From Camper to Counselor | Jakara Juniors

I have been attending Jakara camps since the age of 9. Now being 17 and having the opportunity to become a counselor has allowed me to grasp the themes of our camps in an entirely different way. As a counselor I aim able to ensure every single kid goes home with enough knowledge to share with others as well as making it a priority that our campers leave with a sense of self-confidence, sangat, and fun. My first experience as a counselor has opened my eyes to truly see the importance of these camps held for the kids. Some walk in without any background knowledge of the theme, and being able to fill their minds with stories, shabads, and details of what is being taught is something I am extremely fortunate to have accomplished.Overall, this experience is one I truly cherish and certainly will continue doing as the years go on. Being a member of the Jakara movement has expanded the way I communicate with people, has immensely improved my social skills, and has made me an even more committed Sikh.Isherpreet Kaur is a member of Misl Sacramento and has been part of the Jakara family for many years. 

An experience that changed my thinking

The second time I participated in feeding the homeless I got to learn things and participate in a type of seva I really wanted to for quite some time. The first time I did this in September it was more of a project and a new learning experience in which we got to explore. We had to know what we were doing and explain it to other members in the community to raise awareness for the sacha sauda meal and collecting clothes. This Sunday afternoon all volunteers gathered at the West Sacramento Gurdwara to prepare a complete meal to serve to homeless people in downtown.  I was very excited to do this because the first time I did this, it felt great and inspired me to do more.  At the Gurdwara we all split up for different tasks such as making salad, cutting fruit, and cooking pasta. After the meal was prepared, we took it to Downtown. As we got there, this lady who was sleeping on the sidewalk, jumped up and said “ you guys the food people?”  Seeing that excitement on her familiar face felt very heart warming.  She was also wearing the clothes/ suits we donated last time we went. We first set up a table and served there. We all stood in a line serving them from hand sanitizer to food.  We then walked around the area to, to look out for more people. I got to see where they slept and the conditions they lived throughout.  They all were very thankful even if it was just one meal.  It felt sad seeing them this way, but it felt to me as If I really cared, and that we should do this more often.  Each time I feel we can make a small difference even though it’s not everything but it is something.  Seeing the happiness on their face was a feeling that I personally felt couldn’t be felt in any corner of the world I went to. This experience might not seem that big but it made me think back to the basics of a real normal life, and how in life today we find happiness in materialistic things instead of through other people and being thankful for what we have. Jit Kaur is a junior at Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep High School in Sacramento. She is an active member of both the Sikh Honor and Service Society and Misl Sacramento. 

Fun & Games at Sports Day

After the tremendous success of the first Sports Day in Fremont it was time to move down to the South Bay. We arrived at Fowler Creek Park early at 9 so we could reserve the grass area we needed for our activities. As we finished coning off our area and taking our snacks out, other MISL members started trickling in with and soon parents arrived with their children. The kids were eager to play so we started setting up a soccer field  while they played around amongst themselves. We had two of the youngest participants, a boy and a girl, choose the teams to make it a little more fun instead of having one of the older MISL members deciding. Eventually the teams were decided and we began our game of soccer. We had to add people and take out others because folks started getting tired or we had people showing up a little late. With participants getting tired we decided to move on to a different game: kickball. Initially we were thinking about doing baseball but decided that kickball would have been something that could get everyone involved. This time we mixed it up and had 2 of the older MISL members choose teams to make it a bit more even. After letting everyone from each team kick we decided to end our Sports Day with a little game of tug of war. After a couple rounds with different teams we had all the kids go against two of the older MISL members. Needless to say the kids won.

An Amazing Experience | Sacha Sauda Meal Sharing

Giving back and understanding the homeless was a great opportunity. Working at the 2 gurdwaras, West Sacramento and Pell Drive Gurdwara was amazing. First, by talking to the secetaries and asking for permission was really interesting because we got to know how the process worked. It was also an opportunity for me to explain this event. As I started to make the banner and flyers for the event I wanted it to be something that would catch people's attention. My peers (other volunteers) really helped contribute to the poster. We got pictures from the last event and enlarged them to add to the poster. Also, Gagan (one of the volunteers) used her amazing art skills to design the flyers. The first Sunday we started, the secretary announced the event and lots of people came to our booth. People asked many questions and showed lots of love by donating and by blessing us to go further. I left 2 boxes at the gurdwara so people could donate clothing any day of the week. Also, there was a poster that included info about our event. Every Sunday and Wednesday I would rush to the lobby to check on the donations. It would make my day when we saw all the donations in the boxes. Slowly as the weeks passed we got larger boxes to keep the donations. Working at the gurdwara was amazing because it helped me to be more open with people. During the event on September 13, 2014 everyone was excited to see what we had accomplished. Thank you to Palvinder and the amazing volunteers who helped contribute to this event and all the Sevadars that helped donate. Manpreet Kaur is a junior at Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep in Sacramento, CA. She is a member of the Sikh Honor & Service Society and Misl Sacramento. 

