Shri Surya Narayan Mandir successfully completed their 15th annual Summer Youth Retreat (Youth Camp). The camp ran eight days, starting with the orientation on July 20th, and ending with a graduation ceremony on July 27th.
The brain child of our Spiritual Leader, Pandit Ram Hardowar, the youth camp has increased its attendance significantly this year.
Campers began their day with sandhya, prayers and havan, perfected Surya Namaskara along with the twelve names of Shri Surya Narayan, and engaged in stimulating yoga asanas. They enjoyed various sessions focused on teaching about all aspects of Hinduism and Indian culture, presented by senior campers, in a style modeled after the ancient Gurukulam system, blended with aspects of modern active teaching. Guest speakers, such as a dance teacher, music teacher, poet, lawyer, pandit, and two doctors, also made appearances to speak about their careers and interests. Campers were also given the chance to explore their talents in different workshops related to Indian culture for the week, with classes in Drama, Dance, Music, Yoga, Arts & Crafts, Public Speaking, and Construction.
On Saturday, the campers had a unique experience as they marched around the block chanting, “Surya Narayan Mandir ki jai! Long live Sanatan Dharm!” On Saturday, there was also a sari and dhoti tying contest, as well as a cultural show where every camper had a chance to display what they learned during the week. Graduation was held on Sunday, where every camper wore a bright orange sash around their shoulders. They hoped to see their fellow campers, whom they had become friends with, over the year at Surya Veer Satsang. Both campers and parents had positive reviews about the Youth Retreat this year, and are confident that next year will be even better!