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Vivekananda Family Camp–A Summer Treat For Children And Families

Brij Garg
07/14/2005

The variety of activities offered at this summer camp is impressive: Canoeing, swimming, hiking, games, arts and crafts, cultural programs and leadership training.  And when these activities are undertaken with old and new friends, the joy seems to multiply and one wishes that the camp would last the whole summer.  The photographs from past camps at the camp website seem to express the emotions better than words can.

Participants sleep in cabins nestled among tall trees in beautiful natural surroundings.  Each cabin typically sleeps six campers and two counselors.  One doesn’t just go to the shower next door, one walks to the shower house.  For meals, one takes a short trail to the program center.  The Massachusetts State Forest is nearby and the air is pristine.  The unique setting, away from home gives yet another dimension to the experience of summer vacation.

Parents who participate in the camp find it rejuvenating.  They serve as staff members at the camp under the guidance of camp organizers.  But along with their assigned duties, they share insights about parenting.  They can also attend classes on yoga, meditation and relaxation.  Most of them report that they eat fifty percent more than what they eat at home and yet do not gain any weight (only vegetarian meals are served in deference to the number of participants who are vegetarians).  Perhaps it is the fresh air or the amount of walking they get to do.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of Ameriica has organized this camp for the past 25 years in the New England area.  Each year, almost 150 persons (including adults and children) participate in the camp.  It not only provides a unique summer vacation for families but teaches independence to the youth, improves networking among the families and better prepares the teenagers for college.  It also teaches them about family values and their own heritage.  The camp fees are very nominal and scholarships are available in hardship cases.  Youth can come with their parents or with a guardian who could be the parent of another camper.  Application forms and additional information are available at the camp website at 
www.vhp-america.org/camp

Local coordinators’ phone numbers are 603-898-1312, 508-875-0432, 860-628-8978.  Additional coordinators are listed at the website.



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