Youth Corps volunteer Christina Bastagian with camper Aida in Martuni


Days before Camp Martuni began I was nervous and anxious. It’s my first time participating in Youth Corps so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. You can say my emotions were running wild. On the first day of camp when we met and started getting to know all of the campers, they were hyper and so excited to meet us. With over a hundred kids trying to sign up for camp, it was overwhelming and exciting all at once. In the midst of all the chaos, there was one camper that caught my attention, Aida. She has the sweetest personality and a smile that can brighten up any room. I fell in love with her within the first hour of camp. During the first day of class, she was attentive and so eager to learn. You could tell how happy she was to be able to participate in the camp.

On Thursday morning, as I walked into school, a group of kids were already there waiting for our arrival like they do everyday. As I got closer, Aida walked up to me and gave me a bouquet of flowers she had picked herself. She was so excited to hand them to me. I realized that just a few days into camp these kids were already appreciative of us. Spending this past week with them has been such a fun learning experience and has already been life changing. Not only because of how great these kids are and that I have the opportunity to work with them, but also because I get to experience the kindness and generosity of the people of Martuni. I’m so happy I still have a week to spend with Aida and the rest our campers at Camp Martuni.


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