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Camp CoEJ Diaries-Boys-Day 7

Camper Diary-Mars
We were extra early for Fajr and were reciting verses of the Quran while waiting for the Adhaan. We were awarded 20 points for our planet so today was very easy to wake up. Our planet is currently in the lead, and this made me feel really good. Only more good was waiting for us as we later woke up to the smell of pancakes, which were, believe it or not, better than the smell. This put us in a great mood for the rest of the day and also very hyper as I flooded the pancakes with Nutella. The activities to follow only brought more joy to my time in the camp thus far.
First we had Planet Time, where we started off with word association. Although we convinced ourselves that this would help our co camper from Madagascar with his English, secretly we really enjoyed it ourselves. Then we got to know each other even more by playing a game that involved five die with questions on it to explore our personalities. One of the questions was ‘What is your biggest fear?’, and as much as I learnt to listen to others; these questions really made me think so I learnt a lot about myself. Getting to know each other with the help of questions that we didn’t think of ourselves brought us together as a family within our planet. This was reflected in the following activities as we found ourselves encouraging and cheering each other on.
In outdoor activities, we played football against Jupiter, planet versus planet. It wasn’t the first time, however, all of us agreed that we played much better as a result of the bonding because we have learnt to work as a team both through the team building exercises as well as the personal bonding. The camp has also emphasized the importance of communication and this was evident when all our friends kept screaming names every time we got the ball. It was a fun game.
The following activity was archery in the sports hall. We arrived just as the other group was finishing their team challenge with Janine the lovely instructor. We spent about five minutes watching them before starting our own session. Once we started we got these guards that we put on our weak arm to protect us from the arrow. Soon enough after she had shown us the ropes it was time for us to have a go. Two people went up at a time, eight campers and two mentors, this means there were five rounds. There was a mixture of results for the first few shots. After our go, we collected the arrow and then started the team challenge. A few people really stood out in the team like Abbas, Hilal and Bilaal. Our total score was 288, and I am pretty sure we beat most of the planets if not all. We will find out tomorrow.
We gathered in the prayer room for snacks, we got cucumbers, carrots, and juice. Then we made our way to the cave, which was a shed that was turned into a rock climbing heaven. When we went it, there was a small hall where we left our belongings. The cave looked very realistic, as if we were climbing on real boulders and cliffs, except there was a mattress to fall on. We learnt how to climb sideways and upwards as well as downwards. It was very difficult in the beginning but after practicing it was easier. The instructor told us that not everyone will be naturally talented at certain things but consistency and hard work makes up for it. Our favorite part was the competition in the end where the instructor challenged us to let go of some handles until we fell.
For lunch, our planet served mash potato and chicken stew. I felt good when I was given the opportunity to hand out food to the campers. We didn’t realize I enjoy serving others this much.
In Mazaher Bha’s lesson, we discussed Islamophobia. All eager to learn, we were put in a focus group to discuss the impacts of Islamophobia and how it affects us and others, we watched a video about Islamophobia and the effect it had on people and shared our own experiences from the past and how it has affected us and made us change for the better. I learnt that Islamophobia can be experienced in more than one way. This is useful in everyday life and I will talk about how it can affect others and share this with my friends at school when I get back.
Kumail bha’s lesson was on roles that we could play in our community using our talents. We started off by recognizing our own talents in an interactive manner and related this to our awaited Imam and being apart of his army. Shiekh Kumail facilitated a debate on capital punishment, whether we agree with death penalties. We gained a better understanding of the subject, where and why it is used and how it is justified. We split up into two groups and this activity also developed our debating and public speaking skills.
In Quran Class, Mahdi Bha started a discussion on The People of Thamud and Prophet Saleh. We discussed how the people of Thamud disrespected the Prophet and asked him that they will only follow Islam until Allah shows them a sign. So Allah sent down a She Camel to the people of Thamud. The She Camel would drink the whole water on one day and produce the most milk on the next day. The people of Thamud took advantage at first and converted to Islam up to when some of the Thamud people felt that enough is enough. They hired a serial killer who killed the She Camel at Night. The Prophet and his companions woke up on the next day and so that the She Camel was killed. The arrogant people told the Prophet that they killed it and told him to tell Allah if he is powerful to punish them. We learnt that: – Respect what Allah gives you. If Allah sends you a miracle then you should respect it
We had shepherds pie and chicken wraps for dinner. Food was amazing and all our friends enjoyed eating it with love.
In Personal Development Time, we began with a long walk in the wet grass until we finally reached the already lit camp fire. One of the mentors was keeping the fire going and other mentors were handing out marshmallows on sticks which looked delicious. We each got a turn to go up and roast our marshmallows, some doing it better than others. However, everyone said it was amazing. Some were so tempted by the marshmallows they didn’t have the patience to even roast it before they put it on their mouth, others lit their marshmallows on fire for the thrill, and claimed it tasted great. We loved it because we have been to other camp fires in the past but never have been able to eat the marshmallows. This time they were halal and we finally got to experience a magical camp fire- It was an amazing atmosphere and tasted yum.
After the camp fire we settled into our beds, reading out the mail from our parents to each other before a well-deserved sleep. We ended the day by reciting the four quls.