The Leadership camp, titled ‘youth for transformation’ organized by EDUMEDYM, the three sectors of education, Media and youth ministry was held at St. Anthony’s high School, Jaigaon from 15th -18th May 2016. The camp YFT (youth for transformation) was participated by five Auxilium schools namely, Bandel, Barsat, Dum Dum, New Chumta and St. Anthony’s Jaigaon. St. Anthony’s school sisters, staff and students accorded a warm welcome to the four school participants and all felt at home in the calm and pleasant ambient surrounded by the enchanting Bhutan hills.
The YFT leadership camp commenced with the inaugural ceremony at 5 p.m with welcome ceremony of the chief guest Fr. Philip Tor and the Edumedym organizers and the participants by the host school, St. Anthony’s Jaigaon. The programme continued with welcome song and a mesmerizing Nepali dance. Fr. Philip in his speech highlighted the importance of silence, Synchronization, positive outlook and God centeredness in the life of a leader. The ceremony concluded with AYM anthem sung by the Auxilium school Dum Dum.
At six p.m. Sr. Stella addressed the participants on the camp schedule , discipline and criteria for the selection of the best school, group and best camper. After the tea break the teacher coordinators of Bandel conducted the ice breaking session and after the know of each other they were delegated to 5 groups. At 7.30 p.m. the participants were led into prayer moment by Auxilium School Barasat on the theme of the camp.After supper at 9 a.m. all assembled to witness the cultural show on the theme ‘youth for transformation’. All the five schools depicted the theme with lot of creativity through dances, enactment and songs and it was tough for the jury to decide the best. The day came to an end with a short night prayer recalling all the blessings experienced throughout the day.
The second day of the camp commenced with a prayer session conducted by Auxilium Dum Dum on the theme Trust in God. At 9.a.m – Session on the theme was delivered by Sr. Stella the coordinator for education. Through pertinent videos she brought out the qualities of a transformational leader as chrisma, social responsibility defined through a video on Naryanan Krishnan who sacrificed his life for feeding the downtrodden, shared vision, inspirational, motivational, influential, overcoming obstacle, fighting against social evils defined through video on Anuradha Koirola from Nepal who campaigned against human trafficking and saved 12,000 women and girls, integrity, intellectual stimulation, individual consideration, developing potential, silence, proactive, and god oriented. The session ended with the video on Mahatma Gandhi as transformational leader.
This session followed by group dynamics where the five groups presented the name of the group with novelty and the names presented being prism, Jurevos, Satyagraha , Ray and Army of God. After tea break time was set aside for preparation for the camp fire in groups. After lunch at 1.15 p.m. the teacher coordinators organized amusing games for the campers like bombing the city, bursting the balloons and the Edumedym organizers conducted a game for the teacher coordinators ,’Save yours and pull off others tails”. At 2.30 a.m. Fr. Alfred Paul SDB took the stage to enlighten the students on leadership and he commenced with a preamble, his experience at Ashalyam a home for street children. He continued the session with the video on the ‘power of the dream’ and enforced his message with the song “We shall overcome” singing it in five languages. He concluded the session with the song ‘Tell me Why?’ a mind steering theme on social issues by is a singleby English singer Declan Galbraith.The second session of the afternoon was a group discussion on the following ,’Things that can be achieved if you pursue your goal’ and presentation on the same. For the rest of the session Fr. Alfred drew the attention of the participants on the following factor,’ The mysterious talent’. The session ended with the song by Declan, ‘The dream of my life” At 7 a.m. Auxilium New Chumta led the group into prayer paying homage to our blessed Mother. At 9. Am. the much awaited campfire commenced with the five group leaders coming from five corners with lighted torches with a message to light the camp fire. As flame gained momentum the campers sang camp fire is burning draw nearer, dancing in circles. It was continued with group competitions like comic and western dance. The competitions were interspersed and peppered with mimicries, amusing claps conducted by Fr. Alfred. The campfire came to finishing lines with announcement of results, short good night and night prayers.
