In deference to the wishes of Sant Attar Singh Ji, his devotee Sant Teja Singh Ji put forth in concrete terms the concept of combining spiritual education with modern conventional schooling. During their life times both Sant Attar Singh Ji and Sant Teja Singh Ji established a large number of educational institutions where this concept was implanted. Sant Attar Singh Ji had stated in the beginning of the last century that the only way to establish permanent peace in the world would be to spread the message of spiritual brotherhood as initiated by Guru Nanak far and wide. The concept of internationalism which is taking the western world by a storm today after fast and convenient air travel has come into being was predicted by Guru Nanak 500 years ago. He advocated truthful living and removal of all boundaries and barriers in the early 16th century. He put forth the beautiful concept of Sarbat Da Bhalla, i.e. blessings, prosperity and happiness for everyone. If one sits down and savours these thoughts, it easily dawns upon him/her how relevant the Sikh Religion, Philosophy and its way of life is in the present day world. One can easily appreciate that to rid this world of envy, jealousy, hatred, bigotry and violence, especially in the name of propagating one’s faith, the most effective way would be to follow the path shown by Guru Nanak and to adopt it as one’s way of life. The Akal International Youth Camp is a humble step in that direction. In order to reach the western educated youth they must have a direct experience of the blissful teachings of Guru Nanak. Each camper will awake early in the morning, take a bath, sing the Name of God, and say the daily prayers with love including the evening prayer. For four weeks the campers will be immersed in this practice of Amrit Vela, Naam Japo and Nitnem Path. This is the basis for understanding the reality of Sikhism. Then to answer the intellectual needs of the campers there will be studies in Punjabi, Sikh history and philosophy, literature and epics, as well as Gurbani music and santhya. Each camper will be evaluated at the beginning of camp to help him/her meet his/her target of growth in Gursikhi. There will be group discussions among the various age group on issues and concerns they may have. The camp also ensures that the stay in Baru Sahib is fun by taking the campers for trekking in the hills, various sports, horse riding, etc. as well as gatka and yoga exercises making the camp a well-rounded experience.
With the blessings of Almighty, Akal International Youth Camp 2016 begins on 26th July. Akal Purakh has showered his blessings on the young campers giving them strength and motivation to visit Baru Sahib, the Valley of Divine Peace and to absorb from within their culture, their glorious heritage and the Sikh way of life. I am sure that on their return to their country, the spiritual fragrance flowing from the young messengers of peace will spread far and wide, thereby delivering Guru Nanak’s DivineMessage of Peace and Spiritual Brotherhood to our brothers and sisters living in the west. I hope that the young enthusiasts get spiritually charged and enriched during their brief stay at Baru Sahib and this visit leaves a lasting impression on their minds.
The Kalgidhar Society
I extend a very warm and hearty welcome to the young delegates from the US, Canada, UK and Dubai who have shown a keen interest in attending the Akal International Youth Camp 2016. During your stay here you will be given an opportunity to get acquainted with your culture, your heritage, your language and, above all, the unique Sikh way of life. We fondly hope that your stay here is comfortable and you return home enriched spiritually and adequately equipped to spread the message of universal brotherhood and peace to the world.
Dr. Khem Singh Gill
The Kalgidhar Society