Being a Staff In Training at AYF Camp Haiastan has taught me a lot of things, but one thing stuck out to me the most: to be selfless. As a camp staff member you need to be selfless; putting your needs second and the campers’ first, and as I continued to work I began to understand the importance of that. Being selfless is something I truly grasped along with other things, like being more independent and making camp better than it was.
In the end I learned that the reward of working at AYF Camp Haiastan is priceless; it is giving campers the best two weeks of their lives. Making bonds with campers is truly amazing and they can change your life just as much as you can change theirs. I also made new friends and met new people as the summer progressed. When I applied for this job I knew what I was anticipating. I knew that the next eight weeks were going to be extremely tiring but fun. Before I left camp, an ungerouhi asked me if I would work at camp for free, and without even thinking I answered yes. I applied to work at camp not because I wanted to be paid but also to give back to the community and give campers the same amazing experiences I had when I was in their shoes.
I’m glad I was part of the 2014 AYF Camp Haiastan staff, and I will certainly be reapplying with hopes of returning as a counselor next year. AYF Camp Haiastan will always stay in my heart and will forever be a second home to me. I hope to continue to give back to our camp for years to come.
U. Alek Surenian
Chicago “Ararat” Chapter