Camp Haiastan announces 2023 season, election of new board member

FRANKLIN, Mass. — On the heels of a summer that saw AYF Camp Haiastan reach record teen attendance and the reopening of the day camp program, the Camp Board of Directors held its annual corporation meeting on the campgrounds in Franklin, MA.

Nevart Mikaelian, incoming Board Member
Nevart Mikaelian, incoming Board Member

The corporation elected Nevart Mikaelian, former camper, staffer, summer director and former Board member, as the only new incoming Board member. Mikaelian holds a master’s degree in special education and has worked in Natick Public Schools for 20 years, most recently as a special education coordinator at the elementary school level. She is currently working toward licensure in Special Education Administration.

Phil Nigon (PA), Hagop Soulakian (IL), Shant Saroukhanian (MI) and Taline Badrikian (MA) were all re-elected for a second term. The existing Tivan was reelected to their positions – Hratch Najarian, chairperson; Sarine Adishian, secretary; and Nigon, treasurer.

The Camp committees remain unchanged – Infrastructure, Marketing, Education, Investment, Technology, Recruitment and Fundraising. For those interested in joining these committees or volunteering at the Camp, please contact executive director Kenar Charchaflian via email:

The Camp recently announced dates for the 2023 season. Session 3 will be offered as a new one-week only option. Additionally, this summer, for the first time, a second week of day camp will be offered in August.

Two Week Options – $1,795
Teen Session: June 25 – July 8
Session 1: July 9 – July 22
Session 2: July 23 – August 5

NEW One-Week Option – $795
Session 3: August 6 – August 13

Day Camp – $595
Day Camp Week 1: June 26 – June 30
Day Camp Week 2*: August 7 – August 11

*$100 discount will be given to campers enrolled in both weeks

More information about our camp programs can be found online.

With these exciting changes comes the importance of summer staffing. The Camp is calling on young adults, 17 and over, to serve their community and embark on a summer that will provide growth, independence and applicable working experience. Staff applications will be released on December 22nd.

2022 Camp Haiastan staff members
2022 Camp Haiastan staff members

After the new year, Charchaflian will be visiting targeted communities across the region and in Canada to inform them about the updates at Camp over the past few years and to encourage young people to attend the 2023 season. The Camp will announce visits to these communities on Instagram and Facebook.

Some of the upcoming changes to Camp were announced at the gala in July. The Under the Trees (UTT) project, which will double the size of this space and provide a much-needed refresh and additional seating, will begin this spring and be ready for the 2023 Camp season. The project is to be in memory of one of the Camp’s most long-serving members, Mark Alashaian of New Jersey, and will continue to honor its original dedication in memory of Vaghinag Koroghlian, also of New Jersey. Donations in support of UTT can be made online or mailed to Camp Haiastan (P.O. Box C, Franklin, MA 02038, Attn: Under the Trees).

The Camp kitchen renovation/rebuild project continues to be defined, and while it will not be ready for the 2023 season, the Board is paving the path for a kitchen that will serve the Camp for the next 20 to 30 years.

As for the upcoming camping season, Charchaflian and the Board of Directors are exploring new ways to enhance the camper experience – new programs, new activities – and also ways to improve upon the established staff training and development programs. For 73 years, Camp Haiastan has thrived because of the people who run Camp, the people who attend Camp and the people who support Camp. Camp Haiastan is working to improve experiences in every area and will share more information as these initiatives materialize.

In the meantime, as the holidays approach, community members can count on traditional activities and opportunities such as the annual holiday card. Entries can be submitted online. Checks can be mailed to the office (AYF Camp Haiastan, PO Box C, Franklin, MA 02038 Attn: Christmas Card).

This article was original published on The Armenian Weekly.


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