Sharing the Light with Firecircles

Max Nagle
Each fall, FCS classes and parents take an overnight trip to Catoctin Quaker Camp. These gatherings allow our community to reflect on our ties to Quaker values in an intimate and authentic way, to recognize the light, and in turn strengthen our bonds. Now more than ever, we are reminded of the importance of this community.
This FCS tradition allows us to build lasting relationships and community. Despite not being able to gather in person, this tradition continues virtually this month. The staff of Catoctin willingly recorded a roaring fire at the camp so that we can simulate the experience.

In Sandy’s 1/2 class firecircle this week, students enthusiastically shared jokes, songs, and stories. Songs that were performed included This Land is Your Land and This Little Light of Mine. One student displayed stellar piano skills while treating the class to a beautiful performance of Fur Elise

“[Firecircle] was so very special. Several parents had a fire pit going, fire places, one family even had a tent set up in their family room,” said 1/2 teacher Keely. Her class shared jokes, books they wrote, and pets. 

“Everyone contributed to the fun.” said 1/2 teacher Michelle, whose firecircle began with a madlib. “Some families gathered around outdoor fires.”

Most firecircles begin and end with shared silence, with many students choosing to light candles. “At the end of the night, a student unmuted to say how much they enjoyed the night and the silence and how we need to do this more often.” Michelle added. 

Aimee enjoyed a few Middle School firecircles last week and described the experience this way: “At the virtual fire circles we dimmed our lights and enjoyed the fire and through the darkness we had light, friendship, laughter, and community.”

Alexandra’s firecircle was last week as well and said, “With Kindergarteners it was so fun to have them share their talents: from joke telling to dancing and storytelling.” 

Firecircles will wrap up next week for FCS students, and if they’re anything like the ones we’ve had so far, students are in for a treat! 

Located in College Park, MD, Friends Community School is a progressive Quaker K-8 day school, founded on the belief that every child is a valued member of our community. We offer a challenging curriculum imbued with strong values of equality, integrity, community, environmental stewardship, simplicity and peaceful conflict resolution, rooted in our Quaker heritage.
Friends Community School
5901 Westchester Park Drive
College Park, Maryland 20740