August usually marks the ending of summer and the start of getting ready for a new school year. But before students have to dust off their backpacks and crack open their textbooks they have one more opportunity to escape for one week up at Camp Arevelk. Celebrating our 20th Anniversary of camp ministry, this year’s camp was full of fun, surprises and quality time spent together and with God’s word in the midst of His beautiful creation.
Our theme this year was the Armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-18. Rev. Greg Haroutunian spoke to our 5th - 8th grade campers, teaching them about the spiritual battle we face. Rev. Vache Sevajian spoke to our high school campers about what it means to be strong in the Lord, and that we are engaged in a real battle with a powerful enemy. But our victory is guaranteed by Christ, and He has given us this armor to equip us for spiritual battle.
Our theme permeated every aspect of our camp. From Armor themed crafts, led by creative and talented arts & crafts director Monique Pappas, to games and activities led by the dynamic duo of James Boyadjian and Araz Ashjian, and Bible study sessions with Rev. Shant Barsoumian and Rev. Dr. Haig Kherlopian. Our campers were equipped at every corner and challenged to grow stronger in their faith. Our dedicated crew of counselors were with our campers every step of the way, forming friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime.
Musical team Johnie Norayr Orchanian (guitar), Arie Orchanian (bass), Antranig Boynerian (keyboard), Araz Ashjian (drums/percussion) and singers Shant Orchanian and Anna Shanazari made worship throughout the week enthusiastic and joyful. We ended our week with songs and s’mores around the camp fire to celebrate a wonderful week of camp.
Many campers shared what they had learned about God throughout the week, what they were thankful for and the commitments they had made. As sad as everyone was that this was our last night at camp we were encouraged that we would be able to take our experiences with us back to our communities, churches and families.
Celebrating Camp Arevelk’s 20th Anniversary we had members of the Camp Arevelk committee there to present camp director Sylvia Jizmejian with a special quilt made up of 20 years of Camp Arevelk T-shirts! We thanked God for the late Rev. Dr. Ara Jizmejian and Sylvia accepting God’s call to foster and grow the ministry as well as everyone who had a hand in it over the last 20 years through their service on the Camp Arevelk committee as well as volunteering year after year to make Camp Arevelk a wonderful place for our children and youth.
We capped off Camp Arevelk’s 20th Anniversary at our farewell BBQ on Saturday. As the parents came to pick up the campers, we had special presentations highlighting Camp Arevelk’s ministry throughout the years. Rev. Dr. Ara Heghinian gave us some insight as to how the ministry started all those years ago and he challenged all of us present to be mindful and prayerful of the vision God has for the bigger and brighter future of Camp Arevelk 20, 40 or 60 years from now. We also invited former campers and counselors to join us this year in the celebration and had a mini camp reunion reminiscing about our fondest memories from the past 20 years of Camp Arevelk. We pray that God will continue to use this ministry as a place where the Gospel is preached, lives are transformed and everyone who comes feels part of the family, God’s family.
Make sure to check out our photos from this year, courtesy of Shant Orchanian, on our Camp Arevelk Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Camp-Arevelk-155363094657514/