The offTheLeftEye Experience FAQs

As the board and staff of the Swedenborg Foundation continue to monitor the events surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we’ve come to the difficult conclusion that we need to cancel the OffTheLeftEye Experience, originally scheduled for June 5-8, 2020. Read more >

If your question is not covered below, please contact Gwen Williams at or 610-430-3222, x 109. Please leave your name and phone number along with your question if you leave a voicemail message.

On-campus lodging options are limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

View the agenda here >

Travel Questions

What is the nearest airport?

The nearest major airport is Philadelphia International (PHL), which is about 45 minutes away from Bryn Athyn by car.

A closer regional airport is Trenton-Mercer (TTN), which is about half an hour away by car and less subject to rush-hour traffic delays.

A farther option (although sometimes more convenient or less expensive depending on your departure point) is Newark International (EWK), which is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Bryn Athyn.

How can I get to Bryn Athyn from the Airport?

By far the fastest and most convenient way to get to Bryn Athyn is by car, but please see below for public transport options. 

From Philadelphia International: A ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft should cost approximately $40-$50 one-way; a taxi would be substantially more expensive. Airports also offer car rental options. For public transit, take the Airport line to downtown Philadelphia (30th Street Station or Suburban Station) and then follow the public transit directions below. 

From Trenton-Mercer: Expect a ride share to cost about $30 and a taxi to cost substantially more. For public transit, take a taxi/ride share or bus to the Railroad Avenue terminal (just over a mile), and from there take SEPTA’s West Trenton line to the Bethayres station. 

Newark International: A ride share to Bryn Athyn will likely cost around $100 one way. For public transit, you can take an Amtrak train directly to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and then the West Trenton regional rail line to the Bethayres station. Optionally, you can take New Jersey Transit’s Northeast Corridor line to the Trenton Transit Center, transfer to the Railroad Avenue terminal (approx. 5 miles), and take SEPTA’s West Trenton line to the Bethayres station. 

What are the Public Transport options?

From downtown Philadelphia, the most direct option is to take the West Trenton line and exit at the Bethayres stop (approximately 45 minutes). The Bethayres station is about one and a half miles from Bryn Athyn College; from the station the 24 bus line passes directly by the college. 

If you are in the Philadelphia area, please consult a route planner such as Google Maps for the best route from your location. 

Where can I park? Is overnight parking free?

There is visitor parking on campus for use by both day and weekend visitors. The parking lots are free and don’t require any kind of parking passes. 

I have to arrive a day early/check out a day late—can this be accommodated?

If you are staying on-campus, unfortunately we are not able to extend your stay beyond the days of the event. If you want to come early or stay and enjoy the area longer, we recommend booking a hotel room for all or part of your stay. 

What are the nearest hotels?

We recommend visiting a travel booking site for a comprehensive list of nearby lodging; in addition to hotels, there are bed and breakfasts and Air BnB options. 

For some suggestions for local hotels, please see Bryn Athyn College’s page with driving directions and lodging options. (

I want to stay on campus but not eat the food offered

If you have a food allergy or other dietary restriction, please let us know on the registration form — we might be able to accommodate it! But if you would prefer to eat off-campus or bring your own food, then please contact us for options. 

I want to eat the food offered but do not want to stay on campus

In that case, sign up for a Weekend Pass — that includes all meals and events, but not lodging.

What if I need to miss part of the event?

If you can only come for a single day, you can register for a Day Pass — that will cover lunch and dinner, plus all activities for the day. If you need to miss a half-day or an unusual amount of time, please contact us to discuss options.

 I want to come but I cannot afford the it. Are there scholarships available?

Yes! Starting January 15, 2020, the Swedenborg Foundation will begin accepting applications and essays for The offTheLeftEye Experience 2020 Scholarship sponsored by Bryn Athyn College. The scholarship will make it possible for one of our loyal supporters with limited resources to attend the conference by receiving lodging, meals, and a weekend pass to the Experience free of charge. All other expenses, including travel to and from the event, are the responsibility of the winner. Two runners-up will receive a free item of their choice from the Swedenborg Foundation store on Go here to learn more >


How do you handle refunds?

