Held in Orlando, Florida from July 8th-15th, the 2019 BAPS North American Summer Camp with over 400 selected delegates was brought to life by hundreds of volunteers from all across the continent. The Hindu scriptures describe the relationship between God and devotee as unlike any other. This connection fundamentally revolves around the concept of Dradh Priti: a profound love between Bhagwan and bhakta. This eight-day summer experience was conceptualized with the goal of helping youths cultivate such a connection. Furthermore, 17 Swamis were in attendance to provide spiritual guidance focused on creating a deep bond between the attendees and their guru, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.
Through an extensive selection process that included academic, experiential and satsang-knowledge components, delegates underwent a holistic application process to be selected for this year’s summer camp. The daily camp schedule incorporated a variety of teaching mediums designed to explore the Akshar-Purshottam Upasana, while simultaneously giving youths the necessary time to reflect on what they had learned thus far. Workshops, seminars, and group discussions provided delegates with an immersive setting to build knowledge and strengthen bonds with one another. This environment allowed youths to grow their leadership acumen and spiritual foundation.
Delegates’ experiences included classroom sessions as well as memorable outings in the Orlando area. The classroom sessions served to explore each pillar of Dradh Priti: Shastras, Siddhant, Sanstha, and Satpurush, to provide real-life applicability of theoretical Hindu concepts. Additionally, Swamis led a deep analysis of the scriptural significance of unwavering love and its contextualization within each delegate’s relationship with Bhagwan and their Guru. To further make the camp an everlasting experience, delegates traveled to Universal Studios and the beautiful Cocoa Beach. Scavenger hunts, sports activities, and team activities strengthened bonds between group members, developing friendships and mentors for life.
As delegates neared the end of the 2019 BAPS North American Summer Camp, they were given the tools and knowledge necessary to effectively navigate significant upcoming changes in their lives. With either high school or college an imminent experience for all attendees, they departed the camp with a support system they will be able to rely on whenever needed. These delegates left with the perspective necessary to find success in all facets of their life, and become eventual BAPS ambassadors. In the words of Bramhaswarup Pramukh Swami Maharaj, “The future is bright.”