Homenetmen Eastern Region holds 46th convention in Washington

The Homenetmen Eastern USA Region’s 46th Convention convened the weekend of October 20-22, 2023 at Soorp Khatch Church Hall in Bethesda, MD. The convention was overshadowed by the unfortunate and inhumane circumstances suffered by our brothers and sisters from Artsakh. Nevertheless, Homenetmen’s mission marches on, with the imperative to continue our support for our homeland. With this in mind, the convention served as an opportunity for the organization’s members, scouts and athletes to review the undertakings of the organization for the past two years, as well as plan and discuss its future goals and initiatives.

The convention began on Friday night with the Homenetmen anthem “Haratch Nahadag,” followed by a moment of silence to honor the memory of those lost in defense of Artsakh, as well as members of Homenetmen who have passed. Opening remarks were made by the Homenetmen Central Executive representative Leony Sarmazian, the Homenetmen Regional Executive chairman Vicken Khatchadourian, Armenian Revolutionary Federation representative Maral Aprahamian and representatives from sister organizations: the Armenian Relief Society (Lousin Hovhanesian), Hamazkayin (Alene Baghdasarian) and the Armenian Youth Federation (Harout Tashian). The pastor of Soorp Khatch Church Archpriest Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian gave his fatherly message and prayer, welcoming all to the Washington parish and expressing his wishes for a successful meeting. In total, 33 delegates attended from seven chapters (Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, New York, Providence and host Washington) and one miavor (unit) from Merrimack Valley.

Homenetmen Eastern USA Regional Convention, Bethesda, MD, October 2023

Aram Kayserian (Boston) and Shant Jamgotchian (Detroit) were elected as chairmen of the convention’s tivan. Galin Tashian and Mkrtich Arslanyan (both from Providence) were elected as the convention secretaries. The convention elected four committees, including resolutions, balloting, archiving and budgeting. Following all elections, each chapter and miavor read their biennial reports, which opened the floor for lengthy and constructive discussion for each chapter’s successes and hardships, thus closing the first day.

The convention continued Saturday with a group photo and tightly packed schedule beginning with the regional executive’s biennial report, which was followed by questions and discussions regarding the regional executive’s decisions and operation. The archiving and auditing committees delivered their reports, after which the regional executive performance was evaluated with its overall performance deemed “commendable” and in some areas “satisfactory.” This was followed by resolutions regarding the regional executive for the future.

Based on the reports, the region has 1,000 total members, including 545 athletes and 398 scouts, among its 10 chapters and two miavors. The region organized two Navasartian Games; the 2022 Games were held in Boston and the 2023 Games in New Jersey, with Homenetmen Canada participating in both. In 2022, the region participated in the Pan-Homenetmen Athletic games in Armenia with 16 athletes. The region also organized two Regional Scouting Panagoums (camping trips); the 2022 Panagoum was hosted by the New Jersey chapter, and the 2023 Panagoum by the Providence chapter. In July 2023, the region participated in the Pan-Homenetmen Scout Jamboree in Armenia with 51 scouts. 

In 2022, the region participated in the Pan-Homenetmen Inter-Regional Tivan’s conference in Lebanon. In 2023, two regional representatives went to the second Pan-Homenetmen Youth Forum in Cyprus. In October 2023, the region participated in the 13th Homenetmen World Congress in Armenia with four delegates. The region has participated in various fundraisers to benefit Armenia and other Armenian communities, published 2022 and 2023 calendars, and published articles on numerous occasions in the Hairenik, Armenian Weekly and Marzig (Homenetmen magazine published by the Central Executive in Lebanon), as well as on different social media platforms.

The delegates then considered more than 20 proposed changes to the Homenetmen Eastern USA Regional Athletic bylaws and one proposed change to the internal Homenetmen Eastern USA Regional Scouting bylaws. The delegates shared their viewpoints and engaged in vigorous discussion, while always keeping the ideals of Homenetmen in mind. 

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The delegates from the 13th Homenetmen World Congress provided a summary of the resolutions approved during the meeting in Armenia and heard reflections from Lilia Yousefian (Washington), who participated in the Homenetmen Youth Forum in Cyprus. 

The scouting agenda was dedicated to discussing extensive activities for the upcoming years, preparing our future scout leaders, reorganizing educational materials, deliberating potential candidacy for upcoming regional panagoums and the Pan-Homenetmen Scout Jamboree in 2026 in Armenia, organizing scouting seminars and educational programs, and considering the potential for a regional campsite. Resolutions were discussed and adopted to organize the best possible scouting program for the future. This brought a conclusion to the second day, at which point the Washington chapter had organized a group dinner at Sasuns Cafe, an Armenian restaurant in Maryland, where the convention members engaged in the social aspect and pillar of Homenetmen.

The convention continued the following day at Norbeck Grove Clubhouse, beginning with the future activities of the regional athletics programs. Garo Tashian from the Providence delegation, the host for the 2024 Regional Navasartian Games, provided information about the hotel and the athletic venues, as well as the upcoming PR campaign for the sponsorships and social events. The convention also noted that the 2025 Regional Navasartian Games will be hosted by the Chicago chapter. Delegates discussed and provided potential candidacy for the 2026 and 2027 Regional Navasartian Games and provided an action plan for the 2025 Pan-Homenetmen Games in Armenia. In addition, delegates discussed organizing inter-chapter athletic games during the year and participating in the upcoming tournament hosted by Homenetmen Canada. Each topic was discussed and concluded with the proposal and adoption of resolutions. 

As Homenetmen has been trying to increase its online presence and appeal to those who are not in the organization, the convention included a section on the agenda specifically dedicated to information technology and public relations. These discussions included the Homenetmen website, social media, Hairenik, the Armenian Weekly, Marzig magazine, the regional calendar for 2024, as well as any unforeseen questions and resolutions.

As the meeting came to its closing, the financial section of the agenda included the budget for the next two years. After lengthy discussions throughout the day, the meeting concluded with the election of the Eastern USA Regional Executive for the 2023-2025 term. The convention elected the following members:

Vahe Andonian (New York)

Razmik Banosian (Boston)

Hagop Jatalian (Washington)

Nigol Keurkunian (Washington)

Vicken Khachadourian (Boston)

Chris Krikorian (Providence)

Galin Tashian (Providence)

The tivan commended the participation of the young adult delegates, highlighting the work of the elected committees and commended the Washington chapter for hosting this convention. Final remarks were provided by ARF Central Committee and Homenetmen Central Executive representatives. The entire weekend was the perfect time to discuss and plan the next two years for the Homenetmen Eastern USA Region as a whole, continue the traditions and values of the organization, and strengthen our region’s Armenian communities.

Homenetmen Eastern U.S.

Homenetmen Eastern U.S.

The Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts, known as "Homenetmen," is a non-profit organization founded over 100 years ago. Believing in the idea that strong bodies lead to strong minds, Homenetmen has provided Armenian youth across the globe with a moral, physical and psychological education outside the school environment, while also demonstrating richness of the Armenian culture and heritage. Today, Homenetmen is a worldwide organization with over 25,000 members on five continents. On the East Coast U.S., Homenetmen is a thriving organization with 12 chapters and over 900 members, governed by the Homenetmen Eastern Regional Executive.

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