WRIGHTWOOD, Calif.–The AYF Camp was at capacity over the weekend of February 16 to 19 as 130 members of the Armenian Youth Federation Juniors gathered for their annual Armenian Youth Federation Juniors Winter Getaway.
“For the last several years, the Juniors Central Council has worked with our chapter directors to create programs that help develop our members into future leaders, who achieve academic excellence and pursue ambitious goals while doing their part to secure a prosperous homeland,” said Sylva Khayalian, a member of the AYF JCC and lead organizer of the camp.
The slogan for the theme of the weekend was “Generation, Nation, Innovation” and held under the leadership of camp Co-Directors Dr. Talar Chahinian and Sevag Manuelian.
“It was an absolute pleasure spending the weekend with AYF Juniors at camp. I was in awe of their ability to think creatively, critically and independently,” said Chahinian. “I’m still carrying their energy with me. It was inspiring!”
Joined by some thirty AYF Seniors, who volunteered as counselors, the campers enjoyed classic AYF Camp activities, such as Steal the Bacon, Wacky Olympics and Butt Volleyball, alongside captivating educational presentations and workshops about the February Revolt, how innovation helps strengthen our homeland, Armenian musical instruments and songwriting, Javakhk and self-defense classes.
“I loved all the people, all of the games, all of the lessons, all of the songs and everything about AYF Camp, which I will proudly cherish as fun memories that I cannot forget,” said Tony Ordoukhanian, a member of the Burbank chapter and one of the 2017 AYF Junior Achievers.
Sunday night, after the conclusion of the day’s agenda, campers were delighted by the surprise visit by well-known community artist Tro Krikorian, who joined the juniors in singing patriotic and revolutionary Armenian songs along side musical accompaniment by unger Arick Gevorkian.
“Our youth give us the encouragement that we will have a bright future. They illustrate the power of hope and re-ignite our souls and spirits so that collectively we can inspire our nation and make this world a beautiful place,” said co-director Sevag Manuelian. “I had the privilege of spending a weekend with our youth. They truly are powerful and our path to a future we deserve as a people.”
“We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the AYF Seniors counselors, AYF Camp Management Board, the getaway directors, Shahan Atmajian our volunteer EMT, our juniors, their parents, our chapter directors, our donors, Dr. Razmig Shirinian, Arick Gevorkian, Berj Parseghian, Hay Katch Do and Tro Krikorian – each for doing their part in making the 2018 AYF Juniors Winter Getaway a success,” said AYF JCC Chairperson Saro Shirinian.
The AYF Juniors strives to nourish its members with experiences, information and resources to become ambitious and successful in their pursuit of civic, academic and career excellence, so they are best equipped to serve our communities, nation and cause. We serve our mission through active participation in our communities and during weekly gatherings held at all ten of our chapters in the Western United States. For more information or to join, visit AYFJuniors.org
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or call (818) 500-8883