Campers from all over the United States (and in some cases, the world) descended on AYF Camp Haiastan this summer. They’ve reunited with old friends and made new ones, engaged in a variety of games and activities, and eaten one too many ice cream bars from Camp Store.
Camp Haiastan, nestled in Franklin, Mass., is a getaway for children ages 8-16 every summer, not to mention the staff members who find themselves back on the grounds year after year. It’s a place to strengthen the Armenian spirit, learn about the AYF and Armenian culture and history, and make lifelong friendships. These campers learn to interact with kids from different backgrounds, bonding over the experiences they do share.
So far this summer, more than 200 campers have enjoyed Camp Haiastan. They’ve done activities like Armenian School, swimming, basketball, hockey, and soccer, while also participating in plenty of night activities, such as dances, Olympics events, and lecture nights. But Camp Haiastan is unlike other summer camps. Armenian youth come together here and learn about their past and their future. They strengthen their Armenian language, gain knowledge of music and art, and dance to Armenian music at Saturday night dances. The campers develop a love of Camp Haiastan because they feel a sense of belonging here. It’s a home away from home for both campers and staff.