2nd Annual National Muslim Scouts Jamboree

Building on the successes and legacy of the historic First National Muslim Scouts Jamboree in 2016, the Second National Muslim Scouts Jamboree was held at Camp Minsi-BSA, Poconos Pennsylvania July 29-August 4, 2018. This year’s theme was – Service to Humanity through Mercy and Compassion provided the 300 Muslim Scouts and Adult Leaders who attended it from across America along with a Troop of Saudi Scouts with an amazing mini-Jamboree by sharing each other’s company and brotherhood. At the Jamboree, Muslim Scouts to come together to experience all the fun and excitement of summer camp while sharing in great Scouting fellowship and learning with other Scouts within their Islamic Faith community

This second historic Jamboree, endorsed and sponsored by ISNA, a national chartered partner of the Boy Scouts of America – BSA, was jointly organized and sponsored by National Islamic Committee on Scouting (NICS)*. ISNA Vice President Dr. Altaf Husain attended the Jamboree as an adult leader and addressed the Scouts after prayer on the importance of khidma – service in Islam.

The Jamboree was held at Camp Minsi-BSA Certified/Registered Summer Resident Camp located in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania – USA. Camp Minsi has been serving Scouts for more than 65 years. The regional Scout summer camp encompasses more than 1,200 acres of beautiful and pristine Pennsylvanian woodlands along the shores of the 314-acre Stillwater Lake (known for its extensive water activities.

The Jamboree provided scouts and adult leaders with the unique opportunity to connect to the members of our faith community from around the nation and the world. In addition to an action packed week of a first class multi-faceted BSA Summer Resident Camp program which provided scouts with rank advancement opportunities, over 45 merit badge offerings under BSA certified instructors in numerous areas including: swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, sail boating, rifle practice, archery, etc. older scouts, international scouts and adult leaders will be given the opportunity to participate in expanded off-site special higher adventure programs which included: Hiking Expedition;  Whitewater Rafting; Action Rope/Zip Line Course; River Tubing Trek; Mountain Biking; Natural-Face Rock Climbing; Trail Hike; and Horseback Riding.

Scouts and adult leaders (lead in prayer by the Scouts) were able to perform their daily Salat, and Salahtul Jummah in congregation (Khutbah delivered by Imam Ahmed Hamad Chebli, Religious Director of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey-ISCJ and Jamboree Chaplain) in a covered musalla (tent) with the iconic inflatable Masjid Nabawee float that has travelled around the world and been a regular feature of the ISNA’s Annual Convention displayed next to it. The scouts and adult leaders along with Camp staff broke bread together in the dining hall with collective Dua and shared nutritious Halal meals.

In addition, special BSA Islamic Emblems workshops were also held during the Jamboree. Also, the scouts and adult leaders were able to constructively engage at various levels with the non-Muslim administration, staff, inter-faith leaders, and non-Muslim guests and clergy who attended the Jamboree. One of the highlights of the Jamboree was the Inter-faith Program and Peace Grove Planting Ceremony during which the theme of the Jamboree, especially as it relates to Mercy towards Creation and the Natural World was addressed by Imam Chebli and the Reverend Fletcher Harper, the Executive Director of GreenFaith among others. Another highlight of the Jamboree was when the President Elect of Boy Scouts of America, Mr. Dan Ownby addressed the scouts and adult leaders present in the musalla after the Jummah prayers during which he thanked the National Islamic Committee on Scouting (NICS) as BSA religious partner for its leadership and work in promoting Scouting in the Muslim Community for many years and for organizing this historic National Muslim Scouts Jamboree. In his remarks which were well received by all those present he said: “There are more Muslims in Scouting in the World than any other religion. More than half. And here in the USA, we have a strong Muslim population and it is growing and that is good, that is very good. And I just want to appreciate your being here and the parents who brought you here…”

Regular meetings were held with both the Adult Leaders and Scout Leaders present throughout the week and at the end planning groups were set-up to plan for and organize for Muslim scout participation at the 2019 World Wide Scout Jamboree to be held at the BSA National Scout Reservation in Bechtel West Virginia as well as the 2020 3rd National Muslim Scouts Jamboree Insha’Allah (God Willing)

*NICS is the official advisor to BSA National since 1982 on all matters relating the Islamic Scouting and Muslim Scouts, as organized and managed by its Executive Jamboree team which included Syed Ehtesham Naqvi – Jamboree Chief; Saffet A. Catovic, Jamboree Director; Ade Rasol, Jamboree Program Director; and Muhammed Ahsanullah, Jamboree Protocol and Logistics, along with the Islamic Council on Scouting of North America (WOSM Representative – Custodian and Administrator of the Islamic Religious Emblems Program and Minsi Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).