Friday, July 7, 2017

Welcome to HYSC 2017 - Important information for campers


         Hindu Youth Summer Camp 2017
                  Organized by Sadhu Vaswani Center, NJ

               Important Information for Campers

Dear Parents:
The exciting two weeks of your children's summer camp are just a few weeks away! Please review the following important details carefully.

·         Arrival: Sunday, July 23, 2017 at the campsite.
·         Campsite: Hudson Valley Resort & Spa, 400 Granite Road, Kerhonkson, NY 12446

·       Registration: starts at 4.00 pm. Follow the signs to register at the tables set up in the lobby.

·         Getting there: Many out of town families have asked for guidance in getting to the campsite. A taxi or Uber will get you to the campsite. In the past we have used Skyline Cab. Tel: 1 - 917 - 496 - 6366 which is operated by Deepak and Janak Mulani, who are Dada's devotees. They own and operate a car service and we have used their services in the past. If you wish to use them, please contact them directly to make your pickup/travel arrangements. There may be several families traveling and arriving at the same time - we suggest you co-ordinate first amongst yourselves, check with the Mulani family, and maybe they can arrange to do the pick up and have a van bring everyone to the campsite in one, cost effective, trip/ride.

·         What to Bring: Please see the attached" What-to-Bring" list. All the items are essential to participate in camp activities.

·         Laundry: Laundry facility will not be available at the camp. We encourage you to pack lightweight clothing, so your children do have clean clothes throughout the 2 weeks of camp.

·         Luggage: One suitcase per camper; any extra luggage will not fit in the room.

     Dress Code: In keeping with the spirit of a Hindu Heritage summer camp, we follow a dress code that represents modesty and traditional values. Therefore, please note the following. No inappropriate logos on clothing. Boys: no revealing baggy pants. Girls: no short skirts, no short shorts (must be knee length); no halter, strapless or spaghetti tops.

·         Valuable items: are NOT permitted at camp. Cell phones, laptops, electronic devices, jewelry, money, etc. will be collected from the campers and returned to the parents at the end of the camp. Hindu Youth Summer camp is not responsible for any lost or stolen items or damage to items (even those that are collected). We strongly recommend that campers do not bring such items with them. See the attached "What-to-Bring" list.

·         Paperwork: Medical and Release forms as well copy of insurance card/travel insurance and a recent picture of the camper should have been mailed to:  Hindu Youth Summer Camp Registration,  Attn: Komal Kalvani, Sadhu Vaswani Center, 494 Durie Ave, Closter, NJ 07624

·         Medications: Campers needing medication must have the original label on the containers that are placed in a zip lock bag showing the child's name and home phone number. Include a dosing schedule and any other pertinent information. All medication will be collected at the registration table; therefore, please keep it handy. Medicines will be dispensed as scheduled, under medical supervision.

·         Counselor in Training /CIT program: The CIT application was emailed to all 15-16 year old campers. A limited number of 15 and 16 year old campers are selected in the CIT program. The CIT program allows campers to take on some camp responsibilities and participate in special activities. CIT campers become preferred candidates for counselors in the future. CIT campers are awarded community service credit.

·         Phone /Email contact during Camp: We may not be able to accept phone calls from parents/others to the campers. In case you want to reach us, please  e-mail us  Children tend to feel homesick when their parents contact them too soon and too often. We have made arrangements for your children to contact you. The campers will be given an opportunity to call the parents at meal times by rotation starting Wednesday, July 26, 2017 (by cabin). Please note that we cannot compel the campers to call. Be sure that the campers have your contact numbers on them. Any message or query that a camper brings to us for their parents will be emailed to the parent promptly and vice versa. If there are any concerns about a camper, we will call/email the parent/guardian. If you do not hear from your camper or from us, you may rest assured that your camper is doing well.

       Camp Updates: We will be posting pictures and updates periodically on our Blogspot and Facebook page.    
·         Departure: Saturday, August 5, 2017 starting at 10.30 am. There will be a brief, half hour, Parent presentation by the campers at 10.00 am. We invite all the parents and family members who are picking up campers to attend. It is a great opportunity to see some of the things that your children have learnt during their 2 week stay at camp.

