Courage to Lead: was this year’s summer camp theme. The camp was aimed and designed for todays youth to inculcate courage to become tomorrow’s leaders; such leader’s who will offer salah, recite Qur’an in public confidently, forbid that which is wrong and speak the truth in all circumstances. Read on to see what fun-filled and productive time the summer campers had…
What can beat the summer heat more than a swim in the pool? Every week, the summer campers were taken for swimming where they enjoyed, relaxed and learnt this revitalizing sport by trained teachers. Separate timings for boys and girls ensured privacy and fun.
Hiking with friends is not only a great adventure and a lot of fun for children of all ages but is also a way one can learn many things, and get closer to Allah (s.w.t) through His signs all around us. As Allah (s.w.t) says in the Qur’an, “travel on the Earth”. So that’s exactly what we did; AIS decided to take the campers on an exciting hike on Trail 5 in Margalla Hills.
This venue is known for its scenic beauty, variety of trails and safety. The trail was shady and hence was suitable for hot weather. A one hour hike to the hilltop along with interesting activities made this hike a memorable one for the children. This is what they got up to;
1. Cap catch (for teamwork purposes)
2. Drag and save (for rescue purposes)
3. Carrot and the rabbit (for building leadership qualities)
4. Chinese whisper (a fun game to build listening skills)
A short course in Arabic was conducted for developing Arabic language through listening and speaking skills. In short time, students were taught how to introduce themselves in Arabic and speak about the objects in their surroundings.
Children today are fanatical about technology and so we took this opportunity to teach them more about computers. Campers were given the chance to learn how to develop presentations on PowerPoint. They were given assignments for which they developed presentations; in particular a project on their favourite caliph was developed. They included research from the lives of caliphs and derived lessons for themselves from this project. Later, they were able to present them before an audience. This integrated with our theme nicely as it was a practical experience for children to display courage to face an audience.
Our aim was to improve the pronunciation and tajweed of the children’s Qur’an recitation. We introduced selective Duaas and Surahs which the children had memorised by the end of the camp alhamdullilah.
Art and Crafts
This year we decided to focus on the importance and benefits of recycling! Recycled crafts not only involve creating a unique piece of art but also develop critical thinking, aesthetic sense and concentration. Many eco-friendly recycled art projects were made with material found around the house or items that are usually thrown away. With the children’s effort and imagination; egg cartons, old t-shirts, broken jewellery, news papers, magazines and stationary, all turned into fabulous works of art.
Taekwondo is a form of martial arts which helps build self esteem, boost self-confidence and inculcate discipline. AIS summer campers got to learn taekwondo from a professional trainer. It involved kicking and punching movements to energize the body, breathing and meditation techniques to improve focus. Children loved this sport and gained all-round physical fitness.
Regular exercise increases quality of life. Football and badminton helped our students stay fit as well as develop leadership qualities and teamwork. Warm up exercises made them energetic and active thorough out the day.
Communication skills development helped boost confidence in the children. Our teachers encouraged students to communicate in public and with family through the examples of Prophet’s (s.a.w) life and how he communicated perfectly with his companions.
The Bird Aviary at the Lake View Park was the perfect place for the Muslim Explorers to explore this summer’s Muslim Explorer theme: ‘birds’. The children had a great experience observing innumerable birds from all over the world. This gave them the opportunity to see the wondersof Allah’s creation which was the aim of this project. We wanted the children to strengthen their bond with the Creator in the guidelines of the Qur’an. Later the students wrote all about their brilliant experience.
Experimenting with chemicals, critical thinking in physics and going loopy with biology was magnificently exciting this year! Campers enjoyed various science experiments and activities this summer.
Muslim Heroes was another moving experience for the campers. They got to listen to true stories of amazing heroes in Islam. The inspiring mission and heart touching lives of Muslim caliphs as sincere leaders was enlightening. The earnestness of the wives of the Prophet (s.a.w) also made a great impact on the children. The children derived their own lessons from the stories and identified their real role models, which was the aim of this activity.
The summer campers enjoyed stacks of short Islamic stories narrated to them every day. Children developed moral values and Islamic ethics. They also got the chance to learn how to tell stories!
Manners and Virtues
Sleeping, eating travelling and using the washroom the sunnah way was taught to our summer campers to encourage living exactly how our beloved Prophet (s.a.w) did. The children enjoyed the experience and developed these habits very quickly Alhamdulillah.
The purpose of this activity was to develop an understanding and love for fasting. Also to encourage children to avoid the acts that we have been ordained to avoid while fasting such as; quarrelling, hitting, using foul language, getting angry etc. Children enjoyed many activities prepared for this theme and also learnt duas of Ramadan.
Children were given the concept and understanding of the beautiful names of Allah (s.w.t). Art activities related to the names were also added each week which the children enjoyed thoroughly.
See you at the next summer camp where we will be doing all this and a lot more In Shaa Allah.