Paramahansa Yogananda said, “Be as simple as you can be; you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy your life can become.”
With this ideal of simple, wholesome living, girls’ camp was conducted based on Paramahansa Yoganandaji’s “how-to-live” teachings. Held at Yogoda Satsanga Sakha Ashram, Noida, from May 22 to May 27, 2023, the aim of the camp was to provide a holistic learning environment promoting physical, mental, and spiritual growth amongst the young participants while fostering a sense of spiritual fellowship amongst them. The camp saw enthusiastic participation from forty-five girls in the age group of 12 to 14 years hailing from different parts of India.
Activities for Physical and Mental Growth
The camp included a series of activities to promote the physical and mental growth of the young participants. The physical activities included first aid and emergency handling, fireless cooking, and Taekwondo classes. The sports hour was eagerly anticipated by the young enthusiasts each day, where they played numerous games.
The participants were divided into small groups of 10 girls each and provided with different work and craft projects in areas such as environmental awareness, basics of chanting, introspection and time management, and email etiquette.
A series of “how-to-live” classes were conducted to facilitate personal growth. These included sessions on topics such as, “Why and How to Meditate,” “I am Growing,” and “The Law of Success.”
Activities for Spiritual Growth
Keeping in mind the importance of inculcating spiritual growth among the young participants, the schedule of camp activities was interwoven with periods of meditation. There were three meditation periods in a day.
At the start of each day, Yoga Asanas were conducted followed by group practice of Energization Exercise and meditation which included prayer, chanting, and period of silent meditation. Around noon, the girls came together in a group to meditate for half-an-hour before the lunch and evening saw them practising Energization Exercise and meditation. All these sessions offered the young girls a special opportunity to immerse themselves in thoughts of God and the Guru.
To inculcate spiritual ardour amongst participants, a series of evening programmes were held. During these, a video on Guruji was also shown. Participants were also given an opportunity to deliver presentations on Indian Saints. This allowed them to deepen their knowledge about important spiritual figures and express their thoughts. Towards evening, as dusk descended in the tranquil ashram environment, bhajan - sandhya was conducted. The grounds reverberated with the uplifting holy songs.
This five-days program culminated with some cultural presentations as a glimpse of the whole camp. The participants as well as the parents shared their memorable experiences which filled the atmosphere with an overwhelming sense of motivation, gratitude, devotion, and happiness.
Parents were overjoyed to witness the growth and maturity displayed by their children and they acknowledged the efforts of the camp organizers in creating such a nurturing and inspiring environment.