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Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Overview

Who attends MYC?

MYC is considered a “family camp” because we encourage campers of all ages to attend, from babies to grandparents. There is something for everyone. Most campers are between grade-school and college ages. Attendees are typically from California and surrounding states, but many campers and staff (including our teachers and counselors) come from all over the United States and Canada. For the most part, our campers are American-raised Muslim kids and adults with both indigenous and immigrant Muslim backgrounds, coming from all walks of life.

The Muslim Youth Camp of California is a “non-sectarian” organization. All Muslims who sincerely self-identify as such are welcome. We are proud that every year, MYC includes Muslims of various madhahib (schools of legal interpretation) and backgrounds coming together in a spirit of unity, mutual respect, learning, and cooperation. Typically, our campers reflect the broad demographic make-up of the American Muslim community at large. Consequently, campers and counselors represent both Sunni and Shi’i communities, as well as salafi and sufi perspectives among others, and all are made to feel welcome and legitimate. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter how much you know ­ everyone can learn something of value.

How is the camp relevant to Muslim children growing up in America?

The MYC staff understands the challenge that all human beings face in today’s world in terms of developing and maintaining a healthy religious sensibility and in conducting oneself in a manner pleasing to God. Young people in particular face many conflicting messages every day, and American Muslim youth must contend with additional factors such as prejudice, complex cultural patterns, and contemporary world politics. Many of MYC’s staff members are parents, and are concerned about the same issues regarding raising upright, responsible Muslims and citizens of the United States. Furthermore, many MYC staff members have grown up in the United States and have grappled with the same issues faced by young American Muslims today. MYC tries to help young Muslims reflect on their own unique purpose, potential, and pathway to adulthood. MYC seeks to enable young Muslims to make good choices about their future in this world and the next.

Do you teach a particular school of Islamic thought or practice?

No. MYC reinforces the basics of Islam — those aspects of the religion that are common to all Muslims, but we also remain aware of the differences and similarities between Muslims and the unique backgrounds of every camper. Counselors and teachers emphasize the importance of studying the Qur’an and the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in order to reflect on God’s message for our lives today. MYC also believes that part of becoming a good Muslim is to be exposed to differences and learn how to live respectfully and productively with others. As a result, our staff does our best to accommodate the natural diversity that exists among American Muslims, especially those attending the camp. In learning the prayer, for example, MYC staff tries to match a child to teachers of his/her particular madhhab if possible. In other words, we encourage campers to understand why there are differences among us and value our commonalities.

We also emphasize respect for diversity because it is important to the creation of our “village” environment. MYC seeks to build a social and intellectual environment that inherently appreciates diversity as a blessing from which we can all benefit, thus building a long-lasting and cohesive MYC family.

What type of education about Islam will my child receive?

MYC believes in education, rather than indoctrination. MYC recognizes that internalizing Islam is dependant upon asking questions. Even the youngest child can ask the most profound questions about creation. At MYC we try to address those questions by explaining how Muslims throughout history have asked and answered the very same questions. We encourage campers to think and find answers that are meaningful to them. We believe this exploration is most successful in an environment that values the individual’s need for quiet reflection, creative expression, and value to the whole group. MYC reinforces these needs in its classes in an age-appropriate manner and emphasizes that learning about Islam and one’s Muslim identity is based on the following:

  1. the basics: personal reflection on God and oneself;
  2. the historical texts: various ways Muslims have studied Qur’an and sunna, such as tafsir (Qur’anic commentary), legal theory, ethics, history, theology, philosophy, cosmology, and so on;
  3. contemporary realities: tools to understand how conflict and progress occur, such as the dynamics of personality, social constructs, power dynamics, cultural values, and economic and political realities

