A Successful Summer Camp for Children in Seattle DDM
The theme for the 2007 Children Summer Camp was 'Moral Cultivation'. The camp was led by four experienced instructors from Taiwan.
This three-day event was held from 25 to 27 June 2007 at Dharma Drum Mountain's Seattle Branch, United States. The responses from both participants and their parents were positive, with participants finding the event educational, inspirational, exciting and interesting.
This is the time that DDM Seattle hosted a summer camp for children. The popularity of the event led to an increase in the participation rate; the number of placements for this event increased from 20 to 26. The event also attracted 20 volunteers to take care of the camp's chores.
The young participants reported to the camp at 8:30am on the first day. The program commenced with the Eight Form Moving Meditation exercise to help them relax their body and mind. It was an honor for DDM to have experienced instructors teach the children the spirit of teamwork in various activities.
Through the 'Practicing Chan in Daily Life' program, the children learnt the spirit of Chan, to build up their concentration and ways to apply the Dharma in daily life.
Indoor and outdoor activities such as jump rope, using water to practice mindfulness, word games and so forth, were all designed to raise the children's awareness of their natural surroundings. All participants showed dedication and gave their "best shot" in all the activities they participated in.
The educational program 'Journey of Nature' was specially designed to teach children the significance of being mindful of their natural surroundings. For instance, children were instructed to close their eyes and be aware of their feelings and sensations as they embraced a large tree. Children were greatly inspired and realized how vivid and vibrant their surroundings were by merely listening to the different sounds.
During the 'Tea Chan' program held on the last day of the event, the children learnt the etiquettes of tea Chan through serving tea to their parents piously. At the end of the program a slideshow of the event was presented by the volunteers, to which the participants enjoyed with much enthusiasm.
The camp was ended successfully and DDM Seattle is hopeful that by organizing camps with different themes in the future and with the help of volunteers, even more people will be able to share the Dharma.
(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)