More than 200 dedicated yuvaks and yuvatis from across North America gathered at the BAPS Shri Swaminaryan Mandir in Houston, TX from March 19-22, 2009. Inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the National Yuvak-Yuvati Karyakar Conference, or KarCon, centered on the theme ‘NAVYUVANO: The Future is Now.’ Primarily, the message conveyed that as we progress to the future, the leadership practices of today will shape that outcome. So that the karyakars could best discover the importance of the theme, sadhus from across North America came to offer their guidance and expertise at the convention.
This seminar included informative workshops on networking, public speaking, and management skills. “Seminars such as this give everyone the necessary tools and skills they need. It allows participants to network with each other and learn best practices,” said Dolly Swaroop, from Washington, DC.
Centered on shaping the future, this seminar focused on developing soft skills and decision-making tactics that allow for practical solutions which can be readily applied. KarCon fostered the idea of an interdependent, communication-driven, and supportive team environment. Through various workshops, interactive discussions and invigorating lectures by senior karyakars and saints, the attendees better understood that the decisions that are made today have a broad ranging impact.
The theme resonated over the two and half day conference, and was the message everyone was eager to bring home and share with others. “The theme not only kept everybody focused on what they hoped to achieve from the seminar, but also energized and motivated everybody,” explained, Amal Patel from Houston, TX.
“It was great learning from my peers from around the nation. I learned many things that I can take back and readily implement,” mentioned, Hina Darji, Tampa, FL. “Everybody put forth a lot of effort in organizing this seminar. It was a joy to attend,” added, Darji.
Hundreds of volunteers spent the last few months planning this seminar paying attention to every minute detail from presentations to even the meals served. “Having planning committee members from throughout North America provided unique challenges to planning this seminar, but with the endless dedication of all involved, we were able to succeed in accomplishing our goals for this KarCon,” said Ushma Lakhani, from Chicago, IL.
Hosted at the mandir in Houston, Texas, the event enabled attendees to also have the opportunity to simultaneously participate in the daily mandir rituals of arti, thaal, and abhishek. “Having the event in a beautiful peaceful place such as this mandir added an incomparable element!” explained Rachna Patel from Dallas.
Overall, the success of the event and the resounding impact of the theme was driven home as Pramukh Swami Maharaj gave ashirwad in the concluding session to the karyakars. Attendees and organizers alike praised the manner in which information, awareness and fun were integrated in just three short days. It is obvious to all those that attended that the vision for a bright future can be a reality.