Last Thursday, August 9th, the 2018 Summer Camp for Muslim children, organized by the Al Andalus Educational Foundation, has ended.

This year’s Summer Camp lasted 9 days and took place at a campsite called “La estación de Cabra”, a great place located north of Granada, in the province of Jaén, between the great natural parks of Sierra de Cazorla and Sierra Mágina. The camp was attended by boys between the ages of eight and twelve, who came from different cities of Andalusia as well as from Madrid.

As always, we wanted this camp to be as comprehensive as possible so that all participants, both boys and monitors, would benefit from it. To this end, we have had a very varied programme, which included different types of activities. But if anything is to stand out during this period of coexistence, it is the enjoyment, fun and cheerfulness, which we experienced during these nine days.

The boys enjoyed a great deal of physical activities, playing different types of outdoor games: group games such as gymkhana and team competitions like orienteering races were a good challenge and great fun for all. Archery and rock climbing have been some of our favourite activities. The hiking route to the source of the Gargantón River was a successful feat. The swimming pool on the camp’s premises has served as the perfect place to relax and cool down. The workshops of Arabic calligraphy and painting in the early afternoon required the artistic sense of the boys. The quiet summer nights have also been very well used: we played night games with and without flashlights in total darkness, games of guessing, mime, and we had a movie night… But in the stillness of the night, under the cloak of the stars, we also heard amazing stories from some of the Sahaba (companions of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him), and stories from the Prophets. We have talked in a relaxed way about important aspects of our Din that are becoming relevant in the lives of children of these ages, such as the Salat or the existence of the Unseen.

In addition to all the games and activities at and around the campsite, we have had three scheduled visits outside. The first one was to the city of Granada, where after a walk around the Alhambra fortress and Granada’s historic city centre, we went to the Mosque of Granada to pray the Yumua (Friday prayer). The second visit was a guided tour to the Cueva de las Ventanas (Cave of the Windows), located in the town of Piñar, 45 km south of Granada. This huge cave has been occupied throughout history from the Upper Palaeolithic age to the present day, passing through the different ages: from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, to the epochs of the Iberians, Romans and Muslims. The third visit was to the Aquaola water park near Granada, where both children and monitors had great fun on the slides.

It has been a Summer Camp full of commitment and dedication, during which we have tried to attend to the different aspects in the formation of a person: the physical, the intellectual / cultural, the spiritual and the behaviour. Our aim was to provide a few days of enjoyment to the boys, but also to focus on the values to which Islam calls us: courtesy, an attitude of service, generosity, respect, companionship…

In short, the formation of good character, following the model of our beloved prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.