From April 5th-6th 2014, 29 Yuvas from the northeast area gathered at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania for a two-day Hindu Youth Conference. The goal of this conference was to provide a platform for young people between the ages of 18-35 to socialize, share ideas, and get more in touch with their identity as Hindu Youth. Participants included some young working professionals, and students from Pennsylvania State University, Drexel University, Rutgers University, University of Massachusetts, Boston University, Northeastern University, and Columbia University.
In total, there were 11 Yuva who were attending an HSS event for the first time. There was one new participant from New Jersey, two from New York, three from Pennsylvania, and five from Massachusetts.
Shakha was conducted in a manner geared towards new yuva and each agnya was explained before it was given. Many activities were planned in the schedule to encourage teamwork, build enthusiasm, and stimulate bonding. Among these were a Scavenger Hunt, “Minute to Win it” challenges, khel sessions, and a very energetic Holi celebration.
A Niyudda workshop was also conducted, during which experienced Yuva were taught challenging new moves while beginners learned the foundations. Boudhik activities were planned so that they would be more interactive rather than lecture based and the topics chosen were useful specifically for Yuvas.
For example, a panel-style boudhik about discovering and solidifying identity was given with Mahesh Kalla ji, Vikas Deshpande ji, and Suraj Bassit ji as panalists. Workshops on Healthy Eating and Developing the Perfect Elevator Speech were also conducted.
Overall, the varg was filled with laughter, enthusiasm, and a feeling of togetherness. It ended on a high note with a conclusion by Yelloji Mirajkar, highlighting the universal and all-inclusive principals of Hinduism. The planning team worked well to ensure the execution of each activity was seamless.
Total sankhya for the varg was 31, including 29 Yuvas, 3 Tarun, and 1 Mahila. All of us went back making connections with AT LEAST three or four completely new people. Our goal from this point onward is to continue those new friendships and build more Yuva shakhas.