“Shram-Dann Diwas” Volunteer Service Weekend with NIHAA at Camp Chingachgook

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         उद्यमेन हि सिद्ध्यन्ति कार्याणि मनोरथैः।

Meaning: Task can be accomplished only through proactive enthusiasm, never by imaginary thoughts alone.

With this mantra in mind, NIHAA made an unparalleled effort in organizing “Shram-Daan Diwas” (Volunteer Community Service Work) Weekend at YMCA camp Chingachgook. It was an experience of a lifetime, to giveback to the community, and all volunteers worked exceptionally hard towards a common goal set by the organization. On these weekends volunteers can live at Camp while working on facility projects both Saturday and Sunday. Camp provides all the necessary tools and guidance for the projects, as well as camp programs on Saturday evening and meals throughout the weekend.

The hosting Y family at the camp was very warm and welcoming and gave us all the inputs related to the area and task to be assigned to the group. We started with our mission on Friday evening and in spite of weather being a bit drastic, all the volunteers showed up in the assembling area on time, where we bonded with each other. We met some incredible people but most important of all, we had the pleasure to meet, play and interact with the strongest of human beings – the children of our group.

Post Dinner, everyone retried to their assigned Cabins, which was going to be our home, for next two days. At night we talked about our plans for next two days and had some warm and light-hearted conversations. The Cabins were very warm, clean and well maintained. This made our stay there comfortable and inviting. The energy that one can draw just being around nature is unbeatable and we were all looking forward for our next day at the camp – an onset of journey towards betterment of our community.

Next morning, we were all set to make a difference with our efforts and goals as assigned. After having breakfast, we all gathered to listen to our task master\Instructor – Lisa. We were assigned the task of – Raking the area. Drenched in the spirit of community service and bracing our self with NIHAA mission, we started working towards our goals. All of us were thoroughly impressed with the energy, motivation and co-ordination of Kids in our group that they showcased in getting the work done with utmost zeal. Y prepared the most amazing meals and was always very attentive to our needs. This replenished our energy with every round of work.

With our 1st round of work done, our social commitment and enthusiasm was also appreciated by the Y Team there and that motivated the group to go in for another round of Task assigned – that was clearing up all the areas near the cabins and raking the leaves. We captured some fun moments with Kids and Adults alike and created some great memories together. Our plan to complete the task was resourceful and collaborative approach helped us in reaching our goal.

Sunday Morning, we put our boots on the ground again, and with grace in our heart, we started our day by cleaning Cabins and nearby areas. Our Body and Mind filled with pride, as we had accomplished what we had missioned for. Y team greatly appreciated our efforts that was disciplined, collaborative and goal oriented. We were given “Certificate of Appreciation” by the management at the Y camp.


Work Hard and Play Harder – So, to rejuvenate our self and Kids in the group, there were some adventurous activities like – Rock Climbing, Archery, Basket Ball etc.

This more coordinated approach to volunteerism has given rise to “impact volunteering” – the idea that we can make measurable differences in our communities in response to focused goals. Participation of Kids in the group make them not just better individuals, but a part of a concrete vision for community improvement.

Our group’s volunteer journey was an amazing experience that will remain in our memory forever – Thanks to all the people who accompanied me and was there.

Special “Thanks” to Taste of Italy for yummy Pizza and Spicy Mint for the Indian food.

By : Pallavi Siddharth Singh