GLENDALE–Hundreds of former AYF campers reunited at Verdugo Park Sunday for a day of food, games, and holiday fun organized by the Armenian Youth Federation.
The picnic brought together old and new friends, as youth from across the community joined the outing.
The event was organized to strengthen ties between the AYF and the community youth, according to Mike Bederian, an organizer of the event, who noted the importance of giving back to a community that gave so much to him growing up.
Bederian, who is also a member of the AYF Valley "Sardarabad" chapter described the picnic as a significant way to engage the younger generation, who are to be "the future leaders of our Diaspora."
"We really want to see the youth be more involved within their communities in an Armenian environment, he added."Most importantly, we wanted to better acquaint ourselves with the kids on a more personal level outside of the usual interaction at AYF Camp."
Amongst the youth at the picnic were many summer campers from the AYF Camp, which is held for seven weeks every summer at Big Pines.
Since 1977, the AYF Camp has been a preferred summer activity for kids ages 8-17, providing a place for kids from all over to interact with other Armenian youth and build life long friendships in a cultured and enjoyable atmosphere.
Editor’s Note: Arek Santikian is a member of the Hollywood "Musa Dagh" Chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation.