Sunday, March 8, 2009

Turn To The Guru

I'm very lucky to have been involved in Sikh Gurmat camps for most of my life - as a camper, counselor, and administrator. Along the way, I've collected many stories. My friends have always told me I should document them. So here's another addition to the series I call "Camp Stories." Please comment with your own story too...

Camp Story #4: Turn To The Guru

We were lucky to have many parents join us at camp to share in the experience. Overall, it was great to have parents learn alongside their children, but it did open us up for some interesting situations…

I left our evening Divan early one night to check-in with the Kitchen crew on dinner preparations. Right as I exited the Divaan hall, one of the mothers followed me outside crying hysterically. She was terrified and could barely make out her words, but she explained to me that she did not see her son sitting in his group. She looked at all the other groups in the Divaan hall and didn’t see him there either. She sent her other son in to the bathroom and his cabin, but still he was nowhere to be found. This is a camp director's worse nightmare…a missing kid. I ran in to the Divaan hall and quickly scanned all the groups on the floor, and sure enough, he wasn't there. I tried to stay calm, but quickly got the word out to the other counselors. This was his first time at camp and he was a quiet kid, so not everyone remembered when they saw him last. Immediately, about ten of us counselors searched the campsite - every cabin, every bathroom, every classroom, every field, and even the lakeside. We even sent a couple canoes out on the lake, as the missing kid's brother couldn’t remember if he had seen him after we went canoeing before Divaan. We alerted the camp authorities, and after 30 minutes of searching…I decided to make the dreaded call to the Police. This entire time the poor mother was so distraught - she could hardly keep herself standing. Right as I took out my cell phone to make the call, the missing boy appeared - walking right out of the Divaan hall. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The boy's mother rushed over to him and we were all elated. In unison, several of us counselors asked him, "Where were you?" He said, "I was sitting behind the Guru Granth Sahib, doing Chaur Sahib seva."

Yes…although I checked all the children organized by groups in the Sangat, I never actually checked behind the Guru Granth Sahib…(and in my defense, neither did the mother or the other counselors!)

But in the end, it did teach us all a valuable lesson...

Whenever you face adversity, always turn to the Guru…first :)

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