Cabin Fever: Notes From Camp, Part I

This is part one of a two part series featuring notes from Camp Haiastan campers in the summer of 2018. 

 

Mealtime

“Mealtime at Camp Haiastan is always so much fun! After everyone is done eating, everyone goes crazy. All the campers make up funny chants. Everyone bangs on the tables and both sides try to out-shout each other. The food is always good and leaves us going up for seconds. Meals at camp aren’t only about eating, it is also another example of how fun camp can be.”

—Ava Jingozian, Cabin 11

 

Armenian School

“Armenian School is very interesting. We learn a lot about history, current events, and how each affects the future. It is very important for the diaspora to be educated on what’s going on in our homeland. Being Armenian youth it is important to know Armenia’s history because we are the future of Armenia and it is our job to keep the culture and language alive.”

—Mackenzi Larkin, Cabin 11

 

Camp Haiastan’s Trip to Water Wizz

“Despite the long drive to the location, Water Wizz was an unexpected but welcome field trip outside of camp. The slides were diverse, the sun was plentiful, and so was the fun had. The fun and colorful campus provoked a sense of joy and happiness Additionally, due to the day only being a Tuesday, the park felt like it was only for our camp. Although the sun spared no mercy, the experience as a whole was an enthralling and thrilling camp excursion.”

—Alenoush Davis, Cabin 13

 

Lip Sync Competition

“Camp Haiastan is so much fun! We participate in various activities that are enjoyable- for example, we visited Water Wizz water park a couple days ago. We went on many water slides with all of our friends. Tonight, we have a lip sync competition. Each cabin lip syncs a song of their choice with a choreographed dance. It is a blast.”

—Rebecca Selverian, Cabin 10

 

The Place to Be

“Camp Haiastan; a place where Armenians come together to make memories, educating the youth and having fun. With many activities to do, things to learn, there is no spare time. Even during free time people are playing basketball, volleyball, making string friendship bracelets and much more. This is my 8th year and my last. It is sad but I am so thankful for every one of those years. I will miss this place very much, just like many others my age. At the same time, I am happy for all the other little Armenian children who will be coming and having the same experiences as I did. I love you Camp Haiastan.”

—Nora Chahmesian, Cabin 11

 

Camp Haisastan; Lipsync Competition 2017

“At Camp Haiastan we have many fun night. Activities. Amongst them my favorite has become the lipsync battle. If you were to ask me why, the answer would be lipsync Teen Session 2017. It started off as I guess many others had, though, as I had only just come back after a long time of not attending, I would not know. Now only being half Armenian, not looking it, or being fluent in the language I was nervous to say the least, but that night I never felt more at home. It proceeded as normal each cabin camp up and did their routine and my cabin had the fortune of winning. After that we had our own mini dance even though it was downpouring. As we were dancing the counselors started playing Armenian songs and we transitioned to armenian dancing. I don’t remember what sparked it, but we all ran from under the pavillion to the basketball courts and started dancing in the rain. I can fully state with confidence that it was one of my favorite moments in life. I felt at home, listening to the music and dancing as if the beat was flowing inside of me. The best part of that night was when another camper spoke out to the rest of us. His message was clear that it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak, read, dance or sing Armenian, you have Armenian blood and you obviously care since you come here. It was truly a speech that pushed me to come back for my last year of camp and to fully embrace who I am.

—Talin

 

The Best Place On Earth

“Camp Haiastan really is the best place on earth. From regular session to teen you meet so many new friends that become you best friends. It is the sweet escape from odars that is greatly needed. Every night there is a night activity. Friday night is lip sync battle. My cabin decided to do the pitch perfect finale. We have spent free time as well as designated time to perfect our dance. Everybody got out of their comfort zone to show off their best moves. It has been a blast. This week has flew by it is insane to think that we are halfway done with camp.

—Lily, Cabin 10

 

This Just In

“The Camp Haiastan news is a great addition to the camp experience. In the short time the day can be summed up and highlights help everyone to congratulate those that did fantastic things during the day. It also informs the camp of Armenian words, news and of the weather. It makes a funny and interactive environment. I’m glad to have this and the people that put it together.”

—Anonymous

 

Knowing Your Roots

“During staff week 2018 we were fortunate enough to meet and learn from the founders of Camp Haiastan. They spoke to us about camp being built and all the progression throughout the years. It was so interesting to see all the ways camp changed and all the work that was put in to create a place that so many people love and want to continue to make better. The thing that stuck out to me the most was the fact that the founders were able to identify almost all of us in some way solely based off of our last names and tell us how they knew our family. I think this goes to show how tightly knit the armenian community is and how camp preserves that and carries it on”

—Luciné Alashaian

 

The True Meaning of Being Armenian

“One of many things about camp that I love doing is coming together as Armenians and participating in activities. This will be my last teen session at camp. Throughout the week at teen session we have been doing many fun activities. Being Armenian means so much to me and going to camp is the highlight of my summer. It taught me so many things such as being independent, being proud of who I am, and the true meaning of being Armenian. I have learned so much about the Armenian culture.”

—Anonymous

 

Armenian Dancing

“My name is Nare Parseghian and I started coming to camp Haiastan 3 years ago and have loved every year! I have made lots of great new friends here from all over the country and from outside the country! I am from Belmont, MA and always look forward to the summer to see everyone again. We do so many fun activities here at camp! We have lots of Armenian activities where we learn about our culture and history. We also learn Armenian songs and sing to the rest of camp on song night. Additionally we have dances every Saturday night which are always so much fun! I love dancing traditional Armenian dances with all my friends here. One of my biggest regrets is not coming to camp earlier.”

—Nare Parseghian

 

Lifelong Memories

“Camp Haiastan is an indescribable experience that unites the Armenian youth all around the US. Being my 8th and last year, I’ve now spent four months of my life at camp and this summer I’ll be working as an SIT after teen session. If you ever have the chance to go to camp or send your kids to camp, do it and see the lifelong memories they’ll come home with.”

—Anonymous

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Founded in 1933, The Armenian Youth Federation is an international, non-profit, youth organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). The AYF-YOARF Eastern United States stands on five pillars that guide its central activities and initiatives: Educational, Hai Tahd, Social, Athletic and Cultural. The AYF also promotes a fraternal attitude of respect for ideas and individuals amongst its membership. Unity and cooperation are essential traits that allow members of the organization to work together to realize the AYF’s objectives.
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