NORTH CAROLINA: A highly successful Sikh youth camp was held from July 3 to July 18, 1987 at beautiful Piney Lake near Greensboro, North Carolina. This camp was attended by Sikh children from all over the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. The children varied in age from 7 to 20.

The objective of the camp was to motivate children to learn about the fundamentals of their religion, their language, and their proud history. To achieve this objective, the children followed a very structured daily routine. They would wake up at 6:00 a.m. in the morning, salute the Nishan Sahib, sing. “Desh Shiva Var Mohe Hai”, and then enter the Gurdwara with proper respect and decorum.

In the gurdwara, they would recite the “Mool Mantar” and five pauns of JapjiSahiband  learn about the central ideas of these paunis. After this, they would recite Shabad accompanied by harmonium. It was really a highly spiritual moment even for the adult’s to listen to the melodious “Kirtan” in the voices of these young musicians. After daily Ardas, the children would go into classes in three groups, where they learned Kirtan, Punjabi, or Sikh history in TO action. After a lunch break they would go into intensive training into the subjects of their choice or go to the lake for swimming and boating. From 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., they had full opportunity to play any game of their choice including volleyball, badminton or basketball. In the evening at 6:30 p.m., they would again join for Rehras, Shabads, and Ardas. After dinner at 7:30 p.m.; they would learn Bhangra, Giddha, or take part in drama. At 9:30 p.m., they would be back in their cabins for sleep.

A unique feature of this camp was that this was not only an opportunity for the kids, but even a good learning experience for the adults as well. At the beginning of the camp, the adults joined together to discuss such important topics as:

  1. Sikhs, their Sects, and management of their gurdwaras.
  2. Improving the image of Sikhs.
  3. Concept of Sewa (Service in Sikhism).

The discussions on these topics were spearheaded by special invitees from different parts of the United States.

The camp was topped off on July 17, 1987, with a cultural program including Bhangra, Giddha, drama, and songs learned at the camp by the students.

The management of this camp very much appreciates the cooperation of Sikh families who sent their children to the camp or provided financial, physical, and intellectual support to make the camp a great success.

Any person who would like to make constructive suggestions for improving the next year’s camp or would like to participate in it may contact president, secretary, or camp committee chairperson, Sikh Gurdwara of North Garolina, 3214 Banner Street, Durham, North Carolina 27704 Telephone: (919) 4779917 or (919) 4790081.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 7, 1987