We offer 100% refunds on cancellations before May 1, 2020. If you need to cancel all or part of your trip after that date because of special or emergency circumstances, please contact us directly. 

The Stay

Where will I be staying?

The gathering will take place on the campus of Bryn Athyn College in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. We have affordable on-campus lodging available for people who would like to stay close to event activities, but there are a number of hotels and other lodging options in the area. (See above under “What are the nearest hotels?”)

If I’m staying on campus, how do I check into my accommodations?

Check-in and registration will be from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Brickman Center on the campus of Bryn Athyn College. View the campus map. If you are coming from out of town and expect to arrive at a different time, please let us know. 

What time is check-in?

For those staying on campus, check-in will be between 3 and 5 p.m. on June 5. If you’re expecting to arrive at a different time because of your travel schedule, please contact us about making other check-in arrangements. 

For those on a day pass, registration will be between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. on June 6 and 7.

What if I do not like my accommodations on campus?

Please be aware that on-campus accommodations are student dorms with shared bathrooms and common areas. If you’re concerned about whether or not you’ll be comfortable there, we urge you to consult the photos on our event page and contact us with questions before registering. All attendees have the option of staying off-campus at a hotel or other lodging and buying a Weekend Pass to participate in events. Once an attendee has arrived at the event, we are unable to issue a refund on housing costs or guarantee alternative accommodations on campus. 

How will I know where to be when?

Included in your welcome packet will be a full schedule of the weekend with event locations and a map of campus. We’ll also have volunteers available to direct you if you’re ever unsure where to go. 

What items do I need to bring?

Aside from the usual clothing, toiletries, and other travel essentials, be sure to bring sunscreen and insect repellent for outdoor excursions and to pack comfortable clothing, including sturdy walking shoes. The weather can be unpredictable that time of year, so be prepared with umbrellas or other rain gear.

If you would like to participate in our optional morning yoga, please bring appropriate clothes (and you may also bring your own mat, although mats will be provided). 

If you are staying in one of the Suites on campus, you should also bring your own towels (in the Cottages, they are provided). 

What should I wear?

Most events are casual, so please dress to your level of comfort for the weather. There will be informal social events in the evenings on Friday and Saturday. People who are sensitive to sunlight may wish to bring sunglasses and/or hats for outdoor activities. 

What will the weather be like?

The average temperature in June in this area is in the 70s or 80s Fahrenheit. The weather can range from rain to sunshine, so be prepared with both sunblock and umbrellas or rain gear. 

Are there bugs or plants I need to watch out for?

Yes. The woods and fields around campus may have deer ticks, which are known to carry Lyme disease; if you go on walks outside of the immediate campus area, be sure to wear bug spray and check yourself for ticks when you return. 

Poison ivy, which frequently causes itchy rashes, is also common in this area, especially in the border areas around forests. If you believe you have come in contact with it, when you come back to your room wash your skin with soapy water and put any affected clothes in a separate bag until they can be washed. 

What will I be eating?

All registrations include meals provided by the campus cafeteria. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, gluten or dairy free, or any food allergies) via our registration form; we will contact you if we’re unable to accommodate that concern.

I have mobility issues–can this be accommodated?  Will there be transport provided?

We can provide transport for people with mobility issues. If you are in a wheelchair or have challenges climbing stairs or walking for distances greater than a quarter-mile, please let us know on the registration form or by contacting us separately.

I am a lactating mother. Will there be a space for me to pump?

We can make arrangements for this, but please let us know in advance of your needs, either via the registration form or by contacting us separately. 

I have a medical condition that creates special needs—can this be accommodated?

Please contact us to discuss your situation and what accommodations may be needed.

Will there be first aid/transport to local hospital or treatment center should I become ill or injured?

Yes. There is an on-campus medical office for minor complaints, and if needed even staff will ensure that you are transported to the nearest hospital.

General Questions

Will the event be filmed?

Yes. We will be recording some of the core lectures for the purpose of creating Virtual Pass videos for those unable to attend the event in person. We may also film other parts of the event for promotional purposes. We anticipate that most videos will focus on the presenters, with participants being filmed as part of “background” shots or interviewed by permission. If you have any concerns about being filmed, please contact us before registering.

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