Reflecting on my last (and first) Tri-Regional Seminar as an AYF member

Another event, another reflection… 

Following Junior Seminar, the next regional AYF-YOARF event in my last year as an AYF member was the 2024 Tri-Regional Seminar.

The Tri-Regional Seminar is a biennial event traditionally held between the AYF-YOARF Eastern Region, AYF Western Region and AYF Canada regions. In recent years, the AYF Australia and AYF South America regions have also sent attendees.

The seminar helps to unite the three North American AYF regions that used to operate as one. Since the three regions split in the early 1970s, the AYF has used the Tri-Regional Seminar as a reminder of the collective strength that our organization possesses when we collaborate and coordinate as an Armenian Diaspora.

Nareg all smiles for the paparazzi

In my 11 years as an AYF-YOARF Senior member, I somehow never made it to the Tri-Regional Seminar, for one reason or another. As the event usually takes place in early to mid-June, my five summer trips in six years to Armenia made it difficult to attend. However, that made my first and last Tri-Regional Seminar that much better.

This article will be a bit shorter, as it was my first Tri-Regional experience — nevertheless, here are my observations from my last Tri-Regional Seminar at AYF Camp Haiastan:

  • First and foremost, kudos to the ungerouhis on the Tri-Regional Seminar Committee: Violette Dekirmenjian, Alexa Hacopian and Ani Khachatourian. I had the pleasure to be their Central Executive fieldworker, and these three planned an incredible weekend full of education, fun and countless memories for over 100 AYF members. Amazing job ungerner!
  • The number of times I heard, “Tri-Regional Seminar is the best AYF event we have” throughout the weekend cemented the fact that every AYF Senior should make it to this unique event. If you haven’t been — do NOT miss the next one.
  • To take it one step further, I encourage our Eastern Region members to make a concerted effort to travel to the Western United States and Canada-organized seminars. The opportunity to see and experience our different AYF regions and institutions is not something we should take for granted.
  • I was extremely impressed with the comments and discussion during the Central Executive panel, workshops and discussion groups. We have many brilliant young minds with great suggestions and calculated opinions in all of our regions. The future looks bright for our organization.
  • Shoutout to our two AYF Australia ungers, Areg Grigorian and Roupen Terzian, who made the trip from “down under” to AYF Camp Haiastan. It was refreshing to hear an AYF perspective from outside of North America on how their region operates — plus their Aussie accents made every conversation just that much more interesting.
  • A huge thank you to the ANCA for allowing three of their crucial soldiers to come and lecture at the Tri-Regional Seminar. To ungerouhi Yeghso Chouldjian, unger Gev Iskajyan and Alex Galitsky — thank you all for your unwavering dedication to the Armenian cause, and most importantly, our youth.
  • As someone who attended AYF Camp Haiastan as a camper for many years, I was happy to see “Ironman” included in the weekend schedule. My fellow Providence “Varantian” Hagop Taraksian hitting the halfcourt shot on his first try was reminiscent of Payton Pritchard in Game 5 of the NBA Finals (which I also had the amazing opportunity to see in-person). Rumors circulated that in about 100 warm-up shots, Hagop hit a total of zero. I guess he saved it for when it mattered.
Nareg (left), Hagop (right) and Kebab King George (middle)
  • Nerses and George Donoyan of Providence need to open a catering business. I have yet to have a better chicken and shish kebab dinner at an AYF event. Let’s see if any young bucks can dethrone them anytime soon — it’s not looking promising. 
  • To my Western United States and Canada ungerner — I would like to thank you for making the trip. I know it is a significant financial commitment to fly to our region for a weekend; however, I hope that the conversations, new friendships and memories we shared will validate any future costs in returning to our region. We look forward to seeing you all in 2026 at AYF Camp in California!
Nareg Mkrtschjan

Nareg Mkrtschjan

Nareg Mkrtschjan is the current Chair of the AYF-YOARF Central Executive and a member of the Providence “Varantian” Chapter. He has held many leadership roles throughout his AYF career, participating as an AYF intern in 2017 and director in 2018, Javakhk counselor in 2016 and 2017, serving on central councils and his local executive. Nareg met his wife, AYF Camp Haiastan Executive Director Kenar Charchaflian through the AYF and even popped the question to her at AYF Convention at Camp Haiastan. They happily live in Rhode Island with their son Mshag, a future unger.

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