Al-Bustan Camp is an Arabic language and cultural day camp where children and youth develop new language skills and appreciate Arab artsand culture while making new friendships and exploring nature.
Open to children and youth of all ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds, “Al-Bustan”, Arabic for “The Garden”, encourages dialogue, respect, understanding, and celebrates diversity.
Participants do not need to know Arabic to participate, but must be interested in learning the language. Since understanding culture is a critical part of learning another language, immersion in cultural activities is an integral part of the camp experience.
Al-Bustan Camp was launched in July of 2002 at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. In 2006, Al-Bustan Camp celebrated its fifth year and relocated to a new site at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in the Chestnut Hill area of Northwest Philadelphia.
Al-Bustan Camp brings children and youth together with educators, artists, and professionals of different ages, ethnicities and religious faiths. This creates a camp culture that allows each participant to grow through unique social dynamics that develop over the three weeks of camp. The surrounding natural setting of the adjacent Wissahickon Creek Valley enhances and shapes the campers’ sense of curiosity, playfulness, and cooperation, while allowing time for solitude and reflection in-between collective activities.
Each year, a different theme integrates the various program areas. In 2013, campers will explore the life and times of preeminent Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. Past themes have included learning about Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, the life of 14th century traveler Ibn Battuta, Arab contributions to the sciences through the story of Ibn Al-Haytham, Palestinian arts and culture, Andalusia through the story of Ziryab, the Silk Route and traditional Arab souks, the folktale character Juha, and Kalila Wa Dimna stories.
See Recent POSTS ABOUT CAMP:
- Travels of Ibn Battuta: Arabic Picture Books by Campers
Campers create stories that combine Arabic language and art.
- Register for Al-Bustan Camp 2013
Registration is open for children and teens to sign up for Al-Bustan Camp: July 1 -12, 2013
- Summer Travels with Ibn Battuta
See highlights from Al-Bustan Camp 2012!