Secondarily, our curriculum is designed to nurture our campers’ own individual Islamic identities through basic teachings in Islam and age-appropriate exercises in critical thinking about current and historical issues. Classes are designed around a different annual theme, always drawing upon some combination of Islamic history, theology, law, ethics, philosophy, and sociology. A typical curriculum might include courses on Qur’anic themes and concepts, knowledge of the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his Companions, as well as other prophets, exploration of classical Islamic beliefs and history of Muslim cultures, contemporary Muslim life in the United States and other contexts, and exploration of how to live in harmony and peace with other human beings and the environment. Pre-school, elementary and middle school campers are given a foundation in these subjects, with additional emphasis on the value of Islamic adab (etiquette). For high school and above, classes incorporate discussion of tafsir and hadith interpretation in the formation of religious rules and laws, scholarship by ulama (scholars) of the past and present, and how to understand variation of opinion and practice in the Islamic tradition. On really tough topics, where there can be incredible disagreement, MYC campers not only learn the points of disagreement between Muslims, but also practice how to engage in polite, respectful discussion while maintaining a Muslim friendship. Our staff and faculty are expected to be a living example of these principles for the whole camp, showing that intellectual differences evolve naturally from the many ways that sincere Muslims approach common questions, and that everyone’s sincere effort deserves to be respected.

In MYC classes, no one is judged on the amount of knowledge they know or don’t know. In fact, the MYC curriculum does not aim to “graduate” campers with a particular body of substantive information. Rather, MYC ultimately aims to empower campers with the appropriate tools with which they can continue their own knowledge, by creating educational experiences where Islam is learned in an environment that encourages discussion, honest and respectful questioning and open expression of thoughts and views on a given topic. It is important to us that campers leave the camp feeling both supported and challenged by the MYC curriculum.

What type of religious practice takes place at the camp?

All five daily prayers are performed in congregation (jama’ah). Campers are awakened by the adhan for fajr around 5:00 AM, and retire to their cabins after ‘isha prayer around 9:30 PM. (Several opportunities for daytime naps are included in the daily schedule.) After the call to prayer (adhan), campers join together in quiet praise of God (tasbeeh) and typically take a few minutes to read the Qur’an or perform sunnah prayers. After each prayer, one of the campers leads the entire camp in the recitation of parts of a du’a (invocational prayer) which the camp together memorizes in full by the by the end of the week, through this daily repetition. On Friday, campers are given extra time to prepare for a formal jum’a program that includes a full khutba (sermon) before the prayer.

Other religious practices take place as well. For example, a volunteer is selected to lead the group in a traditional du’a prior to each meal. Hikes, classes, counseling sessions, and campfire are often punctuated with recitation of topically-appropriate Qur’anic surahs and hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) to help shape the nature of learning and ideas during the camp week.

Some religious practices conducted at home during the year between camps are specially recognized with colorful awards on the last day of the camp. MYC has a long-standing tradition of awarding specially-designed, Qur’anic-calligraphed banners featuring the shahada to campers who can demonstrate their knowledge of the Qur’an, memorization of surahs, performance of salat, fasting during Ramadan, and other personal achievements in ibadat (worship).

What is MYC’s policy on gender-segregation?

The MYC environment is geared toward learning and practicing modest and respectful behavior between the sexes, rather than strict gender segregation. To accomplish this, men and women and boys and girls share the same public space during large group activities, such as prayers, classes, meals, and campfire. Within that public space, equal areas are often arranged for separated seating, but communication between men/boys and women/girls is welcome as long as it is respectful, modest and public. For example, each cabin group eats at a designated table that is separate from all other cabins, but as campers clear their tables and put away their dishes, they will interact with other campers from other tables (and other genders) doing the same. Polite and modest communication at that time is necessary and appropriate. Similarly, our classes are gender-inclusive, with boys and girls of the same age studying together in the same class. Sometimes they will be seated separately in that class, and at other times a class exercise will require smaller groupings that call for direct discussion between boys and girls. Done respectfully and in the public eye of the teacher and their peers, our campers thus practice how to interact with the opposite sex in a way that maintains their own personal space, modesty, and respect for themselves and others. Lewd, hurtful or sexist behavior is never acceptable.

Keeping this sense of adab (etiquette) in mind, campers may meet and talk with unrelated campers of the opposite sex even during free time, as long as it is done in a public place visible to the camp community and with a paramount awareness of carrying oneself with modesty (haya’)

Does MYC have a dress code?

