Hindu heritage camp was organized in memphis on 17th july 05. It was the first of its kind to be held in Memphis. The venue was Johnson state park in Germantown. HSS vistarak Dineshji, Yeshwantji and Akaashji were invited to help in conducting the camp. The total sankhya for bal swayamsevaks was 37. There were more than 12 prabandhaks and parents to oversee the activities.
The camp started at 9.30 am with walk-in registrations and breakfast (donuts were served in breakfast). The activities started with prayer, shlokas followed by games. The mandal games consisted of sher bakri, and murti. Two team games – ram ravan, napkin game, snake, lock n key were also played. After playing the games, the kids were served lunch (pizzas were served in lunch). Fruit juices and water were also served. Following lunch were quick relaxation techniques.
Later in the arts and crafts activity, the participants were given pictures of hindu deities, religious leader etc to fill colors with crayons. The kids really enjoyed this activity and had a lot of fun. After this the kids were divided into five groups and were asked to pick up any story from Ramayana or Mahabharata and come up with a short skit. The kids were guided by an elder member for this activity. The kids were given 45 minutes to write and rehearse the skit.
At 4.00 pm when the parents started arriving, an introduction session was held. The parents were excited to see the kids engaged in the skits. Later when most of the parents arrived the kids demonstrated the skits, shlokas and the games they had learnt. The number of parents was estimated at 50. The parents were given a feedback form about how the kids felt about the camp (The parents were instructed to fill the form after talking with the kids about the camp). The group of parents and kids were later addressed by Dr. Usha Singh who is the head of department, Botany at Patna University, India. She emphasized the role of parents in kid’s life, especially in the US. She emphasized the role of Indian culture in overall development of the kids.
Later, a certificate of attendance was given by Dr.Usha Singh to all the participating kids. The camp concluded with HSS prathana by dineshji. After the conclusion of camp, the parents and local team interacted in an informal manner. The organizing team was excited (same as the parents) about the response from kids. The parents expressed the needs of more such camps and of longer durations.