On February 7th, 2015, 159 youth leaders and 20 volunteers, along with three Pujya Swamis from Canada and United States met at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto for the 2015 BAPS Youth Leadership Conference known as KarCon.
KarCon, a karyakar convention held at the local or national level every few years, is an opportunity for youth leaders to further develop the spiritual and practical tools needed in offering their seva. In addition, KarCon serves to unite bal, balika, kishore, and kishori karyakars in the presence of Pujya Swamis, who share ideas and strategies on improving the quality of youth seva within the Canada region. Those who are invited as participants represented various categories of leadership, from volunteers who work directly with youths at BAPS mandirs to administrative support volunteers. The entire event was planned by the youth leadership team who served throughout the conference as group leads, logistics coordinators, and one-on-one coaches to help each volunteer develop a roadmap for 2015.
The theme of this year’s KarCon, “Shanti, I am a das”, established a focus for the delegates through five powerful prasangs from the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. These prasangs narrated challenging circumstances Swamishri faced while doing seva. Pujya Swamis elaborated on key details of each prasang to illustrate how Swamishri navigated often difficult situations but always maintained a stable, inspiring level of shanti. The breakout sessions encouraged karyakars to explore ways of applying lessons learned from these prasangs into their lives to enhance the quality of their seva. Group leads used creative games, speeches, videos, and focused discussions to make learning interactive and engaging for each delegate.
By the end of the day-long conference, volunteers left with a better understanding of how to help the Canadian youth activities expand as a whole while further developing their own satsang. Through the inspiration of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, delegates concluded the conference feeling empowered to be emotionally agile leaders.