As part of our effort to create a “Muslim village” environment, the MYC Board advocates a holistic approach to modesty, with attention to behavior and speech more than any particular dress for MYC campers during the week. Because we welcome a diversity of Muslims to attend the camp, we have created general dress guidelines for both men and women that we believe represent a moderate cross-section of the common beliefs and practices of Muslims in America today. More specifically, we request all campers to dress with loose clothing that is not sexually-provocative or displays inappropriate language or graphics. Men and boys’ shorts should reach at least the knees. For women and post-pubescent girls, we request that they bring a scarf or other headcovering for use during prayer. Headcovering is not required, but is welcome, at all other times. It is important for MYC campers to remember that modesty is an attribute that comes from within. One should not expect that one’s choice in clothing can successfully operate as a cover for immodest behavior, and vice versa.

There are, of course, many interpretations of what “modesty” means. We have set the above guidelines primarily for reasons of MYC policy – our primary purpose being to serve our collective good. They should not be taken to represent any particular choice of fiqh (legal doctrinal) position on the issue. Our overall goal is to allow and encourage individual MYC campers to study and explore what an Islamic standard of modesty means for themselves, including action and speech. Our dress policy will inevitably be both more and less restrictive than the dress individual MYC campers are accustomed to in their own daily life. We ask campers to do their best to respect the camp guidelines in the positive and inclusive spirit with which they were adopted.

As with all other issues at MYC, open, honest, and respectful discussion of the question of Muslim dress is welcome, both at the individual and group levels, even as it differs from the policy guidelines chosen by MYC. The week of camp is an opportunity to experiment with one’s dress in the safe and unique context of an American Muslim population living in retreat from the outside world, and dedicating a full week to building our Islamic knowledge and identity.

Read more about the history of our dress code policy.

Do you have camps at other times of the year or in other parts of the US?

MYC is held in California, with the specific locale varying from time to time between northern, coastal, central and southern California. MYC organizes one summer camp each year, one-week long, typically in mid-August.

A weekend program inspired by MYC called Mizaan Retreat has been organized in Pennsylvania by two MYC board members and the local community. The culture and academic focus of Mizaan is very much like that of MYC.

2. Registration

My child has never been away from home before. What if s/he gets homesick and wants to go home?

Our counselors and staff do their utmost to help your child with homesickness by helping him or her find friends and activities to keep his or her mind off of being away from home. If your child is still uncomfortable with the camp setting and operations, then with your consultation, we may need to make arrangements for your child to return home.

Can my child attend the camp without me?

If your child is at least 9 years old and can be self-sufficient in a counseled setting, yes. All children under 9, however, must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian.

How much does it cost to send my child or children to MYC?

MYC provides a full-week (Sunday afternoon through Saturday morning) residential experience at a very reasonable price when compared to conventional camping programs and other summer activities. MYC does not have a group rate for families with multiple campers, but we do offer a multi-camper discount for campers from a single family [parent(s) and child(ren) living in a single household]. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins must use a separate registration form for their own family/household and pay the fees starting with the single camper rate per household (ages 9 [4th Grader] and up):

1st camper in a family: $580
2nd and each additional camper: $555

Campers between the ages of 5 and 8 [3rd Grader] are charged a flat rate of $360 for a full week (accompanied by an adult camper at the normal rate).

Note: Eight-year olds entering 4th grade are grouped with other 4th graders and will be charged the normal full rate within the tiered structure.

Children age 4 and under are free, but must be registered with the rest of the family so that we can allocate cabin space accordingly. All the above fees are subject to change by the MYC Board at its discretion.

Sometimes an Early-bird discount of $25 off for each person is available for a limited time several months before the camp dates. Check the registration page.

Can parents come and visit the kids during the week?

Parents are welcome to visit their children for the day, and/or stay overnight. However, parents are encouraged to come and stay the whole week. As MYC pays the campsite based on specific attendance figures and meals consumed, parents and other visitors must pay a daily rate of $150/person per day (includes overnight stay and up to 3 meals). The rate for children age 5-8 is $75/person per day. These fees are subject to change by the MYC Board. Check the registration page for the latest details. Upon arrival visitors should locate MYC’s on-site Registrar to make appropriate arrangements.

How can I register and pay registration fees?

MYC accepts registrations on a first-come, first-served basis. You can register online by filling in the form on the registration page, which sends your information to the MYC Registrar, the staff person who handles all registration matters.

