Youth Camp

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One hundred and fifty-six students from various secondary schools in Penang Island registered for the Youth Camp held on 1 st to 4 th June 2006. After the registration exercise, there was an ice-breaking session for them to get to know each other better.

Venerable Zhen Chan then instructed them in the proper procedure of bowing and prostration. He told them that the way to a happy life was to emulate the Lord Buddha by showing gratitude to the parents, teachers, elders, friends and one another; appreciate and be thankful for what they have; live a Buddhist life by following the Five or Ten Precepts.

Venerable Zhen Chan told the youths a story of a frog. This frog had heard about how everyone upon meeting the Lord Buddha and receiving his teaching found true happiness. So the frog decided to attend the dharma assembly when the Lord Buddha visited the place where the frog stayed. The frog became so immersed in the teachings of the Lord Buddha that he didn't feel the end of a walking stick carried by an old lady was pressed on his back. When the old lady got up to leave after the dharma assemble, her walking stick pressed hard into the frog and killed it. The frog was reborn in Tushita Heaven as he had listened intently and had received every single word of the Buddha with deep understanding. The frog was like an ‘ empty vessel '' and had listened well to the teachings of the Buddha. Venerable Zhen Chan stressed that everyone should be like the frog when listening to the Dharma.

Sis. Gan Geok Eng taught them true happiness comes from a grateful attitude. Sis. Xu Gui Qing and Sis. Huang Mei Ling of Universiti Utara taught them how to know themselves thoroughly and seek the proper direction to head to. Bro. Zheng Jing Hua next taught them about filial piety; how to show their love for their parents before it was too late to do so. The Buddha taught that parents are to be honored even above devas as they sacrificed a lot to bring their children up. Bro. Shen Fu Ji taught them how to interact with others.

In the four-day camp, there were many activities to keep the youths busy. The activities include daily chanting, singing of songs, birthday celebration with the senior residents of Wan Ching Yuen Centre, and lamp lighting.

From all the activities in the Youth Camp, the youths learnt how to lead a daily life infused with Buddhist values. The Camp was a good start in their learning to live a Buddhist life of Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Efforts, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.