Muslim Summer Camps A Highlight for Youth
Wed, 17 Sep 2008 05:01:12 GMT
MCC Girls' Camp: Aug. 9-15, 2008.
August was a month filled with adventure, outdoor excitement, bond building and spirituality for Muslim youth! MCC held its boys' youth camp from August 3rd to the 9th , and its girls' youth camp from the 9th to the 15th . CMECCA School held the Southside Chicago Muslim Family Camp on the following weekend. All three camps were held at Camp White Eagle in Leaf River, Illinois.
Amal Ali, the Council's Youth Coordinator, recently shared her own summer camp experience:
I still remember my own youth camp experience; it was life-changing. There were expeditions in which teammates designated with supposed disabilities (blind, mute, missing limbs) were all to join efforts in reaching set destinations while climbing down steep dirt cliffs, walking through rivers, crossing over a lake on a double wire bridge and hiking through woods.
A renewed sense of self, confidence, character and team spirit were the bare minimum campers gained upon reaching the finish line of such challenge courses. In between all activities, campers touched base with God and sharpened their faith through group prayer, workshops, discussions, and God centered campfires.
It's been a few years since my last youth camp at White Eagle, but I will not forget when I drove three long hours in bumper to bumper traffic to give a talk to the campers one afternoon. I had arrived just in time for prayer, and could see rows of young girls and young women lined up beside and behind another young woman who was beautifully reciting the call to prayer, her voice reverberating among the mature trees.
Another year at camp, I had taken a group of youth who were less familiar with Islamic practices. On one very dark evening, we all sat around the campfire and I watched one of these young teens stand tall in our midst, her exposure to Islamic devotion still fresh, just learning how to pray at 16 years of age or so.
She was dressed in a galabiya and kufi performing a reenactment of the prophet's companion Khabab Al-aratt when his idolatress master had placed a burning iron bar on his head and he would only raise his finger to the heavens, calling out "Allah Ahad! Allah Ahad!" [God is One! God is One!] The young sister's call, voicing Khabab's conviction, resounded throughout the vast wooded acreage that surrounded us. Another counselor and I could not hold back our tears at this sight.
Muslim youth camp is powerful, and I pray that next year more parents will send their teens for this amazing opportunity.
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