Frequently asked questions
Why should I send my child to Camp Haiastan?
For over 70 years there have been and will continue to be many great reasons to send your camper to Camp Haiastan, the first Armenian camp in the U.S. We are sure that three generations of campers coming to Camp Haiastan over the past 60+ years is one of the best reasons, but here are some others to think about and discuss with your camper.
To make life-long friends by living, working, and playing with other Armenian kids from near and far.
To learn about: Living cooperatively in a small group, our Armenian heritage and the ideals of the AYF, outdoor skills, sports, creative arts, friendships, and many more activities that are useful throughout life.
To experience: Personal growth and self-reliance by discovery independent of school, family, and home environment.
To learn: To be responsible as a young Armenian with other young Armenians, sharing and contributing in work and play, decision-making and compromise in small group living.
Finally, to experience: The unforgettable thrill of the first time sleeping in a cabin, building a campfire, winning knock-out, competing for your team in Olympics or learning an Armenian dance with other Armenian kids.
Is the Aquatics Staff Certified?
Absolutely. There are always at least two certified lifeguards on duty at the swimming pool at all times, and we maintain a ratio of one certified lifeguard per 25 swimmers. Trained instructors teach and supervise boating activities on Uncas Pond, and swimming activities in our pool.
All aquatic activities are under the supervision of our Water Safety Instructor certified Aquatic Director.
Can I send packages to my camper?
Yes. But please note: Camp Haiastan reserves the right to not accept packages intended for your camper if they contain prohibited items. Candy and food items will be confiscated and not returned.
How do I know if my child is ready for camp?
If your child meets the age requirements and can dress, feed, and clean him or herself, he or she is probably ready for camp. In most cases being away from home for the first time, or for two weeks is the biggest hurdle for the child to overcome. With parent participation this can often be minimized. We rely first on establishing the trust of parents in our organization, and then we rely on parents to communicate that relationship of trust between them and us to their campers through frequent discussions with them in the time leading up to coming to camp.
How do I contact the camp in case of an emergency?
Please call Camp Haiastan in the following order:
Camp Haiastan 24-Hour Emergency
Phone Number: 508 520-1312
Summer Director: 508 528-0505
Camp Nurse: 508 541-5421
Please remember this is for emergencies only.
Are the activities at camp supervised at all times?
Absolutely. Our campers are supervised throughout the entire day. Each counselor is held accountable for supervising their campers at all times, as well as learning about their likes and dislikes. Everything that your camper partakes in at Camp Haiastan from morning wake up to after lights are out in the evening is supervised. We also have staff on “night watch” throughout each evening, until the morning wake-up call.
How is the staff trained?
All Camp Haiastan staff are given initial training and orientation, as well as in-service review and follow-up training several times during the summer. Staff training includes topics such as: Staff and camper behavior expectations, camper discipline policy, emergency preparedness, sexual harassment policy, all camp programs and activities orientation, and review of Staff Employment Handbook to name several.
What is the food like?
Our meals are prepared fresh daily! We are always exploring new menu ideas that are fresh, nutritious and fun for our campers. Plenty of fruits, vegetables and abundant fluids for our campers is important to us. Meals are prepared by seasoned cooks. Dietary restrictions or concerns that are noted on the Confidential Information Form are strictly adhered to and accommodated when possible. For more information please visit the Food Menu page on our website.
Does my child need money at camp?
No. The camp maintains a Camp Store, which is open at specific designated times each day. You will deposit funds in advance for the camper to draw upon at the Camp Store. If the camper over-draws their Camp Store Account you will be billed. A detailed accounting of Camp Store activity for each camper is available upon request to families at departure.
How close is the nearest hospital?
About ten miles from Camp Haiastan. The Milford Regional Medical Center is a full-service facility with a 24-hour emergency and trauma center. Our Camp Director and Camp Nurse establish contact with Milford Regional Medical Center prior to camp reopening each season. Also, there is a CVS Minute Clinic two minutes away for minor care, and we have 2 doctors available for consultations by telephone. There are multiple Urgent Care facilities as well within 20 minutes of camp available for use. For sudden emergencies we never hesitate to enlist the service of The Town of Franklin Emergency Medical Response Unit (911) provided by the Town of Franklin Fire Department.
How old are the camp counselors?
Our counselors are 18 years of age or older. Whenever possible, we hire experienced staff who have knowledge of the camp and its programs, necessary certifications for certain programs, and who have been former Camp Haiastan campers. This is a benefit to both the counselor and the camper.
When are visiting days?
Visiting days are the middle Sunday of the session between 12:00 p.m. and 5 p.m. At no other times will visitors be permitted at camp – no exceptions. Please review Visiting Day in the Parent and Camper Summer Guide for other Visiting Day policies that all visitors are required to abide by on Visiting Day.
Is my child allowed to leave camp?
NO. Campers are not allowed to leave camp during the session unless on an official Field Trip or Outing as a group. Unofficial, unsupervised absence from camp is a serious offense that can compromise the security of not only those involved, but the entire camp, and can result in a directive for immediate parental removal of an involved camper. We have a Lost or Missing Camper plan that includes the participation of Franklin Police and Massachusetts State Police which we will not hesitate to use should a camper leave the camp without notice. Please review our visitation policy for Sunday Visiting Day in the Parent and Camper Guide. ONCE A CAMPER IS REGISTERED AND CHECKED IN TO CAMP HAIASTAN THEY MAY NOT LEAVE UNTIL THEY CHECK OUT AT THE CONCLUSION OF THEIR SESSION UNLESS FOR AN OFFICIAL GROUP FIELD TRIP OR AN EMERGENCY. THIS INCLUDES VISITING SUNDAY.
Is the camp properly staffed medically?
Camp Haiastan employs an experienced Registered Nurse who lives at camp during the entire season. The Camp Nurse is trained to deal with medical situations that may arise in a camp setting. The camp also has a doctor on call around the clock for consultation. REMEMBER: To ensure your child receives the best medical/health treatment if necessary, you must submit fully completed Health History/Physical Exam/Immunization Form, Confidential Information Form and Medication Authorization Form (if necessary).
Does my child need to speak Armenian?
No. But we do have classes where your camper can start to learn!
Can my camper call home or use a cell phone?
No, except for on Visiting Day Sunday (the official call home day for campers at Camp Haiastan, unless of course there is an emergency or extraordinary situation). A supervised camp phone is made available on Sundays for campers to use to make short duration calls to their parents. Please make sure you send all parent phone contact information with your camper. DO NOT SEND A CELL PHONE WITH YOUR CAMPER UNLESS THEY ARE FLYING TO CAMP HAIASTAN. CELL PHONE POSSESSION AND USE IS NOT ALLOWED AT CAMP. CELL PHONES, SMART PHONES, ETC. COMPROMISE OUR SECURITY AS WELL AS OUR ENVIRONMENT. CELL PHONES CONFISCATED WILL BE LOCKED IN A SECURE PLACE UNTIL DEPARTURE. NO EXCEPTIONS. Campers may be sent home for violating this policy