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Are SIkhi camps achieving anything for youngsters?

I have been looking in on sikhi camps for young kids for a while now, and feel that for the cost of the camp, the intensity, and duration of the camps, be they one day, 2 day or 3 day, are not achieving much, beyond those days.

If you were to ask a camper, 1 week/1 month after the camp, what they learnt, what do you think the answer would be?

Is this still a way to go, or should we look at alternative methods of teaching gurmat?

thoughts?

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great posts guys, but what i was getting at, is the method(s) that we can use best to teach Gurmat.

Whats been on my mind for a few months is that camps are not really an effective way of teaching Gurmat, although they do have some positives, but we are really in need of some kind of educaitonal setup in gurdwaras, where we are not doing nothing for 3 months, and then rushing around for 1,2 or 3 days trying to cram in as much info as possible.

like if there was a hungry person, would you starve him for so many days and then give him a lot of food and say eat it all now? Or would it be better to give it on a regular basis where he/she can benefit from it short term and long term?

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Gurdwarai need to become 'dharam-salas' again i.e. taksals of dharam or institution of spiritual/righteous living education.

A good model to follow is Jewish or Islamic institutions, where many Synagogues and Masjids around the world have study circles and discussion groups as well as weekly presentations from guest speakers. We have the latter element in the form of Punjabi parchaar, but not anything for the majority English speaking youth. Cross Roads Gurdwara in Coventry does a good job of tackling this in my humble opinion (leaving jathai bandiyan affiliation aside for a moment).

Everyone should strive to set up a study circle amongst friends and family, in and out the Gurdwara. We waste much time talking about politics and inter Sikh Jathe bashing, we should use our precious time to 'learn' and become students – “Shabd Guru, Surat, Gur-Chela”.

With Gur-Prasad we will become teachers. Once we reach a level where we are comfortable discussing Gurmat and have the right character (through bhagti) and the right knowledge (through earnest effort) we will not have to come here and relay our problems, we will be making changes in our community instead - serving by example.

At the very least, every Gurdwara should have an access point for all - to come and have vichaar in English - that is the basic. Everyone here can easily book a room on an evening or weekend for a few hours and put up an advert.

Here is an idea, this website has some great articles which cover many topics of life via Gurmat perspective. Print one article each week, send it out via an email list (set one up for youth/sangat in general at your Gurdwara) and arrange a time for all to come together to discuss. Or alternatively, present the article, then hold a discussion. The content and Gurbani in the articles will easily lead to a great discussion, about experience, opinions etc. But it will ultimately lead back to the answer/solution, which is contained in the Gurmat pangatis within the articles.

Apologies for the rushed reply, just had a few minutes. There are also some groups around the UK now who come and hold well organised workshops etc for the youth, also worth looking into. The idea of getting a guest speaker once a week or fortnight is great too i.e. English speaking Sikhi Divaan.

Here are the articles. Again, I don't know about jathebandi affiliation, nor care, on the whole these articles are very good, and can be used even if you don't agree on some minor points.

http://www.gurbani.org/articlemenu.php

The idea of discussing different topics relating to various aspects of life, will be appealing to youth (and adults alike), and very engaging. Hopefully create a thirst for more, and establish a culture of education and learning again in our Gurdwarai.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Try nicer and more politer ways to bring kids into sikhi rather than cursing at the ones who cut their hair

to add to that;

catch them at the right time. we all know its easier to mould people whilst they are still in a certain age-group, so you must make sure that you are doing something then, not trying to do something when they are of independent mind fully.

no point in shutting the stable door after the horses have bolted.

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yes it might seem like a brainwashing but what im saying is that once a persons ideas of life and existence are formulated, its quite hard to change, so why not plant the seeds of gurmat in them whilst they are young.

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to add to that;

catch them at the right time. we all know its easier to mould people whilst they are still in a certain age-group, so you must make sure that you are doing something then, not trying to do something when they are of independent mind fully.

no point in shutting the stable door after the horses have bolted.

I can appreciate the argument for "getting at" kids in this way. It gets the numbers up and there's a lot of loyal foot soldiers to be gained from doing so. Muslims do it quite well.

But long-term, even on a spiritual basis, I do believe it creates one-dimensional, close-minded, rather dim Sikhs who are perhaps get lost in the broader details rather than appreciating what's really going on underneath the surface. Just my opinion though!

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