Camp Arevelk 2012
Another year has come by and another Camp Arevelk is in the books. This was the thirteenth year of this ministry of the AEUNA. With 79 campers and almost 30 counselors and staff, Camp Arevelk was filled with excitement and noise, as well as fellowship and worship.
This camp is not possible without the counselors and the staff who give of their time for this important ministry. Camp Arevelk has been essential in developing young leaders in the Armenian Evangelical Youth Fellowship and ultimately, the churches of the AEUNA. Every single one of the young people on the AEYF Executive Committee has gone through Camp Arevelk as a camper or counselor. All of this has been under the supervision of Sylvia Jizmejian who has been Camp Director since this ministry began in 2000.
Camp Arevelk started with dinner, a swim test, cabin times and an introduction to the theme of our year. This year’s theme was BE-LI (E)VE. It was a play on words about how our beliefs lead to who we are and how we live. The five days were broken up into these daily topics.
- Focus on Eternity
The campers have quiet times, cabin times (with counselors in groups), a Bible lesson and a session from the speaker about these topics daily. Every night there is a praise session before bedtime. Our speakers this year were Rev. Brandon Woosley (Grades 9-11) and Rev. Dr. Ara Jizmejian (Grades 5-8). Our Bible teachers this year were Rev. Brandon, Rev. Sam Albarian and Rev. Ara. The young people have been blessed to have a variety of teachings on these topics and the campers have been a blessing to the Bible teachers and speakers.
On Sunday,the campers were put into teams for the week. Each team played the night games and team games together. The campers earned points for their teams and at the end of the week, the team with the most points won. Each team had to come up with a name, a chant/song for the team and a banner/coat of arms for the team. This year the teams were
- Mean Green Jesus Machine (winning team)
- Orange Ttooms
- Batman's Bananas
(In the defense of all the counselors, I will say that the campers pick the names.) Each teammate had a matching headband/wristband that they had to wear through the week to let everyone know what team they were on. It is so much fun to see these campers bond together in their teams. The afternoon team games, (Funky Frisbee Relay, Camp Arevelk Thinking Team Weird Game, ) are meant to get everyone on the teams cheering and participating. Watching these games is almost as much fun as playing them. This year we had a bunch of young counselors who were very enthusiastic during these games and made all the games more enjoyable. During three of the nights, the campers played team games (Night Crossings, Counselor Hunt, and Capture the Flag. One night there is a Talent Show and the last night there is the much anticipated and long awaited Night of Praise and Worship at the Firepit.
The week ended on Saturday with many tears being shed by the campers (and some by the counselors) at the thought of leaving Camp. There is a barbeque for campers and parents and anyone else who wanted to join the fun. But before the bbq, it was time for the Camp Arevelk Awards Ceremony where every camper received an award from their counselor. Then came the food and reunion with the parents. After all the parents and campers went home, the counselors stayed for several debriefing sessions that included evaluations of this year and suggestions for next year.
I would like to thank our camp nurse, Arpi Sarian, our registrar, Talin Barsoumian, Silva Orchanian and all the people who helped with the picnic. I also would like to thank the speakers and Bible teachers who taught our young people about the Scriptures and how to apply their faith. A special thank you goes to the parents who spent time praying for us every morning. That was truly a blessing to all who attended Camp Arevelk. May our Lord be glorified through this essential ministry of the AEUNA. The countdown has started already for Camp Arevelk 2013.