By Shreyas Mosurkal
ANDOVER, MA–Several rising 9th graders to rising college freshmen in the Boston area attended the spiritual youth camp Being Your Best: You Only Live Once led by Acharya Vivekji of Niagara Falls, at the Chinmaya Mission Boston ashram located in Andover, MA.
The camp was a brief but packed event and was held from Friday 8/11 evening to Sunday 8/13 afternoon. This was a unique Chinmaya experience not only for the students but also for parents and youth volunteers, as it was a Junior Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (JCHYK) camp. Friday evening was exciting, where all students watched a movie, after having dinner. During the movie, short discussions relating to the general idea of the camp were led by Vivekji. The students couldn’t wait for what Saturday had in store for them after the exciting movie and discussions.
The next morning started with a session of guided meditation, followed by a period of silence (maunvrat) and observation/exploration of the temple. After breakfast, camp participants were joined in discussions led by youth volunteers. The topics discussed included barriers in life, how to overtake them, and ways to reach happiness. The afternoon featured athletics, which promoted team building and sports tactics, along with strength and fitness. The evening included a thought-provoking talk held by Vivekji, where the topic continued the exploration of “being your best.”
On the last day of the camp, Vivekji shared his thoughts on how students could maximize themselves to become his/her best as well as being as happy as they could be. His tips on being one’s best included always learning, always committing, and always reflecting. Nearing the end of the camp, students expressed their gratitude to Vivekji by offering Guru-dakshina and performing Swami Chinmayananda’s aarati.
This camp was a wonderful opportunity for all students and parents to experience what a true Chinmaya camp had to offer. Many students said Being Your Best: You Only Live Once was not just any usual camp; it was an amazing thought-provoking experience.
(Shreyas Mosurkal is rising Sophomore at Westford Academy, MA.)