***FYI: Due to current events the National Youth Team is arranging a virtual camp online in lieu of hosting the camp at Baitur Rahman Mosque. Applications are still welcome through April 30th, 2020***
The third annual National Youth Camp will be held from Saturday, July 18th, 2020 to Friday, July 24th, 2020. The National Youth Camp is a result of 2017 National Shura recommendation. The youth camp is for high school students (ages 15 through 18, both boys and girls) and its purpose is to provide a stimulating environment to discuss religious, moral and social issues relevant for our youth.
Applications for the National Youth Camp can be submitted here. Please also review the application information letter. The camp has a total of 100 seats available (50 boys and 50 girls). All jamaat members of 15-18 years of age, who are in high school in Fall 2020, are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is April 30th, 2020.
Preliminary Schedule (coming soon)
Topics covered during academic sessions
Islam 101 This module empowers the youth to develop a love of God, acquire spiritual tools, and to have an appreciation of their Islamic Identity. In a stage where searching for the purpose and meaning of life and death and the purpose and point of worship, the teachings from the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith, and Books of the Promised Messiah should be employed in a fun and interactive manner. This module allows the participant to develop their own conclusions while fostering a love for the vast knowledge and appreciation of Islamic literature and history.
Marriage This module discusses the issues of marriage, divorce, gender roles, and interaction between genders. As American Muslims, statistics on divorce may impact us in various ways. The objective of this unit is to strengthen our understanding of Islam’s teachings on marriage, to provide practical solutions that help prevent divorce, and give students an understanding of what a successful marriage looks like in Islam and how it is achieved.
Chastity In this module students will discover facts and figures of where our youth stand in the country as it relates to the issues of chastity. For example, social issues like dating, LGBT, and marriage. Students will also explore how these issues affect us on a daily basis. We will do a reality check for a better understanding of how exposed we may be to the ills of society and the negativity surrounding us. The module will facilitate discussion on how to recognize dangers, protect ourselves from these dangers, and help protect our peers. Students will study medical, social, legal, moral and Islamic teachings to better manage, understand, and address the concerns of chastity.
Pornography, Sexual abuse and rape, Consent, drugs and alcohol usage, & #MeToo (a Men’s problem) This module discusses the issues of pornography, domestic abuse (which includes sexual, financial, physical, and emotional), rape, consent, and the #Metoo campaign. As American Muslims, the startling statistics for these social problems may impact us in various ways. This module will strengthen each student’s understanding of Islam’s viewpoint on each of these issues. Students will receive practical solutions that help avoid damaging consequences from such social ill, and gain clarity on how they can receive counsel through the support of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Khilafat, Islamic Leadership, & its purpose This module helps students understand the importance of Khilafat, leadership, and the value of obedience and love of Khilafat. Many Muslim youth across America are lost because they cannot find unity or consistent Muslim leadership. Ahmadi Muslims are blessed in that we have a divinely appointed Khalifa who gives us guidance on spiritual and practical matters. This module will help students to understand Islamic leadership, the importance of obeying our Khalifa, and how to form a loving relationship with him.
Racial justice and social activism This module discusses the Islamic view on the internal and external concerns of racial justice, and social activism issues. While it is against the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(sa) to protest our government, Islam teaches us to not neglect our duties to speak up for those who are wronged, and to uphold the tenets of justice. Rather than disparage those who are dealing with human rights abuses, students will learn how to effectively partner and collaborate. Students will complete the module with a better understanding of how to engage with compassion and empathy, and engage in an effort based on faith and prayers and the revolutionary change that Prophet Muhammad(sa) brought.
Importance of balance in life between faith, materialism, family, and school This module discusses the balancing and combination of faith, materialism, family, and school life. How do we create stability between the important aspects of our lives so that we can maintain healthy lifestyles without feeling overwhelmed or burdened with our responsibilities? This module prepares students to balance our roles and responsibilities so that we do not sacrifice one lifestyle component over another. Students will better understand their obligations and privileges, and identify methods of balancing various facets of their lives as American Ahmadi Muslims.
What it means to be an Ahmadi Muslim, i.e. identity, challenges, pride, what do the 10 conditions of bai’at entail on a daily practical basis This module discusses what it means to be Ahmadi Muslim. It will cover identity, practical applications of the 10 Conditions of Bai’at, (re)connection with Jamaat in the midst of competing demands, societal/cultural expectations and/or life detours, and instilling a sense of pride in being an Ahmadi Muslim. Students will gain a renewed understanding of the lifestyle of an Ahmadi Muslim, how the practice of our faith distinguishes us in ways to be proud of, and the significance of a personal connection with Allah/Khilafat.
How to lead? building institutions, organizations, and nations. This module discusses the spiritual motivation for attaining excellence in knowledge and sciences. We start with how knowledge is the first rung on the ladder to getting closer to God. We discuss how Prophet Muhammad (sa) implemented fundamental notions of freedom of expression and logic and study of the world around us that helped germinate a remarkable scientific revolution. Students will also discuss the writings of Promised Messiah (as) and Khulafa on attaining excellence in education, and why that is essential for expanding our capacities to help in the mission of helping humanity and serving God.
