BY KATY SIMONIAN
“Elevate Yourself and Others with You.” These words are far more than a motto for the members of Homenetmen’s Western US Region. They serve as a guiding principle for the global Armenian organization that has honored a passionate tradition of public service for over a century. The spirit of sharing and commitment to excellence is most apparent in Homenetmen’s storied legacy of scouting and athletics.
Homenetmen’s Scouting Program offers over 2,000 Armenian-American Scouts the opportunity to earn medals and badges for their unique areas of interest. The program features regular troop activities such as field trips, outdoor scouting exhibitions, and camping excursions, all graciously supervised by devoted volunteers, made up of parents, seasoned members, and dedicated Scout leaders, many of whom are former Scouts. Our young Scouts are a source of great pride for our Armenian community, as they learn more about their Armenian culture, while developing a sense of social and moral responsibility.
“Scouting brings us so much joy. It has made a positive impact on shaping who I am today,” said Dr. Sharlene Gozalians, Homenetmen Western US Regional Scout Master. “So many people invested in me not only as a Scout, but as a person. It is an honor to carry on the cycle of giving. Seeing our children, their smiles – watching them grow and preserve our beautiful Armenian culture, is a gift. Sharing intellectual conversations about our past, present and future – our challenges and are successes, is what inspires me as a Scout leader,” she added.
Our Scouts often have the honor of representing our community and their Armenian heritage at world jamborees, carrying our flag in an impressive display of discipline and respect. They see their work as a sacred act of public service, as they fulfill their duties with a grace and wisdom beyond their years.
Most recently, on April 24th, Scouts from Homenetmen’s Western US Region participated in annual commemorations, standing guard, presenting the colors and placing a wreath at the Armenian Genocide Monument in Montebello, honoring the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
Homenetmen’s tradition of scouting is matched only by its exceptional legacy of athletics, dating back to the vision of founder, Shavarsh Krissian, whose prowess as an athlete inspired his vision for the organization. Homenetmen’s Athletic Program offers athletes the opportunity to participate in sports from basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis and table tennis to track and field, swimming, gymnastics and karate. The main aim of the Athletic Program is to encourage sportsmanship and team work in order to build a sense of confidence in our athletes while instilling the values of hard work, kindness and humility.
Today, Homenetmen’s Western US Region has over 6,000 athletic members and continues to grow. These athletes compete locally and in regional tournaments, most notably, the popular Navasartian Games which are currently underway.
“This year’s 45th Navasartian Games are a privilege for organizers, as athletes have been welcomed back to compete in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, with events kicking off in San Diego, Fresno, Orange County and across the greater Los Angeles area,” said Sevag Garabetian, Vice Chairman of Homenetmen’s Western Region. “With record turnouts and an exceptional display of athleticism, the 2022 Navasartian Games are proving to be the experience of a lifetime for our youth and their families.”
The achievements of Homenetmen’s Scouting and Athletic Programs will be celebrated at the 45th Navasartian Victory Ball, which will take place on Sunday, June 26 at The Beverly Hilton.
Our athletes, scouts and beloved volunteers indeed elevate and inspire, as they embody the spirit of the “Unity, Strength, Victory” campaign, a movement to recognize and preserve Homenetmen’s rich history and the enduring legacy of the Armenian people.
“We honor all of our athletes and volunteers, as they represent the very best of our Armenian community. Homenetmen stands as a beacon of hope to inspire all people. Our unity and strength will lead to our greatest victory which is the happiness and success of our future generations,” said Hagop Tufenkjian, Chairman of Homenetmen’s Western Regional Executive Committee.
Homenetmen’s many programs reaffirm our commitment to invest in our youth, as they are the wave of the future. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. Each generation proudly carries on their stewardship of elevating one another through education and service.
For more information about Homenetmen’s Athletic and Scouting Programs, as well as the 45th Navasartian Victory Ball, please visit the Navasartian Games website or call (323) 344-4300.
Katy Simonian is a member of the 45th Navasartian Victory Ball Committee.