Every summer Torino Ranch hosts approximately a dozen Buddhist monks for a period of two to three weeks during a portion of the summer program. Their visit is a part of a cross-country trek by the monks to spread joy and zen to the staff, children, counselors and volunteers who tirelessly facilitate the camp experience.
During the course of the day the monks may join the children and young adults to play soccer, bocce ball, archery, and other activities. Often they will host a Question and Answer session with all individuals to discuss their lives.
Buddhist monks perform several sacred practices that take years of discipline and training to perfect. One of these is the Snow Lion Dance. The Snow Lion is a mythical animal, whose fearlessness represents Tibet and its desire to be free, as well as the eloquent quality of an enlightened mind.
Occasionally the monks will construct a sand Mandala. The intricate design takes several days to create and once it is finished there is a ceremony to dismantle it, which provides a great lesson in impermanence and not being attached to material things.