Summer is a busy time for everyone! Between traveling, working, going to camps, interning, or getting a summer job, it’s hard to take time out to do what you are really passionate about! For some reason, however, some Sikhs gather year after year at various summer camps that take place in and outside of the diaspora. At present, over 100 of us are at the annual Sikh youth summer camp hosted by the Sikh Youth Alliance of North America. As mentioned in the last post, the founders and many volunteers of DVN went to this very camp when they were kids and have been coming here for over 40 years! What makes people want to come back year after year, even when everyone has busy schedules?
The answer is quite simple: sangat.
We are a family of like-minded individuals here at camp. Our group consists of teachers, supervisors, kitchen sevadars, campers, and counselors. The one thing we all have in common is that we are here to learn. The willingness of everyone to want to learn makes this environment so productive and inspirational for everyone.
During free time, kids can be heard practicing the shabads they learned earlier in the day.
Short one vaja? No problem! Two young Kaurs share one to practice a new shabad they learned.
Some youth get up earlier than the scheduled wake-up time so they have time to review notes from the previous day’s classes. Others ask their teachers and counselors to go over the day’s Hukam with them. Some others ask the Gatka teachers to practice with them outside of the already intensive class. Kitchen sevadars have everything ready for everyone on time, and the food is delicious. Even the youngest kids sit in divaan and sing along. This is the power of sangat. We walk together.
We really like purple!
One of the most important take-aways from camp is that it is up to us and our peers to feel Panthic responsibility. We see our older Bhain Jees and Veer Jees doing that every day of the year. That is how Dasvandh Network came about. Camps like this one created a sangat network so strong that it led to the development of DVN.
It is through this kind of inspired sangat that we can expect great things for the Panth’s future. I am so excited to see what the future holds. We don’t know how how the stories of shaheeds we’ve heard this week will inspire campers this year to bring positive changes in their lives and or what effect that will have over time, but one thing is pretty clear: The past is too glorious and too inspiring for the future to not look good.
Have an idea in mind that will help #PowerThePanth? What are you waiting for? Connect with us! Let us work together to bring about positive change!