At KCMV we are ALWAYS trying to think of new things that can help our campers achieve different goals. Over the past few years we have realized a lot of our campers aren’t allowed to play outside or aren’t allowed to walk to the grocery store by themselves. They are living sheltered lives which is preventing them from building self-confidence.
Herb veerjee from the United States spent the entire summer at KCMV with his family and he came up with the idea on building the Suspension Bridge across the Khalsa Creek. We first thought it was a great project and would be easy. We thought it would take a few weeks to complete. BOY OH BOY were we WRONG!!!
Construction of the Bridge was completed in time for the WCSYA 21st Annual Camp. It took ALL SUMMER!!! Herb veerjee would be attached to the wires hanging in the air. He would be attached with his harness and was screwing in the planks of the bridge. He would work 12-14 hour days on the bridge. Steven veerjee also helped with the back ups and the running the wire across the creek.
If you remember the details of this summer it was one of the hottest summers BC has ever had. We were in a drought situation. It got as hot as 35 degrees during some of the summer days and it was brutal to be working in the middle of the creek.
With guru ji’s kirpa and a lot of dedication from the Head family we were able to complete the bridge. We had a Name the Bridge Contest during the WCSYA 21st Camp and we named it NIRBHAU SUSPENSION BRIDGE. Nirbhau means to be without fear.
I crossed the bridge a few weeks ago and you really need to be fearless. The bridge sways side to side while you walk on it. It is such a COOL experience. We are looking forward to using it during our hikes and challenge course training for Khalsa School students and Khalsa Centre Campers.
Thank you HEAD FAMILY!!!
We have hit a HUGE milestone at Khalsa Centre @ Miracle Valley we opened up the 5th campus of Khalsa Schools in September. This 5th campus was always on the goal list for Satnam Education Society but this year it became a reality. Our Cedars (bunk bed building) became Khalsa School Campus.
Many people in the sangat said it is too far – way too far to get any students. Well, they were SUPER WRONG!! We opened our doors on the Tuesday after Labour Day and we have classes from KG to Grade 6. Our students are from Abbotsford and Mission and they come daily on the bus with Nanak Singh. It is a blissful bus ride with naam simran and memorization of Japji Sahib that takes place daily.
On the first day, I rode the bus to collect the kids, it was such an awesome feeling – the kids were so full of energy. We had practiced the bus route a few times so we had no hiccups on this day and it was a super smooth ride to KCMV.
Since opening the students have been participating an outdoor education program. The have experienced the Rock-wall, Archery wall and Vertical Playpen. These activities have been challenges for the students as none of them have ever done any of these activities. Some of our KG students have made it to the top of the rock wall and they felt victorious when they rang the bell. On the archery wall, they have learned about the physics of force and hand and eye coordination. On the vertical playpen most of the students have conquered the net we are still working on the tire and ladders.
Our students have used the natural landscape for painting and have come up with the most beautiful drawings. They have also been exploring the Khalsa Centre Hikes and even the farm. The farm has been interesting for the students as they have seen the plowing of the fields, the planting of the blueberries, the sawdust mixing and have even recently been exploring the natural made ditches. The rain has been so forceful that it has created natural ditches and we have explored the dirt and mud textures around the ditches.
We had our first gurpurab celebration and the students did speeches about Guru Ram Das ji and the younger students colored a picture and spoke about one thing each about Guru Ram Das ji. The students than enjoyed langar and then watched a movie about the Sikh Warriors.
Khalsa School Mission will be one of the premier schools to attend in the Fraser Valley in the next few years and I look forward to seeing the progression.
The first annual Sikh Spirit Bike Ride took place on August 15th, 2015 and it was the most amazing experience of my entire life!!! I feel accomplished – I rode the entire way!!!
The Sikh Spirit Bike Ride’s goal was to raise awareness about the Sikh faith and also we rode for healthy minds, body and souls. Our bike ride began at Khalsa Centre @ Miracle Valley in Mission at 6am, it was raining but we kept our spirits high and even did a little prayer for the rain to stop. We had 38 riders for our ride, ages 9-58 years of age, with various fitness levels. We had riders from BC, Texas, Scotland, England and of course, Mission and Abbotsford. All of those who set their mind to completing the 90k ride, all did.
