Decorative streamers went flying this morning as the team of Camp Ayandeh counselors and staff furiously prepared for the afternoon arrival of over 100 campers. Rooms were assigned, check-in lists were prepared and nametags were organized. Day one excitement was in the air.
IAAB’s Summer Leadership Institute’s counselors met the first campers in Whittier College’s Stauffer Hall with loud cheers, welcoming them into their already growing community. But as the hours moved forward, the red-shirted camp staff members became slowly outnumbered, the cheering human-tunnels welcoming new campers from the airport grew larger and icebreaker activities took flight.
With the arrival of the final bus, campers were met by two formal introductions–the first, exuberantly interrupted by a “surprise” choreographed dance from the counselors and the second opening discussion on the purpose of the coming ten days.
Camp Ayandeh consists of 12 counselor groups this year—team names to come. Group chants, however, although limited to numbers at the moment, resonated through the nicely air-conditioned hall, echoing a strong sense of both enthusiasm and spirit.
IAAB Executive Director Mana Kharrazzi gave her annual, yet annually unique, speech on community building, emphasizing the Camp Ayandeh family. Dancing ensued, as always and it became distinctly clear that Summer Leadership Institute 2013 had begun.
To a good nights rest and a great tomorrow.
By: Tara Golshan
Images by: Arash Azizzada and Shervin Etemad