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“I LOVED ARMENIA AND I AM GOING TO RETURN TO MY HOMELAND”

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year the AGBU scouts’ outfits differed from those of previous years, thanks to the addition of the forget-me-not pin symbolizing the Armenian Genocide Centennial. The pin was not a requirement of the uniform however the international participant of the annual “Antranik” Scout Camp wore it with pride. For the 8th consecutive year Lori hosted the AGBU scouts from all around the world. Over 150 participants from the USA, Lebanon, Georgia, UAE, Syria and Armenia gathered at their favorite Antranik Camp. Archbishop Sepouh Chuljyan, Primate of the Gugark Diocese, addressed the Scouts during the opening ceremony, “It is amazing that you can now see your Homeland with your own eyes. The best way to understand your Homeland is not only through history books but through real experiences. You must walk through its lands, its villages and cities, feel it’s breath and get to know it’s people and it’s culture. I bless you all and wish you a successful camping experience.”

Opening speeches were also made by AGBU Antranik Scout Camp Director Kevork Santourian and AGBU Yerevan Interim Director Hovig Eordekian.

“Friendship which begins in the Homeland among the participants during the program, is important and irreplaceable. Our hard work and devotion is justified when we hear one or two important sentences from our participants: I loved my Homeland or I am going to return to my Homeland again”, said Kevork Santourian. Taking into consideration the significance of the year 2015, a series of meetings and discussions were organized dedicated to the Armenian Genocide Centennial and plans for the future. All of the program participants shared a single opinion; they will not rest until justice prevails and the Genocide is recognized. As part of the program, the participants also visited Etchmiadzin, the Garni Temple, Geghard Monastery, Lake Sevan, Haghpat, Goshavank, Lake Gosh, Gyumri, Tsitsernakaberd Memorial, Matenadaran Institute of Ancient Manuscripts and the Komitas Museum. Visits to the AGBU Yerevan office, AGBU Armenian Virtual College, as well as the AGBU and Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin’s Nork Children’s Center were also organized.

For the second year running, during their trip to Gyumri, the AGBU scouts had the unique opportunity to be present at the “Kohar” Ensemble’s rehearsals and savor their beautiful music.

An unforgettable day was spent at the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, which, as always, is one of the most impressive and memorable days in their calendar of events. At the center the scouts met students and staff, saw the many innovative activities that the center carries out, and participated in various interested lectures. At the Tumo Center, all volunteers had the unique opportunity to find something that they were interested in ranging from computer games, animation and computer graphics, music, robotics to web design.

Each of the two sessions of the AGBU Antranik Scout Camp traditionally ends with a Fire Ceremony during which the camp hosts a number of AGBU members and friends, Diaspora-Armenian youth in Armenia as part of the various AGBU summer programs, AGBU Yerevan staff, scouts’ parents, friends and other guests.

“I can’t express what I feel right now. I am more than sure that each one of us feels the same as I do at this moment. This is my fourth visit to the Homeland, but each time I am as emotional and impressed as the first time”, said one of the scouts.

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