Sunday, June 14th, 2015
The morning of Sunday, June 14th, 2015 concluded the 11th Annual Spiritual Retreat held at Shri Surya Narayan Mandir – FL. In attendance that morning was the proud parents, grandparents, extended family and friends to witness the camp show finale and graduation ceremony of 40 young Hindu children.
The Spiritual Retreat, commonly referred to as camp, began on the previous Monday with the children lining up outside to perform Surya Namaskar, immediately followed by Hawan and the chanting of prayers. After breakfast, the campers would re-group and the teaching would commence. Led by Pt. Vishnu Hardowar, the campers would discuss a multitude of topics including Vedanta, Hindu culture, social issues and how they pertain to us, current affairs and the list continues. After lunch, the campers separated into groups. This year, this was a music, debate, skit and arts and crafts group. This is where the kids practiced for what they were going to display during the camp show on Sunday.
We were extremely fortunate this year to have the help of two young mothers: Bahen Ji Mala Persaud and Bahen Ji Deranee Basant. These two well-educated mothers helped prepare the curriculum and a number of activities in an effort to help educate the children. Both mother’s spent the entire week at camp and were instrumental in planning, coordinating and executing the camp show finale. We are indebted to these two individuals for their sacrifice and their passion to help educate the children and we’re excited to see what they have in store for next year.
As always, the Spiritual Retreat would not be possible without the help of the many devotees of SSNM. The mothers and fathers who showed up every day to help cook breakfast, lunch and snack; to help clean up after the children, to maintain the restrooms and to watch after all of the children. They all agreed it was their pleasure to help out and thus that’s why they were there. A special thank you to all of them, as they were pivotal to the success of the camp. In the end, Shri Surya Narayan Mandir continues to fulfill its mission of educating the youth. Since the first spiritual retreat dating back to the inception of SSNM in New York City in 1993 to now, SSNM will continue to do all it can for the betterment of Hindus and Sanatan Dharma.