Adhhaara 2014

My experience at Adhhaara was truly unforgettable. Being new to Jakara, I wanted to gain insight and advice on how to organize events for Misl MO. Everyone was extremely welcoming, and I immediately felt a sense of community. The weekend consisted of a series of workshops and group activities that refreshed our thoughts and sparked our creativity. I learned a great deal about almost every aspect of organizing an event, from tabling at the Gurdwara to planning Lalkaar. Also, the Diwans reconnected the group every morning and evening. There was a mutual understanding that did not need to be spoken of, which I really appreciated. The appropriate infusion of Gurbani throughout the weekend was another example of this. The weekend began with a “theme” shabad, which we were reminded of each day. I cannot wait to begin planning future Misl MO events, as well as organize Lalkaar Midwest with Misl MN. I hope to attend Adhhaara next year with a variety of events to speak about, and to learn from my Jakara community! - Gurpreet Kaur, Misl St. Louis

Misl NJ: Widow Colony Screeining

Hosting its’ first ever event, the Misl New Jersey, brought in a close gathering of Sikh and non-Sikhs alike. The screening of “The Widow Colony” followed by a question and answer session with Harmeet Singh, one of the team leads in the production was an unique experience. It allowed participants to engage with one of the producers and allowed for greater insight into the thought process of how to showcase the struggles of the widows.Fighting for justice and struggling to survive in India, The Widow Colony takes an in-depth look into the lives of the widows from the 1984 Sikh genocide. Thirty years have past since the cruel injustice and plight of the Sikhs whom were brutally murdered in government sponsored pogroms. Read more

Giving Back | Sacha Sauda Meal Sharing

The homeless service event was a successful one. We started off the day by going to the gurduwara at 9:00 and sorting out the donations. The clothes were separated by gender and age group. With the help of all of the volunteers we got done in about an hour. Next some people went to help out with making the food. We made spaghetti and cut fruit. At 11:00 we started to load thedonations and food into the cars. Twenty minutes later we left to go to downtown. When we arrived the table and the supplies were set up quickly. People saw us and asked what we were doing; we told them about our plans to serve the community. They were familiar with this because the individuals mentioned "Indians" doing this before. A line started to slowly form at the table and the homeless were excited to get food. They brought along their friends and family to get free snacks and clothes. Most of the individuals were grateful and kept thanking us. It was nice to know we could give back to the community we live in. Bisman Kaur is a student at Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep. She is a member of the Sikh Honor and Service Society and Misl Sacramento. 

Turban Tying Event

Jakara Movement Misl MN with help from Sikh Society of Minnesota, SALDEF and Surat Initiative had a booth at the State Capitol grounds on August 16th. With over 20,000 people in attendance the booth spread awareness about Sikhs by tying Turbans on over 300 people. This was all possible because of the amazing volunteers and Waheguru's kirpa (God's blessing). Those who got their turban tied said on multiple occasions that the moment the turban was tied a new sense of pride came from within (even if they didn’t know much about Sikhi). Our volunteers taught the many guests of the event who Sikh's are, the importance of the 5 articles of faith along with discussing  Turban Myths and misconceptions of Sikhs. Many people were impressed by the uniqueness of Sikh culture and left with vast knowledge. They gave a lot of respect to the volunteers who were already "naturally" wearing turbans even more, by calling them "Sardaar ji". Sikhs of Minnesota were very grateful to participate in this celebration promoting Sikh awareness which was never done here before at such a high scale.  Read more

A New Experience Organizing

I had a wonderful experience organizing the houseless seva, Sacha Sauda Meal Sharing in Sacramento on September 13th. I attended the first meeting to talk about the SAT prep classes, but we also shared ideas on events. At this meeting we chose an event or program we wanted to help out with. After leaving the meeting I didn’t think I would be able to really help much. I’m still a bit shocked that we, a group of high school students, were able to organize such an event. Our group didn’t communicate at all until Palvinder helped us coordinate our second meeting. It was here we were able to talk as a group on asking stores to donate, deciding what we were going to collect, and picking a date for the event. During the first week of August our group began talking and we decided to set up a booth at the gurdwara on the weekends to let the sangat know what we were doing. We had a few problems here. Some wanted to make posters on the computer, while others wanted to make them by hand. We also realized that we all couldn’t be at the gurdwara to table-some of us had to study for tests and others had family gatherings. We decided to create a schedule and see who was free. There were some that went more than others because they have more time. I was the one in charge of making sure someone was at the gurdwara. There was one Sunday where guests came over to my house and I was very busy. I felt very bad because it was my responsibility and I was not able to make it and no one else was either. Even though it was a rough experience, it was a good one because I got to learn a lot. I learned many things from this experience. I learned about corporate donations and sponsorships. I learned about managing responsibilities, and the importance of communicating with the group. This project has taught me how to communicate with people I didn’t know that came to the booth at the gurdwara. It has taught me that disagreements happen in groups, but if you talk it out a solution is possible. I have never organized any community event nor family event, now I feel so proud that I have helped organize such an event. Karanpreet Kaur is a junior at Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep in Sacramento, CA. She is a member of the Sikh Honor & Service Society and Misl Sacramento. 

Misl Sacramento Fall 2014 Calendar

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh! As the weather starts to change (slowly), stores begin to have fall/winter clothing, and school begins it definitely means fall is here! We are also excited to bring you our Misl Sacramento Fall calendar! This fall we've got a number of events and activities planned so be sure to mark your calendars & RSVP on the website and/or Facebook! We're telling you, you don't want to miss out. We are looking for volunteers to help out with the events listed below and to come up with more ideas for events. We want to be sure we are addressing the needs of our community so if you have an idea or want to see something happen simply email today! If you are interested in helping out with a specific event listed below please email us so we can connect you with those working on that project! September 2014 September 13th 9am-1pm - Sacha Sauda Meal Sharing | Website | Facebook September 20th 5pm - Leadership Workshop - Commitment | Website | Facebook October 2014 October 4th - Hike & Misl Sacramento Meeting October 11th - Jakara Juniors  - West Sacramento Gurdwara Sahib October 18th - Leadership Development & Team Building October - SAT tutoring and Sikhya October – Sacha Sauda Blanket & Coat Drive November 2014 November – Sikhya | College Mentorship & Application Assistance November – Sacha Sauda Canned Food Drive November – General Misl Sacramento meeting & Social December 2014 December – Toy Drive

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