By Ava Oakley Coleman
I loved my time at dharma camp because of all of the wonderful people I met and all of the great activities we did and how we were all connected to Buddhism. For instance, every morning we’d start with a five minute meditation, then, most days we would go down to the beach. At the beach, the instructors let us do more of our own thing, and the activities were less structured so we could incorporate our own thoughts into the art projects and games. We made 108 bead malas – and not out of crappy plastic beads that we would just throw away when we got to our hotel rooms. I still use mine, and I’m allowed to keep it from the trash because it’s made out of wooden beads (although my Mom says that she wouldn’t have thrown away any mala).
Another thing I thought was really special were the kids that attended the camp with us (I’m still in touch with a few). I also thought that serving tsok to Rinpoche and Meme Lama and distributing it was such a great experience. I also liked chanting the mantra, which still is in my head sometimes. Lastly, I felt that the life release was a very special thing, knowing that we gave those fish a better chance to survive with blessings.
Ultimately, I thought that my time at Dharma camp was one of the best times in my life, and I want to relive every second of it.