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    Summer Training Camp
23 to 30 July 2006, London, UK



For children, the summer time is usually a time to relax and unwind after spending many months toiling away at school. The days usually do not consist of anything productive, and many children are sitting at home idle.
However, for 45 Bal-Balikas, this was a different summer, because they took part in the annual UK Bal-Balika Summer Training Camp (STC) entitled ‘Satsangnã Pãyã’. The STC has three aims which are imbibed into the children. These are:

  • Understanding the Past.
  • Challenging the Present.
  • Shaping the Future.

The camp was held between Sun 23rd - Sun 30th July, and involved many activities.

Understanding the Past:
In order to progress in Satsang, it is essential that one understands how and why the BAPS Sanstha started. With this in mind, lectures were given in general Hinduism, then focusing onto the Vaishnav faith, narrowing further onto the Swaminarayan Sampraday where P. Yogvivek Swami took a class on the History of the Swaminarayan Sampraday.
The children were also taught the ancient Hindu rites and Rituals. In these classes, the children were taught the correct way of performing rituals such as darshan, puja, arti and thal and were given opportunities to practice these daily.

Challenging the Present:
Dynamic classes were arranged through which the children were taught how to stand up for themselves when their niyam dharma were being questioned. The children were taught the value of satsang reading and Hindu asmita in order to be able to stand up to various social challenges in life.
Challenging the present also meant that the children were put on the spot, to see how they would react to different real-life scenarios that might occur.
Classes on social awareness and World religions were also taken to enlighten the children on the different faiths that are out there in the world.

Shaping the future:
These classes were the climax of the shibir because they taught the children that they are Satsangnã Pãyã. The children were taught how to guide visitors around the Haveli, Mandir and even the ‘Understanding Hinduism’ exhibition.
On top of this, P. Paramtattva Swami took a class on What makes BAPS, BAPS? Also a class entitled Satsang Karo ane Karavo was taken, where the children were taught about all the European centres and how important it is that the Balaks become ready to spread Satsang around Europe.

Along with these 3 themes, the Balikas also had a separate class on cooking, where they were taught how to make various Indian and Western dishes.
The Bal-Balikas were also taken to a theme park called Thorpe Park. The children had a very good time here and developed a good bond and understanding between each other. The Bal-Balikas also got the chance to perform abhishek of Nilkanth Varni.
The STC of 2006, was one that a lot of the Bal-Balikas will not forget in a long time. From the good food, to the laughter and the deep and inspiring classes that they sat in, the STC was one that should leave a lasting impression on them for the betterment of their satsang.


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