·         Sign-Out: Before you leave, please collect any medicines you may have brought to the camp. Please be sure to sign your child out to assure that all children are in safe hands. Please do not leave any personal items, clothing or toiletries behind. Any items left behind will be discarded.

·       Registering for HYSC 2018:  Camp dates: July 15 to July 28, 2018. Please note, we will once again be accepting deposits and sign up commitments for HYSC 2018, when camp ends this year on August 5, 2017. You can register your child with a fully refundable $ 100.00 deposit payable to Sadhu Vaswani Center. (cancellations will be accepted in writing and full refunds will be made up to 31 December 2017)  Once you make a deposit and register your child, we will reserve his/her spot. Reservations will be held till we receive full payment by December 31, 2017. After this date the reservation/spot may be given to a waitlist camper and a refund issued. We do thank you and appreciate your loyalty in signing up your children for camps, as you have done in the past.

We are looking forward to seeing all of the campers and making this camp a memorable experience for them! Do not hesitate to email us with any queries. Do check our Facebook page and blog spot for updates and pictures.


HYSC Committee and Staff

Camp Director: Karishma Vaswani

Assistant Directors: 
Jeevan Panjwani and Dirshti Ramchandani

Program Coordinators: 
Leena Rijhwani, Ankit Shingala and Neha Mahtani

Chairman: Prakash Tewani:

Geeta Vaswani:
Milan Devjani :

Medical Administrator: 
Balram Advani:     
Nutrition Administrator: 
Sangeeta Dadlani:

Volunteer Coordinators:  
Milan and Anoop Devjani:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

HYSC 2017 is almost here!!!

Dada Shyam!

T-19 days until HYSC 2017! Our camp dates this year are Sunday, July 23rd to Saturday, August 5th. We are still welcoming camper registrations, so please refer to our website ( for more information.

Our theme for summer 2017 is...the Ramayana! This great epic has numerous teachings that are still applicable to everyday life today, and the characters show us so much about what it means to lead a virtuous and dharmic life. This year's campers will learn all about the Ramayana in their Heritage classes, in addition to mastering pujas in Chanting class and having a lot of fun outdoors while swimming and hiking! We have a lot planned for these 2 weeks of camp and are extremely excited that we are getting so close to July 23rd!

HYSC Staff this year consists of Karishma Vaswani (Director), Drishti Ramchandani (Assistant Director), Jeevan Panjwani (Assistant Director), Leena Rijhwani (Camp Coordinator), Neha Mahtani (Camp Coordinator), and Ankit Shingala (Camp Coordinator). These 6 have been working together for months with our beloved Committee members and Devi Parvati in order to ensure that HYSC 2017 will be absolutely unforgettable!

Here are some pictures from last year (2016) to get you just as psyched for this summer as we are:

Day 1 -

Day 2 -
Day 3 -
Day 4 -
Day 5 -
Day 6 -…/AF1QipP6yUzE_ZOTNVi2viztXIasyx-…
Day 7 -
Day 8 -
Day 9 -
Day 10 -

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Camp theme for HYSC 2016 "Yoga"

The camp theme this year is "Yoga". However, what is Yoga?  “Yoga” seems to have become a word which refers to everything, and thus means nothing. There are so many different “Yoga”s – the yoga of eating, of sleeping, of thinking, of doing, etc. What does it all mean?
The word "Yoga" comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj" which means to unite/join/harness/connect. So the word “Yoga” means any method by which any human being is brought into union with the Higher Power governing us; that Power has many names - God, The Universe, Source-Energy, The Force, Truth, Reality. So Yoga is any spiritual path which creates a “union with this Power/ truth/reality”. So Yoga can refer to any spiritual path in any religion. “Paths are many, Truth is one”.
One who practices yoga in this sense is a Yogi/Yogini.
This Yogic Philosophy was documented in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, and consists of 8 Limbs - thus this philosophy is called Ashtanga Yoga. One of the limbs is Asanas (Yoga as a form of exercise), however, there is so much more to Ashtanga Yoga. I am very excited to be teaching this Yogic Philosophy to your children, and it is being received by them extremely well as something they can apply to their everyday life.

