Welcome to Our Favorite Place!
Welcome to Camp Ayandeh and Camp Javan! It's our favorite time of the year!
This July, 25 Iranian-American leaders joined IAAB as counselors and staff at our youth summer leadership camps. The diverse group hailing from across the U.S. brings a wide array of IAAB and community experiences.A myriad of experiences and unique perspectives equip our pool of counselors as facilitators, community builders, and youth organizers.Together we build a community that nurtures and empowers each of our campers. This summer's pool of counselors are particularly equipped to empower our youth at such a critical juncture:
- Over 70% participated in Camp Ayandeh as high school students,
- More than half participated as counselors or staff at previous camps,
- 1/3 attended IAAB’s Student Summit,
- A graduate of Camp Javan's first class is a counselor at Camp Ayandeh.
Campers traveled from across the United States with the largest populations joining from California, Georgia, and the DC/Maryland/Virginia areas. One camper traveled from Lebanon, offering a unique international perspective to the conversations and workshops. Despite including the lowest number in years of attendees from international locales, this summer's program included perspectives from varying segments of the Iranian-American community.
The first day began with icebreakers and other teambuilding activities meant to connect new and returning campers. Favorites such as 'All My People' were played in rotation as the circle of campers grew throughout the day.
Following a rousing welcome dance choreographed by several of the counselors and staff, many of whom lead cultural dance performances at their universities, the campers joined in an impromptu dance party.
After the warm welcome, counselors introduced themselves to their campers for the duration, explaining the basics on how to communicate and expectations for the program. Counselor groups created their community agreements and got to know their groups since they'd be participating in small group discussions together.
The first few days focused on introducing the campers to the basic tenets of communication, inclusivity, and identity - all of which are necessary to developing personal leadership skills and fostering community. More on that later! Please feel free to peruse some of our photos from the first few days of Camp Ayandeh and Camp Javan.
You can visit IAAB's Facebook page to see more photos from the beginning of Camp Javan and Camp Ayandeh!