On the auspicious day of Gurupoornima, Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan North America kicked off the first-ever Sanskar Suvas Shibir. The shibir was planned as an effort to gather Swaminarayan Gadi youth from all around the country and provide them with an opportunity to grow their religious knowledge while engaging in fun activities. So over the dates of July 3rd to July 6th, 2023, young disciples from the ages of 7-18 participated in this event while disciples of ages 19-25 volunteered. Over 150 disciples attended this event from all over North America.
On the first day of the shibir, young disciples were showered with Acharya Swamiji Maharaj’s divine ashirwad on Gurupoornima. Then, the disciples went to Delaware Mandir to have lunch and departed to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp. Upon reaching the campsite, disciples checked in, registered, and unpacked at their cabins. Cabins were organized by age group and gender. In the evening, Sandhya Niyams were performed by all disciples before indulging in a delicious dinner of tostadas and soft tacos.
On day two of the shibir, after mangla aarti and niyams, Acharya Swamij Maharaj and divine sants arrived at the campsite as part of their North America 2023 vicharan. Disciples were graced with ashirwad from Bapa In an intimate setting. After Ashirwad, disciples were provided a mala from Bapa as a token to remember the Sanskar Suvas Shibir 2023 for years to come. Then, Bapa took a tour of the park, where after taking a group photo with the young disciples, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj departed from the campsite.
After Bapa’s departure, the youth started outdoor activities such as dodgeball, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and kickball. Lunch would be served as disciples had Punjabi food and lassi. Then, disciples would go to the water park where they would play volleyball, and basketball, or have water gun fights in the splash park. Evening events kicked off with sandhya aarti and niyams, and they were followed up by an Italian-style dinner with pasta and salad.
On day three, after mangla aarti and niyams, disciples participated in yoga and religious activities covering topics from the day before to complete their subjects. The disciples learned the importance of certain traditions in the satsang such as ekadashi, gurupoornima, chaturmas, and many other observances. Then, young disciples went outside to play sports which included dodgeball, kickball, and volleyball. Lunch was then ready and disciples were provided sandwiches. Once lunch was over, all of the disciples made their way to the water park. A group of assistants started launching people in the air as children enjoyed cannonballs in the pool. Then, sandhya aarti and niyams were performed and dinner was served; disciples had Indo-Chinese food such as paneer chili, noodles, and Manchurian. After that, there was a trivia game about our satsang played by all cabin members and leaders.
As Acharya Swamishree Maharaj always said, “No matter how much effort is made, no one can progress or succeed without God's mercy.” By God's mercy, we were able to complete the vision laid out by Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj.
The Sanskar Suvas Shibir was enjoyed by many people of different ages and they were asked how much they liked it. It was all positive reviews and everyone had a blast. The youth of North America are hoping for this shibir to happen every year. Many thanks go out to all of the sponsors, donors, volunteers, and attendees.