One day Hindu Heritage Camp was organized by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) and Balagokulam volunteers in Apex on April 5, 2014. Thirty seven 5 to 12 year old children participated in the camp from Apex, Cary and Morrisville in North Carolina. There were 24 shishu (5-8 year old) and 13 bala (9-12 years old). The camp was to give a glimpse of Balagokulam program to children and parents of the area.
The camp started with introduction and icebreaker, and ended with jeopardy on materials covered in the camp. Activities included Yoga, games, stories, shlokas, arts and crafts, songs (geet), and self-defense (Niyuddha). The closing ceremony included distribution of certificate and mementos to participants, a demonstration by the participating children, and a presentation to parents on the activities of HSS and regular shakha in the area.
In addition, everyone was invited to the Teacher Appreciation event (Guru Vandana Utsav) planned for May 4th in the Vivekananda shakha. Each participant was also handed over a folder containing all the materials covered in the camp.
The camp was publicized through personal contacts, email lists, and HSS newsletter. Several meetings were held to plan and practice the camp, which involved over 25 volunteers. Most of the teachers were kishors from Vivekananda Shakha. Parents appreciated the camp, and they were curious to know if we organize more of such events.
In our assessment, the camp was a success due to good participation from children and hard work put into it by all the Shikshaks (Tarun and Kishore’s).