Balagokulam, in association with Canton Hindu Temple, conducted second "Hindu Heritage Camp"(HHC) this year at the Canton temple on Saturday 9th July 2005. As compared to the first HHC (7th May '05) at the same venue, this one was of shorter duration (4 hrs) with fun-packed activities for the kids and the teenagers. There were about 50 registrations out of which 37 attended the camp with a surprisingly big number of 30 walk-ins taking the total tally of participants to 67 (about 20% increase than the last camp). On-line registration facility and personal contacts proved instrumental in getting this number. 12 volunteers conducted different sessions through out the program. About 25 parents observed the activities and also volunteered to help in serving snacks and conducting games for balas.
While the walk-ins were being registered, the event started at 1:30pm with Guru-vandana and Saraswati shloka. The participants were divided into groups of balas and Kishors for their respective sessions. After a round of brief introduction both the groups started enjoying interesting Mandal games like Namaste, RAM-Ravan, Sudarshan Chakra etc. After a short snacks break the kids sang devotional bhajans and also recited shlokas with meanings.
During the break participants' mothers served healthy snacks (fruits and veggies) to all After shloka session, the kids got energized to do some exercise. Thanks to Sensei Ryan and Brian from East-West Martial Arts, who conducted superb session on yoga and self defense techniques. Kids obviously enjoyed the body and mind refreshing exercises followed by a short break. Then there was the most interesting part of the program, both for the balas and the kishors as well. In the Art and Craft session, the balas totally forgot the world around while painting the pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses while the teenagers went outdoors to play some wonderful games like tug-of-war, mini NBA and also Kho-Kho. Darshanji, Kaustubhji, Gaurav, Vishakh were of great help during all these sessions. During this time, there was a small meeting with the parents to gather their feedback on the program and suggestions for improvement and to understand their interest in such programs if conducted frequently.
The participants had just started enjoying the camp to its fullest extent only to find that it was the last session of the program. The camp concluded with announcements of upcoming events and prarthana at 4:30 pm. Temple management distributed Pizza as a token of affection towards the kids. The temple president Shri Sureshji Shah was so much satisfied with the program activities that he readily agreed to spare the temple hall, ground and other facilities for conducting such programs more frequently, like on weekly basis, especially during the vacation period. This camp, in its true sense, was one of the many more camps to come shortly in Canton area.