1994 - 2004 | Ten Years and Still Strong!    
 
    Home
    About Us
    West Coast Camp
    WCSYA Events
    Multimedia Library
    Links
 



 
WCSYA Summer Camps

Sikh youth from around the world gather yearly to come together for the opportunity to practice Sikhi in a positive environment. Summer camps provide a refreshing return to spiritual roots. Darbars in camp bring floods of peace to young souls of all temporal ages. West Coast Sikh Youth Alliance is thankful to the Almighty for having the chance to serve the community in this way. In 2004 we celebrated our tenth anniversary. We thank all those who made this possible.


Special Events

Around Camp 2004, there were some very special events that took place. Some of the highlights were:

  • Special yoga lessons and deep sleeps!

  • Amazing gatka classes which push you to the edge... and then there's advanced gatka - a whole other playing field.

  • A spectacular martial arts demonstration with international flavour featuring Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara, and Sikh youth from Surrey, BC.

  • Kaur Power, Baba Earl, "Somebody," Capture the flag...

  • The Sikh Sensational Variety Show

  • "The Sikh Jeopardy" comedy game show

  • The In-Door Sports Day and Crazy team cheers.

  • Special Awards Ceremonies during and after camp

  • Other special moments for campers and counselors were the charming (haha) nose bleeds, sprained ankles, broken legs, and of course rising spirits, heartfelt speeches, the last night of "Charn Chalo" and the bus ride home.

    And we can never forget the amazing blessings of Guru Ji in allowing us to celebrate the 400th Prakash Divas of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji during camp.


 
   



   
 
Darbar Sahib

On the first morning of camp the counselor's rushed to get out of bed, with one of them doing the parkaash. The Campers too tumbled out of bed and ran to the showers. All in a rush they ran, with pugri's and rumaal's half done, chunni's and shawls flying, and shoes and chuppals unbalanced to the front of the Darbar Hall. The days afterwards were easier for campers, as they got into a routine of rising early. Counselors made it mandatory for every camper to attend, so that everyone had a chance to participate and learn as a member of the Guru's sangat. The schedule for the morning darbaar was:

  • Simran
  • Paat (Starting with Jap Ji Sahib, one bani was added and read each day)
  • Keertan
  • Hukamnama

All of the shabads recited in keertan, all of the hukamnamas and banees were explained as much as possible in English.

 

   



   
 
Mind over Matter... Martial Arts & Meditation

Gatka, Intense Gatka & Yoga classes were an uphill battle - At first, many of the campers were out of shape and out of spirit, and it took them the course of the first two lessons to get into the mood.

However, the opportunity to learn the martial teachings of the Sikh Gurus is not just an event, but an honor, and soon the campers realized how privelaged they were to be learning this sacred martial art. The instructors taught the campers some valuable tools of self defense, and made them aware that Gatka is not learned in a day, but through a process of devotion, practice and discipline.

Everybody was delighted to be able to learn not only self defence, but self-awareness. Taking extreme care for the students learning levels and showing a great commitment to teaching. special efforts were made to teach the campers self-awareness techniques and ways of thinking in crisis situations. Students participated in various scenarios and actively trained them in avoiding, dealing with and solving problems in any dangerous environment.

The campers were equally excited to be able to learn Yoga. Yoga was scheduled at a time when campers were just returning from activities, and would have the opportunity to stretch their tired muscles and rebuild their lost energies.  

By the end of the camp, counsellors and campers alike were inspired to include phsyical activity and spiritual control into their lifestyle development as young Sikhs.


Click here for the Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara website.

 

   



 

   

 

 
Recreation

At WCSYA Camp 2004, the recreation was a highlight of the experience. The activities as organized by volunteers and counselors were enjoyable and challenging, and required campers to use teamwork, and have fun!

The activities available to campers throughout the experience included:

  • Volleyball on the sand area
  • Kayaking and boating in the lake
  • Swimming or sitting on shore and getting soaked anyway by pranksters
  • Trudging around in the quick-sand (haha)
  • Basketball, volleyball and soccer or just chilling out
  • Tubing... ahh, tubing...
  • Taking leisurely drives to the hospital for injuries (just joking).
   


   
 
Workshops

All of the campers, enjoyed the lectures and workshops by the youth counselors. Some of the campers learned on more introductory Sikh issues, while some went further into Sikh traditions and history. The older campers (aged 13 and up) participated in the following workshops:

  • In gurdwara protocal class the campers were taught the basic guidelines and traditions of a Gurudwara. This important lecture was given in the Guru's court, so that all could see the significance of the respect and honour that Sikhs give to the Guru. During morning and evening darbaar at camp, the campers had the chance to participate in seva and show what they had learned from Gurdwara protocol class.

  • Counselors discussed various topics including the life of Guru Angad Dev Ji (in commemoration of the 500th Prakash Divas), or the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib Ji (in commemoration of the 400th Prakash Divas) and interlinked it with philosophical discussion on Sikh teachings and living in the world while keeping control of the five vices (lust, anger, greed, worldly attachment and egotistic pride) which distract people from spiritual peace. The counselors also spoke on their personal examples and gave the campers many opportunities to get involved in the discussion.
  • Junior Group counselors worked together teaching the younger groups about the basics of Sikhi. The counselors told stories of Sikh history, and the campers demonstrated their new knowledge by drawing posters about the stories.
  • The senior groups were also presented with lectures on famous Sikh topics like the Operation Bluestar of 1984 and the Shaheedi of the Khalsas in Guru Gobind Singh Ji's Army in 1704 at Sirhand and Chamkaur.

The Camp 2004 Workshops were given by several counsellors, for all different age groups.

 

   



   
 
Langar

The Langar preparation, service, and cleanup involved tireless seva from the aunties, counsellors, and groups of campers.

Campers always did ardas before eating, saying the shabd "Daddha Daata Ek Hai...", proclaiming that there is only one giver, who gives to all; gives without limit; gives without bias. Consuming our langar, given by God, we thank God for this blessing, and give our ardas in praising God.

All the aunties put in lots of hard work into preparing meals for not only themselves but all the campers and counselors. Once the meal was made, the counselors would serve the campers. Once all the campers finished eating, there would be one group of them including their counselors who was assigned for kitchen sewa in which they would wash dishes, serve the couselors and aunties, and sweep the langar hall.

Please note: Any uncles who would like to volunteer please e-mail us for information!

 

   



   
 
Campfire

  During campfire, counselors would put on skits and sing funny songs for campers.  The campfire took place for a few of the days at camp and counselors and campers alike told hilarious, or frightening stories. Campers would enjoy Hot Chocolate and popcorn and would go to their cabins escorted by counselors for "lights out" (sleep time) at 10:00pm


 

   
 


   
 
After Camp

Every year, campers, counsellors and volunteers leave camp saddened to end this valuable experience, but very uplifted and inspired to continue obtaining and applying the knowledge they have learned from camp in their day-to-day lives.

The West Coast crew meets each year at PNE, for a fun-filled day out, a few days after camp is over.

WCSYA also meets at the annual picnic in Burnaby, where everybody shares pictures, stories and food.



All counsellors and campers are encouraged to attend after-camp activities such as youth programs, picnics and the trip to Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) in Vancouver, BC.