BismilLah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
One of my readers asked me to explain what ACE Camp is so I decided to write a brief overview about it.
I developed the ACE Camp module in 2007 after realising that there are many kids’ trainings out there but few that incorporates Al Quran and Sunnah, especially using English as the primary language.
It is 100% Khalifah Method but because I had already developed a kids’ training module in 2004 with a fellow Khalifah Method trainer, sister Rashidah who was Professor Dr Muhammad al’Mahdi’s PA, called ‘Young Khalifah Training’, I decided I would use a non-Khalifah name and that is how I decided to call it ACE Camp. ACE is an acronym for:
Aware of the participant’s true role as khalifah of Allah and his inner potential to be excellent
Change one’s tasawur (world view) and way of life according to Al Quran and Sunnah through knowledge and choice
Empower self and others in fulfilling role as khalifah to achieve a world that is fully and truly Islam
The 3 days, 2 nights ACE Camp is targeted at kids between 10 – 12 years old, both boys and girls. As it’s name suggests, it is held outdoors and kids sleep in tents that they put up themselves.
This is the primary objective of ACE Camp: helping kids experience doing things for themselves.
The ACE Camp module was developed to allow participants gain confidence and knowledge in self management i.e. being independent. I believe kids today lack the exposure to make well-informed decisions and choices on their own and this has lead to our muslim children being easily swayed and lead astray away from Islam by the negative and evil influences of modern society.
At ACE Camp, kids learn:
- that they are born in a state of fitra (innate disposition for good) and their true potential as khalifah
- basic life skills that will help them understand about managing themselves and being independent
- how beautiful Islam truly is through Al Quran and Sunnah
- how to make good choices using logic and reasoning and based on a muslim tasawur (world view)
ACE Camp is different from others kids’ programs because at ACE Camp, the kids do everything. Literally.
The module was designed so that once the the rules/boundaries; the expectations/objectives; activities and topics were explained to the kids, I just let them run the Camp themselves! They plan their own meals, buy the food items at the supermarket themselves, coordinate the duty roster for the whole duration of the Camp i.e. who cooks when/who cleans up after which meal.
They vote on who the Imam, Muezzin will be for each jema’a prayers for the duration of the Camp. Kids who would have never been chosen to be Imam or Muezzin are given a chance and they love the experience so much that when they go back, they begin to improve their Al Quran recitation and practice making athan and have more confidence to volunteer to be Imam and Muezzin at home and at their own school.
Another key component of ACE Camp is helping the kids develop a better awareness and understanding of Islam and being a muslim (submitter to the Will of Allah), from the perspective of Al Quran and Sunnah. I was very strict with myself, as I developed the ACE Camp module, in ensuring that the content is fully based on Al Quran and Sunnah references and that these references are given directly to the participants.
For example, the Ice breaking activity is based on the saying of Prophet Muhammad salla Allah alayhi wasalam:
“By the One in whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Certainly, let me inform you of that which may establish such things: spread the greetings and peace among yourselves.” [Recorded by Imam Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi]
Kids love knowing these references from Al Quran and Sunnah. I can honestly say (from my own assessment) that the kids barely know or haven’t even heard of 90% of the references used! And I made sure the references are for things that they would do on a daily basis like taking wudu’ (conserving water; Surah Al Mulk:30). This honestly reflects the pitiful state of our children’s muslim education.
Alhamdulillah, based on assessments and feedback from facilitators, myself and the kids, ACE Camp has been successful in achieving it’s objective of helping kids develop independence and awareness of their khalifah potential.
ACE Camp had been featured on TV before but because I don’t watch television, I didn’t actually watch the school break documentary it was aired in and I remember both TV3 and RTM had interviewed me about ACE Camp.
I only run ACE Camp once a year during the school break and I limit the number of participants to ensure every kid receives individual attention and assistance from the facilitators and myself. I am in the middle of planning for ACE Camp to run during the June school break, Insha’Allah and will make the announcement as soon as all the details have been confirmed.