From 12th to 17th August 2013, Connect2Sikhi camp was held at Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College in Chigwell, Essex (UK). The camp is aimed at children aged from 7 to 16 years. The camp began last year and since then it has grown and developed with Guru jee's kirpaa and the hard work and dedication of a committed group of sevadaars. Last December, a Connect2Sikhi winter was held in East London. This kind of camp has been needed for a long time in the London area. There are many camps for 16+ age, however, there are very few week long residential camps for those under 16. With residential camps campers are more likely to be exposed to Gurmat way of life and experience Amrit-vela, Nitnem and able to benefit from the Sangat of Gursikhs during their stay. Connect2Sikhi camp is a good camp where the young campers don't get bored and don't have old uncles lecturing them and not being able to connect on the children's level.
This summer's camp had various speakers attend, which included Bhai Navreet Singh from Coventry and Bhai Sukhwinder Singh from Birmingham. It was good that were lady speakers as well. Bhenji Devinder Kaur (East London) done a talk on Mohkam (steadfastness). The theme of the camp was the five virtues represented by the names of the Panj Pyaare. As it was a training camp, the campers were introduced and allowed to do seva that otherwise they would not have the opportunity to do, such as Chaur Sahib seva, taking Hukamnama, doing Keertan, and the leading the recitation of morning and evening Nitnem. As well as the morning and evening diwaan, Gurmat talks, workshops and discussions, campers got to the chance to play volleyball, practice archery, play football and other fun activities.
The camp atmosphere as always was very family-orientated, friendly and welcoming. It was nice to see young and old attend the camp and a large number of parents and elders volunteer to help with the camp. I would definitely recommend that if you are aged 7 to 16 or have children of that age that you send them to this camp. Please visit www.connect2sikhi.com for details of future camps and recordings.
Below are some photos from the camp (taken from Connect2Sikhi facebook):
Campers singing Deh Shiva shabad to begin the camp
Bhai Tasveer Singh jee, local sevadaar, doing a talk on the topic of "Dharam"
Sevadaar helping a camper take a Hukamnama
Children doing keertan
Bhai Manmagan Singh, camp sevadaar, making announcements
Campers enjoying volleyball
Campers enjoying archery
Bhai Navreet Singh's talk with the elder group
Session with the elders looking at the purpose of life using props to help
Questions and answers session
Elder group's afternoon session with speaker
Younger group looking very enthusiastic during their talk
Rehraas Sahib during sunset on the field. Very beautiful evening.
Bhai Navreet Singh, with organisers - Bhai Tasveer Singh and Bhai Mankamal Singh - and a group leader sevadaar.
Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!