We were escorted by the AL from the Mission RCMP, who came in on his day off. We thank him for his help to ensure all our riders stayed safe on the highway.
We are super happy with the success of our 1st annual ride and hope our ride continues to bigger and we can raise awareness of health and the Sikh faith.
We would like to encourage other community members to stay active and stay healthy.
Our stops at the Mission Chamber if Commerce and Abbotsford’s Banda Singh Bahadur Gurdwara Sahib were well appreciated by all riders. Community members gathered to greet us, warm us up, feed us pakoras and warm tea. We ended our ride at Khalsa School in Surrey and we were greeted by close to 100 members of the community. We felt a sense of accomplishment and pride as we rolled into the school and were greeted with loud cheers.
Ken Herar, from Cycling for Diversity, Bob Aulakh from Kids for Cancer, Sukhdeep Singh and Amarjeet Singh from Hand on Your Back Kids cancer were some notable riders that supported our ride.
I had the opportunity to participate in the first annual Sikh Spirit Ride on August 15th from Mission to Surrey. Haven’t been on my bike since our Cycling4Diversity event last May all I say is my biking muscles need a bit of pedaling. Overall, I had a wonderful time and met lots of wonderful riders and actually got to wear a turban for the second time in my life.
The first time is when I got married. Wearing a turban is not as easy as people may think. I applaud the people who do because on occasion people do like to stare or take second looks, which can be difficult. I have often been told by some that I am the whitest East Indian they have ever met. Actually, I am extremely proud of my Sikh heritage and was honoured to support community in this endevour.
Sundeep Kaur, Camp Director at Khalsa Centre in Miracle Valley said, “The Sikh Spirit Bike Ride’s goal was to raise awareness about the Sikh faith and we also rode for healthy minds, body and souls. Our bike ride began at Khalsa Centre at Miracle Valley in Mission at 6am, it was raining, but we kept our spirits high and even did a little prayer for the rain to stop. We had 38 riders for our ride, ages 9-58 years of age, with various fitness levels. We had riders from BC, Texas, Scotland, England and of course, Mission and Abbotsford. All of those who set their mind to completing the 90k ride, did.
“We were escorted by the Mission RCMP and would like to thank them for keeping us safe. We are super happy with the success of our 1st annual ride and hope our ride continues to get bigger and we can raise awareness of health and the Sikh faith”, said Sundeep Kaur.
I had the opportunity to meet Bob Ahuja on this day, who is from Abbotsford and has been a charity rider. He got involved in 2009 with the Ride to Conquer Cancer from Vancouver to Seattle and Sears National Kids Cancer Ride in honor of of his two cousins, who passed away due to cancer. In a few short days, he will be again dipping his wheel in the Pacific Ocean and riding east to Halifax again as a national rider . Ahuja said, ” I hope to reach out to all British Columbians that somebody out there will want to do the ride next year and also donate even a dollar to help reach my goal of $25,000.”
I recently bumped into a former local transit bus driver and he shared one of the best diversity stories I have heard in a long time. At times we hear of all the negative when it comes to riding transit, but this one touches the heart on what our community is truly all about. He did not want to disclose his name and said when he was driving transit around town there was an elderly Sikh gentlemen who would ride every day just so he could better his English, while sitting around other riders on the bus. He would purposely sit in a seat where he could hear people speak. All I can say is good for everyone in restoring faith in our humanity in being gentle with each other.
***Clayton Ingle, president of the Abbotsford Lions, is participating in the10th Annual Easter Seals Drop Zones in Vancouver on Sept 9th at 999 West Hastings. **During the past 7 years, he has raised almost 20k**. This year alone he has raised * *$2,400.00 **and is still fundraising. You can support him by going online to http://www.thedropzone.ca/<http://www.thedropzone.ca/> then clicking Support a Hero then go to location Vancouver and then donate on Clayton Ingle.
