“It isn’t academic education alone that makes people happy. It is ‘how-to-live’ education — how to develop a harmonious, moral life, stronger will power, and spiritual understanding — that will bring happiness.”
- Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda
The 2018 Boys’ Camp for the YSS schools in West Bengal was held at the Moyna Yogoda Satsanga Brahmacharya Vidyalaya, Ismalichak from October 6 to 11, 2018. The program was formally inaugurated by Swami Nigamanadaji from Ranchi Ashram on 6th October morning. The location merits special mention as this is the place that was hallowed by many visits of our revered Param Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswarji.
This year a total of fourteen boys, seven each from classes seven and eight, were selected from each of the six boys’ schools. Since Ismalichak was hosting the camp for the first time, a lot of temporary infrastructure had to be set up well in time for the camp to function smoothly. YSS devotees and volunteers from Dakshineswar, Dihika and Telary measured up to the formidable task along with the able support provided by the Ismalichak Boys’ School.
Eighty four boys and 12 teachers from six different schools in West Bengal participated in the camp with enthusiasm and commitment. The boys were provided with a daily schedule which more or less matched the ashram schedule followed by the YSS monastics so that the little ones could have a taste of the ashram life in line with the how-to-live ideals of our Gurudeva’s teachings.
The boys were divided into different houses named after the Gurus of the YSS Guru Parampara. Classes, satsangas, Energization exercises, work and craft projects were conducted by the monastics and YSS volunteers from Dakshineswar. Since Gurudeva’s teaching methods laid special emphasis on all-round development, each student was encouraged to participate in different work and craft projects and also sports events such as football, volleyball, hand-ball and track and field events in athletics. It was a joyous sight to behold the students entering the huge play-ground of the school dressed up in the proper football uniforms provided to them by the Ashram. The sheer exuberance and merriment added to the joy of the occasion and it was felt as if a mini World Cup for under-12 boys was being conducted!
Throughout the camp, the boys were encouraged to follow the how-to-live principles of Gurudeva by maintaining discipline, trying to be calm and reflective, doing meditation and exercises two times daily, and attempting to absorb the essence of what was delivered during the classes and satsangas. An examination was held on the last day of the camp to test how the students have managed to absorb the spirit of the how-to-live principles during the camp period.
On the evening of October 10, a wonderful cultural programme was organized in which most of the boys participated cheerfully. The programme consisted of prayers, songs, skits and dramas, a mime performance, a musical drama and performance of yogasanas and human pyramids.
A very attractive farewell programme was organized on October 11, 2018 during which many prizes and trophies were given away to the winners and runners-up in various competitive events such as poetry recitation, moral storytelling, examination, craft projects, cultural activities and various sports events. Several consolation and special prizes were also handed over to the students.
Brahmachari Achyutanandaji, President of the School MC and Head of the Educational Department, Dakshineswar Ashram, Brahmachari Swarupanandaji from Dakshineswar Ashram and Pravesharthi Vineetji from YSS Ranchi Ashram were present on the occasion.