Sunday 31st July to Sunday 6th August was the 29th ANNUAL GURMAT CAMP held by the SIKH MISSIONARY SOCIETY (Southall) in Leicester. The SMS camps are always ENJOYABLE. The age group was from 9 - 15 years old. The majority of campers were from SOUTHALL and a large group came from BRISTOL, however there were campers from different parts of UK.
The timetable was that at 7am there was NISHAAN SAHIB SALAAMI (flag ceremony) and singing Deh Shiva shabad, followed by EXERCISES. Then at 7.30am the morning diwaan begins with JAPJI SAHIB, Ardaas and Hukamnama with explanation in English. After breakfast the first WORKSHOP or TALK would start. There would be two talks/workshops a day. In the afternoon after lunch there would be GAMES in the nearby park. In the evening there would be REHRAAS SAHIB and Ardaas and after Langar there would be the EVENING DIWAAN, finishing the day off with keertan. The guest speakers through the week were Bhai Roop Singh jee (Leeds), Dr. Raghbir Singh Bains jee (Canada) and Bhaji Kuljit Singh jee (Leicester).
The THEME SHABAD for the camp, which was sung throughout the camp and had got enshrined within the minds of the campers, was:
ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰ ਕਉ ਸਿਮਰਉ ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ॥
tis gur kau simrau saas saas.
I remember the Guru with each and every breath.
ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਾਣ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੀ ਰਾਸਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
gur mere praaN satgur meree raas. ||1|| rahaa-o.||
The Guru is my breath of life, the True Guru is my wealth. ||1||Pause||
ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਦੇਖਿ ਦੇਖਿ ਜੀਵਾ ॥
gur kaa darshan dekh dekh jeevaa.
Beholding the Blessed Vision of the Guru's Darshan, I live.
ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਣ ਧੋਇ ਧੋਇ ਪੀਵਾ ॥੧॥
gur ke charan Dho-e Dho-e peevaa. ||1||
I wash the Guru's Feet, and drink in this water. ||1||
Here are some photos:
Morning Japji Sahib.
Campers doing keertan.
Uncle Surinder Singh jee (Secretary of SMS) and Dr. Raghbir Singh from Canada.
Campers doing seva.
Games in the Park.
Bhai Roop Singh jee talking to campers.
On one day the film 'Rise of the Khalsa', about the jeevan (life) of Shaheed Baba Banda Singh jee Bahaadar, was shown to the campers.
On the Thursday everyone went to Alton Towers.
Campers participating in the essay writing competition. It reminded me of my GCSE exams!
On Saturday morning a Bhai Sahib from Southall who teaches Kung Fu came to the camp and taught some basic moves and discipline to the campers.
My group's photo.
On the last night of the camp the camp sevadaars did a short drama for the campers. The play was about Pakhandi Babas and how we should only have faith in Waheguru and Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, the Spoken Word of God.