by Malini dasi
Hare Krsna to Srila Gurudeva’s children — big and small!
By the mercy of the Sri Guru, Gauranga and all of the Vaishnavas, we have recently concluded the 3rd Annual week long New Braj Bhakti Kids Camp! It was a grand success. We had wonderful speakers such as Sripad Bhaktivendanta Padmanabha Maharaj, Sripad Bhaktivendanta Sajjan Maharaj, Srimati Syamarani Didi, and Mahi Bharat Prabhu enliven the children with talks on Lord Jagannatha and his glories and histories (a major focus of the camp since it took place in congruence with the Rathayatra festival in Jagannatha Puri) as well as discuss the teachings of Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Us Bhakti Kids began our mornings performing guru puja at Srila Gurudeva’s puspa samadhi in New Braj and ended each evening with sweet kirtan and vegan marshmellows by the camp fire.
During the week we enjoyed learning:
Mrdanga, cooking, art, yoga, martial arts, archana,drama, poetry, archery, horse back riding, felting, electronic music making.
We also sported in fun activities that included:
Water balloon fight, obstacle course race, whip cream fight, capture the flag, rolling inside giant inflatable plastic balls, swimming, soccer
And took field trips to:
- Hume Lake (Log balancing, soccer and lake swimming)
- Cherry Flats (hike to cooling water falls, and jump spots)
- Three Rivers (a natural water slide park at a river)
We also made our very own ratha to celebrate Lord Jagannatha’s Rathayatra. The children painted to the ratha during the week and prepared sweets for the feast! The cart will now be used as the kid’s cart for New Braj’s Rathayatra Festival on August 9th. As always, we concluded our week with fun drama performances and a dance kirtan concert for the pleasure of all.
So many wonderful things have come out of this camp. I see that the relationships between the children have grown stronger and a sense of community is developing for them that they look forward to rekindling in future festivals and events. I have also seen my generation of Gurudeva’s children (the adult youth) working hard to please Srila Gurudeva and grow and learn to communicate and work together in a group harmoniously. It has been such a learning and growing experience for me in bhakti personally–it is truly a Bhakti camp for all!
Special thanks to all who helped!
Sripad Bhaktivedanta Padmanabha Maharaj, Sripad Bhaktivedanta Sajjan Maharaj, Srimati Syamarani Didi, Mahibharat Prabhu, Brajendranandan Prabhu, Radhika Dasi, Jagadish Das, Dayanidhi Das, Jayadeva Das, Ananga Mohan Das, Madhavi Dasi, Gaura Krsna Das, Thakur Das, Lasika Dasi, Jaya Sri Dasi, Mallika Dasi, Sudevi dasi (from LA), Sudevi Dasi (from UK), Naveen Krsna Prabhu,Syamapriya Dasi, Karuna Mayi Dasi, Carumukhi dasi, Nanda Kishor Das, Darpaha Das, Dina Bandhu Das, Vijay Krsna Das, Sarasvati Dasi, Nitai Das and many more (please forgive me if I have forgotten anyone).
Thank you to Nityananda Prabhu and the New Braj community and all those who have supported us. We wish to continue this service not only in New Braj but in many other devotee communities. If you would like to donate for this project you can paypal us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email us (at the same address) if you would like to start a camp in your area. We would love to help you!
Praying for mercy from the Vaishnavas,