The camp was facilitated by peers of the same cultural and traditional background and of an approachable age. Hence, allowing for easy communication and trust to be developed amongst the children and their group leaders where they are able to ask for assistance without reservation.
In the safe environment of The Nan Hua Temple, they are free to explore the realms of their personal flairs as well as acknowledge and share the varying talents of their peers. They are encouraged to open their minds’ eye and fully appreciate the miracle of life, understand the exquisite treasures of Buddhism and progressively become unconditionally rich at heart.
The children participated in numerous activities varying from peaceful mediation and Yoga sessions to vibrant traditional African dancing, from Buddhist lectures to the Amazing race as well as pulsating group performances to a delicious cooking class.
Group participation is a vital aspect and skill in life which is encouraged at their young and tender ages. Acceptance of other regardless of their differences with compassion and kindness is emphasized throughout the camp. As not only will they reap the benefits of developing group proficiencies but sow the beauty of friendship and finding lifelong comrades. The children were exposed to a variety of ideas such as humility, gratitude and patience which was emboldened as the children all contributed to their final group performance which they were expected to prepare and display at the farewell party.
During the closing ceremony each group selected a representative to reflect on their experience at the camp, the feedback mainly consisted of gratitude towards the Venerable’s, their group leaders as well all the remaining volunteers. The representative from Group 1 stated that she thoroughly enjoyed the camp; Group 2 said that the food was scrumptious and is most definitely keen to return. Group 3 expressed that the camp brought them great happiness and explicitly expressed how their group leaders made individual impressions on them with their strong characters and impressive leadership skills. Group 4 was the oldest age group predominantly consisting of boys whom were surprisingly co-operative, helpful and appreciative of not only the Venerable’s and volunteers but their parents and are also eagerly anticipating the next camp.
All in all, the S.A. Buddhist Children Spiritual Development Camp 2011 was a huge success, not only did each child received a certificate of accomplishment in recognition of their achievements in the camp, but a group photo which they could cherish and use to reminisce on their time on camp. It was a tiresome week however with the combined efforts all the volunteers and Venerable’s were we able to host a beneficial and in essence fun escape for the children.