J-CHYK Retreat 2022

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Hari Om,

On February 19th and 20th, CHYK SJ organized its first ever J-CHYK Retreat in-person at the CMSJ Ashram for students in grades 9-12. The retreat was very successful with 41 attendees, and 15-17 CHYK volunteers present each day. There were 28 volunteers in the entire CHYK team.
The camp theme was Values to Victory, reflecting on values taught by Bhagavan Rama to Vibhishanaji in Vibhishana Gita, and how these values can lead one to success in life. The CHYKs had studied Vibhishana Gita during the Fall 2021 semester, guided by Br. Sohamji. The retreat workshops were created by CHYKs to engage high schoolers and focus on topics that would be relevant to them.
On Saturday, there were three workshops. Workshop I was Master Your Mind which highlighted prioritization and how managing and dedicating our time to that which is important will bring us joy and peace of mind. Workshop II was Confide in Your Contentment where students explored how to be more self-content, highlighting the value of santosa krpana or sword of contentment. In Workshop III, East Meets West, students learned about Stoicism and analyzed some of its parallels to Vedanta.
On Sunday, there were two workshops, Choose Wisely which highlighted the value of viveka and explored decision making with relatable situations for students. Workshop V was Color Your Mind, where students created likhita japa artwork as a practice of connecting with their Ishta Devata. There were also informal small group discussions with CHYKs (CHYK Chats) and a Q&A with Sohamji, both of which had great participation. J-CHYKs asked thoughtful questions and actively engaged in all the discussions. Each day there were also creative icebreakers and fun sports which the students really enjoyed.
With Bhagavan’s grace, it was possible to have the retreat in-person. COVID safety measures were undertaken, with all attendees and volunteers remaining masked indoors, and abiding by distancing policies. The joyous energy in the ashram with CHYKs and J-CHYKs was wonderful to see. There was positive feedback from both attendees and parents on the engaging workshops and seamless event organization. All attendees left with new perspectives, inspiring points to reflect on, and a toolkit of values that will greatly help them as they navigate new situations in high school and college.

– J-CHYK Retreat Team

Student Testimonials
“I liked that we had plenty of time to ask questions of Sohamji and the CHYK leaders.”
“The Q&A with Sohamji was great, and the sport games were very creative!”
“Loved that there was not a moment wasted and every minute was planned. Enjoyed that the retreat incorporated the text into games to make it more understandable.”

All the pictures of the event can be seen here:

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