Tuesday, September 08, 2009

IIGS Holds Sikh Youth Camp at Sealy


CAMP SEALY, CA - The one week 71st IIGS camp held at Camp Sealy August 16-22 in the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California, left participants yearning for more, promising to come back next year and saying teary good byes to new and old friends. Over 150 new and old participants came from different states in the US. India, Japan and Canada.

In the morning and evening Dewans, campers experienced Nam Simran, enjoyed Kirtan and participated in various aspects of the service. Sardarni Gurpreet Kaur’s singing and Sardar Ranjit Singh’s tabla accompaniment regaled the campers with melodious and inspiring Kirtan.

During the day, a plethora of elective classes made it possible for attendees to explore areas of specific interest to them: Meanings and recitation of Nitnem baanies, Shabad Kirtan, Tabla, Punjabi, Sikh history, Sikh Art and Gatka. Mind- Body Fitness classes were also offered along with recreational swimming.

An entire afternoon was set aside for picnic where the Indian game of Pithu was a big hit amongst the older campers. It was a time to relax, enjoy and have fun and games galore. Kesh Darshan, an integral part of every IIGS camp designed to encourage campers to develop love and appreciation for beautiful long uncut hair, had enthusiastic participation. All counselors and campers washed their hair and attended a lecture on ‘Khande di Pahul’ and importance of the 5 K’s by Capt Harbhajan Singh, fondly called Papa ji. .

Senior participants attended inter-active sessions led by Sardarni Jessi Kaur (author of Dear Takuya) where they explored the concept of Mind according to Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the structure and significance of the Sikh Ardaas.

Guest Speaker Sardarni Ruby Kaur, a certified Covey trainer, presented a couple of modules from the Seven habits. Sardar Jagjot Singh of the Bay area gave an inspiring talk on Chardikala.

Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki, renowned author and Sikh luminary from India, addressed the campers on the importance of discipline and obedience in a Sikh’s life.

The lectures, interactive sessions and DOST combined with the elective classes made the camp a truly rich experience for all.

Sardars Ranjit Singh, Gurbux Singh, Ajmer Singh, Sardarnis Manjit Kaur, Prem Kaur and Sukhwinder Kaur, worked hard to provide delicious meals.

The Camp Administrative Team included Sardars K. Daljit Singh, Kavi Raj Singh, Tejinder Singh, Kanwarbir Singh, Karan Raj Singh, Sardarnis Payal Kaur, Guninder Kaur, Jaskiran Kaur and Manjit Kaur KBS.

While Sardarnis Leena Kaur, Sanjam Kaur and Prabhneet Kaur maintained the Camp Office, Drs. Gurpreet Singh, Jasjit K. Singh, Harsohena Kaur and Kaval Kaur, RN looked after the Medical needs of the camp,
The Camp’s 15 member Junior Counselors Team that worked most dedicatedly was led by Sardarni Birpal Kaur. Sardar Jasdeep Singh and Sardarnis Navi Kaur and Puneet Kaur performed the roles of Camp Adjutants. Sardars Harvinder Singh, Kavan Singh, Gurdayal Singh, Sarabdayal Singh, Monty Singh , Jaspreet Singh, Bir Ishwar Singh, Hunar Singh, Sardarni Manjeet Kaur and Amrita Kaur, Jyoti Kaur and Simi Kaur provided immense assistance.

As in all previous camps at Camp Seely, Coach expenses were borne by Sardar Arvinder Singh, who also escorted the campers to the camp. Sardar Ranjit Singh took care of the drinking water for the campers.

A special Camp Dewan (A sort of grand finale) was held on Sunday, August 23 at Gurdwara Buena Park, in which about 200 campers, counselors and their families joined the huge Sunday Sangat. In addition to Shabad Kirtan rendered by three newly trained campers’ groups and the main IGS Jatha, almost 20 campers shared their exhilarating camp experiences with the Sangat. This was followed by an impressive Nishan Sahib Salutation Parade, led by five Singhs and five Kaurs dressed in the traditional Khalsa attire. Anup Harji Singh played the trumpet. Anhad Singh, a UCLA Film School student who facilitated the Mind-Body fitness class at the camp, commanded the parade.

IIGS retreats are purely religious and are known for providing an environment that inspires, educates and, fosters Sikh pride and universal brotherhood!

In the past 37 years, IIGS has organized 86 camps - 71 Sikh Youth Camps, 10 Sikh Mothers/family camps, 4 mini camps and one local city camp in India at Vijayawada.