Mentor Diary- Maisam Jakhara, Neptune
As I woke up at 2:55am, I noticed the 7 spiders above my bed having a general meeting on how to scare me. I got myself prepped and went to wake up the campers within my team, Neptune. Upon entering their rooms, I was greeted with the sound of snoring, although in their defence it was on sync! We then proceeded to the games room for Fajr Namaaz. This short outdoor walk was perfect as it refreshed the campers and awakened their souls. Namaz was recited beautifully by Sheikh ImranAli Khaki. After this, the campers and the mentors both made their way back to the room. See, there is normally a bit of chaos when the campers are scheduled to sleep after their activities which end around 10:30pm, but as we know fajr is a miracle. It is a blessing many of us do not take the advantage of, but thanks to CoEJ, we are seeing this in action. So as the campers entered their rooms, all of them just fell into bed and slept. Boy, this was amazing as the mentors could also fall into their slumbers.
So later that day we had an activity. But this wasn’t any ordinary activity! We were scheduled to go on a stream walk. Many people assumed this was walking besides a stream, or a big lake, and just talking and getting to know the fellow campers. Oh, how we were wrong! So the walk itself to the stream was at least 2 miles long. It was a good bonding exercise as the mentors did talk to campers within different planets. The campers asked us what we do and asked for career advice. I thought this was a perfect way to bond, to show the campers that we mentors were once in their situation and we are here to help, not by being mentors, but by being brothers. So while this took place, we spotted many cows, deers and sheep. It was pretty humorous as it felt like this was the first time we actually saw these animals… and obviously, the dinner jokes came when we passed the cows. We walked past many rivers fearing for our lives that we were going through these. Our external helper, Ben, was very friendly to us. The staff here have been really amazing. They don’t treat us like we are just the average people. The way they communicate with their body language and speech
The staff here have been really amazing. They don’t treat us like we are just the average people. The way they communicate with their body language and speech shows that we have created a bond with them so easily. It felt like we have known them for at least a week as friends. So Ben taught us what kind of leaves we can eat, and even showed us how to eat stinging nettles like it was a salad. It was pretty affective… it was the mentors who got hurt by the nettles while the campers eased passed them enjoying their little lunch. We finally reached the start of the stream. Ben gave us instructions and then said enjoy. We all saw a puddle full of mud. Yeah, you know where this is going. Everyone jumped in like it was a pool and… as you can tell everyone got muddy. So this was just the start. We walked our way up the hill, and we saw the stream. We were relieved to see such a small stream and thought we would cruise past this. Again, we were wrong! We stepped into each puddle of water walking our way up the stream verses the current. It started easy…. And then our feet went for a quick bath! As I am at least 5ft 11” the water got half way up my leg… so seeing campers smaller than me walking through all this was great! Yes, to be honest, we all did complain that the water was cold, but this was a challenge. We all challenged ourselves to finish this course and go through each obstacle without quitting. This actually got us together as if one person decided not to, then everyone as a group would come together and cheer them on. The chemistry in this activity was amazing. Honestly seeing everyone cheer together, work together made me fall in love with this camp again. Normally with friend’s people laugh and have “banter” but not here. This activity brought everyone together, yes there were times were they splashed each other with the water. No one laughed at someone mockingly. They all supported each camper and even mentor! They would make sure that even the mentors took part in this activity.
After this activity, you could tell that all of us were muddy and the clothes were drenched with water. Our feet were swimming in our wellies in a pool of mud. We arrived back and the mentors and the campers went their separate ways to shower. So everyone who participated went to clean up and get ready for zohr prayers. Zohr prayers were recited and the campers recited beautifully when it came to the duas and ziayarat. Now let’s get to lunch. Wow. Lunch just gets better and better. The great thing about our chefs are that they don’t feed us junk food, such as oily chickens or burgers. It’s just right. The meat curry and chick pea rice just suited each other greatly. A serious Thank You is in order for the cooking team, from the chefs, to the helpers. Everyone helps with a smile and we feel like we are treated like humans, not objects. After lunch the campers went to their classes for lessons. This is the time where mentors would go for their daily meetings.
Our last activity called PDT (Personal Development Time) was really interesting and interactive. I forgot to mention very confusing. I wish I could explain it but all I can say now is that everyone, from campers to mentors, had confused faces. The lecturer today, named Gemma, made a piece of paper deceive our eyes, by only cutting it in three ways. A small lecture on Dua Kumail, with a short recitation was performed by our Sheikh ImranAli. When he recited Dua Kumail, everyone would participate and wow. I wish I could explain how beautiful it was. Imagine hearing 60 people reciting together. After this we had our daily post bags and news reports.
The campers then went to sleep. To sum up the day, we had an amazing outdoor activity, which surprisingly didn’t tire the campers out at all. We bonded greatly with different campers from different groups. We had an amazing lunch (and dinner). The campers for sure had an amazing day.