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SSEHV Holiday Camp makes Impact on the Community


Drawing inspiration and guidance from Sathya Sai Baba and the support and encouragement from Carole Alderman, Director British Institute of Sathya Sai Education, the first ever SSEHV Holiday Camp was successfully organized and conducted by the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Organization of Canada

Soon after receiving a request from the Principal of a public school in the inner city core, planning and preparation for the camp began immediately, with several Sai youths taking the lead. They met weekly and over the next three months, developed the five day program for the camp, ensuring every last detail was handled with meticulous attention. At the meetings the feeling of mutual respect, cooperation and unity prevailed at all times, it was indeed the type of atmosphere that Baba teaches us to develop, to ensure that work becomes fulfilling.

The five-day camp ran from July 11 to July 15, 2005 daily between 12:00 to 2:00 PM with the theme “Image is Everything”. It encouraged students to explore their strengths, goals, and personal choices, and aimed to facilitate the realization that the internal image of oneself (i.e. who we really are) overrides that of the external self portrayal (i.e. who others want us to be or who we pretend to be).

The concept for this program was based on the reality television show “Survivor”. The students were grouped into four tribes, and each tribe was presented with a daily challenge. The challenges were designed to encourage self-confidence, initiative, courage, leadership, teamwork and problem solving and took the form of a variety of interactive group and sporting activities. The aim was to increase self-awareness of the student’s inherent strengths in relation to the five human values and to support an optimistic view of life.

Twenty-four students from grades six, seven and eight participated in the camp and came from diverse ethnic backgrounds, many of whom were new immigrants to Canada. According to the school guidance counselor, most of the students suffer from low self-esteem and are often victims of bullying. The camp offered them an opportunity to build self-confidence and feel empowered.

There was something unique and special about this SSEHV Camp. At the end of five days, all the participants of the camp, including the volunteers, principal and students had developed a special bond of friendship and it was difficult to say good-byes.


- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 5 Issue 06 - JUNE 2007
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