What’s in store for the new year?
Wow it’s already March and we have so much exciting news at KCMV. Our spring break camp starts on Monday and we waiting for all the cool sangat to arrive.
Our summer camp planning is in full swing and we hiring our summer staff and looking forward to the best summer yet.
The most exciting thing happening right now is that we have opened up registration for Khalsa School Mission. The 5th campus of Khalsa Schools will be at KCMV. How cool is that???? A school that focuses on outdoor education- will be the best school ever. We already have over 2700 students attending Khalsa Schools and now we will have many many more!!!
Read an article from the Mission Record that featured our school.
What is like being a KCMV camper?
Being a camper at KCMV will be one of the best experiences of your life. The only hard thing about camp is you have to wake up early but everything else is lots of fun. You get to do paintball in the woods you get to play capture the flag and also might get to shoot Sundeep Kaur (aka the camp director)! Other really fun things are gatka, we learn how to defend yourself and it also teaches you how Sikh soldiers fought throughout our history. Horseback riding is also one of the activities you get to do. I think it’s the best activity you get to do because you feels big because you’re RIDING A HORSE! The workshops are very, VERY interesting they are usually about the difficult times Sikhs have gone through or about making us better member of society. There is also rock climbing, high ropes, and zip line. Rock climbing if you like” living on the edge” rock climbing is definitely something you will enjoy this activity is skyrocketing in popularity. High ropes imagine dangling in the air after your friend jumps of the line? No your friend won’t do that to you. Learn to trust your peers on the high ropes conquer your fear of heights as you cross over the rickety bridge and ropes. Zip line can you imagine soaring through the air at a fast speed?! Just imagine the wind hitting your face and your lungs on fire. Zip lining is an experience you will not want to miss. Canoeing will help you conquer your fear of water – jump in a solo kayak or a canoe and enjoy an afternoon on Khalsa Lake. They promise you that you will get wet and it will be fun! Other fun things are Cascade Falls Hike! We hiked up the mountain to a pristine and crystal clear water fall. AND THEN WE WENT CLIFF DIVING!!!!!! Enjoy the serenity of the cold crisp water hitting the rocks and splashing on your feet. Ever wish you were Robin Hood? Develop an archer’s skill and show off your talent to the entire camp in a demonstration during the KCMV Talent Night. At the talent night watch and maybe performer a dance or sing a song or try to be like Sundeep Phenji, my favourite part of camp is the camp fire! Have you seen a KCMV campfire? There almost about four meters tall OMG you’ll say!!!!!! Don’t forgot that bedtime is at 11:00pm BUT stay up and play cards or play some tunes…its the best part!!! When I go to Khalsa CentreI I NEVER want to leave!!!Ranj Singh Kooner Age 13 – Vancouver BC
My Summer Memory
Simrun Kaur Hundal
“How was your summer?” This is the question that I was asked by countless people upon my return home. It had been nearly 2 months since I had first set off on our trans-continental adventure, spanning the Coasts from East to West. How could I properly describe all of the experiences I’d had in the myriad of places I had visited? From Elvis’s Graceland in Memphis, to Churchill Downs in Kentucky, to a wedding in New Jersey, and on to Prince Edwards Island, a ferry from Nova Scotia to Labrador, and a complete turnaround that concluded with our arrival in Surrey. In this manner we managed to visit each land-locked state of the US, along with all of the southern Canadian provinces.
So, when asked the question, “How was your summer?” I have to pause for a moment to recollect exactly where I’d been and what I’d done. However, the portion of our journey that remains foremost in my mind is centered around Mission, B.C.—specifically, Khalsa Centre Miracle Valley. This is generally what I am thinking of when I answer that my summer was beyond compare.
I feel that a lasting memory is made, not solely by an experience that is had, but, also, by the people whom the experience is with. And at KCMV, it was the Sangat that truly made the experience a time worth remembering. Such a diverse range of people, each with his/her own individual thoughts and ideas to bring to the table; how could 2 weeks possibly be enough time in which to acquire a wealth of information and cement friendships that would stretch across the globe? And, yet, somehow we managed just that.
