On December 17th, 2007, Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) began accepting applications for Camp Ayandeh 2008, which will take place at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia from June 22nd through June 28th, 2008.
Camp Ayandeh is a youth leadership camp that strives to create a positive environment where young Iranian-Americans develop a sense of personal culture and feel empowered as a member of a larger community. Campers have the opportunity to reflect on their cultural heritage and experiences in the company of peers and role models who are facing similar questions of community and identity. The curriculum - which is developed by IAAB staff - focuses on prompting dialogue among campers, while stimulating personal reflection and building leadership skills. For more information on the camp, please visit IAAB's website at: www.iranianalliances.org/camp08.html.
The atmosphere of Camp Ayandeh is one of family warmth. Our camp staff works hard to maintain a caring learning environment where campers can discover more about themselves and each other. Nevertheless, such an environment often seems to emerge out of a natural connection between camp participants. One camper spoke of his decision to attend Camp Ayandeh, a decision he said was somewhat difficult for him:
"I questioned my decision to go to camp in the last summer of my high school career, where each day is so valuable to spend time with my friends that I have known for years. Today I am so glad that I did it. I made so many friends that I trust and respect. I know they changed my life and opened my eyes to so many new things, but I also know that I changed some aspects of their lives." He felt that "in the past six or seven years that I've lived in the United States, I've never felt so connected to other people my age."
camper wrote a note saying,
"To everyone who attended Camp Ayandeh this year, I would like to say this: Thank you. Thank you for my being my accomplices. Thank you for being my teammates who I couldn't accomplish anything without. Thank you for being my family who was always there for me. But above all, thank you for being my friends, who showed me what friendship is about."
Many campers are not used to being surrounded by others who are their age and who have had many similar experiences and identify with their differences, and this creates a wonderful sense of familiarity that everyone enjoys and takes away with them.
Communication between campers, parents and staff will be open throughout the camp. Sleeping quarters are divided by gender, with campers, counselors and staff staying in Emory dormitories. All meals and snacks will be provided at Camp Ayandeh. At all times, campers will be under the supervision of Emory staff, IAAB staff and camp counselors who are drawn from our existing staff and active volunteers. Emory facilities are fully equipped with security personnel and hospitals located on-campus for student safety.
Camp Ayandeh is open to rising high school sophomores through graduating high school seniors. Application forms, as well as instructions, can be found in the Applications section of our web site. The cost for the 7 days/6 nights of camp is $550. That includes lodging, food, and all other camp-related expenses. Airfare and transportation to and from camp are the responsibility of the camper. Applications are due by February 15th, 2008, and can be completed online at www.iranianalliances.org/online-camper-application.html (preferred method). Hard copies of the application may be mailed to:
Camp Ayandeh 2008
1510 High Haven Court
Atlanta, GA 30329
Calling All Camp Counselors!!
IAAB is also seeking enthusiastic, energetic and motivated student leaders who are interested in becoming part of the Camp Ayandeh team as counselors and mentors. No prior camp experience is necessary; only the willingness to lead and to learn. IAAB will cover all counselors' basic food, ground transportation, lodging, materials for the program, and expenses related to day trips for those selected to participate. Counselors will be asked to participate in a training period from June 20-22nd, and a debriefing on June 29th, the costs of which will also be covered. The sole financial responsibility of counselors is transportation (air or otherwise) to and from Atlanta, Georgia. Applications for counselor positions will be available in January 2008. Those who are interested in applying for counselor positions may do so on or before March 15th by filling out the application online at: www.iranianalliances.org/application.html.
Since its inception in 2006, Camp Ayandeh has heard nothing but the highest praise from campers, media coverage, camp counselors and parents. In the past, the week-long camp has offered an unparalleled and invaluable experience for young Iranian-Americans and others whose lives were touched by this unique experience. Many of the IAAB staff themselves view Camp Ayandeh as the highlight of their year, as do many of our campers. As a whole, IAAB is eagerly looking forward to yet another amazing week in June 2008, and sincerely hopes that you too will be a part of making Camp Ayandeh 2008 yet another unforgettable experience. Be omideh didar!!!
... Payvand News - 01/16/08 ... --