Event Blog

2014 Family Chan Camp

   by Powell Shiau

Every summer, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (DDMBA) hosts a summer camp at Pine Bush NY. This year, the summer camp began on Wednesday August 6 to Sunday August 10.


Counselors from New Jersey, New York, and even Texas arrived two days early to camp to begin their counselor training in preparation for a successful and productive summer camp. With a counselor team of 7, the counselors began their training with a tour of the beautiful, serene retreat center. Pine Bush, located just 90 miles northwest of New York City, provides the perfect setting to host a summer camp in which everyone is able to take a break from their daily lives and enjoy a peaceful week of inner calmness with friends.
Camp began with the Venerable giving a speech regarding the camp, followed by a prepared counselor skit reviewing the rules and regulations of camp grounds. The orientation concluded with a collective ice breaker led by counselors which included games like “shipwreck” and “great wind blows.” The night ended with campers breaking into their own age groups, meeting their counselors and co campers.

The next day began at 7:30 with morning 8 form exercise led by Venerables. Campers were taught different forms of stretching that helped kick start their eventful and exciting day off! Each meal served at camp consisted of a variety collection of colorful vegetables, fruits, spices, and different delicious desserts!
A Night Hike was held after dinner where the campers walked a paved trail up the road into the woods. Minding their Noble Silence, campers were split into groups and explored different aspects of the Night Hike from a stargazing station to mindful “dancing meditation.”


The much anticipated highlight of the week was the field trip to Sam’s Point Preserve. The 4,600- acre preserve is the highest point of the Shawangunk Ridge in New York. Campers broke into their groups accompanied by Venerables, parents, volunteers, and teachers.

Once at the top of the preserve, campers observed a beautiful panorama of the surrounding nature overlooking Lake Maratanza.

Classes at camp included arts and craft projects, meditation sessions, yoga practice, and even mindful activities like relay races, scavenger hunts, and other team building activities. Teens were trained in leading the kids group in a competitive and engaging world cup FIFA- style soccer tournament.

SONY DSCThe final full day of camp peaked when campers were given the opportunity to participate in the slip-and-slide attraction created by our counselors. A giant 60 feet long slide located on a downhill slope on the fields in the center of the retreat center was filled with running water and copious amounts of soap. Campers of all ages, counselors, and even Alan (2014 Teen’s Program coordinator) took a tumble down the water slide!

Saturday’s evening programs included performances from each camper group as well as a counselor skit. Campers then showed their array of talented skills during the talent show. Skills encompassed a diverse attraction from piano to singing to Chinese yo yo to even acrobatics!



A bonfire was created behind the main house of the retreat center. Campers participated in entertaining camp fire games and learned songs, dances, and competed in exciting competitions. The night ended with a reflection period as all the campers sat around the c

amp fire together and cherished the last night of summer camp. It was the perfect way to end a wonderful and successful year of summer camp.

Camp ended the next day after a slide show presentation of the camp’s memorable moments. The teens presented their project, which was a Newsletter of camp and their music video they created for their Teen Leadership Project. This year’s 2014 CHAN camp goes down in the books as one of the most successful and accomplished summer camps yet! Campers left with a feeling of bliss begging their parents to return again next year. Special Shout Out to Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association for making this summer camp possible.


Category: Event Blog

Weekly Activities

Sunday Open House

Every Sunday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Our Sunday programs are open to people to explore and learn more about Buddhism. Everyone is welcome to participate.

Please CLICK HERE for Sunday Dharma Talk related info.

Dharma talk
11:00 – 12:30pm

Lunch Offering & Announcement
12:30 – 1:00pm

Vegetarian Lunch ($5 donation requested)
1:00 – 1:45pm

Chanting Service
2:00 – 4:00pm

Monday Evening Chanting

Every Monday, 7:30pm to 9:15pm
Devotional chanting of Amitabha Buddha’s name.
Bodhisattva Precept Recitation Ritual every last Monday of each month.

Every Monday, 7:30pm to 9:15pm

Tuesday Evening Sitting

Every Tuesday, 7:00pm to 9:30pm
All who have previous experience in meditation are welcome. Activities include sitting and walking meditations, yoga exercises, chanting of the Heart Sutra, and group discussions of Chan Master Sheng Yen’s books.

Thursday Evening Tai Chi Moving Meditation

Every Thursday, 7:30pm to 9:00 pm

Experience the great depth of Chan practice through the combination of Ta-chi with Chan meditation.

The modern people are often busy, stressed and tense. Tai Chi Moving Meditation helps to unify and ease the body and mind.

Moreover, it is an expedient to improve physical health.

Fee: $80 for 16 classes or $25 per month

[ First class is free for newcomers.  All levels are welcome! ]

Please call 718-592-6593 for registration.

Instructor: David Ngo

Saturday Sitting

Currently Canceled Until Further Notice