2011 Buddhist Youth Camp

This year’s theme was “Self Reflection.” Ven. Hung I advised campers to always be “strict to one’s own faults, while lenient to other’s faults.” This will enable one to make friends and cultivate a healthy sense of compassion, tolerance, understanding, and happiness. Being able to self-reflect will help to loosen our insistence on the notion of self, gain insight to karmic effects, improve our sense of awareness, establish proper life goals, and build upon our wisdom.

In addition to basic Buddhist regiments, such as Dharma talks, morning/evening services, and walking/sitting meditation, the camp also included other specialty classes and group activities (such as Social Skills, Buddha’s Life, Penny Bridge, Food Program, Trivia, Bing Pong Pingo, Minute to Win It, Hip Hop Dancing, Art & craft, Life Orientation, Brain Challenge, Amazing Race, Water Games, etc.). On the evening of July 3rd, Ven. Jan Hai and Ven. Hung I lead the campers in the Bodhi Light Ceremony. The candles lit by each camper and staff during the ceremony represent wisdom and enlightenment. In lighting a candle and helping the next person to light the candle, each person hopes to both grown their own wisdom and pass on the insight they have gained. In this way, the hope is that the Buddhist wisdom can continue to benefit and touch others well in to the future.

On the last day of camp, a day camp was also offered to the parents of the campers. Rev. Hung I gave Dharma talks to the parents about the basics of Buddhism, offered advice on using Buddhism in daily life, and introduced the Buddhist concept of living in the present moment. The camp came to a successful conclusion on the afternoon of July 4th. Rev. Hung I hoped that all campers were able to learn more about themselves and to make new friends. He also thanked the counselors, volunteers, and parents for their support in helping to make the camp a success.