The scenic location of the YSS Dwarahat ashram in Uttarakhand became the venue of a special residential programme for children from March 19 to 24, 2023. The children’s camp could not be held for the past three years owing to the covid pandemic. The resumption of the children’s camp this year came as a joyous celebration at the close of the academic session of the students of standards 3, 4, and 5 of Yogoda Balkrishnalaya — the charitable school housed on the ashram campus.
The camp was inaugurated by Swami Nityananda, a senior YSS sannyasi, in the presence of Swamis Vasudevananda, Dhairyananda, and Kedarananda. Forty-five children from the school participated in the camp.
Addressing the students, Swami Nityananda shared that they were fortunate to get the opportunity to learn how to meditate, as “God-realization is the highest goal of human beings.”
Swami Vasudevananda described the upcoming programme to the attendees. Enumerating the various camp activities to the children and their parents, Swamiji explained that the camp would provide an opportunity to take up various skills and explore several subjects such as: “why and how to meditate,” “understanding happiness,” “knowing about our environment,” “photography,” “how to build self-confidence,” “creating works of art from waste items,” and so on. These activities were conducted mainly by YSS devotee volunteers who had come to Dwarahat from across the country to offer their expertise.
A vital part of the daily routine of the camp participants was group meditation conducted in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Children were taught Energization Exercises. In the evenings, they had a dedicated hour for recreation and sports.
As part of the programme, children got to attend inspirational sessions with YSS sannyasis where they heard stories about the YSS spiritual lineage, Guru Kathamritam, led by Swami Vasudevananda, and Sundar kand — hearing inspirational anecdotes from the Ramayana, led by Swami Dhairyananda. On one of the camp days, Swami Kedarananda gave a satsanga on “Meditation: Why and How.”
On the closing day of the programme, the students received their annual report cards. Each one of them was presented with a sapling, and received guidance on how to care for this plant taking up the responsibility for its upkeep.