Camp Discovery provides an enriching, happy summer camp experience for mainly at-risk youth from refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank. Piloted in 2007, it has been expanded in size and duration in the following summers, reaching more than 1,650 children ages 8-14 within its first four years. Camp activities focus on English language training in a fun-filled, learner-centered environment, which is carried over and applied in complementary modules focused on artistic expression and scientific discovery, along with community service and team-building activities, as well as leadership development opportunities. The summer camps are funded by the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem and administered by AMIDEAST in partnership with several local organizations, including UNRWA, Al-Muntada Young Scientists’ Club, the Young Artists’ Forum, and Basma Society for Culture and Arts. Youth at Qalandia Refugee Camp in the West Bank at Camp Discovery
Stimulate self-confidence, interest in learning and scientific discovery, and artistic expression
Improve English language and related communication skills
Encourage values associated with community service and teamwork
In 2010, 540 students at six refugee camps located in Gaza City, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, and Ramallah participated in Camp Discovery.
In 2009, more than 450 Palestinian youth ages participated in five Camp Discovery camps in Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Hebron, and Gaza City.
In 2008, 450 youth participated in five Camp Discovery camps in Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Hebron, and Gaza City; and the program’s length was extended to three weeks.
In 2007, 225 youth in Ramallah, Nablus, and Gaza participated in a two-week pilot Camp Discovery camps in Ramallah, Nablus, and Gaza.
Mahmoud Mansour, a 13 year-old participant from Al-Amari Refugee Camp in Ramallah, raved about his experiences at Camp Discovery, saying that he found a session on Martin Luther King, Jr. particularly moving. He said, “We all have the power deep inside ourselves to make a difference in Palestine, just like Martin Luther King, Jr. did in the United States.” Mansour also expressed excitement at being able to conduct real scientific experiments in the Camp Discovery science classrooms, including projects that explore the concepts of magnetic attraction and electricity. (From a press release issued by the U.S. CONSULATE IN JERUSALEM, July 28, 2009)
Al-Muntada Young Scientists’ Club: www.muntada.org/