More than 500 young children and parents from across the UK joined together for an exciting and fun-filled visit to Thurleigh Farm and Adventure Playground in Bedfordshire on Saturday 6 June 2015.
Families from the Midlands and as far afield as Manchester made the journey amid glorious sunshine for an event organised to enhance family unity and Hindu values.
The day began with discourses by sadhus from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London who spoke about family harmony and child development – values which have been fostered by Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Children chorused nursery rhymes and enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities, including feeding farm animals, riding bungee trampolines, and playing on fire engines as well as on ponies and tractor trailers. For the more adventurous, there was an opportunity to ride a petrol-driven mini quad bike, embark upon an assault course, or manoeuvre through a zip-wire.
Spiritual teachings were conveyed through interactive mediums such as puppet shows and captivating stories which elaborated upon different aspects of Hindu culture and values. In celebration of London Mandir’s 20th anniversary, families constructed beautiful ‘sand mandirs’.
The warm weather also provided a perfect opportunity for a picnic. The tremendous enthusiasm and energy of both children and their parents were visible throughout the day. The event allowed families to spend time together and strengthen their unity, echoing the sentiments of Swamishri who often says, ‘The family that prays and plays together, stays together.’
One parent later shared, “What a fantastic day! Our sincere thanks to the organisers for such a brilliant outing. My kids didn’t want the day to end, and neither did we.” A mother of two added: “It was incredible to spend time with other families from around the country and come together as one big happy family.”