Being a counselor for Camp Javakhk twice has given me two totally different experiences. The first time was more of a self evaluation and discovery of my people in the diaspora other than the place I call home. Connecting with the local people showed me that these total strangers had the ability to love me as their own just because the blood in our veins endured the same history. My fist year as a counselor really helped me understand the true meaning of being a diasporan Armenian.
On the other hand, my second time as a counselor brought more responsibility in both planning and executing the camp. This was an opportunity for me to showcase my maturity and learn how to manage, delegate, and lead my peers to accomplish our goal of a successful camp. It was a valuable experience finding everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and fitting them into the right places. These are skills that I know I can now use in my professional life and beyond.
Both years as a counselor left me with the same feeling though. I came back fulfilled. The love and appreciation shown by the kids and parents of Javakhk is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I feel as though all the work I’ve done in my local Armenian organizations was my training for the Javakhk Jampar. I hope all of the youth of the Eastern Region will eventually experience what I had. You have the tools, you want the experience, just take the chance and I promise you will never regret it.
U. Adam Aktchian
Counselor Camp Javakhk Akhalkalak 2012, 2014