You will be asked to pay 60% of the total registration fees for your family members at the time of registration. The balance must be paid before camp begins. You can use a credit card to complete your online payment. In person payments at the campsite are accepted in the form of cash, check, or credit card.

Please note that your registration status is tentative until full payment is received by the Registrar. When payment is confirmed, the Registrar will email you a packet with directions to the campsite, and information about planned activities. Early registration helps us plan better, so please register early whenever possible.

I cannot afford to pay the full fee. Is any financial aid available?

Yes, we allocate a set amount of MYC donations every year to financial aid for campers of cabin age (4th grade through college) who qualify for aid. We are not able to offer financial aid for adults. The reduced fee is 60% of the full fee for an individual camper.

To apply for MYC financial aid, you will need to request a financial aid form from our Registrar at the time of your registration. After you fill it out, you must return it with the reduced fee amount. Once the financial deadline has passed, our Financial Aid Committee will review the applications (made anonymous to the committee) and determine who will be awarded the financial aid. Those who are not awarded financial aid will be given some additional time to pay the balance of their registration fee.

Can I get a refund?

Depending on when you ask for a refund we may or may not be able to give it to you. We have a refund schedule (100%, 75%, 50%, no refund). See the registration form for applicable dates for each refund amount. Usually, there are no refunds in the two weeks prior to camp.

I am an MYC staff member. Do I have to register?

Although we do not ask our staff members to pay a registration fee, we do need all MYC staff members (teachers, counselors, administrators) to register for the camp in order for us to appropriately allocate cabin space for the week. You can fill out the registration form on-line or by hardcopy. You should include all family members who are attending the camp with you, and pay the registration fee for any family members who are not full-time staff at the camp.

Do staff members have to pay? What about their families?

Full-time staff members are not required to pay the MYC registration fee. However, we very much welcome the donation of your registration fee to the camp if you are financially able to do so, as this money helps us to offset camp costs and fund other campers who are not able to pay the full fee. MYC staff must pay (or apply for financial aid) for their family members who are campers at MYC.

In order to verify that you are an MYC staff member, contact the MYC Steering Committee.

3. What to Bring & How to Get to Camp

What should I bring to camp?

You will get a more detailed list of what to pack with your registration confirmation. Some of these include: a jacket, rugged shoes, swimwear (modest) and a towel, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, a copy of the Qur’an, loose and modest clothing, and for women and girls, a hair covering suitable for prayer.

How do I get to camp?

You will get directions to camp with your registration confirmation. For the safety of our campers we do not put directions on MYC announcements, brochures or website.

I am flying in from out of town. How do I get to camp from the airport?

In 2017, MYC will take place near Auburn, CA. The nearest airport is Sacramento International (SMF). Campers should book flights to arrive sometime after 9 AM on Monday, the first day of camp, and leave after 9 AM on Saturday, the last day of camp. If you book flights through other airports such as San Francisco International (SFO), you must arrange your own bus or car transportation to SMF. Confirmed staff members should plan to arrive around midday Sunday for the Staff Orientation program prior to the beginning of camp the next day. If your flight dates extend before or after the camp dates, you must make your own local accommodation and transportation arrangements.

We will provide a ride to/from the campsite for MYC campers who book their tickets to the airport indicated above and inform our Transportation Coordinator at least two weeks in advance. We will schedule airport pickups to match the flight groupings. Typically, campers arriving between 9 AM and 12 PM will be transported to the camp sometime in the early afternoon. Later arrivals will be transported to the camp on subsequent shuttle runs.

Remember, if you want to use our airport pickup and dropoff service you have to tell us in advance of your flight schedule! We can’t provide service to anyone who hasn’t communicated with the MYC Transportation Coordinator in advance. This service is only for campers and staff members traveling by plane. Local campers and staff may not use the service as a drop off point for transportation from the airport to the campsite.

4. Counselors, Teachers & Staff

What do the counselors do? How are they selected?

Counseling is one of the most important aspects of the MYC experience. Counselors help keep your child safe in his or her cabin, and they make sure your child gets the most out the many camp activities throughout the week. Most significantly, counselors can serve as role models and mentors, often forging important long-term bonds with your child. It is common to find children looking up to their counselors with admiration and a desire to be like them when they are older.