Avenues of tabligh and charity This module discusses the need for Tabligh and to keep ourselves occupied in service of God’s creatures. As the next generation of Da’een to share the message of Islam with friends and colleagues, students will learn how to remove the “shyness” associated with communicating our faith to others. The module discusses how Prophet Muhammad (sa) and the Promised Messiah conveyed the message and how this charitable attitude of next generation Ahmadi professionals helps in spreading the global and peaceful message of Islam. Students will understand how they can engage in service through available Jama’at platforms like Humanity First, IAAAE, AACP, AMMA, and AMLA, among others.
Sports, Health, and Wellness: This module discusses the importance of sustaining an active physical, mental, and emotional lifestyle as promoted by the teachings of Islam. In today’s age of entertainment, screens and drive-thru services have increased childhood obesity and have placed other health factors at great risk. This module has four main objectives. (1) Address the common excuses used to avoid exercise with practical guidance (2) Provide students answers to questions about physical health and healthy eating (3) Discuss the importance of maintaining a healthy diet with Halal and Tayyab food (4) The importance of our emotional and mental health and the Islamic perspectives of balance, moderation, and compassionate approaches to coping and thriving through life’s challenges and trials.
Atheism This module discusses the common questions youth have on the existence of God. As Huzoor (aba) has mentioned in several sermons, atheism is growing due to a lack of understanding of God, a lack of engagement of the youth, and a lack of commitment to the teachings of Islam Ahmadiyyat. This module will help students understand God as taught by the Prophet Muhammad (sa) and the Holy Qur’an, and empower them with the tools to find God and call others towards God. Students will leave this module with a better understanding of God and how to build their relationship with God.
Rules & Expectations
General Dress Code:
Please bring comfortable and modest clothing for the camp.
There are daily sports activities planned for you, so please bring comfortable and modest sports attire with you.
Boys should have a topi/hat and girls should wear a scarf/hijab at the required times.
Campers are requested to be respectful and follow the camp guidelines. You are expected to know and model exemplary behavior as per the Islamic way of life.
Always be prepared for Salat, class and other activities on time.
The camp is a great way to meet others who are in your age group and make new friends. When meeting others, please keep kindness and respect at the core of your interactions.
Program volunteers and coordinators should also be shown courtesy and respect at all times. If they advise you, please listen to them and follow their advice. They will also be there for you if you have any questions or difficulties.
A shower schedule will be provided so everyone gets a turn. Please bring a towel and supplies.
Rules for Using Technology
In order to fully benefit from the spiritual atmosphere of the camp, we request that you limit the use of technology. The goal of attending the camp is to be actively engaged and fully present for the sessions.
Electronic devices are intended to facilitate your participation in class. Please reserve personal phone time for breaks and bedtime. If an emergency arises and you need to use your phone please seek permission to leave the session and complete your call in a quiet area so as not to disturb the proceedings of the camp.
Students are expected to know the Islamic etiquette for social interactions including respectful and appropriate behavior, and that will also apply to your online interactions with others. There is a zero-tolerance policy for visiting or sharing inappropriate websites or images.
How are students selected for the youth camp?
Any student (boy or girl) who is in high school (9th to 12th grade) in the coming academic year can apply for the summer youth camp. However, in case we have more applicants than number of spots available, we give preference to applicants in more senior grades (since they have fewer future opportunities to apply). The application committee also reserves the right to select additional applicants for other criteria including increasing diversity at the youth camp.
I have a sibling or friend that I really want to attend the youth camp with me. Is preference given for siblings or other relatives?
No. We treat all applicants equally without regard to whether they have a sibling who has also applied.
I am flying in from a long distance. If I do not want to travel alone, what should I do?
Once you have been accepted to the youth camp, you can let us know that you would like to travel with another participant. We can put you in touch with other participants from your area who may be able to travel with you on the same flight.
Are students required to apply themselves, or can parents/others apply on their behalf?
It is absolutely essential that students apply to the youth camp themselves and out of their own free will. While parents can encourage their children to apply, the final decision must come from students themselves and they should complete the full application process on their own.
How does the application committee and youth camp organizers communicate with participants and applicants?
All of our communication is done via email. Please make sure that the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” is in your safe email list, so emails from us do not go to you junk or spam folder.
If I am accepted to the youth camp, am I guaranteed a spot?
Yes, as long as you return our acceptance form and fill out the travel information within the deadline given to you. If you do not complete this process within the allotted time, the admission committee reserves the right to give your spot to someone else.
What do I need to bring to the youth camp? Are their any special instructions for participants?
Yes. You will receive a “welcome packet” prior to your arrival at the camp, which will contain all this information.
Are their certain guidelines that youth camp participants must follow?
Yes. All participants are expected to follow the guidelines detailed either in the welcome packet or otherwise. Youth camp organizers reserve the right to send a participant back home for any serious breach of camp discipline.