Camp Haiastan welcomes new board members, announces 2024 sessions

FRANKLIN, Mass.—2023 was an exciting year at AYF Camp Haiastan! With the completion, launch and celebration of the renovated Under The Trees and Cabin Circle, the Camp was opened for three two-week overnight sessions, one single-week overnight session and two weeks of Day Camp. All of this followed the return of the loved and dearly missed Camp Haiastan picnic! 

In October, the Camp Board of Directors (BOD) held its annual corporation meeting on the campgrounds in Franklin, MA to begin planning for 2024. 

During that meeting, the Camp BOD said goodbye to its chairperson, Hratch Najarian of Washington D.C. Najarian served on the BOD for six years and as chairperson for three of those years. Throughout his tenure, he played an integral role as both member and chair, guiding the Camp through the challenging COVID-19 years as well as the implementation of several major projects that have set up Camp to grow and thrive for many years to come.

Tsoler Avedissian also reached the end of her term, leaving a second seat available on the Board for 2024. To fill these positions, the corporation elected Karine Shamlian (PA) and Ani Megerdichian Arakelian (RI).  

“Thank you to both Hratch and Tsoler for their years of service as members of the Camp Haiastan Board of Directors. They helped contribute to Camp Haiastan’s success, positively impacting Armenian youth during their tenure. I am excited to welcome Karine and Ani to our Board as they bring their respective expertise and knowledge to further enhance the vision of Camp. Camp Haiastan has enriched many generations of young Armenians from around the world, and that is no small feat. We look forward to providing an unparalleled Armenian summer camp experience for generations to come,” stated Sarine Adishian, chair of the Camp Haiastan Board of Directors. 

Karine Shamlian

Karine Shamlian, incoming Board Member

The corporation elected Karine Shamlian from Pennsylvania. A former camper, Shamlian is very active in the Armenian community of Philadelphia. She serves on the board of the local ANCA and is currently president of the ARS Philadelphia “Ani” Chapter. Both of her children are third generation campers, her oldest serving on staff in recent years, and her husband Michael, whom she met at camp, is an active member of the Camp’s infrastructure committee. Shamlian brings to the Board years of professional experience as a program manager and marketer for the federal government and private sector. She currently works as a senior marketing manager for an energy services company in Pennsylvania. 

Ani Megerdichian Arakelian, incoming Board Member

Ani Megerdichian Arakelian

The corporation elected Ani Megerdichian Arakelian, former camper, former counselor and medical volunteer. She works as a surgical physician associate in Rhode Island and is excited to bring her medical expertise to enhance the care of our campers and staff. Arakelian is an active member of the local Rhode Island Armenian community where she serves as the AYF advisor to the Providence Senior “Varantian” Chapter. She is looking forward to continuing her family’s camp legacy by sending her two children to camp in the coming years. 

Sarine Adishian (NJ) and Phil Nigon (PA) were re-elected to the BOD Executive Committee. Adishian will serve as chair, while Nigon will continue his role as treasurer. Nevart Mikaelian will serve as secretary.

The Camp committees remain unchanged – Infrastructure, Marketing, Education, Investment, Technology, Recruitment and Development. For those interested in joining these committees or volunteering at the Camp, please contact Executive Director Kenar Charchaflian via email:

The Camp recently announced dates and rates for the 2024 season. Session 3 will continue to be offered as a one-week only option. Considering the success of our second week of Day Camp last year, we’ll be offering this option again for 2024. 

Two Week Options – $1,895
Teen Session: June 23 – July 6
Session 1: July 7 – July 20
Session 2: July 21 – August 3

One-Week Option – $795
Session 3: August 4 – August 11

Day Camp – $595
Day Camp Week 1: June 24 – June 28
Day Camp Week 2*: August 5 – August 9

*A $100 discount will be given to campers enrolled in both weeks of Day Camp.  

Camper Registration will go live on Monday, January 22 at 5 p.m. ET. Make sure to follow us on social media and ensure that you are part of our mailing list.

Summer staffing is high on the Camp’s priority list this winter. The Camp is calling on young adults, 17 and over, to serve their community and embark on a summer that will provide growth, independence and valuable working experience. Staff applications are currently open, with a handful of new positions available.

“I am excited to offer more opportunities for professional development to our young adults in hopes that they continue their camping experience for more summers here in Franklin,” voiced Charchaflian.

Make sure to complete your application today! 

The upcoming camping season is an exciting one! In addition to the new facilities and new staffing opportunities, the Camp is building on the new programs that were introduced in 2023 – we’re planning to continue to enhance the camper experience and help campers make memories and lifelong friends. Come be a part of it at the greatest place on Earth!

Camp Haiastan
Located in Franklin, Massachusetts, AYF Camp Haiastan, was founded in 1951 and is the oldest Armenian camp in the United States. The Camp prides itself on providing a healthy and safe experience to Armenian-American youth to help them foster their Armenian identity and establish lifelong friendships.

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