MYC places great value on the need to provide young Muslims with someone they can trust and talk to, because sometimes it’s not easy to talk to friends or parents about certain issues. Our counselors are willing to listen to them and help guide them, and through them you can get the information you need to help your child mature and develop in a healthy manner.

MYC counselors are all adults (ranging from college-age to parents of teenagers) who are carefully selected based on a formal application, personal references, and past performance. Our counselors receive a counselor-training handbook, including relevant information on child-development, conflict resolution, developing self-esteem and experiences from MYC history. Counselors undergo a day-long orientation and training prior to the camp, and all pledge to respect your child’s and your family’s privacy if the child chooses to discuss any personal issues. During camp, the Counselor Coordinator (in consultation with MYC professional psychological staff) meets with the counselors each day to review important issues emerging during the camp, and monitor the well-being of each camper in their cabin group. When necessary, professional assistance is invoked to resolve important conflicts or individual needs, and parents are brought into an issue where appropriate.

5. Health & Safety

What kind of medical assistance is available at the camp?

MYC typically has at least one physician on staff each year. This Camp Doctor maintains a basic supply of bandages and medications to treat certain ailments or problems (minor cuts, scrapes, bug bites, poison ivy, etc.). A medical release form is required as part of all MYC registration in order to properly inform the Camp Doctor of important medical issues for each child (including administration of any medication during the week.)
The Camp Doctor is provided with an infirmary on the campgrounds where sick campers may stay under observation and treatment as needed. The Camp Doctor may determine whether a camper should seek additional treatment at a medical facility or be sent home early, and the MYC Staff onsite will make arrangements accordingly.

My child has allergies and needs to take medication at times, who can help him/her?

The MYC Camp Doctor is available 24 hours a day to respond to the medical needs of all our campers. There is a medical information form included in your confirmation packet, please make sure to fill it out completely so our doctor knows what to do.

I have a child with special needs. Are they allowed to come to the camp?

All children are welcome to attend the camp, as long as they have appropriate care to make sure they are safe and adjusted to life at camp. If your child requires special care to ensure this is achieved, you must provide such care throughout the week. Our limited funding and staff prevents us from being able to craft specialized services for to children with special needs. But we are very happy to communicate with individual parents to ascertain the best use of our facilities and classes for each child, and will do our best to work with you on a case-by-case basis. If you have a child with special needs, please indicate this in your registration and contact us to see what arrangements can be made to give your special-needs-child a fulfilling MYC experience.

How are camp activities monitored?

A basic daily schedule, developed in light of decades of experience, is followed every day at camp. The schedule is given to the campers in their Camp Handbook upon arrival, and indicates the timings for the five prayers, three meals, classes, sports and free time, and special activities. The Handbook also contains information about the class sessions each cabin group is to attend (time, topic, and name of instructor)) on a daily basis. Counselors direct their campers to attend all prayers, and classes and to arrive promptly at mealtime in the main lodge. Other MYC staff members monitor the campgrounds and communicate via walkie-talkies to ensure communication, safety, and timely action as needed.

How does MYC handle disciplinary issues?

The MYC staff and counselors try to create a positive atmosphere where all types of personalities can flourish in accordance with MYC policies. We make it clear in our Camp Handbook and verbally that all campers are expected to participate in classes, prayers and meals. Campers are expected to be cooperative with MYC staff in authority and friendly towards everyone. Counselors are those primarily responsible for evaluating and responding to a camper’s behavior. This is done in cooperation with the Counselor Coordinator and, if needed, our staff psychological and medical experts. When a concern grows more serious, MYC implements a shura (consultative) process involving the counselor, Counselor Coordinator, and the Ombudspersons. Campers are warned about any inappropriate behavior and are usually given an opportunity to make amends as needed, usually by giving up a privilege such as sports or campfire. For serious violations or repeated infractions, MYC will contact the camper’s parents to pick up their child, in order to safeguard other campers’ experiences for the remainder of the week.

Only MYC staff may conduct corrective action for violation of camp rules. If an adult camper observes misbehavior, it should be reported to MYC staff who will then take care that the issue is responded to in the most appropriate way

6. Communications

Is there access to a phone at the camp?

