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The Armenian Weekly; Volume 74, No. 15; April 19, 2008

AYF Section:

1. Washington AYF Holds Camp Haiastan Session

2. Glendale AYF Appreciates its Gomideh

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1. Washington AYF Holds Camp Haiastan Session

In an effort to acquaint local youth more directly with the experience
of spending part of their summer at AYF Camp Haiastan, the Washington
`Sevan' Junior Chapter organized a special information session for
prospective camp-goers on the evening of April 12.

`We wanted to give our members an up-close and personal look at what
Camp Haiastan is all about,' said AYF `Sevan' chair Tevin
Polatian. `It's important for juniors who have never been to Camp to
learn about what they can expect when they participate.'

Since 1951, Camp Haiastan has been providing young Armenians a place
to go in the summer where they can learn more about their culture and
interact with their peers. Campers enjoy a wide range of educational,
social and athletic activities on more than 100 acres of pristine
wooded land in Franklin, Mass.

Over 40 AYF members and several parents attended the informational
meeting, which featured a slide-show presentation about the Teen
Session, as well as a DVD clip highlighting various other summer
sessions. Refreshments and informational material for the evening were
sponsored and provided by the Camp Haiastan Board.

AYF seniors also shared their experiences from Camp with the juniors,
talking about the friendships they were able to form with Armenians
from all around the world.

After further discussion and a question and answer period, brochures
and applications for this year's summer program were distributed to
the audience. All of the juniors showed interest in the camp and many
announced their intention to participate in this summer's sessions.

`I felt that the informational session was a great success,' said
Sevan Simonian, chair of the Washington `Ani' seniors. `More chapters
should do this in their community so they could better inform the
youth and parents about Camp Haiastan.'

For more information about AYF Camp Haiastan, visit
www.camphaiastan.org.
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2. Glendale AYF Appreciates its Gomideh

GLENDALE, Calif.'Over 70 Glendale AYF and ARF members gathered
together on March 30 for an evening honoring and thanking the ARF
`Aharonian' Gomideh for its longstanding support shown to the youth.

The event was organized by the AYF Glendale `Roupen' Chapter and held
at St. Asdvadzadzin Church Hall.

The evening began with each of the attendees introducing themselves
individually to those gathered. Several AYF members then took the
opportunity to make statements thanking Gomideh members who had made
an impact on their life and guided them through their AYF experiences.

Three AYF members who participated in the 2007 AYF Western Region
Youth Corps Program also shared their reflections and experiences from
Armenia and Artsakh. One of the participants, AYF member Meghmik
Babakhanian, who was a recipient of a sponsorship from her local
Gomideh, extended a special heartfelt thank you to her fellow ungers
for helping make this memorable trip possible.

In turn, ARF members thanked the AYF for organizing such a unique
gathering and urged them to continue their activism in the
community. Edward Nahabedian, an ARF `Aharonian' member, stated that
he had never been to such an event during his youth and praised those
in attendance for coming together in such a spirit of camaraderie.

Words of wisdom were also shared, as ARF members explained the
importance of comradeship and acquainting oneself with the principles
that have guided the organization for so many years. `Being an AYF
member is understanding an ideology,' said one unger in
attendance. `It is what makes us unique.'

The night concluded with the singing of patriotic and revolutionary
songs, led by ARF member Vahe Lepedjian on the piano.

By setting aside an evening to come together and share reflections
with one another, the event succeeded in bringing the youth closer to
their ARF counterparts and strengthened the organizational bonds
within the community.