The Center for Buddhist Education (CBE) held its in-person BCA Youth Retreat (BYR Fall) event on Nov. 26 at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley, California — with a total of 23 students from throughout the West Coast.
Despite the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the students came from the Bay Area, Florin, Fresno, Orange County, Oxnard, Sacramento, San Diego, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii.
They ranged in age from a beginning high school student to a junior in college. Some had only participated in BYR virtual programs in the past and were meeting in person for the first time. It was so exciting to see them meet face to face.
It was a day filled with learning, ice breakers and workshops. A lot of great discussions took place, and everyone had a chance to express themselves in a safe setting. And, of course, we ended with our signature karaoke night, which is always a great time.
There is something very special about being at the Jodo Shinshu Center. It has become a home away from home for the kids, and is a great space for learning and enjoying each other’s company. We are deeply grateful to have such a wonderful place to share the Dharma together.
I also wish to extend my deepest appreciation to the BCA staff members and volunteers for working so hard behind the scenes to take care of all of the participants.
And thank you to all of the BCA temples for sharing and promoting our events to your kids. I hope more kids get to take advantage of our programs in the future. I look forward to meeting them.
The students who participated in BYR Fall were: Devon Tomokazu Akiyama, Florin/Berkeley; Tesshin Aoyama, Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC); Hyla Borrell, Oxnard Buddhist Temple; Zen Bennett Brooks Borrell, Oxnard Buddhist Temple; Mayu Lani Garner, Oregon Buddhist Temple; and Zora Uyeda-Hale, Berkeley Buddhist Temple.
Also: Mitchell Maseba, Sacramento; Molly Maseba, Sacramento; Andrew Matayoshi, Sacramento; Grace Matayoshi, Sacramento; Jocelyn (Josie) Matsubayashi, Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church (SACBC); Ashley Mauldin, OCBC; Zach Mauldin, OCBC; Ellie Mizushima, Sacramento; Kathryn Nakahira, OCBC; Kianna Nakaoka, Florin; Izumi Holland Isabela Ryan, Fresno; Tomoya Fits Ryan, Fresno; Kyle Sasaki, OCBC; Preston Sasaki, OCBC; Naho Umitani, Moiliili Hongwanji (Hawaii); Mika Winner, Oregon Buddhist Temple; and Ava Yamamoto, San Diego.