Camp Overview

Posted On:
17 January, 2015
Al-Bustan Camp
Al-Bustan Camp is a summer arts day camp where children appreciate Arab arts and culture while developing new language skills, making friendships, and exploring nature.

Open to children of all ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds, “Al-Bustan”, Arabic for “The Garden”, encourages dialogue, respect, understanding, and celebrates diversity.


In 2015, Al-Bustan Camp will be held for five days at THE PHILADELPHIA ZOO. K-5th grade campers will explore the zoo through the lens of Arab culture and language. Based in the zoo’s TREEHOUSE, activities include art, drumming, storytelling, science, and Arabic taught by experienced Al-Bustan teaching artists and educators with a team of counselors.

The location and one-week duration is a change from past summers. We see this as a pilot summer. We are excited to offer this new program and build upon this experience in the coming year.


For TEENAGERS interested in learning Arabic, we are launching an Arabic Language & Arts Program this summer, in partnership with Friends Select School. For three weeks, from June 29 to July 27 (off on July 3), the program includes four hours of Arabic reading, speaking, writing, and listening, integrated with two hours of arts instruction in visual art, singing, and drumming. The program will be held in Center City Philadelphia at Friends Select School located at 17th St and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Stay tuned for more info to be posted by the end of February.


Camp History

Al-Bustan Camp was launched in July of 2002 at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania–whose beautiful gardens inspired the name “Al-Bustan” (Arabic for “the garden”).

Each year, a different theme integrates the various program areas. Past themes have included learning about Egypt through the life and times of singer Umm Kulthum, the arts and culture of Lebanon and United Arab Emirates, the life of 14th century traveler Ibn Battuta, Arab contributions to the sciences through the legacy of Ibn Al-Haytham, Palestinian arts and culture, Andalusia through the story of Ziryab, the Silk Route and traditional Arab souks, the folktale character Juha, and Kalila Wa Dimna stories.


Camp 2010