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Children's Camp Retreat
June 24, 2016

Hsi Lai Temple held a Children's Camp Retreat for kids aged 5-11. Twenty members of Hsi Lai's Young Adult Division served as counselors to the 68 participating children. Seven came from the same family, all grandchildren of a longstanding volunteer.

During the opening ceremony, Abbot Ven. Huidong encouraged the youngsters to foster acceptance and form friendships with each other. He then placed a sash on head counselor Timothy Tay, who laid down the ground rules to the children. "Inside Out" represented the retreat's theme, highlighting individual creativity, cooperative teamwork along with Buddhist morals.

In addition to lessons on meditation, religious etiquette and chanting, the children also enjoyed film viewings and an ice cream party. Before going to bed, everyone wrote down their daily thoughts on The Harmony Hall wall. On the last day, the kids were divided into 10 groups, each performing their own cheers and performance on stage before parents and relatives. At the conclusion, the families were invited to make a light offering together. Over two-thirds of the youngsters expressed their wish to sign up again for next year's children retreat.