From Sat 23rd to Mon 25th August 2003, the Annual National Family [Yuva/Yuvak & Bal/Balika] Shibir was held over the Bank Holiday weekend at Keele Conference Park in Staffordshire.
The months of preparation leading up to the shibir and the hard work of those involved became apparent as the theme of “Ruchi, Rahasya, Rajipo” unfolded.
With the registration process complete and rooms allocated, participants gathered in the Chancellors Building for the inauguration and sacred lamp lighting ceremony marking the commencement of the shibir in the presence of Pujya Atmaswarup Swami and the sadhus from London Mandir.
For three days, inspirational and emotional speeches were delivered by Pujya Atmaswarup Swami and the sadhus, and emotive sketches and breathtaking video presentations were made of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. But the highlight was the surprise live telephone link to Swamishri in which he showered His blessings and spoke of the importance of niyam, mahima and ghar sabha. In addition, with this year celebrating 50 years of Satsang in the UK, we were treated with a touching reminder of the origins of UK Satsang and we walked through the evolution of the first satsang assemblies in Marble Arch to the majesty of the murti-pratistha of the Neasden Mandir.
Classroom sessions and group discussions encouraged participation from all and discussions on various practical subjects were aired, which resulted in very useful contributions from all those that participated.
As with previous years, an exciting sports session was held on Sunday afternoon in which participants joined in volleyball and cricket activities at the Keele Sports Centre.
With over 360 adults and 160 children attending the shibir from not only all centres across the UK, but also from Paris, Lisbon and Ireland, this was truly an international shibir.
The National Family Shibir 2003 invigorated all those present and left everyone charged with emotional and spiritual energy.