Construction of Muslim Youth Camp to Begin in July

June 19, 2006

Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen

On June 19, 2006 Iowa City Press-Citizen reported, "Four months after signing a lease with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for approximately 114 acres of federal land north of North Liberty, building for the Muslim Youth Camp is set to begin in July. The Cedar Rapids-based Muslim Youth Camps of America will be using the land for a recreational youth camp in the summers, allowing non-profit groups to use the space during the off-season. Crews started surveying the land in early April. Beginning next month, the first year of construction will include putting in tent pads, preparation for building the access road, and removing the building left by Girl Scout Camp Daybreak... Building the new camp is expected to take five years, with the camp's largest buildings to be built in the last three years, said Manzoor Ali, president of Muslim Youth Camps of America. The building schedule is part of MYCA's lease with the Corps of Engineers... Under the agreement, the camp will host up to 60 campers, about half as many as first proposed. MYCA programs will be open to all youth, not just those who are Muslim, between the ages of 10 and 17... In 2000, MYCA's proposal for the camp was to house 120 campers a week for a 10-week summer period and accommodate between 3,000 to 4,000 people who would attend retreats and conferences the rest of the year at the site, about two miles northeast of North Liberty near the Coralville Reservoir. Under the lease, a total of about 1,500 people a year can use the land during the off-season. Since the camp will be open to children of all denominations, as well as to non-profit organizations, the Corps of Engineers is leasing the land free to MYCA as long as the camp benefits the United States and meets its lease, according to the Corps of Engineers' Web site. "