The National Bal-Balika Mandal organised a special Winter Reunion Training Camp entitled ‘Satsang Karo ne Karavo’ for participants of past Bal-Balika Mandal events, such as the Summer Camps and India Trips. This camp served as an opportunity for the attendees to be introduced to seva as future karyakars, as well as providing a means of enhancing the skills and knowledge learnt in past events.
Over 70 balaks and balikas from around the country, together with 25 sanchalaks and sanchalikas, attended the three-day camp at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London from Friday 16 December to Sunday 18 December 2011.
They were provided special training and guidance by a number of speakers in a variety of ways on various topics. Some of these topics included:
- Satsang Karo – Yagnatilak Swami narrated inspirational prasangs of karyakars from around the world who have unflinchingly practised Satsang and continued with their seva despite facing many challenges.
- Satsang Karavo – Manoharmurti Swami explained Swamishri’s vision for the future of Satsang and how the participants can play a key role in fulfilling it
- Sant Param Hitakari – Paramtattva Swami spoke on the compassionate nature of Swamishri and his concern for all
- Shravan, Manan, Nididhyasan – Anandpriya Swami explained the process of shravan, manan and nididhyasan and how we can progress in Satsang through these important spiritual tools
- Bhagatji Maharaj: Seva and Satpurush – How Bhagatji Maharaj’s life is an ideal for those endeavouring on the spiritual path. Amar Parekh also spoke on the inspiration he gained by translating Bhagatji Maharaj’s biography into English
- My Mandir, My Life, My Turn – How the mandir plays an important part in one’s life and how one should relate to it
- My Focus – How Satsang and Swamishri should be the spiritual focus of all that we do
In addition to these sessions, a variety of workshops were also held. These included a session on how the participants can gain more from activities such as Satsang-related reading and listening to spiritual discourses. Elder kishores and kishoris were also invited to share their experiences of Bal-Balika Mandal seva during the Bal Pravrutti Suvarna Mahotsav in 2004, as well as sharing their experience of college and university life. A special workshop was also held where lead karyakars provided an overview of the various Bal-Balika Mandal departments and how the participants could get involved. The participants then chose which seva they would like to get involved with, and had the opportunity to speak to the main karyakars about their prospective role.
One of the memorable highlights of the camp was the group outing on Saturday night. Balaks and kishores took on the special ‘City of London Challenge’ where each group was given a list of places to visit, things to find, and tasks to complete within the City. Using public transport and their initiative, the groups had to go about solving the clues and complete the list. The team that had completed the most tasks was awarded a special prize.
Meanwhile, balikas and kishoris travelled on the famous London Eye and had an opportunity to see London by night as well as participating in outdoor ice-skating. All the participants thoroughly enjoyed their trips, which also proved to be a great time for group bonding.
In summary, the three valuable days provided the children with a deeper insight of Satsang and seva, inspiring them to progress spiritually and personally as well as to participate more actively in seva.