Sunday, February 07, 2016

Australi Trip and Khalsa Camp Australia 2016...

With the blessings of Guru Sahib, Khalsa Camp Australia was held from 6th to 10th January 2016. This was the fifth year the camp has been running in Australia. Khalsa Camp Australia 2016 took place at a beautiful scenic site in Berry in New South Wales. Campers of different ages, came from all corners of Australia and the globe to experience blissful Amrit Velas, inspiring lectures, engaging workshops, Gursikhi Sangat, and recreational activities.

The camp was attended by around 150 people. Although the camp is aimed at elder teenagers and young adults, the camp had made provision for separate classes for younger children and one for parents and elders. The invited speakers came from Australia, UK and Canada. From the UK came Bhai Tarsem Singh Ji, Mata Balbir Kaur Ji, Veer Sukha Singh, and Daas. The Canadian Amritdhari politician, Bhai Jagmeet Singh, came from Canada, and there were some local speakers who came to share information about community projects with the Sangat.  

The theme of the camp was 'freedom' and 'connecting with the Guru'. The talks were about internal freedom from Maya, external freedom as a society, what a free mind or conscious-state is like in accordance to Gurbani (i.e. Begampura), and Sarbat Khalsa. During that time of year the sacrifices of the Shaheeds of Chamkaur Sahib and the younger Sahibzaade, as well as the sacrifices of the 40 Mukte are remembered, and therefore there was a running theme of connecting with the past and building our present by connecting with the Guru.

Bhai Tarsem Singh Ji (UK) taking the opening Hukamnama for the camp.

The day began with Amrit Vela Naam Simran and Nitnem from 4am to 6am. This was followed by breakfast and a rest period till 9.15am. The morning lectures were divided in accordance to age-groups, and were followed by workshops. After lunch there were recreational activities but also opportunities to learn Gurbani Santhiya, how to make Prashaad, how to make Pataasay, and learn Vaaja and Tablaa. The evening Divaan was from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, which included Simran, Rehraas Sahib, and Keertan. After evening Langar there were evening activities from 9pm to 10pm. These included ice-breaker activity, bonfire night, inspirational sessions and the last day there was a Rainsbaaee Keertan. The whole camp layout and schedule worked really well.

 Bhaji Jagmeet Singh (Canada) did a talk on the first day about being a Sikh and being in politics to help others.

Bhai Tarsem Singh Ji (UK) doing a talk on Maya

 The Unbroken Perfect Guru. Campers learning how to take a Hukamnama from Larreevaar Saroop.

 Mata Balbir Kaur Ji (UK) and Bhenji Paven Kaur (Sydney) did the amazing seva of teaching the youngest group during the camp.

Tablaa workshop

 One of the more relaxed workshops talking about Sikh identity and feeling empowered

Campers eating Langar

Self defence workshop led by Bhaji Jagmeet Singh (Canada)

Team building activities

Evening Divaan

One of the highlights of the camp was the bonfire night. Sitting underneath the start lit sky the Sangat did Simran and listened to an emotional and inspiring account of the sacrifices of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s and his great Sikhs.

Rainsbai Kirtan on the last night. Bhai Parminder Singh Ji doing Kirtan.

On the last day of camp Bhai Tarsem Singh Ji (UK) summed up the camp's message, followed by an open-mic session where all campers were invited to share their testimony of their experience of Khalsa Camp.

 Guru Ji leaving the camp

The closing session of the camp were campers shared their feedback of the camp and their testimony of their experience was a very emotional session to say the least! It is amazing how the Guru's Sangat can bring so much inspiration, positive change and happiness to all our lives. So many campers made pledges that would wake up Amrit Vela, do their Nitnem and make positive steps in their journey to the Guru.

The camp sevadaars did amazing job in organising the camp! All the outside speakers and guests were amazed at how the organisers arranged really good activities to ensure all campers got to know other and helped to create relaxed and welcoming spiritual environment. Having been to many camps, this camp left a very positive impression on my mind. I hope the camp sevadaars continue to do the good work and with Guru Sahib's blessings Khalsa Camp Australia grows in its success. 

After Khalsa Camp, I got the opportunity to stay in Melbourne and do seva. The Sangat showed a great enthusiasm to learn from Gurmat and move forward in their Sikhi.

 Gurdwara workshop in Melbourne

 Gurdwara workshop in Melbourne

Bhai Harpreet Singh Ji (Melbourne) and their family with whom I stayed with.
Bhai Raminder Singh Ji (Melbourne) and their family

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

bhai sahib do you know whether there will be any recordings of the talks uploaded at all?