26 August 2014

Building on U.S. Tradition, Camp for Hindu Children Strengthens Their Identity

From Y.M.C.A. camps through Catholic Youth camps through the Ramah camps of Conservative Judaism, there is a long, rich history of religious and ethnic groups using summer camps to strengthen the denominational and ancestral identity of young people in a polyglot nation with an enticingly secular popular culture.

The Indian immigrants who arrived in the last half-century are relatively recent and especially avid adopters. Shana Sippy, a professor of religion at Carleton College in Minnesota who has studied Hindu-American educational organizations, estimated that 135 such camps now exist. These range from overnight retreats to day camps to sleep-away programs like that of the Hindu Heritage Summer Camp.