As February dawned there was a scurry of activity by the Yuvak-Yuvati Mandal to host the Winter Shibir early this year.
It was the first ever shibir to be held separately for the upcountry yuvaks and yuvatis as well as the first shibir to be hosted in Birmingham in the splendid settings of its Mandir premises.
As if to verify the winter aspect of the shibir, it did snow heavily in both Birmingham and London during the period putting to rest any qualms about the shibir title.
The first Shibir in Birmingham was held on Sun 4 February 2007 from 9.30am to 5.30pm with a record attendance of 95 yuvaks and 75 yuvatis. This was followed a week later on Sun 11 February by an equally high attendance in London with 135 yuvaks and 140 yuvatis.
Given that 2007 is the year of the BAPS Centenary Celebrations, the Shibir theme ran parallel to the foundations of BAPS laid by Shastriji Maharaj based on character and courage unified in a single definition of vartan. The shibir focussed on the application of vartan in the lives of the youths with a glimpse of the vartan of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and our gurus, sadhus and devotees.
The shibir programme was supported by inspirational video presentations including Swamishri’s blessings from last year about talking to others about Satsang. The BAPS timeline flashback gave a glimpse of our gurus’ unblemished character and boundless courage. Goshthi sessions and short skits highlighted the various junctures where vartan may lapse.