Kids Summer Camps at Ganga Darshan

From 2 June to 9 June 2014, fourteen boys and twenty-five girls of BYMM participated in the first summer camp. The second camp was held from 9 June to 16 June for a total of twenty-five boys and twenty-seven girls. Classes in asana, chanting, dance, karate, painting, spoken English and yoga nidra were conducted by sannyasa trainees and guests. The children also joined wholeheartedly in seva in the different departments assigned to them: morning cleaning, GDO, decoration, pubs and magazine.

As a culminating activity, at the end of each camp, the children organized a performance to display the skills learnt. The program on each last Sunday included multiple modern dances, a folk dance from Maharashtra and a dance performed to Sufi music. The evening began with a story enacted to asanas that the children created and wrote themselves. The Praying Mantis Kata from the Shaolin-Do system and a tai chi meditation comprised the karate component. Interspersed through the evening, children presented their impressions of the week in English.

Many from the first group requested to extend their stay and also participated in the second group.

It was wonderful to have the children at Ganga Darshan. These youngest disciples of Swamiji added colour, vibrancy and good cheer to the ashram environment. Swamiji invited the children to come and stay at the ashram whenever they have holidays for as much time as possible.

Sagar Saurabh, age 11

My name is Sagar Saurabh. I have been staying at the ashram for one week. I would like to tell you about my experience. Swamiji says that Guru lives in each and every human being. Now that I have come and stayed at the ashram, I feel that Guru lives inside me. To end, I want to say the gardens at Ganga Darshan are very beautiful.

Shivani Kumari, age 14

My name is Shivani Kumari. I am in class 10. I have stayed here for two weeks. I liked the yoga nidra classes very much. I learnt about discipline and punctuality. Here the environment is very peaceful. I like discipline very much. I feel very happy to be here. Now, I request Swamiji that during our next summer vacation we want to live here. We missed you when you were away.

Roshni Kumari, age 11

My name is Roshni Kumari. I am a student of Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal. I have spent my summer vacation in the ashram. I really like the ashram. We have learnt dance, karate, asana and to speak English. When I first came I did not like it here. I even started crying that I want to go home. But from the third day I began to have a good time. The ashram rules have become a part of me. I have also learnt how difficult it is to stay away from the family. And I have also learnt how to stay on my own without family members. The first time it was time to go, I cried a lot. I did not feel like going home at all. When I went home I did not like it at all. So, the next day I spoke to Swami Prembhav and asked her if I could stay for one more week. She said she would ask Swamiji. Swamiji said, "Of course, they can stay." I love it at the ashram. I think this is what they must call Heaven!

Anuja, age 14

My name is Anuja. I have been staying at the ashram for one week. We have learnt karate, spoken English, dance and asana daily. I am very happy here. I like the rules, discipline and punctuality. I have gone to every class and learnt good things. We also learnt karate. Swamiji says that boys should learn chanting and girls should learn karate. The best class was karate. We also learnt how to speak in English. We have the permission to talk with all sannyasins. We the children enjoy morning asana class, especially when we do yoga nidra because all of us would go to sleep. We also like dance very much. I am feeling good because I am standing here. I request Swamiji that we want to live at the ashram every year in the summer vacation.

Pragya Nigam, age 12

My name is Pragya Nigam. I am studying in class 7. I am in BYMM since 2011, but in 2014 we got a chance to stay in the ashram and to live the ashram life. I came here on 9 June. On the first day we had different classes. I felt very bored and I was thinking, 'Why have I come to stay? All day long we have classes.' On my second day I changed my thoughts and I understood well that each and every class is very important: asana, dance, spoken English, karate and karma yoga also. And I started enjoying doing my work.