WRIGHTWOOD—More than 60 young Armenians gathered at Rose & Alex Pilibos on Friday, January 18, ready in their snow gear and anxious to get on a bus to AYF Camp. The 3rd annual AYF Winter Camp was held over the long weekend, with campers between the ages of 12 and 17.
The AYF Winter Camp program has always been known for being short but very sweet. “Because of the size of the group, Winter Camp provided an intimate setting for the campers to get to know one another,” said counselor Lori Tashdjian. “Campers and counselors love to hang out in the snow and develop the friendships that start at Summer Camp,”
“The weekend was filled with seasoned AYF camp veterans, who couldn’t bear to wait until the summer to come back to camp,” said counselor Aram Yacoubian. “With summer camp classics such as Steal the Bacon, Wacky Olympics and the Song Competition, and introducing new activities, namely a Scavenger Hunt, the weekend inevitably felt too short.”
The weekend was full of exciting games and activities, as well as engaging educational presentations. The campers were first introduced to a Harmik Baghdasarian, who has climbed Mount Ararat. Sharing his amazing experience atop Ararat, he urged the campers to one day have the same dream and experience.
AYF-WR Executive Director Stepan Keshishian and AYF member Khachig Joukhajian gave a presentation on the Armenian Youth Federation, focusing on the activism and various projects of the AYF. Fellow staff members and campers shared their personal experiences as members and alumni of the AYF and AYF Juniors.
“AYF Camp is always really fun because we get to make new friends and have such a great time. Being at camp in the snow was just an added bonus,” said camper Alexa Sivazlian. “Winter Camp ended too soon, but now we have Summer Camp to look forward to.”
“Camp not only offers the opportunity to build friendships, it also helps kids build confidence, teaches teamwork and communication, among other real life lessons,” said Anya Agopian, AYF Winter Camp Director. “AYF Camp offers kids the priceless gift of becoming strong, resourceful individuals which will carry on deep into adulthood.”
“Winter Camp was the perfect way to begin 2013,” Aram Yacoubian. “I wholeheartedly recommend Winter Camp to every young Armenian!”
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 www.AYFCamp.org for more information and sign up as a “Friend of AYF Camp” to receive news and updates on programs and events.