A blog by the staff and participants of Al-Bustan, which is dedicated to teaching and presenting Arab culture through the arts and language. This provides a forum for us to regularly share the happenings and reflections on all things Al-Bustan-related.
Summer camp is the highlight of a child's summer. It is what they look forward to that last day of class and it is what they will miss the most that first day of the new school year. It is a place to make new friends, learn more about yourself, and have a great time. Al-Bustan's Language and Culture Day camp does just that!
From my first day at camp, I was able to notice the uniqueness about our program. Al-Bustan's thematically integrated approach provides an enjoyable experience for the campers. A new camper, Youssef, exclaims that it is "a fun version of school - kind of like a recreation center with learning!"
Al-Bustan's camp environment is positively influenced by its staff and participants. As Nadia Awad, filmmaker and media educator, noted " I like teaching video to youth because, often, they are not given the opportunity to tell their own stories through media, even though they are most saturated through media. It's empowering." The thematic approach is great especially when working with kids.
Justin Poole, the drama instructor, notes that "[he] provides the material; however, the children filter it through their minds and interpret their understanding through drama." The teachers and counselors enjoy watching the campers as they go through their creative process.
Both the students and the teachers share a mutual respect for each other; this sense of community that is fostered at camp makes Al-Bustan's program especially enjoyable. As counselor Eman noted, she enjoys "the diversity of people here at the camp, yet the strong sense of community. The relationships developed with the campers are exciting and familiar." Overall, Al-Bustan Camp provides an exquisite experience rich in culture and great times for everyone involved.
Teen campers making art.
Zeanah Rumman-Obeid, Drexel student interning at Al-Bustan