My name is Arousiak Kazarian. I am 14 years old and live in Long Island in New York. This past summer my sister Mariana and I were campers at Camp Haiastan and I would like to share my memories about my wonderful time there filled with joy and unforgettable feelings. This was our second year at camp. This year I loved it even more because I guess I was able to communicate more and make endless memories, and unbreakable friendships. In fact, I met my best friends at camp. Camp Haiastan is like my sanctuary. It is a place where we can get together and be with our old friends as well as make new bonds. I will never forget that feeling of walking into my cabin. Before I knew it I had friends in about an hour. Due to the spirit in camp, we became best friends and still keep in touch through emails and phone calls. You could feel that special Armenian spirit at Hye time, during dance lessons, or on Fedayee night. We all learned something new about Armenian history and culture, like dance, song, or writing.
I want to especially emphasize the counselors. They were attentive and caring. Whenever I had a problem, I could always talk to them about it. The staff always made sure that no one was left out. Baron Roy and Baron Pete were on top of everything and addressed us with both praise and advice. The counselors were like our older siblings, caring for us and serving as role models. My counselor, Ungerouhi Phoebe, was very close to all the girls in the cabin. My sister’s counselor was Ungerouhi Mallory and they both helped us whenever we needed it.
Some of the activities I loved at camp were kayaking, archery, and the dance lessons. I really learned a lot there. In fact, at my first stay there two years ago I learned to swim; my sister did the same this year.
I just feel sad that there is only two weeks for each session. Before we knew it camp was over and none of us wanted to leave. I am sad because I only have a few years to go as a camper but at the same time I’m happy because I’ll be able to give something back as a counselor.
Nobody will really know what I feel when I remember my Camp Haiastan, unless you were a camper there and lived through all the emotions and joy that connected all the kids. We were happy and even now I dream about going back. Camp staff gave each camper a CD full of pictures, and every time my sister and I look through it, we laugh at the silly times and talk, talk, talk. Thank you, my camp, for everything you are doing for the kids like me and will be doing for generations to come.
I want to say a special thanks to the ARS members of the “Mayr” Chapter of New York, who gave us the gift of a lifetime of memories and friendship when they made it possible for my sister and I to go to the camp this year.