The official flag ceremony on July 3 at AGBU’s private campsite in Lori region of Armenia marked the start of the fourth season of AGBU “Antranik” scout camp. It continues to be a hub of the world's largest nonprofit organization's international scouting activities. As opposed to last year’s 120 participants, this year the camp welcomed more than 400 scouts from AGBU troops in Aleppo, Damascus, Kamishly (Syria), Beirut (Lebanon), Los Angeles (USA), Montevideo (Uruguay), Tehran (Iran) and Yerevan (Armenia), joined by the newly formed "Hayki Serund" (Haik’s Generation) representative group of Karabakh. Under the leadership of AGBU-AYA of Lebanon's Executive Director Kevork Santourian, Antranik opened its doors from June 30 - August 2, 2011, for three sessions that allowed the scouts of Armenian heritage to explore Armenia's beautiful nature, visit its landmarks, learn scoutcraft, volunteer their time for community service projects, and form friendships with other youth. The opening of the first session took place on July 3, 2011 and was attended by Reverend Father Torgom Tonikian, diocesan vicar of the Gugarats Diocese, officials of the Lori region, and numerous guests. Participating in the first session were the groups from Tehran, Montevideo and Beirut, as well as the preparatory group from Yerevan. The groups from California, Aleppo, Damascus and Kamishly participated in the second session, while the groups from Yerevan and Karabakh formed the participants during the third session.


The scope and outreach of this AGBU program in Armenia continues to expand each year, as exemplified by the first-time participation of scouts from Montevideo. The Uruguayan scouts, like every AGBU group, added their own personality to the camp activities. The group, which has an obvious love of music, performed a musical adaptation of "Ourakh Avanum" (In Happy Town) in the neighboring city of Vanadzor and they composed a special song for the Antranik Scout Camp, which has already turned into a popular march. Antranik Scout Camp participants spent unforgettable weeks in the homeland, helping to forge their Armenian identities and a love for a land they were unfamiliar with. During their visit to Holy Etchmiadzin, they were also fortunate to receive the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and see the history of a place they had only heard about in books and on the Internet. The scouts also visited the AGBU Armenian Representation office, got acquainted with the Union’s activities carried out in Armenia and Artsakh On July 24th, the scouts were joined by the participants of another AGBU youth program, Yerevan Summer Intern Program, for a memorable day of friendship, adventure and networking. The three fire ceremonies of camp “Antranik” turned into festive holidays attended by guests and parents of the scouts. The traditional Armenian harisa was served during the third fire ceremony.



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