Chinmaya Mission London, Canada, conducted their inaugural ‘Camp Bheeshma: Finding Calmness in Chaos’ for high school youth from 13 to 16 March 2023 at their centre Chinmaya Hanuman in London. This camp, led by Shri. Vivek and Shri Shankar, focused on finding Calmness in the Chaos: how to overcome moods such as stress, anger, and laziness, and transform them into peace. The campers learned valuable lessons compacted in acronyms that made them easy to remember and practice in their lives. In order to move towards the light, one must practice ‘ECO’: Engage, Chant, Observe. The mark of an individual who is above their mind is someone who observes, and the mark of an observant individual is organisation. The campers also learned the importance of taking their vitamins, specifically vitamin R3: Read, Write, and Reflect. In order to engage, chant, and observe, one must first practice, and what better way to do so than spending fifteen minutes in the morning reading, writing, and reflecting on a meaningful text?
The lessons taught and learned in this camp surpassed the classroom environment. Campers performed seva and even ate with their hands! Though not traditional lessons, these activities taught self-discipline and provided campers with an opportunity to complete tasks with a new purpose. In between lessons, there were many opportunities for campers to stretch their legs and be active. Shri. Vivek and Shri. Shankar led activities such as dodgeball, boss bodyguard, and playing soccer. The losing teams did push-ups outside in the snow, which was truly a bonding experience for all! Camp Bheeshma came to an end with the hope that it would be longer in duration next year, as expressed by many of the campers.