Assalamu-alaikum,

Today was the second and final day of our first-ever youth group Summer camp. At 5 AM it seemed as if an orchestra had decided to perform in our cabin as several phone alarms went off.  Thus our morning began with a mad scramble to wake the youth up, make wudu, and perform Fajr prayer at the Arts Center. After Fajr prayer, we held our final discussion in our mini-groups. The discussion centered around the first 5 verses of Surat al-Fajr. Within each mini-group, the participants recited the entire surah (each person read around 15 verses) in Arabic and then read the English translation of the Arabic text. The focus of this discussion was reflecting upon the many miracles, signs, and proofs that Allah, azza wa jal, has provided for us proving His Existence. The counselors got the youth to think about what things make their hearts feel amazed and inspired with conviction in their faith. Hopefully by periodically reflecting upon these signs, we’ll gain the strength to remain firm in our faith and worship of Allah, azza wa jal. Signs/proofs which were mentioned include:

  • The rising (and natural light provided to work) and setting (providing darkness to sleep) of the sun each day
  • The changing of the color of the leaves on the trees in the Fall
  • The descent of rain from the sky
  • The growth of plants from a single seed
  • The amazing ability and gift of the human body
  • The majesty of mountains
  • And much much more

Mohammad getting packed up and ready for the day

After the discussion was completed, the youth returned to the cabin to pack-up, shower, and get ready for the day’s activities. We enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, cereal, fruit, and potatoes at the River Lodge from 8 – 8:45 AM. After breakfast some of the youth called home while others played a fierce game of carpetball.

Around 9 AM, we walked to the Archery range to practice our bow-and-arrow skills. Dr. Mohammad, Amir, Eesa, and Omar stole the show with their fine skillsmanship (I think I just made up a new word).  Most of their arrows found the bulls-eye and the colored circles around the bulls-eye. Some of the youth shot the arrows over, under, and in some cases through the stationary targets (a mighty hilarious sight).

 

 

One youth managed to hit each of the four colored circles with his 5 different arrows.

Youth carefully locate a station for archery

After enjoying archery for an hour, the youth returned to the open field adjacent to the cabin for our final fun activity: Capture the Flag. If you’re not familiar with the rules of the game, please check out our blog post on Capture the Flag under the tab for “Spring 2011 Program.” Youth and counselors were divided up into two evenly-numbered teams. Samir K and Yacoub led their team to a close victory in game #1. Adil and Tasawwar captained Team Bandanna to victory in game #2. In the end the overall game ended in a tie (2 to 2) as each team captured the opposing team’s flag (a tennis ball) twice. There were some interesting moments due to the playing surface (grass) being slippery (from the previous night’s precipitation). Guys were at times skating on the grass as they ran hard in one direction than tried to quickly brake to change directions. There were a few shirts which picked up some interesting grass stains. Overall, Capture the Flag ended up being a nice final fun activity for the brothers’ camp.

Team Bandanna (a.k.a Adil) with some friendly trash-talk to Team Summer Time (a.k.a Samir K) before Capture the Flag

From 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM the youth participated in the final workshop with Sr. Tahera. The topic of the workshop was dealing with (and the proper etiquettes associated with communicating with) the members of the opposite gender in Islam. There was a lot of healthy discussion during this session alhamdulillah.

The youth enjoyed their final meal from 12:30 – 1 PM. After the meal was completed, we loaded up the vehicles and departed Camp Tecumseh (around 1:30 PM). Alhamdulillah we arrived safely back at the ISGL for dhuhr prayer.

This concludes our first-ever youth Summer camp. There were many fun and emotional memories from camp. In shaa Allah the bonds of friendship between the brothers was strengthened through this camp and beneficial lessons were learned which can be implemented in our lives!

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