By Haig Sarajian
From friendships being made to heated debates and more, this past weekend’s Mid-Atlantic AYF-YOARF Junior Convention hosted by the Philadelphia “Papken Suni” AYF Chapter from Nov. 3-5 was an amazing event. With a good number of AYF Juniors and Seniors in attendance, despite the previous week’s storm, there was really a great amount of participation and the discussions never stopped.
Members arrived Friday night at Philly’s agoump, where everyone stayed for the weekend. That night everyone settled in, caught up with friends, relaxed, and enjoyed the bonfire. Saturday morning, the Seniors woke up the Juniors bright and early for breakfast. After eating, we played a number of icebreakers so everyone was well acquainted. Then everyone split up into their own chapters to complete their year-end chapter report with the help of the Seniors. Each chapter presented its reports, was asked questions, and was given suggestions on what may help. After all the chapters presented their reports and all the questions were answered, it was time for lunch. The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) “Ani” Chapter provided us with tons of pizzas and fries, and most importantly, the classic Philly cheese steak.
After lunch we re-gathered and started discussing each Junior event one by one. Some great suggestions came out including allowing Juniors to choose some Junior Seminar educational topics and adding a team event at the Junior Athletic Games.
It was then time for the traditional chicken and pilaf dinner. Thanks to the church’s bazaar we were able to eat a good home-cooked meal.
Then came the night activity: bowling at the “hi spot.” We asked the Seniors for bumpers, but they didn’t give in because we were too old. Some of the Juniors’ true talents came out with Anto Keshgegian scoring a personal high of 43. After all the laughs and games, we went back to the agoump to finish one last task: resolutions. We had some great resolutions that will be passed on to the Seniors in their upcoming Convention at the end of this year, and hopefully will pass their voting process as well. The resolutions were a long process due to people randomly shouting out “roll call secret ballot.” Once the resolutions process was over, we got back to having fun with the Seniors by playing card games and other fun activities.
The weekend was a great success, and I hope they will continue it. I have gone to this the last two times and I can’t say enough about how great of an event it has been. The ideas each chapter thought up to make themselves better are ones that will make the AYF the best it can be.