Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Camp Day 10!


            Today the morning schedule went back to normal with Rise and Shine at 8:20 instead of 8:55 to get an early start for an activity packed day! Campers had a relaxing session of yoga inside and had their grapes, chocolate chip muffins, and we can’t forget Shanu Auntie’s vitamins for everyone. At this point in camp, the campers know most of our traditional prayers so the puja room bhajans were much more energized. In Heritage we learned about feeling joy for others and being grateful to everyone throughout our lives. After chanting class, with counselors, CIT’s, and even some advanced campers teaching, we had a fulfilling lunch of fajita cheese quesadillas and broccoli corn macaroni with salsa. Campers then got ready for a day at the beach! When we got to the beach, campers had the option of swimming in the lake or hiking in Pocono forests. Campers had a picnic with cream cheese sandwiches, Doritos, fruit, and Caprisun drinks. Cabins also versed each other in a thrilling game of tug of war. Even the counselors/staff got to verse CIT’s and JIT’s with the youngins coming out on top. When we got back to the hotel, campers got to relax and shower during cabin time. Next, we had dinner which consisted of rajma rice, Thai curry, mini samosas, and roti. Afterwards, with everyone in their comfy clothes, campers watched the movie “Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse” while making friendship bracelets for each other while snacking on popcorn. Finally, at 10:00 we said our goodnights to each other and headed up to our rooms to rest up for tomorrow’s adventures!

-      Kareena Shahani and Shreya Narsinghani 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Day 9 :)


Once again the campers came downstairs with smiles on their faces ready for rise and shine. The campers were extra energized as they had a sleep in after the especially draining India day. A breakfast complete with waffles and potatoes was served to the campers by the hardworking aunties and uncles. We had a hype puja session including but not limited to bhajans such as Om Mangalam and Hari Om Tat Sat. The children then, still buzzing with energy headed to an educational heritage class with our dedicated volunteers. The long awaited arrival of our dear volunteer Hur Aunty was finally met with success as the aunty arrived to the hotel. The campers were delighted and channeled that energy into their Hindi classes and their chanting classes led by our counselors. The campers then ate a nutritious lunch of paneer and roti and black daal and thern headed to their clubs one and two. The arts and crafts club painted on canvases using watercolors and then hung their canvases out to dry. The dance club rehearsed their dances to perform in the talent show while the drama club did the same. The campers then changed, ate a light snack of watermelon and headed to their respective sports and games. The older kids and younger kids split the pool time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The children then went up for cabin time and rested up before heading down for dinner where the kids enjoyed mac and cheese, salad, and broccoli. The kids then practiced for the talent show again where they impressed the staff with some amazing progress. They then headed for a delicious snack of strawberries and chocolate pudding and a small dance party. Once again another successful, amusing day at camp!

Day 8!


The day started with a traditional vibe as the campers came down to rise and shine in traditional Indian clothing. Breakfast was served by the CITs and the campers enjoyed their hashbrowns and bagels. The campers then commenced to the puja room joined by past members of staff and current members of the Sadhu Vaswani Youth Committee. Additionally, there was a photo shoot in which siblings, friends’, and cabin pictures were taken. After an energetic, enthusiastic bhajan and modeling session the children headed for a vedic procession in which mantras were chanted in succession while the children walked around the hotel’s main areas. A delicious traditional Indian lunch inspired by the food ancient Indian Rishis used to make was cooked up by our volunteers who we appreciate so much. Pooris, Daal, Aloo Bhaji, and Curd Rice were served to the kids to make it easy to eat using only the hands just like the Rishis used to do.  A talk was given by our Youth Committee member Nitin about the ways of the Rishis and it was followed by a silent lunch where the campers were allowed to truly ponder things that may have been on their mind. Then the children were sent to their rooms for a brief repose before the activities that were to follow for the day. After about 1.5 hours of mandatory nap time the children headed downstairs to group up with their cabins and create dances to the bhajans they had learned during their time at camp. The kids then headed down for cultural activities such as Dandiya and Garba. The kids danced, sang, and got henna tattoos galore before heading upstairs for cabin time. The children then performed their dances and and enjoyed a delicious dinner of veggie burgers with an array of toppings the children got to choose from and add on their own. The children ended the day with a talent show practice that looked promising to say the least, and we are looking forward to an amazing final performance. All in all another fun day at HYSC


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Camp Weekend :)


Holi took up the majority of our day today. The campers were allowed to sleep in, have a late breakfast and change into their holi clothes. The person who was in charge of the DJ, played all the old Hindi throwback songs that awakened inside us a childish urge to splash out our fellow campers and counselors into a colorful array of different energies. The bond that we had been working on since camp had started a week ago strengthened and grew stronger. We felt closer to our friends and our cabins and it finally felt like the camp that all of us, each year, kept coming back to. Holi was unarguably the best of the variety of events that staff had worked and tolled to plan out for us. Holi was followed by a Shivratri puja where we made our own lingams out of clay and all of us played the part of pujaris all together. The kids we fascinated by bathing, feeding and putting tikas on the little shiv lingams. There were smiles all around the puja room and the energy that we brought into it was through the roof. Sahil, our beloved ex staff, used his amazing singing voice to remix the different bhajans and motivated all the campers to also try to keep up with him. The best part of the day, other than Holi, was probably seeing Uncle Ankit scurrying around the hotel doing all of the background things with mics and tasks that brought smiles to our face because it showed us a little glimpse of last year’s camp and gave us a bit of the familiar warmth that made us appreciate his presence to great lengths. After this the campers had time to make cabin cheers and bond over cabin time. In the late afternoon there was a workshop where campers made Lingams for the Shivratri puja. They used the Lingams and were taught how to carry through a proper ceremony. After the puja came another colorful event. Rangoli was a creative battle between cabins. Each cabin expressed their opinion of what a superhero is in their eyes and how they could integrate their cabin names and meanings into it. To end the busy day, the kids had a dessert of banana bread and mango pudding. Off to bed! See you tomorrow. 
-Neha and Sanjana 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Camp Update!

