By the divine grace and inspiration of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the annual Bal Mandal National Summer Camp took place at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Atlanta, GA and at the Bear Creek Crossing Resort in Pigeon Forge, TN from July 10-July 18, 2010.
Sixty-six of the brightest balaks from across North America were invited to attend this year’s National Summer Camp, entitled “Dradh Priti.” The camp focused around Vachanamrut Vadtal-11 in which Bhagwan Swaminarayan states, “Satpurush ne vishe dradh priti ej atma-darshan nu sadhan chhe.” (By attaining atma-darshan, we can attain the darshan of God).
The 2010 National Summer Camp was comprised of various workshops, activities, and discussions aimed at elevating the spiritual and personal lives of the attendees. There were five main workshops and classrooms taught throughout the NSC, which aimed to strengthen the balaks’ relationship and attachment to Satsang and the Satpurush along with helping them develop skills essential to becoming a karyakar.
The Leadership Track consisted of four different classes: Essential Skills, Etiquette, BAPS Ambassadors, and Teambuilding. In these classes and workshops, balaks were taught skills ranging from public speaking to writing, teamwork to independent thinking, and effective communication to maximizing one’s creative potential. Through these classes, the balaks learned skills on motivating oneself, motivating others, and developing various other leadership skills that can be used within Satsang and in one’s personal life.
The Spirituality Track aimed to help balaks establish a deeper relationship with Satsang and the Satpurush. Through the Priti and Virtues Classroom sessions, balaks learned how to develop dradh priti towards Swamishri. The Virtues Classroom showed the balaks the qualities of God described in the Shrimad Bhagvat, which can also be seen in the Satpurush.
During the camp, the attendees also participated in various evening programs, games, activities and sports, allowing for a different medium by which they could grow, interact, and have fun. In addition to this, the youths also participated in an exciting outing to a nearby go-karting track called “Fast Tracks.”
The camp proved to be a great success as participants departed with enhanced abilities, increased motivation, and an enriched understanding of our culture and satsang. With these experiences and memories by their side, these balaks will undoubtedly rise to greater heights in both their education and their personal Satsang.