Rising up in the early, pre-dawn hours, I would get ready and make my way to morning Divans, walking through the brisk air to reach the Gurdwara. As the sun rose above the horizon, the sounds of the Sangat would carry across the grounds as we all partook in Asa-Ki-Var. The harmonies that were achieved during these times were unparalleled, and they made me grateful to be a part of the present moment, able to achieve such a state of contentment with a Sangat whom I considered to be nothing less than my family. There was nothing that could compare to the rising swell of voices, paralleling the glory of the rising sun.
The mornings also provided many opportunities for learning about a variety of topics, from how to make Deg, to the meaning of the Hukumnama, and the reasoning and logic behind Divan protocols. No opportunity was wasted in the efforts to expand our cognizance of Sikhi.
Not only was critical thinking encouraged and developed amongst the Sidakers, but the principle of Seva was constantly fulfilled, as well, as we all assisted in various duties throughout the day. Not only did this aid in the upkeep of the facility, but it also helped to build a stronger sense of rapport among the Sidakers whilst allowing them to pursue a fundamental aspect of Sikhi.
For myself, I gained a profound deal of knowledge during my Sikhi 201 classes. Each session was designed to challenge our mind processes and the reasons behind our personal beliefs. Each tidbit of information was a crucial detail in the overall lesson plan that encouraged us, not only to think, but to do. For my part, I learned the importance of simply questioning “Why?” Through constant debate, questions were raised that had us thinking of our own societies, and they had us seeking solutions to the problems that existed within our own communities.
However, as informative as the classes were, I found that the discussions continued afterwards were far more memorable because, even though the sessions were over, the Sidakers engaged in discussions that were fueled by their personal passions and heightened levels of interest. Debates would ensue during mealtimes, conversations would continue during open afternoons—the atmosphere was such that each person was genuinely wanting to contribute to each conversation and constantly develop the ideas that were presented. There were no guidelines to follow, nor was there any indication that a wrong idea would be scornfully dismissed because there were no wrong ideas. Each person’s input was valued and accepted, even if there was a disagreement about it. This is where I saw the knowledge acquired in classes truly utilized and put into practice.
And yet, these 2 weeks weren’t fully comprised of thought-provoking discussions and critical analyses—they were punctuated most days by engaging activities set up by the KCMV staff. These activities brought about fits of laughter and complete joy from the Rock Wall and High Ropes Course, to Kayaking and Volleyball. These simple moments are often the ones that build the greatest memories.
Though we may have undergone some anxiety from the homework we’d been assigned, or the dozens of pages of reading we sometimes had to do, it was all worth it, because we gained such an insight into a variety of issues, ranging from women’s issues to farmer suicides to an education of Gurmat Sangeet and how to become a success in the future. This information poured out from, not only readings, but a variety of speakers who were brought in to share their experiences with us, along with all of the other Sidakers, who had all achieved various success throughout their lives in a wide range of areas.
Each day followed the same routine for me, but that is where the familiarity ended, because I was constantly awash in a sea of experience and enlightenment. I may have foundered at times, but my Sangat was always there to raise me up and support me if I was ever in need of assistance. I was there to do the same for others, whether it be through the sharing of knowledge, laughter, skills, or time. This passion, acceptance and familial atmosphere of the Sangat were the core of my Sidak experience, and nowhere else have I felt that same sense of concord with a group of people.
It was a combination of the unique setting and impactful people whom I met that made my 2 weeks at KCMV the highlight of my summer. For those who are even mildly interested, I would fully encourage participating in Sidak, because not only have I acquired an entire hoard of knowledge, I have also made friendships with people from around the world. No other experience could ever compare, and I only wish that we could have continued on longer. We only chipped off a tip of the iceberg during our 2 weeks there, and there is always more to be learned from an experience such as this. Though I have returned home to Kansas now, I am always constantly reminded of the fact that, though we may be divided by physical barriers, we are always connected through our minds, ideas, thoughts, and memories.