17th May commenced with a prayer conducted by Auxilium convent school Bandel with inspirational videos, song and reading from various Holy Scriptures.Sr. Elizabeth Valliyil the coordinator for Media the moderator of the second day gave an enlightening introduction and briefed on the procedures of the day. The 9 a.m. session by Fr. Alfred Paul stressed that in order to be a leader, one has to choose the last place that is a servant leader imitating Jesus. In the 10.30 a.m. session he highlighted that a leader has not to give up in pursuing his goal whatever may be the obstacles presenting videos on the lives of Nick Vujiicic and Jessica Cox two handicapped personalities who reached heights of success in spite of physical impediments. Through the game of crocodile Fr. Alfred taught us lessons on real life – the fittest survive although all wish to win. From 1.15 p.m. the groups were given time to prepare for folk dance and unconventional orchestra competitions. At 2.30 p.m all gathered in the hall for an interesting panel discussion of the role of youth in today’s scenario captained by Sr. Ester Rani Abraham, the coordinator of Youth Ministry. The speaker from Auxilium Bandel spoke on the topic Youth instruments of peace, Auxilium Barasat spoke on,‘Youth messengers of mercy,’ Auxilium Dum Dum highlighted how youth could become the voice of the voiceless, St. Anthony’s Jaigaon delineated that the role of youth as nation builders and Auxilium New Chumta spoke in vernacular on the theme ‘youth as catalyst of social change’. After the panel discussion Auxilium Dum Dum expressed their deep gratitude to Fr. Alfred Paul SDB, the resource person.
4.30 p.m. groups engaged in preparing the action plan and pledge which were later synthesised and made into one . At 7.15 p.m. the participants were led into the well set chapel for the Taize’ prayer. Each entered with lit candle as a symbol of offering oneself to God in procession and placed them in the containers. The well set chapel, the repetitive songs, reflections , psalms helped each one to have a deep encounter with God. After supper was the most interesting night show the competition of folk dance and unconventional orchestra. Though the items were prepared in groups with a short span of time the performances were superb and astounding. The interesting day completed with a short night prayer resonated with thanksgiving for all the wonderful experiences . 18th May was a very exciting day as it was a day scheduled for outing . The day began with the morning prayer steered by Auxilium New Chumta on the theme put your trust in God. The prayer came to its close with the song , ‘you rise me up’ and with soul searching question, Is it possible to live a God centred life? After the breakfast all gathered in front of the Sisters residence to be instructed on the agenda of the day and boarded the two buses. The buses stopped at the Bhutan gate and the students were extremely excited to enter the portals of another world – the foreign land. The students were allotted 1 hour to explore and do marketing. They boarded the buses and proceeded through winding mountains and reached old Gumba, the Buddist monastery. The scenic beauty of Bhutan and mesmerizing view of Jaigaon from the top was anenthralling site. The students were then treated with Chou mean and cold drinks. After an exciting games at the mountainous field the campers proceed to the crocodile park. The garials, crocodiles and tortoise were all is siesta mood and looked like rocks in their position. But a few moved their snouts and others swam to give pleasure to the participants. The participants were grateful to Sr. Makil who organized the outing with the help of Jaigaon community. At 5.30 a.m. they gathered in groups to prepare for the night homage to Salesian saints and thanksgiving ceremony school wise. The prayer at 7.30 p.m. carried out by Barasat was a thanksgiving prayer through event photos and a contemporary duet dance. After supper each group paid homage with lots of creativity through self- composed prayer, songs and dance to Mother Mary, Don Bosco, Mary Mazzarello, Dominic Savio and Laura Vicuna placed on decorated pedestals. This was followed by the prize distribution for the various competitions and activities held both at school and group level coordinated by Sr. Rosy Veliyan , the Media Coordinator. The best camper boy prize was awarded to Ritwick Majumdar from Auxilium Barasat and Best camper girl was awarded to Ms. Suzanna Sharma of St. Anthony’s Jaigoan. The best group award went to Group one and runner up was Group 3. The best school trophy was coveted by Auxilium Barasat and the runner up school was again St. Anthony’s Jaigaon. The day ebbed to its close with the thanksgiving ceremony to various groups by different schools and the pledge taking ceremony. Thus the leadership camp, Youth for transformation drew down its curtains imprinting indelible memories in the heart of each participant.
The Edumedym coordinators will remain ever grateful to Sr. Lily D’Souza and her community members who left no stone unturned to make this event an impressive and extraordinary event through their 24×7 moment availability, generosity and cheerful dispositions. May the Lord bless them with unending blessings and make their apostolic endeavours flourish for the glory of God.