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Residential Sanskrit Family Camps

Jyotsna M. Kalavar, Ph.D.

             Residential Sanskrit Family Camps

It all began in the year 2000 with the first residential Samskrita Bharati spoken Sanskrit camp held on the west coast in the United States.  A decade later, Samskrita Bharati now hosts four residential spoken Sanskrit camps, including two camps specially designed for the youth.  How did this remarkable transformation occur? Sanskrit, the cultural backbone of India, is experiencing a resurgence unlike anything that has been seen before.  The enthusiasm for Sanskrit learning, Sanskrit websites, Sanskrit blogging, Sanskrit twittering, continues unabated.  From residential camps to online learning, Samskrita Bharati has focused on popularizing Sanskrit speaking through a gamut of activities for different age groups and varied learning styles. 

In the United States, the astounding success of Samskrita Bharati's youth camps, myriad ongoing children’s classes, and adult engagement in Sanskrit have shattered previously held stereotypical notions that Sanskrit is a difficult language, the preserve of a few, or a language dismissed off for retirees.  This year, Samskrita Bharati USA hosts Jaahnavii 2010, a family residential spoken sanskrit camp that is planned from September 3rd-6th at Camp Louemma in Sussex, New Jersey.  Gangotri 2010, the first mid-west residential spoken Sanskrit camp will be held on August 28th & 29th at the Vivekananda Vedanta Society & Retreat Center in Ganges, Michigan.  Being family-based, these camps will enable different generations to come together with the common purpose of speaking Sanskrit.   Each generation enables and reinforces the other, and Sanskrit evolves as the amicable glue that bonds everyone together during an unforgettable Sanskrit immersion experience. 'Immerse and converse' is the mantra at these camps where Sanskrit is deftly interwoven amidst typical fun-filled camp activities.

Given the resounding success of Samskrita Bharati's efforts at popularizing Sanskrit in the United States over the past decade, the efforts to scale new heights in the next decade is ongoing.  Cheers to the dreams for 2020,  our vision of perfection!!

For information on Samskrita Bharati's classes, camps, and distance learning programs, visit our website:  http://www.samskritabharati.org

For information on jaahnavii 2010 camp: http://www.samskritabharati.org/jaahnavii

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(Jyotsna Kalavar lives in Monroeville, PA with her family. A faculty member at Penn State University, she enjoys teaching gerontology, reading Vedanta, and learning Sanskrit. )

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