If it were up to the summer campers, it would stay summer all year long! Last year, Bhaktivedanta College hosted a summer camp in June and July with great success. Many youth left transformed, enlivened, and with warm feelings for their summer home.
This year the camp will be held two times to allow for more young people to attend and experience the spiritual community of Radhadesh in the Belgian countryside. Activities, workshops, events, and visiting senior devotees will be featured at the camp, promising a fun-filled time with friends in a spiritual atmosphere.
The summer camp is run and managed by the Bhaktivedanta College faculty and students as a scholarship fund-raising program. Students are mentors and organizers for the international group of campers, and in turn they receive scholarship money for their college fees. Mentors bring a variety of skills to the camp from their previous work experiences and their hobbies.
Rathayatras, retreats with visiting swamis, and other festivals are incorporated into the month-long schedule, are excursions to nearby cities. The daily schedule includes sadhana (the morning program), philosophy classes, skill-based classes, sports, arts and crafts, and temple services. Many campers previously found that devotional service can be fun, and it gave them a sense of devotional identity that they took home with them.
The campers enliven the Radhadesh community, and the community reciprocates with its enthusiasm. Also, the camp inspires the youth to cultivate values such as a service attitude, to build relationships with devotees, and to develop relationships with Sri Krishna.
Written by: Kumari Sherreitt