Thursday, January 01, 2015

Connect2Sikhi Winter Camp 2014...

Last weekend, Connect2Sikhi Winter Camp 2014 was held at Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Seven Kings, Ilford. The camp took place from Saturday 27th December to Monday 29th December. The camp is aimed at children aged from 6 to 16 years, however parents and adults also joined in the classes to learn about Sikhi. Connect2Sikhi holds an annual week long summer camp and shorter weekend and an annual winter weekend camp, as well as other Gurdwara based camps and programmes throughout the year. Connect2Sikhi camps, which are based in East London, are one of my favourite camps that I am invited to do seva. The children attending the camp have always left a positive lasting impression and have inspired me, and the sevadaars have always shown utmost dedication to seva and enthusiasm for Sikhi.

 Youngest group in the camp busy doing Gurmat learning activities

 Eldest group learning about the Sahibzaade

At the recent camp they had various speakers, which included Bhai Vijay Singh from Luton, Kaurs Corner sevadaars, Bhai Jagmeet Singh from Basics of Sikhi, Bhai Mankamal Singh and Bhenji Davinder Kaur. The theme of the camp was the Chaar Sahibzaade. The talks covered the history of Anandpur Sahib and how the Hindu hill kings and the Mughal forces conspired against Guru Gobind Singh jee to the Shaheedi of the elder and younger Sahibzaade. I was amazed at how much information the children, from the younger ones to the elders, had learnt in the camp talks. The questions the campers came up with were very thoughtful and deep and took the sevadaars by surprise. The camp included keertan, talks, discussions, fun learning activities, dastaar tying, quizzes, games, and questions and answers sessions.

Dastaar tying lesson

There was one Bhenji at the camp who tied a Dastaar for the first time and she said she planned to keep wearing a Dastaar when going to college. Another younger bhenji, around 10 or 11 years old, said that she recites full Nitnem morning and evening, wakes up Amrit-vela and keeps Rehat and really wants to take Amrit. She was so thirsty for Amrit but her parents were not into Sikhi and don't think she should take Amrit, however she is still hunger for the Guru's gift and asked a sevadaar to speak to her parents. She proudly wore a Dastaar during the camp. Seeing such thirst for Sikhi is humbling and moving.
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 number of parents and elders volunteer to help with the camp. I would definitely recommend that children (and adults!) to attend future camps organised by Connect2Sikhi.You can keep up to date with their programmes and events on their facebook.

Below are some photos from the camp (taken from Basics of Sikhi Facebook and Singh Sabha London East Facebook):

 Older group with Bhaji Jagmeet Singh

 Middle group learning about the Shaheedi of the Chhote Sahibzaade. They listened very carefully and paid attention.

Youngest group with Bhai Vijay Singh

 Simran and Keertan with elder group

 Gurmat competition and quiz with the youngest group. The children seem excited!


Talk with elder group on the Vadde Sahibzaade

Story board activity about the Chhote Sahibzaade

Bhai Mankamal Singh and Bhenji Davinder Kaur teaching the middle group

 Eldest group doing drama work in groups

  Eldest group doing drama work in groups

 Bibi teaching Keertan to the middle group

 Youngest group drawing out story scenes from the story of the Chaar Sahibzaade.

 Questions and answers session with Bhaji Mankamal Singh and Bhenji Davinder Kaur

 Group photo with Bhai Jagmeet Singh and Bikramjit singh. Bhai Jagmeet Singh was very good with the younger children. Lots of energy and enthusiasm!

 Dastaar tying session. All the campers showed so much enthusiasm and pyaar for tying a dastaar.
 Bhai Vijay Singh's talk on Heroes with the youngest group. Children doing simran before the talk.

Questions and answers session

The youngest group showing off their Panj Kakkaar booklets they made and their activity learning books.

Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!

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