Usually, there is a phone at the campsite if you need to contact your camper(s) or if they need to contact you. Details should be provided in the Parent Handbook mailed to you after your registration is complete, and is also available on the MYC website at muslimyouthcamp.org.

Is there internet access at MYC?

Internet access is dependent upon the campsite rented by MYC each year and whether or not the campsite manager can make it available to us. In a given year, if internet access is available, we will make it known on the MYC website at muslimyouthcamp.org.

7. Kids' Questions

What is the behavior contract?

To ensure a safe, respectful environment, MYC has its own rules of conduct. Every MYC camper reads and understands these rules with his or her parents before signing the contract. By signing the contract, you acknowledge the rules and focus on ensuring everyone has a great time at MYC by cooperating with authorized staff members, teachers and counselors, being safe and keeping others safe, and not violating any rules. Violations of the contract will be subject to review by MYC administration.

What do we do at MYC? Is it fun?

The day starts with Fajr Prayer and ends with Isha Prayer. In between, we have a hike, breakfast, sports, classes, counseling sessions, Dhuhr Prayer, swimming, ‘Asr Prayer, dinner, and the ever-famous campfire. There are also many opportunities for individual and group activities with your friends.

What you get out of MYC depends on what you put into it. The more you get involved, the more there is for you go home with. Everyone is there to learn, have fun and make friends, and your counselor and teachers do their best to help you do that.

What kinds of other kids will be there?

A lot of different kinds of Muslims come to MYC, and they come here from all over the country. Almost all MYC kids are growing up here in America, dealing with the same sorts of questions that you probably have about how to be a Muslim here. But they all come from different sorts of types of backgrounds ­ some have parents who came here from some other country, some don’t. Some go to Muslim schools, some don’t. Muslim families in the United States are all different in the sorts of rules they make for themselves, and at MYC you’ll probably share a cabin with Muslim kids who have a very different life from yours. But that’s one of the things that so great about MYC. At MYC, we like the diversity of campers that gather here, because that is what the whole Muslim world is like ­ a lot of different types of Muslims who follow different practices, but still all thinking of each other as really the same. During the week of camp, MYC campers learn a bit more about the interesting differences between Muslims, why they are the way they are, and how great it can be to figure out how to have friends with all sorts of people, how to respect our differences and still be sure of who we are ourselves.

Are there any special activities at MYC?

Some of our popular activities are: swimming time (everyday!), campfire, and the competition dinner (ask an old camper about why this is so exciting). We also have group sports, hikes, and arts and crafts for the younger ages. Sometimes there are special outings or projects. You’ll have to come to find out more!

What if I don’t make any friends?

It is very rare that a camper has gone home without making a single friend at MYC. Sometimes you may not find a friend in your cabin but in a different cabin group. Your counselor is there to help everyone have a good time, and if you’re feeling left out, that’s the person to go talk to, and s/he will usually help you work it out just fine.

Can I find out who is in my cabin before camp starts?

No. For safety reasons, we cannot give out names of our campers or their cabin groups before the first day of camp

Can my younger brother or sister come and stay in my cabin?

No. Younger siblings under 9 must stay in an adult cabin. All other siblings will be put in cabins according to their age and gender. If you are close enough in age and the same gender, you may be in the same cabin as your sibling, depending on your grade that year, but remember, that may change next year!

What rules do I have to follow at camp?

All of them. MYC campers are expected to behave respectfully to each other and the staff. As a camp we do our best to keep the campsite clean and in good condition. Campers must attend all MYC activities (prayers, classes, meals, etc.) unless otherwise allowed by their counselor. More specific rules are outlined in the MYC Camper Handbook that you get on the first day of camp. Anyone who violates the rules puts him/herself at risk of being punished and/or sent home from the camp.

Do I have to go to class?

Unless the doctor or your counselor excuses you, all campers must attend all meals, prayers, classes, and counseling sessions. Don’t worry, there is plenty of free time included in each day for you to do fun stuff with your friends. In fact, going to class and other stuff together usually helps you make new friends and come up with ideas for things to do in your free time (like coming up with a skit imitating your teachers!).

Are boys are girls separated at MYC?

