Thursday, June 29, 2006

Echoes of Kulimela

For photo tour of the 2006 Kulimela in New Vrindavan, go to

For a behind the scenes peek at one aspect of Kulimela, here is the email Chaits sent out to those involved with the Kid’s Camp. While this is specifically about KC and Kulimela, he has a desire that in the future the KC would spin off into a life of its own, with maybe a one or two week KC held yearly in NV, perhaps:

Hi all,

I'd like to share some of my ideas for improvement of the next Kid's Camp:

1. I should have made arrangements for the Kid's Camp to start on Thursday. There were many kids (and parents) who would have attended if we had started a day earlier.

2. Because of the really late night on Saturday, Sunday Camp didn't happen. A few volunteers were on hand, but kids didn't really show. So, even half day on Sunday does not seem necessary.

3. I could have made a better distinction between between the older and younger camps and activities. Next time there probably should be two separate areas for each age group. A good balance of both age groups showed up on Friday. During that day the younger kids needed more time and energy than the older, more self-reliant ones. This meant the older ones got less attention. Because of this only half the older kids returned on Saturday. We need to find ways to get the kids between the ages of 10 and 14 more interested and involved.

4. The Kid's Camp should be set up in an area a bit more separate and removed from the rest of the festival. This time the location was right in the middle of the Kulimela action. This often made it more difficult to keep track of the kids. It also made the energy in and around the Camp a bit more frantic and hectic.

5. This year we were very fortunate that the weather was excellent. Because many of the activities/workshops were held outdoors next time we need to make sure we have a better thought out contingency plan in case of bad weather.

6. Scheduling of late night activities that include the kids need to be concluded by 10 pm so they can go to bed at a reasonable time. The Harinama parade with the star lanterns didn't happen because it was too late at night.

7. The lunch Prasad on Saturday was a bit spicy for the kids. We ended up having to find alternate food for many of the kids. Luckily, the Snack Bar stepped up and donated pizzas and the kids were satisfied.

8. More thought and effort should be put into the "Kid's Area" near the entertainment site. Vraja came up with a great idea and set up an area where parents could bring their kids and trade off watching them. If a little more energy had been put into this it would have been used a lot more.

9. I could have done a better job arranging for some kind of "Thank You" gift for all the volunteers. I mentioned most of them by name at the Sunday Fare Well speech but would have liked to give them some memento as well.

10. The dates for Kulimela need to be later in the season so that more kids can attend without having to make special arrangements to get out of school early.

Overall, I think Kulimela exceeded all of our expectations. Through our efforts we raised the bar and still have plenty of room for improvement next time!

IMPORTANT: I'd like to hear any ideas/suggestions you may have.

With great admiration and appreciation,



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