To give you a small taste, one of the principal teachings of Ashtanga Yoga is AHIMSA, which is often thought of as non-violence, but actually translates to "NO-PAIN".  Ahimsa starts with not causing pain to yourself (negative self-talk, not believing in yourself, self-destructive behaviours such as staying up too late, eating too much junk food, reliving negative past experiences). It was a small miracle to see the wonder on the kids' faces as they realized that often times they are the one making themselves feel bad, and they have a choice to stop that behaviour and be free of it. We cause pain to others when we ourselves are suffering, thus others cause pain to us because they are suffering. Ahimsa asks us not to waste our energy judging others, but instead have compassion for them. How do we do this? By replacing our judgement with a mini-meditation in that moment - by (in our minds) saying to the other person, "May you be happy." This protects us from their negativity, and also spreads positive energy in the world. 

Many kids have come up to me at times outside class, to tell me how much they are enjoying the Yogic Philosophy and its relevance to their lives.

Yoga is a sophisticated system that is much more than just doing yoga postures – it is a way of living which help us to live life more fully, not trapped in our own minds. The guidelines of Yoga are not just instructions on the “right thing to do”, but they are guidelines of ways to live, which create concrete results on one’s life. The most important thing we are learning is that PRACTICE of the techniques we will learn is paramount. “KNOWLEDGE COMES ALIVE ONLY THROUGH PRACTICE.”

Teaching your children is the greatest gift I have received and I am learning so much from their questions and feedback. I hope you enjoy talking to them about everything they have learnt in Philosophy Class at the camp.

May you be happy!

Sharmila Sani
Heritage teacher at HYSC since 2013

Saturday, July 23, 2016

HYSC 2016 Day 6-7

HYSC 2016   Day 6-7

It's incredible to see how much this camp has grown since I was last on staff two camps ago in 2014. Not just in terms of quantity, but it's quality as well. I arrived yesterday around 3 pm to find half the camp out on the front lawn slip-&-sliding   and cooling off in the pool, while the rest of the camp out on a trip to a farm. 

The campers came back to 60 pies of pizza and salad to accompany it (that's not a typo... 60 pies!!) They ended the night with a movie night (PK) and snack. Since we had three birthdays here yesterday, we had three cakes (because every one deserves their own cake) and ice cream for snack. Don't worry, your kids are well, well- fed here. 

Today was India day! We began the morning - after breakfast, of course - with a special puja to commemorate the Sindhi deity, Lord Jhulelal. After a few minute talk on who Jhulelal was, we began a Sindhi laada session and a 'Behrano' lead by Aunty Anita Makhija. It was incredible to see all the campers and counselors up and dancing with such energy and happiness. The room was filled with nothing but great vibes. 

Shortly after, the staff initiated our annual Vedic procession, where the campers followed the staff in single file line and chanted the Tryambakam mantra. Lunch was a delicious meal of rice and Sindhi curry, bindhi and prasad. The fun didn't stop there, though. The campers had a  contest on which cabin could make the best dance to a bhajan, and that led to a Garba/Raas session.

 In all my years coming to camp and watching the Garba Raas, I've never seen campers and counselors so in sync! It was an incredible sight to see. The campers were then sent up to change and rest, and came back down to a delicious Taco night! They are now currently practicing for their talent show which will be held toward the end of camp. 

Although we are only halfway through camp, these campers have already turned from friends to family. The love and compassion they have gained towards each other already, coupled with the amount of knowledge of Hinduism and bhajans/pujas they've learned, is why we - past staff, current staff, committee and volunteers - do what we do. We love instilling the values we have been taught into these campers, and so long as we continue to see the results we repeatedly see, we will continue to be in service to this camp.


Sahil Chandiramani

Director 2014

Asst Director 2012 & 2013