From July 16 to 21, 2012, Rev. Fr. Krikor Zakaryan attended the Armenian Church Summer Camp in Dunlap, California.
Since 1987, the Summer Camp Program of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America (a.k.a. Camp Hye Sierra) has provided a serene retreat-like atmosphere where its community can enjoy their heritage, culture and faith. Located in the Sierra Mountains, roughly 35 miles east of Fresno, Camp Hye Sierra is a 160 acre property which includes a number of housing and recreational facilities for over 100 weekly participants stemming from various regions and ages within the Armenian community.
Leaving cell phones, televisions and computers at home, Camp Hye Sierra gives campers and staff an opportunity to step away from city life and embrace the natural setting of God’s creation.
Camp Hye Sierra offers a unique setting for the teachings of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Chapel sessions during Week 1 were conducted by Rev. Fr. Sarkis Petoyan and Rev. Fr. Krikor Zakaryan to ensure a continued cultivation of the Armenian Christian Faith. Classes in Armenian history, religion, culture as well as social issues are also part of the daily schedule. Taught by Fr. Sarkis and Fr. Krikor, staff members, educators and community leaders, the classes were conducted in a workshop-like atmosphere cultivating active participation from the campers. Armenian dancing and cooking classes are also part of the curriculum.
Campers, few of which were from our own parish, left camp with a renewed sense of pride in their heritage, faith and culture. They made friendships that will last a lifetime.