More than 120 selected children and young volunteers from the UK gathered for a residential summer camp from 21 to 28 July 2018 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
The seven-day programme included interactive and informative sessions delivered by swamis and senior volunteers which strengthened the spiritual knowledge and life skills of the young delegates.
Morning discourses explored valuable life lessons from the teachings of the Guru Parampara which helped children understand the importance of serving God and others.
Several swamis advanced the participants’ knowledge of Hinduism and the traditions of the Swaminarayan faith. This was supported with an enlightening series of presentations covering a diverse range of topics.
Swamis and senior volunteers delivered classes on communication skills which increased confidence in public speaking. The sessions also served to sharpen useful skills across a variety of fields and reinforced essential satsang values, including unity, self-discipline and anger management.
The young attendees also explored Hindu rites and rituals and the nine types of spiritual devotion outlined in the Shrimad Bhagwat Puran. Children offered their personal devotion to the sacred murti of Harikrishna Maharaj by performing arti, thal and devotional singing.
Contemporary issues were addressed through interactive presentations. Challenging group activities, such as tent-building from basic materials found in the home, tested intelligence, dexterity and creativity.
A special outing was organised which fostered new friendships while a series of sports and recreational activities developed teamwork skills.
In the education session, swamis and mentors emphasised the value of a solid and broad base in one’s academic life, encouraging the children to be diligent in their studies to provide a solid platform for their prospective careers. The session was supported by professionals from different industries who provided valuable insight and advice.
The seven days built a sound, holistic foundation in an enjoyable environment and ensured that the children utilised their vacation time productively.
One young delegate from Chiltern shared, “The camp helped me increase my knowledge in satsang and helped me better interact with other people and understand my family duties. This has helped me become much more confident and build stronger bonds with friends, family and Mahant Swami Maharaj.”