Eagle Rock–Homenetmen Western USA officially announced its expansion plans that include the recent purchases of a large campsite in Southern California, as well as a building that will house its headquarters and serve as a "hub for its youth services and activities."
During a press conference Thursday, Zareh Movsesian, the scouting director for Homenetmen Western USA, said the organization has purchased a 24-acre campsite situated in the confines of the Los Padres National Forest, at the base of Mt. Pinos near Frazier Park, California.
"After decades of dreaming and hoping, Homenetmen Western USA has acquired a campground, to fulfill a standing ambition to endow such a natural wonder to Armenian youth," said Movsesian.
Movsesian told the press conference that Homenetmen Camp Tecuya will offer year-round scouting and boasts a number of facilities to make it one of the premier campgrounds in Southern California.
Previously a Girl Scout camp, Homenetmen Camp Tecuya is in "pristine condition," explained Movsesian. Many of the structures, including the cabins, lodge, large dining hall and fully equipped gourmet kitchen, are newly renovated.
Other facilities include a large swimming pool, corral and horseback riding arena, archery range, spacious fire ring and campfire area, outdoor volleyball court, assembly area, a large on-site parking lot, as well as an equally large, off-site lot.
With a membership of 8300 members, Homenetmen Western USA continues to grow at a consistently rapid pace. "Our greatest challenge is the lack of facilities" Regional Executive Committee Chairman Steve Artinian explained. "If we can find a solution, I’m very confident that our numbers can double."
To that end, the organization recently formed a building committee and acquired a building in Eagle Rock, California. The 8,500 square foot building is certainly a bump up from its 2500 sq. feet structure in Glendale and is representative of the direction Artinian and his board foresees the organization going in.
Eagle Rock is a newly emerging trendy hotspot in Southern Californian culture. Homenetmen’s temporary offices have already taken on a hipster feel, with its trendy Design, concrete walls, high ceilings, huge slabs of corrugated plastic and wood that serve as sliding doors.
Artinian explained that the building is slated to become a center for youth activity. "We want to create an "agoump" (Armenian community club) environment for them so they can hang out here like our parents did in the old days; but you can see by the way this building is constructed, this is not our parent’s building."
Artinian and his board–composed of Vice Chair Hovig Bedevian, Secretary Maro Keshishian, Treasurer Oshin Haroutunyan, Athetic Direcor Jano Kahwejian, Scouting Director Zareh Movsesian, Media Director Salpi Jejeian, Marching and Building Committee Director Berdge Bedoyan, Fundraising Director Ano Mansourian, Navasartian Games Director Khatchig Paladian, and Raffi Khatchadourian, director of northern California, Arizona and Nevada Chapters, were elected to their positions in November 2006.
Some were seasoned board members from the past; others were novices. All, however, made a commitment that their administration would make a huge change and take all necessary strides to help the youth.
By the time construction ends in Summer 2008, the new Homenetmen youth "hub" will house a Members’ Lounge, Homenetmen History Museum, 200-capacity meeting hall, a Homenetmen’store and caf?, executive offices for administration and staff, executive boardroom, three conference and training rooms, as well as permanent offices for its scouting and athletic councils, and offices for Navasartian, camp, athletic, and scouting staff.
With its 6,000 athletes, the board is also looking into finding "creative solutions" to acquiring a permanent gym, said Artinian. He revealed no details except that it involved a 20,000 sq. foot facility. "But it has to make sense on paper," he stressed.
Artinian summed up the recent swell of activity for the organization by saying: "Homenetmen is like a major corporation that is run like a mom and pop shop. It’s time to take it to the next level."