Mentor Diary- Fatema Nasser, Mercury Mentor
Today was our first fully timetabled day in Derby and it definitely did not disappoint! The Campers and mentors alike feel a lot more settled now Alhamdulillah and that meant that we could all really enjoy the outdoor activities and lessons that were taking place.
One of the highlights of the day for me was waking the campers for fajr namaaz and seeing them all sitting ready for Jamaat Salah 10 minutes before the time for adhan. It was so amazing, as a mentor, to see how dedicated the campers were to their salaah to be so ready and willing at 3:20 in the morning, especially after the tiring day settling in the day before. Having the opportunity to all sit together and listen to a beautiful recitation of Surah Rahman by another mentor before namaaz was such a wonderful experience.
Once the day got started, the campers went off to their lessons and we were given a chance to get some much-needed rest and make preparations for the day ahead. As mentors, we led the Qur’an time activities where we tried to engage the campers in new and fun activities to help encourage recitation and understanding of the Holy Qur’an. In my group, we managed to play snakes and ladders while learning tajweed rules and it was great to see the campers enjoying themselves and learning at the same time.
Today’s outdoor activities were buggies and problem-solving activities, and I think its safe to say the mentors had just as much fun as the campers did! From trying to find inventive ways to cross a sports hall full of ‘Lava’ to racing around on buggy bikes, we all really got into our activities despite the rain; and we all became quite competitive in the end! We absolutely loved racing each other on buggy bikes and our voices were hoarse after cheering our teams on by the end of the afternoon.
We got plenty of time to spend with our planets today and it was really nice to watch the campers bond with each other on a more personal level. One of the activities we encourage the campers to do before they sleep is to appreciate one another and try to say something they are thankful for or admire about another camper. During this time, when they are tucked into bed, its really heart-warming to hear how the girls feel more like sisters with each passing day. It makes me, as a mentor, feel as though I really am part of something special. Not only am I gaining so many little sisters, but we are all helping them build bonds that will inshAllah last for many years to come.
Even though I have been with the campers for only two and a half days, but I really feel that I am learning so much from the campers and the experiences we are going through together. Each day I find another amazing new detail about each camper in my planet – be it about their interests, goals in life or their personality. As a result of this I am also developing myself; so far I have learnt a lot about what it means to put the needs of someone else before my own, and I have also gained new skills like how to get spiders out from bedrooms!
I am really looking forward to next 8 days and all the new experiences that camp still has to offer!