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My Impression of V.H.P Camp

By Rahul Nirmal

This camp lasted from the night of Tuesday July 18, 2000 to noon time on Sunday July 23, 2000. About 80 children attended the camp. This was smaller than in the previous camp sessions.

This camp was mainly organized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of America to promote and teach children about their Indian and Hindu culture. Surprisinly, it wasn't boring at all! The children were put in three groups. The group for the elementary children was called the Brahma group. The group for the middle school children was called the Vishnu group. Finally, the group for the high schoolers was called the Shiva group. The days seemed very long to me. The campers woke up at 7 AM and slept at 10 PM. That's 15 hours! A thing I disliked about camp was the fact that we had to sleep on the cold, hard floor with our sleeping bags. I was used to sleeping on a soft matress. I was also surrounded by about five people that snored. Also the room in which I slept in was hot. When the campers did wake up, they did the usual things such as brushing their teeth. They then went outside and had Shakha.

After that, the three groups played games, had breakfast, and then took showers. Each group did each at a different time. Then all the groups had education and arts and crafts. Most of the children liked the arts and crafts the best. Everyone then had lunch and another education. Each group volunteered everyday to help serve food at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When they did, they got points. At the last day of camp, whatever group had the most points would get a prize. So every group was desperate to help serve food. I didn't like it because they only wanted to do it for the points.

At breakfast and lunch, we ate American and Mexican food. At dinner, we ate Indian food.

So, after lunch, we had another education. Then we had 3 hours of recreation time! This was when we could go swimming, canoeing, play volleyball, basketball, etc. After that, we had our last education. So we had three education sessions that lasted an hour each. In the education sessions, we learned things such as how India fared when the Moguls and British invaded. Finally, depending on the day, we did a special activity. After that, we had dessert and went to bed. On Wednesday, our special activity was called "Group Activity". This was when all three groups competed against each other in fun games. On Thursday, we had a talent show. On Friday, we performed Garba Raas. Finally on Saturady, each group did a small play. On Sunday, the parents came and there was a closing ceremony and so everyone went home.