The annual 5 day summer camp for Tibetan children and teenagers in the UK was held from Monday the 27th July to Friday the 31st July, 2009. This was the third camp since the inception of Young Tibetans Educational Club (Y-TEC), in 2006. This year’s camp had the highest attendance yet, of 48 campers including the children, youth leaders and parents. The camp was held at the Woodland Centre of The Ruskin Mill College in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire.
The camp uses informal education methods to encourage the children to learn more about their Tibetan heritage. Each day at camp began with an assembly where the Tibetan national anthem was sung. During the course of the camp, sessions included “Gom” (meditation), “Bhoeyig” (Tibetan writing/calligraphy), “ Yinjo” (altar), Citizenship and History workshops. A themed walk of “Ne-khor” (Pilgrimage) took the children through various pilgrimage sites in Tibet including Labrang, Khawa Karpo and Ghang Rinpoche. “It was memorable”, commented one of the parents, referring to the walk and the various people the children met along the way, including an Amdo nomad, a Khampa businessman and a farmwoman from U-Tsang.
Learning Tibetan script
The penultimate day had the children taking a trip to Cotswold Water Park where the children had a chance to participate in high-ropes/climbing course and also in sailing and windsurfing. These courses are designed to develop team work and confidence.
The final day began with Sangsol (incense offering ceremony), followed by the children presenting their butter sculptures, and prayer flags with their own prayers written on, Tibetan dance and a woodwork project. The camp concluded, on an emotional note, with the hard work done by the children, being dedicated to the Tibetans in Tibet. The children were reminded that they were the future of Tibet and in being so, had to take on that responsibility.