Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, children across the UK have encountered numerous challenges, particularly related to their mental health and well-being.
Amid the lifting of restrictions in England, Leicester Bal-Balika Mandal volunteers had been eager to provide opportunities for children to safely return to recreational and leisure activities, including restoring a normal connection with their friends.
A special one-day ‘Samp Camp’ for children was held at Beaumanor Hall in Woodhouse, Leicestershire, on Saturday 7 August 2021 – with the necessary Covid-19 safety measures in place. The trip was organised to strengthen unity amongst balaks and balikas from the East Midlands and foster new friendships in a safe and engaging environment after 18 months of limited interaction.
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.
More than 140 children from Leicester, Derby, Loughborough and Nottingham participated in this day trip. Swamis from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Leicester, also accompanied the group to share their wisdom and knowledge.
The children participated in a variety of sports and team-building activities through which they developed and sharpened valuable skills in an enjoyable and relaxed setting. Swamis offered guidance and provided encouragement to the children throughout the day during their respective activities.
The day proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable experience for the children, giving them a much-needed day of in-person collaboration with friends.
Conveying her appreciation of the day, a mother from Nottingham shared, “Thank you all so much for organising such a fantastic event during these circumstances. My daughter returned home with a beaming smile – an experience which has been preciously scarce during the last year and a half.”