Hey parents!
Today we woke up to a crispy Poconos morning and greeted the day with Rise and Shine and beautiful yoga. Today’s breakfast was a variety of items, including fruits, bagels, yogurt, muffins, cereals, and juices. We continued with heritage, where we learned about the importance about forgiving and forgetting. We went on to puja and for the first time, we chanted the whole Puja to Lord Vishnu. Our amazing counselors then conducted their usual chanting classes. Because we’ve all been so wrapped up in our activities, today we got some time to clean our rooms, nap, and change our clothes for… KAYAKING! As soon as we got to the lake, campers were eager to start singles and doubles kayaking, paddle boarding, and many other water activities. The campers had SO much fun. We got back to the resort and grabbed Doritos for snack on the way back in. We all got to shower and spend some quality cabin time together before dinner, which were tortillas!!! The campers came back for seconds and even thirds. Then we moved on to the 2ndbest part of the day: the campfire! Everyone stood around the fire, sang and danced to every camp song, and had a great time. To top it all off, snack tonight was s’mores!! No one could get enough of them. Finally, we had a cool dance party and got to spend time with our wonderful previous staff members who came to visit today. Campers old and new love them. Another successful day at HYSC.
-Sveta Chintakayala (C.I.T)

Friday, July 19, 2019

HYSC Day 5

Day 5

Dada Shyam parents! Welcome to the fifth blog post of HYSC 2019!

The morning started out with Rise and Shine at 8:20, where all campers enjoyed singing about Noah’s Arc! They then continued with a calming and relaxing session of yoga. It was the perfect way for campers to spend the morning, by helping them wake up, expand their lungs, and get their bodies stretched and ready for the rest of the day. Following that, the campers satisfied themselves with a delicious, yet nutritious, breakfast that included waffles, cereal, fruits, yogurt, and muffins. Right after, the campers spent their time in a puja session, where Komal Aunty joined in to guide the campers in learning new bhajans. All campers sang along, while clapping and playing instruments. The session concluded with the ever-loved Shukrana (you can see the video on the Facebook page!).

The campers then split into their heritage classes, where the younger kids learned about forgiveness, and Dada JP Vaswani’s story from birth. The older campers learned about the toxicity of anger, and how they can learn to control it through anger management exercises. Right after, the campers went to chanting class and learned more pujas and bhajans. Unfortunately, there was no Hindi class, but the campers did get a mandatory nap time, where they could rest up for the continuing day. Finally, it was lunch time, where the campers enjoyed chawal, dahl, and bhindi. After the savory meal, the campers headed to their respective clubs, and enjoyed playing cards, acting, dancing, and making cards to spread kindness to others. They had a quick snack, then went swimming (for the younger campers) and played Vak Siddhi (for the older campers). In Vak Siddhi, the campers were able to discuss topics for a minute and a half, while trying to avoid pauses and expressions such as “like”, “um”, and “uh”. The campers went to their cabins to rest once again and bond with their cabin mates for an hour and a half. For dinner, the campers enjoyed a delicious spaghetti, with vegetarian meatballs and garlic bread. After dinner, a game of Jeopardy, HYSC- style, was played. The campers were tested on their knowledge of superheroes, HYSC history, Sadhu Vaswani Mission, and other topics. To finish off the day, campers enjoyed Parle-G biscuits and milk for snack, and headed to their rooms for a comforting night of sleep and to prepare themselves for kayaking the following day.

The link to the daily pictures is

Thursday, July 18, 2019

HYSC Day 4!

Day 4
Dada Shyam Parents of HYSC campers!

Today we had a very fun day. We woke up bright and early and headed down to Rise and Shine at 8:20am then went straight to a refreshing yoga class. Today, our schedule was a bit different since we were heading to the mandir called “Arsha Vidya Gurukulam.” On the bus ride there, we sang fun camp songs, bhajans, and clean pop songs. Once we had arrived at Arsha Vidya Gurukula, we practiced shlokas and did the Ganesh puja with the pundit. After talking about the meaning of the Ganesh puja and hearing from two teachers that worked at the mandir, we made our way to the lunch area. We had paneer, chickpeas, roti, salad, and many more delicious foods. After eating and socializing for a little bit, we took a picture (see link to photos below) and then went back to the buses. The next hour and a half once we got back to our hotel was a much-needed mandatory nap time. Before we headed back down from our rooms, we changed into sports clothes for Sports and Games! Today the older kids went to the pool and the younger kids played Vak Siddhi.
After Sports and Games, we went back to our cabins to relax and shower. Then, we came back down to enjoy another meal followed by a fun fashion show. During the Fashion Show, each cabin had to choose a model and dress them up as something related to camp theme (superheroes). After the fashion show, we enjoyed an energetic dance party and snack, which was banana bread. We ended the night with the results from the fashion show. Naayak placed first, followed by Shakti, and Maafi. The show displayed efforts of teamwork, confidence building, and overall it was a lot of fun. What an exciting day! Check back in tomorrow night for another blog post!

Until next time,
Himani Narayan and Priya Punjabi <3