Family Camps in Russia

Eighty people attended a family camp during 20th to 26th June 2015 in Moscow, themed “Seven Colours of Joy.” The event was organised to serve children and help the participants realise that divinity is omnipresent. The camp opened with a sports event where participants were divided into three teams and passed five tests of endurance, intelligence and solidarity. Universal human values were emphasised by fairy-tale characters played by children, and 16 human values classes were conducted by eight teachers. Camp participants also visited an orphanage to serve and entertain disadvantaged children in creative ways. Camp activities included singing, performing plays from parables and fairy tales, playing outdoor games and dancing.  As a blessing from Swami, on the final day, a rainbow appeared in the morning sky and a small cloud in the shape of Om drifted by.

An annual family camp, with the theme “Love and Service,” was organised in the Volga-Ural region of Russia from 22nd to 26th June and attended by 65 people from 15 Sathya Sai Centres and Groups. The camp focused on practical application of the five human values in everyday life. In a playful journey, participants boarded a magical ship called Love, and travelled along a river called Life, and visited several islands to discover the lost “pearls” of human values. Every day, participating players located one human value, in this game. On the closing day, all the “pearls” representing human values were offered at the feet of Sathya Sai Baba, thus teaching the children to place the fruits of their good deeds at the feet of the Lord. Several camp activities and creative workshops were also organised at the camp. The children demonstrated their initiative and culinary skills by cooking dinner for everyone, one day! In an evening programme, camp attendees jumped over a fire, a symbol of warmth, cleanliness and light. In the Russian tradition, fire purifies the surroundings and protects everyone from evil spirits – which is the origin of the Russian custom of jumping over a fire during a cultural performance or a ceremony.

A Sai family camp was held in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia from 19th to 26th July 2015 for the benefit of 53 Sathya Sai members and 15 newcomers from six cities. The children sang devotional songs in the morning and evening, and several teachers conducted human values classes daily with love, joy and enthusiasm. A concert was organised by the children and others to express gratitude to the teachers, and two seminars were held for parents and teachers. The participants also took part in Sai Olympics. At the end of the camp, the attendees felt energised and motivated, and said that they were looking forward to the next camp.

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