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SCOUT CAMP IS A WAY OF LINKING THE DIASPORA YOUTH TO THEIR MOTHERLAND

The visit of Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) President Berge Setrakian to Armenia in the fall of 2007 launched a new and very important program. With the support of the AGBU Central Board of Directors the first scout camp was organized in Armenia. For that purpose AGBU purchased campgrounds in the Lermontovo village of Lori region. “Azg” was invited to participate in the...

The visit of Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) President Berge Setrakian to Armenia in the fall of 2007 launched a new and very important program. With the support of the AGBU Central Board of Directors the first scout camp was organized in Armenia. For that purpose AGBU purchased campgrounds in the Lermontovo village of Lori region. “Azg” was invited to participate in the fire ceremony and closing of the first round of camping of this year’s AGBU camp “Antranik”. As we reached the camp the atmosphere of joy and happiness surrounded us. “Azg” talked to Mr. Vasken Yacoubian, AGBU Central Board member and chairman of the executive body of Damascus AYA. “I was in this camp from the very first moments, following the preparation and organization, planning in details the activities together with Kevork Santourian. For AYA this is not just a camp. AGBU’s goal is to bring as many youth from Diaspora to Armenia as possible through different projects and link them to their motherland. Camping is just one of the ways of doing it. After the independence the AGBU, along with various benevolent projects, started to implement programs to help and encourage the Diaspora youth to do something good for their homeland, to invest for the Armenian people. Scout camping is one of the ways to reach our goals”, Mr. Yacoubian said. The next person I interviewed was 21-year-old Lernik Isayan from Tehran, who is participating in the camp for the second year. “I was counting days to return to camp “Antranik” after last year’s unforgettable days. The atmosphere here is very pleasant and interesting. I got acquainted with scouts from other countries, we are now friends. This is a new page in my life”. Karin Kalantarian is from Latakia, Syria. This is her first visit to Armenia and she proudly said, “I am so lucky to be able to participate in the camp and enjoy this beautiful nature and the friendly atmosphere. What did this camp give to me? It completely changed my view of my homeland. It’s good to come and see once than to read and hear a thousand times”. With the first signal 167 scouts hurried to the camp area and descended their country flags. Despite the rainy weather the scouts saluted and passed by the newly placed cross-stone at the entrance of the camp in memory of the victims of the crashed Tehran-Yerevan airplane, among which were AGBU scouts Shogher and Nairi Stepanian sisters. The cross-stone was placed by the initiative of Edik Manukian, Shahumian village head of Lori region. The farewell ceremony was opened by the welcoming speech of Hovig Eordekian, AGBU Armenian Representation Deputy Director. The traditional fire ceremony was also attended by AGBU Central Board member Vasken Yacoubian, AGBU Armenian Representation Director Ashot Ghazarian, AGBU Yerevan Summer Internship Program participants and guests from Tehran. Kevork Santourian, Managing Director of AGBU-AYA Lebanon and general supervisor of the scout camp, presented the countries participating in the camping and all the meetings and activities that the scouts have had during their 14-day stay at AGBU camp “Antranik”. “Although the Lori region is very rainy and cold, it is warm in our hearts”, said Mr. Santourian. The scouts presented different performances including dancing, singing, poetry reading and acrobatic skills. Before departure “Azg” daily talked with Kevork Santourian, “This camp has a significant role in uniting Armenian youth from all over the world, sowing love and devotion and linking them to their homeland. It will have a great role and impact in the future”. In several days the AGBU scout camp in the beautiful nature of Lori region will welcome the second group of Diasporan scouts.

 

 

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