On Sat 21 April 2007, 300 shishus (boys and girls 9 years old and under) travelled with their parents from across the UK to participate in this historic event at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London.
The 0-3 year olds were free to play with the numerous toys and giant ball pools that were at their disposal. However many chose to join in the variety of structured activities put on. These included singing, story telling and making pasta haars for Bhagwan Swaminarayan. There was a real sense of closeness as the children, parents and helpers all joined in the fun.
Exhilaration rose in the hearts of the 4-9 year old shishus as Harikrishna Maharaj entered the Shibir accompanied by a rabbit adding fun and laughter to the programme. The age groups were split into two (4-6 and 7-9) according to their ages to maximize their learning. They raced to build a tree of Swamishri’s character, participated in a quiz and were taken on a mystery tour based on the six pillars of character.
Parents joined their children in some of the activities and were thrilled at the Ghar Mandir masterpieces they helped to create. There were also classes for the parents on Bal Sanskars.
The Haveli roared with the laughter of the children when the entertainers took to the floor, displaying their various talents. Throughout the day, the parents were amazed at how the children were kept engrossed in one activity after another. It was almost impossible not to be overwhelmed by the finale of the day – The Party. The gym was unrecognisable as the girls’ side was decorated to create a princess’s castle and the boys’ side resembled a football arena. All the children were treated to a sit-down dinner with full party accompaniments. As with any party, the day ended with the excitement of their party gift which included a glow in the dark murti of Swamishri. All the shishus really enjoyed themselves as well as learning a great deal during the day.