The first HHYC of the season, in midwest, was held in Iowa City, IA on 15th May. The objectives of the camp were multifold. Primary being, to provide a platform for youths on campus where they can meet, share ideas and experience the energy of group efforts.
"I want students to know", said one volunteer, "that Hindus are not dormant group and they too have lot of activities going on at the campus.", when asked for the reason of his involvement. This certainly
describes second goal which was well achieved by the publicity of the camp. The team-building and raising confidence in volunteers to come up with ideas for more events were just the by-products of the HHYC.
The camp was vibrant with enthusiastic participation of 28 youths. It can be debated if more people would have created more noise while playing touch football or even Guesstures, a variation of dumb-charades introduced by Rushikesh ji Athalye. If games were marked by tremendous amount of energy then discussion session certainly gains point for being vibrant and thought provoking. Moderated by Aditya ji Ingalhalikar and Prem ji Ramakrishnan, the session covered aspects of being Hindu and the heritage we represent here in USA. It was a brainstorming phase where people unknowingly graduated from the definition of being Hindu to what can be done individually and in groups to retain our values and at the same time dispel the misconceptions in the mind of fellow americans & non-indians.
The camp started at 9:00am with some ice-breaker. Khel was the first and certainly the most liked session. Various mandal khel and team games were played, conducted by Rushikesh ji and Prem ji. Although the weather was not cooperative but games, followed immediately by hot tea, kept the cold at bay. An hour of physical activity was coupled by intellectual excersize in the form of team discussion. Yet another round of games including touch football and judwa-bhai awakened some of not-so-much-in-bauddhik fellows :) Again post-games session was a bauddhik but much more interactive. Shri Milind ji Deshpande presented his thought on Hindu youth and pertaining issues. Time was allocated for people to quench their queries which were answered again by Sh Milind ji. After food-for-thought, real food was brought in which was prepared by the core team including Asmita ji Mhaskar, Sangeetha ji Madhavan, Kasturi ji Deshpande, Sridhar ji Dighe, Anita ji Gondi, and Soumik ji Ukil.
By the end of camp everyone boasted of having some addition to their experience and knowledge in some form or other. New people came in touch through the camp and showed their interest in being part of core
team in next event. In all a very good and learning experience. Hopefully we will have more camps organized by bigger core team and attended by even more people in coming days.