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Amrita Sanjeevani, the student seva association at the Amritapuri campus recently organized a youth camp for its core members. Over the past academic year, the students were part of many initiatives to serve, including cleaning drives of the Amala Bharatam Campaign.
“We wanted the members to have fun while planning the activities for this academic year,” shared Bri. Praveena, one of the faculty coordinators.
And so it was that some 66 students from the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Ayurveda, Biotechnology and Engineering found themselves in the lush greenery of Pala Ashram, nearly three hours away from the Amritapuri campus, participating in the unique camp.
The students rejoiced and sang, bounced ideas off of each other, planned and pledged, aspiring that the activities they undertake really make a difference.
Below is a student report of the camp.
On July 16, even before the sun rose, we Sanjeevanities set out for the naturally beautiful surroundings of the Pala Ashram. We rode in two college buses, singing and chanting. Enjoying the exotic beauty of nature on the way, we soon arrived at our destination.
We were thrilled to see nature at her very best — turning left, turning right — we saw that everywhere green trees stood tall, birds chirped in perfect harmony with nature, colorful butterflies danced along. The pristine, peaceful surroundings touched our very souls.
All around were beautiful statues of the great gods and seers of our country. A clear steam flowed alongside.
In such exquisite surroundings, our camp began.
Inspiring speeches by Br. Sudeep, Br. Ashok and Br. Biju Kumar were followed by a delicious lunch. Cooks from Amritapuri had travelled with us, they cooked and served us food on site.
We watched a video presentation highlighting many outstanding initiatives undertaken by the citizens of India in quest for social change. The motivating video really inspired us. We whole-heartedly agreed with the comment one student made, “Even if the current generation tries to ape the West in style and fashion, it definitely does not forsake a beggar crying on the road.”
Finally we began planning our activities for this year. Different groups deliberated on issues related to the cleaning drives, making handicrafts from waste, organic gardening and other eco-friendly initiatives. We brainstormed, discussed and planned. We wrapped up for a tea break.
Activity planning continued the next day, but not until we had a chance to enjoy an early morning meditation session and a nature walk guided by Bri. Shobhana. An interactive satsang with Swami Gyanamritananda Puri followed, which reiterated the necessity to make positive contributions to society.
Finally, the teams began preparing the activity calendar for this semester. We presented our ideas to each other in a fun way, through something we called Camp TV Show. We improvised backdrops and props, and put forth our proposals in a theatrical manner. The impromptu shows were greeted with a lot of applause!
After all the fun, thrill and excitement of the two days, it was finally time to return. The camp helped us Sanjeevanities nourish the spirit of service within us. In the coming days we hope that our enthusiasm and energy will inspire a selfless attitude in the hearts of many.
July 27, 2011