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.
Question: 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 unique purpose, potential, and the pathway to adulthood. MYC seeks to enable young Muslims to make good choices about their future in this world and the next.