From February 13th to February 15th, Shri Surya Narayan Mandir held a Winter Retreat. About fifty-six children attended the camp. Another brain child of our Spiritual Leader, Pt Ram Hardowar, the camp was enjoyed by all who attended and helped.
Each day began with sandhya (havan and prayers), then the children proceeded to have breakfast and listen to lectures presented by senior campers and guest speakers. Lecture topics by Senior Campers included “How to Apply to College” (Sarika Persaud), “These Economic Times” (Khamini Harinarain and Mahesh Persaud), “Problems Faced by American Youths” (Lokhnauth Pasram), “Vegetarianism and its Medical Benefits” (Nishini Kistama), “How to Apply to High Schools” (Anila Ramsarran), an informational presentation about what a Guru is (Sanjeeva Harinarain and Suraj Hardowar), and guest lectures by Senior Camper Kumar Pasram and guest presenter Angelo Maiorano about the field of Engineering, and a lecture by Senior Camper Anand Ramnarine about being a doctor.
The main focus of the camp was Surya Namaskar. During the yoga portion of the daily program, Radha Hardowar, the Guruma of most of the campers, led the camp in several Surya Namaskars and focused on correcting their errors. She also taught proper breathing techniques (pranayaam) for use during yoga, meditation, and Surya Namaskar.
During the workshop hour, campers rotated their activity each day. Each camper was able to learn bhangra in the Indian Dance class, alankars and how to sing chautaal in the Music class, and dramatic improvisation, as well as public speaking, in the Drama class. Each workshop was taught by Senior Campers.
Overall, campers reported that this Winter Retreat was a bit more relaxed than the Summer Retreat. The lectures helped to prepare them for real-life situations and aided them in planning their academic and career goals. The children thanked all the Parents and helpers who made this camp exciting. We hope to see everyone again in July!