More than 50 children, accompanied with trained volunteers from Leicester, embarked on a summer camp weekend at Beaumanor Hall in Woodhouse, Leicestershire, on 29 and 30 June 2019.
Beaumanor Hall is a Victorian country house set in 34 acres of idyllic countryside. The venue offers training, conference and residential facilities for young people, including outdoor learning experiences for children of all ages.
The trip, titled ‘Samp Camp’, was organised to strengthen unity amongst balaks and balikas from Leicester as well as to foster new friendships in a friendly and engaging environment. Swamis from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Leicester, also accompanied the group to share their wisdom and knowledge.
The attendees developed an understanding about leadership, cooperation, communication, creativity and embracing diversity in order to make a successful team. These teachings were fostered through various interactive activities, including a treasure hunt in which small groups of children navigated with maps and tackled challenges, and creating a structure from rope and a few logs to support their team to walk.
Swamis reinforced the learnings through practical and relevant discourses, and encouraged the children to imbibe unity amongst one another. They also reinforced the spiritual benefits of serving the Satpurush and thus becoming attached to him.
The children engaged in fun water games to provide some relief from the blistering hot weather, and also enjoyed various sports activities and board games. They also participated in and learnt more about a variety of Hindu traditions, such as puja, arti and thal.
The camp proved both extremely formative and enjoyable for the children, providing many moments of fun and laughter as well invaluable learning and lasting memories. One of the participants shared, “I recommend that anyone who was not able to attend this trip, attend the next one – because it really was a trip to remember.”
Sailesh Kalyan, a lead children’s volunteer in Leicester, added, “It was so rewarding to see how the children grew in their confidence, their teamwork mindset and their leadership qualities over the two days. These experiences will help them as they progress through their young academic and personal lives.”