GLENDALE – A summer filled with fun activities, warm weather, and new friendships that will last a lifetime is undeniably invaluable for children. In the midst of bustling schedules between summer school, sports practice, and vacation, it might be easy to forget the value of a summer camp experience- something which will leave a lasting impact on every child.
Luckily, children from California and beyond were able to join the AYF Summer Camp program, which allowed them to create unforgettable memories, everlasting bonds, and pick up a few skills along the way. AYF Summer Camp continues to give children the chance to show their best selves in an environment that is designed to foster happy memories and self-expression. They were afforded the opportunity to rock climb, canoe on the lake, shoot an arrow, and experience the rush from winning a song competition. Within the week they spent at AYF Summer Camp, campers learned from their own experiences, grew emotionally as they created friendships, engaged in team work, and most importantly, had fun!
Since 2014, the AYF Summer Camp program has seen an increase in the number of participants, selling out more weeks in a shorter amount of time, resulting in a new AYF Camp record each summer. This year, surpassed the 2016 registration by selling out two weeks in just under five minutes, and a total of seven weeks in under ten days. The AYF Camp Management Board and Summer Camp Committee have worked tirelessly over the years to ensure that the AYF Summer Camp program stays true to its mission statement.
This year one of the newest additions to our summer camp program was the Armenian dance educational. Each week, professional dancers from Ara Dance Group made the trip up to camp to teach the campers and counselors traditional Armenian dances. This new educational proved to be a huge success, and all of the participants, both campers and counselors alike, were enthusiastic about learning Armenian dances.
Another valued guest that AYF Camp looks forward to each year is Unger Arick Gevorkian, who has put a creative twist on his music educational about Armenian Music and Instruments. This year, he incorporated songwriting by having groups of campers write a song verse about various Armenian topics. Each week chose a winner, then with his musical improvisation skills, Unger Arick turned the campers’ lyrics into real songs in just a few minutes. These songs written by the campers themselves will then be professionally recorded. Seeing their lyrics come to life was a very unique and memorable moment for the campers and staff this year.
Other educationals included Armenian Politics led by the ARF Shant Student Association, the Armenian Youth Federation and the Armenian Youth Federation Juniors programs and a debate led by the staff each week.
Since 1977, AYF Camp has offered a genuinely rewarding experience, by serving as a place for Armenian youth to make new friends and memories of a lifetime. AYF Camp is the largest and oldest Summer Camp program in the Western United States, focusing on Armenian culture and heritage. Visit AYFCamp.org for more information and sign up for our newsletter to receive news and updates on programs and events.