All five daily prayers are performed together in a congregation (jama'ah), in full format (not shortened form for traveling). This helps us reinforce the place of prayer in our daily routine outside of camp, and helps those among us learning the details of prayer. Campers are awakened by the adhan for Fajr Prayer around 5:00 AM and end their day after 'Isha Prayer around 9:30 PM.
At the prayer time, a boys team spreads out the prayer mats, and after prayers, a girls team folds the mats and clears the area. Between the adhan and iqama at each prayer time, campers join together in quiet praise of God (tasbeeh) and typically take a few minutes to read the Qur'an or perform sunnah prayers. While prayers are often led by various adult male campers, we do provide opportunities for young boys and teenagers to call the adhan and iqama, and to lead the prayers. Similarly after each prayer, one of the female campers leads the camp through the recitation of parts of a du'a (invocational prayer). The du'a that has been chosen is based on the camp theme for the whole camp to memorize throughout the course of the week. At each prayer, the camp memorizes sections to builds on the previous day until the entire du'a is memorized. (The special du'a for this year's camp will be provided upon arrival). Typically after Asr prayer, campers volunteer to share a favorite Quranic verse or hadith. On Friday, campers are given extra time to prepare for a formal Jum'a Prayer that includes a full khutba (sermon) before the prayer.
These MYC traditions help build each camper's Islamic knowledge, self-confidence, and leadership. Furthermore, throughout the week MYC staff and volunteers provide tutoring for campers wishing to work on their prayer and Quranic recitation skills.
Other religious practices take place as well. For example, at each meal time, a camper is selected to lead the entire group in a traditional du'a prior to eating. Hikes, classes, counseling sessions, casual discussions, and campfire activities are often punctuated with the recitation of topically-appropriate Quranic verses and hadith to help shape the nature of learning and ideas during the camp week.