Not all the time. At MYC, boys and girls share the same public space (classes, meals, campfire, etc.) because we believe that it is important for American Muslims to practice behaving modestly with the opposite sex. We usually have some separate seating arranged for boys and girls, but there is no prohibition on interacting with each other as long as it is done in public and with modesty and respect for each other. For example, no boys allowed in the girls cabins, and vice versa. But if you keep in a publicly-supervised place, you can talk to someone of the opposite sex as long as it is done in a modest and respectful way.

What should I wear at the camp?

As part of our effort to create a “Muslim village” environment, the MYC Board advocates a holistic approach to modesty, with attention to behavior and speech more than any particular dress for MYC campers during the week. Because we welcome a diversity of Muslims to attend the camp, we have created general dress guidelines for both men and women that we believe represent a moderate cross-section of the common beliefs and practices of Muslims in America today. More specifically, we request all campers to dress with loose clothing that is not sexually-provocative or displays inappropriate language or graphics. Men and boys’ shorts should reach at least the knees. For women and post-pubescent girls, we request that they bring a scarf or other headcovering for use during prayer. Headcovering is not required, but is welcome, at all other times. It is important for MYC campers to remember that modesty is an attribute that comes from within. One should not expect that one’s choice in clothing can successfully operate as a cover for immodest behavior, and vice versa.

There are, of course, many interpretations of what “modesty” means. We have set the above guidelines primarily for reasons of MYC policy – our primary purpose being to serve our collective good. They should not be taken to represent any particular choice of fiqh (legal doctrinal) position on the issue. Our overall goal is to allow and encourage individual MYC campers to study and explore what an Islamic standard of modesty means for themselves, including action and speech. Our dress policy will inevitably be both more and less restrictive than the dress individual MYC campers are accustomed to in their own daily life. We ask campers to do their best to respect the camp guidelines in the positive and inclusive spirit with which they were adopted.

As with all other issues at MYC, open, honest, and respectful discussion of the question of Muslim dress is welcome, both at the individual and group levels, even as it differs from the policy guidelines chosen by MYC. The week of camp is an opportunity to experiment with one’s dress in the safe and unique context of an American Muslim population living in retreat from the outside world, and dedicating a full week to building our Islamic knowledge and identity.

What is the food like there?

The food is made by the staff of the campsite that we are renting. The food is all halal and kid-friendly, including things like pizza, hamburgers, and even fresh-baked cookies!

Is there a phone at camp that I can use to call home?

Usually, there is a phone at the campsite if you need to contact your parents or they need to contact you. But remember, that you can’t interrupt class or prayer to talk to someone at home, unless it is an emergency. More information about how to use the camp phone is in your registration confirmation and on the MYC website.

Is there internet access at MYC?

It depends on the campsite we’re using. Sometimes we have it, and sometimes we don’t. Check your registration confirmation materials and the MYC website to find out what’s available this year.

Can I bring my cell phone? iPod? Gameboy? Laptop?

Personal electronics such as cell phones, MP3players, gameboys and laptop computers are allowed at MYC, but if they become a nuisance or unduly distract you or others from participating in the camp activities, your counselor is authorized to confiscate them for the duration of the camp. (Laptop users should be aware that there is not necessarily internet access at the campsite. Cell phone users should be aware that their phones not work on the campgrounds.) The camp staff cannot guarantee any valuable items against loss or theft, so remember, you are responsible for keeping your belongings safe. We recommend that you not bring anything that you can’t stand to lose.

What should I bring to camp?

You will get a more detailed list of what to pack with your registration confirmation. Some of these include: a jacket, rugged shoes, swimwear (modest) and a towel, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, a copy of the Qur’an, loose and modest clothing, and for women and girls, a hair covering suitable for prayer.

Can I bring my musical instrument, like a guitar, to the camp? Can I play it at campfire?

Musical instruments are allowed at the camp, unless they distract you from attending important camp activities, such as class, prayer, and counseling session. If you want to play something for the camp, such as at campfire, it must first be approved by the MYC Ombudspersons who screen all entertainment at MYC.

How do I get to camp?

You will get directions to camp with your registration confirmation. To keep our campers safe, we cannot put directions to the camp on the brochure or website.