Jenny Rosenburg’s talk about the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) and the UN simulation which stemmed from her presentation (not particularly realistic when picking up Matty was involved). We also had talks from Jez Smith about Turning the Tide and his experience at the World Conference in Kenya, Marisa Johnson who spoke to us about EAPPI and FWCC, and Chris Nickolay who explored the theme of our ‘Fragile World’ through a Godly Play. The whole of summer school said that they wanted to thank all the speakers for making the week amazing!

Every day we took part in an activity, such as swimming, sword dancing, face painting, big Quaker discussion, puppetry, totem poles and shelter making. During the week, we went on several outings including to the maze in Saffron Walden, a day out to the market, and also a day in Cambridge.

As well as getting the physical aspect of ourselves involved, we also gave our spiritual sides a good work out. We had meeting for worship every morning for half an hour and epilogue before bed for half an hour. There were some deep and meaningful speaker sessions and ministry in morning worship. We experienced many different types of worship from all over the world in our morning meetings, like a programmed Meeting which was interesting because it explored new areas of Quakerism. One morning we were also given plasticine to create a symbol out of the silence of the meeting.

During the week, the fire alarm went off two times as usual but then there was a third unscheduled fire alarm and left everyone on edge because the alarm would not stop for an hour and a half! There was also some amazing banter during the week.

During the evenings, we had activities with the whole of Summer School together. Lifelines were very revealing and spiritually fulfilling; the Quiz was amusing; the Olympic Challenge and Barn Dance were lively.

People said that one of their favourite parts of the week was how inclusive and friendly it felt. Secret Friends helped to make everyone feel involved and special.

At the business meeting it was agreed that the theme for Summer School 2013 will be ‘Activism around the world.’

Signed in and on behalf of Summer School,
Ed Craig-Wood and Freya Harding, Clerks
Elliot Hills and Romi Carbis, Elders

Gossip 2

Yoga, Phil and Jo’s trousers…… whilst in the middle of one of Katie’s enjoyable Yoga sessions a loud tearing sound broke the peace. An expectant Phil found a hole in his trousers even though they weren’t even his he had borrowed jo’s…….uh oh.  They were right in the crotch and it totally threw the concentration! Everyone was laughing and Phil went bright red! Oops…

It’s all hotting up at summer school this year with all the staff gossip rising out of control! A chart was written out and it turns out Boop has been out with at least 3 different staff members and also so has Ollie!

Also, a few days ago, it has been claimed that a group of people saw Sarah in a car with a man. This mystery man could be George? But surely that doesn’t work because neither of them have a car! Either the claim is wrong and their eyes deceived them, or it could be true! Although gossip and tales may be spread, they might not always be true.

George said “I can neither confirm nor deny the rumours, but I am happy to find that I have somehow gained a car…” Sarah could not be reached for comment apart from when we heard her say to George ‘I love you’. This is now a hot talking point in the newspaper department.

Did you know that once in a staff meeting, Steffan Aquarone fell asleep and snored? All the staff got angry, especially Boop! She felt so disappointed in him because she has trained him to do everything she wanted him to do, including buying her chocolate and doing her chores! Matty thought it was hilarious! Also, he admits to fancying Boop, Sarah and Lailah


Margaret is summer school’s most famous show girl. But how much do we really know about her mysterious past…

Margaret was born in 2009 in the South of France and within a few months she’d already started stage dancing. It all started with the can-can. She could kick her legs higher than any other girl and had men falling at her feet. She would accept love from the occasional stranger but mostly kept her modesty to herself. Soon she was winning many an award! But by 2011 she had retired and is now living a peaceful Quaker life.

Matty has been a big part of summer school but he too has had a very adventurous life…

Matty was born in 1672, prehistoric ages. He soon learnt to scream. He killed many a dinosaur. He killed them with his bare hands and they provided food for the Quaker community. But Matty knew nothing about how special he would be. Soon he was the first flying ape. But Matty chose a ‘quieter life’ as summer school’s only talking ape.

Imran seems quiet, cheerful and sweet but few know his past as an assassin…

Imran killed many chickens. He was ruthless. He spared no mercy. He slaughtered many and that is why we love him!

Out and about!!!

Over our time at summer school, we have been on a few outings. We’ve been to the maze which had everyone running around and when we went to Saffron Walden, I was surprised the citizens of this little town weren’t hiding in their houses. But here is what we think of what we have been doing.

The maze was filled with laughter, instructions and confused 11 to 14 year olds. We have enjoyed the maze immensely. “I found it so hard; I had to climb through quite a few bushes to get to the middle.” Says Rachel who said it was 10/10 for the maze. Lydia who found the maze extremely hard, said it was “Hot, exciting, tricky but enjoyable.”  If I were to describe it, it would be misleading but exciting. But all in all it was an excellent day out.

The trip to Saffron Walden was a chance to buy things for secret friends, buy supplies and just hang out with your friends. Glitter was a top-seller and when I asked the toy shop owner whether it was weird that a load of 11 to 14 year olds were buying facial glitter usually bought by 4 to 7 year old girls, she said she thought it was a joke and they were taking the mickey, but who wouldn’t turn down a good customer and she certainly didn’t. I bought some yesterday and it still on my face after a thorough face wipe. Also very popular was, wait for it, pineapples! I know it sounds weird but they were given as presents for secret friends! I was walking round with Lilly and she bought a pineapple to give to her S.F. But she eventually declared she was attached to it and would keep it. But her S.F got their pineapple.

Written by Bethan Davis