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Chinmaya Mission Chicago Badri’s Annual Vedic Heritage Youth Camp


WILLOWBROOK, IL- Chinmaya Mission Chicago’s Badri center in Willowbrook, IL, successfully completed the first week of its 3-week Annual Vedic Heritage Youth Camp for K-12 grades on Sunday, July 14, 2019.

The camp kicked off with the auspicious Poorna Kumbha ceremony and the lighting of the lamps on Monday, July 8, 2019. The theme of the camp is Adi Sankara – His Life & Contributions. About 90 children have enrolled in the 3-week camp, with attendees coming from California, New York, Michigan, Georgia and Texas.

During the first week, the children began every day with a 45-minute yoga session, followed by learning of slokas. Spiritual classes were conducted by Swami Sharanananda and various Acharyas, with support from Bala Vihar teachers. The children learned about Adi Sankara’s life and the Guru Parampara through stories, games, and classroom discussions. On Thursday, the children performed the Guru Paduka Puja, offering their devotion to all the Gurus, under the guidance of Swami Sharanananda.

Afternoons were filled with fun activities such as arts and crafts, outdoor games including volleyball, cricket and table tennis, and cultural program practice. Children in grades 7 through 12 were challenged by the extempore speech competition on Friday. Saturday was the day of Fun Fair with the ever-favorite Dunk Tank, where the children got to dunk Swami Sharanananda. Other popular attractions included the bounce castle, the snow cones, and cotton candy.

Parents were invited to attend the final day’s event on Sunday, where the children from all grades presented their plays on Adi Sankara’s life and teachings. They also shared the slokas they had learned and sang the catchy theme song that detailed the life of Adi Sankara. The camp offered a great opportunity for children to beat the usual midsummer boredom that seems to hit every year, by challenging and inspiring their minds with spiritual teachings, friendly competitions, and creative pursuits.

Badri’s Annual Vedic Heritage Camp continues till July 26th.