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Tuesday, 15 June, 2010

Amal camp 2010

click here to view 'Amal Camp 2000' photos

The stormy weather at Ohio’s Camp Muskingum was not enough to keep the Amal Camp regulars away from the 15th anniversary of the event. Nearly 200 new and returning campers attended the three day event in northeastern Ohio, where Libyans from around the country and the world bonded over basketball and bazeen.

The weekend began with old friends reuniting and new friends being made as the attendees arrived to camp on Friday. The campers chose their bunks, caught up with friends, and dined on usban for dinner. Early the next morning, they were greeted with a breakfast of pancakes and sphinz as they prepared for the day’s activities. While some headed to the basketball courts, others went down to Leesville Lake to race in kayaks and row each other around in canoes. Later in the day a massive group headed to the rock climbing wall, where everyone took turns climbing to the top with the rest of the crowd cheering them on.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, the cooks were preparing enough bazeen to feed an army for what would be the culinary highlight of the weekend. Mound after mound of bazeen made its way out of the kitchen for the dozens of hungry campers waiting with their hands washed and their sleeves rolled up. As the day winded down, some people took naps while others played shkuba on the porch of the main lodge.

Later on after evening prayers, the founders of the Libyan American Scholarship Fund presented the campers with the organization's new web site and launched its fundraising efforts. With the first awards going out in a couple of months, the fund needed to raise enough money to distribute this year's scholarships as well as reinvest into the fund in the hopes that it will eventually become self sustaining. The community reached into their pockets and were able to meet most of the LASF's needs, but the fundraising goals have not yet been met. There is more information on the scholarship fund as well as a page for donations at the group's website libyanscholar.org.

After a huge group picture, the night ended with a fireworks show over Leesville Lake and campers sitting around the fire making s’mores. The following morning, the campers gathered for one last breakfast, before cleaning out their cabins and getting ready to head home. Some people started saying their goodbyes, while others tried to squeeze in one last swim or kayaking adventure. During lunch, the final group meal, volunteers were chosen to organize next year's camp, something all of us are looking forward to given the success of Amal Camp 2010.

Amal camp 2010


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