Camp Javakhk: The Best Experience I’ve Ever Had
By U. Meghri Dervartanian
It was a quick decision to be a part of Camp Javakhk, and I’m so glad I went! On my way to Armenia to meet the rest of the counselors, I kept telling myself I was crazy for getting myself into this, but I knew there was no turning back. I told myself I had to make the best of it.
Once I got to Armenia and met up with everyone I felt a little more comfortable but still had no idea what to expect from Camp Javakhk and Georgia. When I found out that the first session of camp I was going to be in Dzalka (basically you can’t get more village than Dzalka) I was more than scared—I was excited and anxious for what’s to come. I had always wanted to see what the village life was like, especially the Armenian village life.
Preparing for Day 1 of camp, we were all tired from traveling and prep work but were looking forward to getting up early and being ready for the 100 kids who were eager to meet us. As we were walking to the school through herds of cattle, in my head I kept saying, “You can do this Meghri, you can do this. They’re just kids, you can do this.” Once I saw all the kids’ faces and their smiles when meeting us, all my fear was instantly forgotten.
I was the younger group’s counselor and in charge of about 40 kids; I can’t say my kids were angels (they were more like animals), but in my eyes they were perfect. I taught them everything I could think of, from how to stand when singing Mer Hairenik to ganches I had learned in Scouts. The campers made me look forward to waking up early every morning. By the end of the week, I had not only taught everything I could but had learned new things from them as well, like songs about Javakhk and Erzerum, milking a cow, and even riding a horse.
Camp Javakhk was by far the best experience I have ever had in my life, and I encourage everyone to try it at least once. I hope to be back with all my campers in Dzalka next summer!