Bhujangi: The First Time

Bhujangi was a great experience for me, I have done a lot of camps such as bhangra camp but this camp is the best. I met a lot of new people who were from different places and be came strangers to brothers now. Throughout the 10 days we were there, we learned a lot about Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Martial skills, life skills, Gurumukhi and more. Read more

Bhujangan: Reflections from a Second-Year Vet

I am a two-time camper at Bhanjangan and have had a positive experience both years. This year, in particular, the theme of the camp expressed the importance of self-love, a comprehensive word for self-esteem and confidence. Understanding the necessity of this self-love is crucial as it can lead to a greater awareness of oneself. The counselors drove home this idea and made it possible for the campers to find that confidence. Furthermore, this theme was connected to and furthered by a shabad that we analyzed together, gathering different perspectives on its meaning. We also talked about integrity as well as the values that we individually deemed important, such as respect, responsibility, and fairness, and how those values can affect the way we view life. Read more

Misl LA: Growing a garden - growing a community

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh! Jakara Misl LA held a youth event Sunday on July 27th in the form of the kids’ gardening day camp – Mata Dharat Mahat. This was an opportunity for the Sangat to connect with nature in the unlikely venue of LA’s “concrete jungle” in order to instill Sikh teachings with environmental responsibility, and connect with the Guru through nature and seva. The months leading up to the event were filled with the hard work of Jakara sevadaars who toiled on the weekends to transform a previously decaying urban lot adjacent to the Khalsa Care Foundation (KCF) into a sustainable and environmentally friendly garden. The project rapidly emerged as an enduring symbol of our Panth’s commitment to bettering our surroundings for all creatures and experiencing the loving spirit of Waheguru in all things. It has also quickly become an example of how a few helping hands can come together in their free time to make a significant positive change in the community. We initially were not expecting a large turnout of participants for the camp, but were pleasantly surprised when more than sixty youth between the ages of four and sixteen showed up on Sunday morning eager to participate (along with many curious parents too). All participants were provided with a water bottle, gardening apron, and trowel at the registration table. The kids were definitely thrilled to receive these useful mementos. The camp introduction consisted of a presentation by the sevadaars on the concepts of urban transformation, localized agricultural techniques such as tilling, crop selection, environmentally efficient irrigation, the role of the community in nature, and a series of Sakhis and Gurbani selections on one’s connection and commitment to the environment. Read more

Bhujangan: The Power of Sisterhood

Bhujangan is much more than merely a retreat over the course of four days and three nights with 15 young ladies. This leadership camp has truly managed to embody the strength, confidence, passion and eagerness to learn attitude of our next generation of Kaur leaders. Through my very first moments of exposure with the curriculum and those involved in making this event possible, I knew I was going to experience an adventure of a lifetime. Read more

Bhujangan: From Strangers to Sisters

My name is Harleen Dhillon and this was my first time going to Bhujangan this year. For the four days we were gone I learned a lot from those who I was surrounded by. From the moderators to the youngsters everyone had a great time. The time spent hiking, horseback riding, and swimming was just a plus to this camp. In reality, the older girls were able to connect with the younger girls despite the age gap. We were able to connect through our life experiences and learn from them by sharing. Read more

Bhujangi: Beyond the Ten Days

Bhujangi Youth Academy has a special dear place in my heart.  This camp in many ways is a personal conversation between my few Sikh camp experiences as a youth, as well as an opportunity to create a safe place for young men to explore, grow, and be inspired. I don’t remember too many Sikh camp experiences, but all my memories seemed to be around the ‘panga’ (trouble) we took and friendships formed during the summer, rather than any of the content.  In fact, most of my memories were of a rather strict agenda with classes that rarely piqued my interest.  Still the group spirit and dynamics left all with a strong sense of Sikh identity and excitement. Read more

A Bhujangi's Reflections

Waheguru Jee Ka Khalsa Waheguru Jee Kee Fateh! Just wanted to talk about how Bhujangi was for me as a first timer. Bhujangi was an amazing experience and it taught me a lot. This was my first time being away from home, so I felt a bit homesick, but all of my brothers helped me get through it. For me, this was a first time experience. I learned a lot in the 9-10 days we were there. Some things I learned were stories about Guru Gobind Singh Jee in history, life skills, learning drill, and some martial art moves. With all these classes, we also did many activities together, such as kayaking, hiking, football, and paintballing. Read more

5 Reasons to Go To the Misl Sac Summer Picnic

So the post-Lalkaar blues are ending, and you're returning back to your normal daily routine. Between summer school, LSAT classes, "liking" pics on Facebook, or whatever else you have going on, we write this post as a friendly reminder, but also to stir that feeling within you that attending a conference is not enough. The real purpose of 'localizing the revolution' is to bring the messages back to your home community.  As your picture with the placard states - the revolution starts with you. Read more

LalkaarCA 2013: A Journey of Personal Growth

A friend once told me that college is the time when the most transformation in character takes place. Whether it’s to define your identity and purpose in life, or to redefine the way you see yourself and the world, it has become apparent to me how influential these tender years of early adulthood are in the development of a person. Thus, I believe that as young college and post-college adults, there couldn’t be a better time in our lives to explore, learn, inspire, and educate ourselves and our fellow Sangat members about our identities as Sikhs in the Western world. Every summer, Lalkaar offers a safe space for discussion, education, and activism to take place. Not to mention the genuine connections and friendships we build that last us beyond the four-day Conference. Read more

More Than A Conference Lalkaar-NY 2013

When I first learned of Lalkaar,  I thought it was going to be just like the other camps I attended in the past, where I was one of the only individuals with my hair cut and I wasn't going to connect that well because my Punjabi isn't the best. However, the fact that it wasn't going to be uncle-auntie dominated and we were going to discuss "the topics that we can't discuss anywhere else" really attracted me so I decided to give it a try. When I arrived, there wasn't mama's roti and aloo gobi to greet me. However, the experience was salvaged because I almost immediately made some friends over lunch. I continued to do so throughout the weekend, as the other participants and I took part in discussions and activities.One of my favorite parts of the retreat was open mic night on Saturday. I was amazed by the amount of awe inspiring talent among just the eighty or so of us there. Also, I greatly enjoyed how welcoming the atmosphere was to individuals who may have been shyer in a different setting. As an audience, we responded to each performance with formidable  applause.The entire weekend was filled with a tremendous balance of diwan, workshops, and outdoor activities. I really appreciated the fact that we were able to present what we developed in our workshops, rather than have our thoughts applied to a poster board and then thrown away two days later.One of the best things about Lalkaar was that nobody was there just for the conference. They were there to learn as much as they could, engage in discussions, and most importantly, make lifelong friends. Almost immediately after leaving the campsite, I was bombarded with Facebook requests and sent out a bunch of my own. Everybody seemed to connect really well even though it was just a weekend conference.Overall, the Lalkaar experience has made me excited to build up our own DMV Misl and host our own array of events, hopefully culminating with the inception of our own Lalkaar DMV one day!-Amolak Kahlon

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