2008 Vivekananda Family Camp
One of the best summertime activities for families with children ages 8-18 is the annual week long Vivekananda Family Camp in Tolland, MA organized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA). The camp will be held from August 10-16, 2008. A nominal sum of $250 covers 5 meals a day, lodging in cabins and activity materials for the whole week along with learning about their rich cultural heritage, making life-long friends and even getting leadership training. The cost for parents is even less, just $125 per person. No wonder, the camp registration often fills up to a capacity of 150 two weeks before it actually begins in the second week of August.
This New England gem has been around for 28 years. Children love it because they get to participate in structured activities with their peers from early morning till late in the evening. Activities include exercises, canoeing, swimming, hiking, games, contests, cultural programs, arts and crafts, yoga, campfire, classes on Hindu philosophy and practices and discussions. Parents enjoy it because it offers a change of pace- a week of freedom from computers, cell phones, shopping and worries about what to cook for the next meal!
Due to the long years of experience, much of the mechanics of running the camp is now streamlined. The menu is vegetarian but features children's favorites such as pizza, pasta, tacos and includes plenty of fruits and salads to provide nutritionally balanced meals. But running the camp is anything but routine. Organizers take special care to make sure that every child in each group finds opportunities for developing new skills and self expression.
The leadership training program for high school students helps prepare them for college. Many a camp alumni have gone on to Ivy League and other famous schools and come back to serve as camp counselors for the week. Parents also get a chance to compare notes with others about parenting and develop network which continues to blossom well after the camp. In the past, community leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, educators and swamis have served as guest teachers to share their inspiration.
Registration forms, FAQ, slide show, flyers are available at the website: http://camps.vhp-america.org. One can still register but get your registration in before the camp is full. For further information, you can contact Hasit Parikh 860.628.8978 or Jaya Asthana at 508-875-0432.
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