This program is adapted for children between 8 – 15 years. Daily yoga and breathing exercises combined with the practice of meditation keep the body healthy and flexible and the mind focused. Following Swami Vishnudevananda’s teaching of “unity in diversity” and the idea of yoga as “union”, we encourage children to find themselves unified as a group. Kids Camp children come from many different backgrounds and cultures, and are encouraged to develop and live together as one completely integrated and cohesive group, like a family. Recognizing and respecting each camper’s unique differences be it in culture, religion, race, or social background, children grow to treat each other with dignity, respect, and compassion, and also apply yogic principles such as kindness, compassion, ahimsa (non-violence), and cooperation.
Morning and evening satsangs are adjusted for kids and consist of simple meditation practice, followed by singing and inspiring stories. The children also learn the value of karma yoga, or selfless service, as they help to maintain activity areas and participate in various projects. There is plenty of time for fun and games. Special activities outside the resort include horseback riding, excursion tour etc. As children come from all over the world, with a variety of cultural backgrounds, they learn to appreciate and respect people of all religions while practicing yoga.
We want the children to return home with new tools and unforgettable memories of their experience at the Yoga Camp. Here are some examples:
- A solid foundation in Hatha Yoga, including yoga postures, breathing exercises and a good relaxation method. The children will return home with good skills: flexibility, balance and coordination, concentration, and the feeling of being deeply relaxed. The children who continue their practice will feel completely equipped to deal with all the emotional, physical or mental demands that they face at school and in their everyday lives.
- Experiences in a wide variety of outdoor activities such as games, sports, mountain walking, swimming and activities forging character and team spirit.
- Valuable skills learned in our yoga workshops and in life in general at the Kids Camp such as self-awareness, non-violent communication, conflict resolution and good nutrition.
- Experiences in different types of art: crafts to bring children to express themselves creatively and not verbally; activities related to drama training to prepare for the children’s show presented at the end of the camp.
- Learning to live in the karma yoga spirit, or selfless service, by giving an hour of one’s time every day to help maintain common areas and their rooms clean and/or cooking.
- Forging strong, transformative friendships for life. During the camp, children from different traditions, backgrounds and cultures develop not only friendships but often strong bonds and love that they will carry in them for the rest of their lives.
Day Visit: Parents are ONLY allowed to visit and take their children on July 22nd between 10am – 4pm. Parents/relatives and friends are not permitted on kids camp grounds (this includes kids camp cabins, dining and activity areas) at any other time. Permission may be granted in exceptional cases in writing, signed by kids camp counsellor or Director.
Located in the beautiful Laurentian mountains, the ashram is located on 350 acres in one of the most spectacular spots in Canada, the small town of Val-Morin. Set amidst the forests and fields of the Sivananda Yoga Camp, the children have supervised use of the ashram swimming pool and the surrounding acres of natural beauty. The nature and space provides the children with a chance to explore the beauty, in a fun and dynamic way. The children sleep in cabins divided according to age and gender into small groups of four to five kids with a counsellor.
Prepared with love and care according to yogic dietary principles, three lacto-vegetarian meals are served daily. Very special attention is placed on meeting children’s nutritional needs, as well as providing a diet that is both flavourful and conducive to a calm mind. Each meal is completely balanced, including plenty of protein sources! Whole grains, lentils, beans, legumes, tofu, seeds, nuts and nut butters (except for peanuts) supply most of the protein, with each meal balanced with carbohydrates and fresh produce as well. Meals range from eastern food such as rice, noodles, bread, lentils and curries to western food such as pasta and pizza from our wood-burning oven. Each meal is guaranteed to be balanced, nutritious, and delicious!
Children should bring the following items:
- warm sleeping bag (rated 0°C/32°F or below)
- pillow, sleeping bag liner and pillow case
- yoga mat
- laundry bag
- walking shoes or sneakers
- hiking boots
- water bottle
- flashlight and batteries
- sun hat
- 2 sweatshirts and 5 t-shirts
- 2-3 long pants and 2-3 short pants
- 2 long-sleeved t-shirts
- 8 pairs of underwear
- 8 pairs of socks
- warm jacket
- 2 bathing suits
All clothing, shoes, and water bottles should be labelled. Though children can wear their personal clothing during the day, they will receive a uniform to wear to morning and evening satsangs.
Starting: July 7th, 2018 (arrival 12pm-4pm)
Ending: July 28th, 2018 (departure 11am-2pm)
Registration for kids camp is closed. To be added onto the waitlist, please email [email protected]
Fees: CDN $1200
Deposit: CDN $200 (non-refundable)
Day Visit: Parents are only allowed to visit their children on July 22nd between 10am – 4pm. Parents/relatives or friends are not allowed on kids camp grounds (including kids camp cabins, dining and activities area). Permission may be granted in exceptional cases in writing, signed by the counsellor or Camp Director.
Saraswati is a long time staff of the Sivananda Organization and currently the co-director of the Sivananda Yoga Centre in Toronto. As a disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda, she lived and studied under his personal guidance and has over twenty years’ experience teaching yoga and meditation to yogis of all ages. Saraswati has been serving as a director for kids yoga camps in Canada and Thailand for many years. She has also developed Teen karma yoga programmes as well as community based programs such as Family Yoga Weeks, Kids Yoga School and Yogic Parenting. Saraswati is also a certified Child and Youth counsellor and has worked enthusiastically with individuals and groups on social issues such as anger management, conflict resolution, mental health and substance abuse.
Counsellors are very carefully chosen by the Director of the Camp. Firstly, all counsellors are graduates of the Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course, with a very strong connection to either Sivananda Ashrams and Centres. As specially trained yoga teachers who are living in accordance with the principles of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta organization, all counsellors have been recommended by senior members of the organization, and usually have assisted with Kids Camp before becoming full-fledged counsellors. Counsellors are empathetic, creative yogis who use the philosophy of yoga to help our children develop self-esteem, self-efficacy, and grow into their best possible selves while feeling loved, safe, and understood.