On Friday June 1st, 2012, around 63 or more people From Montreal and Toronto embarked on buses to North of Kingston, at Camp Iawah, in Godfrey Ontario to reunite with friends, to make new friends, to share, to also learn about Armenian Religion and to learn about our faith and community a lot more. Since this year is the 500th anniversary of the printing of Armenian Books and literature, this time we dedicated it all to that. We discussed the importance of Armenian Language, to speak and write Armenian, and why it is important to keep our culture, and heritage alive. On Friday night June 1st, we had arrived at Camp Iawah, and we began with an Orientation, then we all go our room numbers where we are going to sleep, but what sleep? We had little or no sleep at all, all weekend. Who goes to a Youth Getaway and sleeps right? It’s just for a weekend. Then afterwards we all met up in the conference room and we played an ice breaker game called get to know others bingo. So we had to go around the room and find someone similar to what month were born, what type of music we like, where each of us were born, and when it was all done, someone had to call bingo. It was a fun start to the weekend. After that we did our night prayer then we had free time.
On Saturday June 2nd, 2012, we woke up, had our morning prayer, then breakfast. After breakfast we had a few discussions, followed by lunch, after lunch we did a lot of sporting and outdoor activities such as canoeing, soccer, rock climbing, basketball, and among other games. After all that we had dinner and after dinner we had a strong debate on the importance of reading and writing Armenian and it was a heated one to two hours of it, but we sure did learn a lot from it, and how important it is to learn a new language so on and so forth. After that we had some time to spend outdoors again around a bonfire we made and we danced, sang, and just enjoyed each others company with cookies and hot chocolate. After we went back toward the building we were staying in and we had a karaoke night, it was such a great time. After everyone did their own thing and people were awake all hours of the night. including myself. I got like 4 hours sleep all weekend. Now, I am paying for that.
In conclusion, the whole weekend was an incredible experience for me again. This was my 3rd time attending the Youth Weekend getaway and it was nice to see my friends from Montreal. My Montreal circle keeps getting bigger and bigger and Its so awesome to see. Thanks to all the Organizers of this beautiful and great trip we had. It is not an easy task to plan and to organize events. I appreciate all those who worked so hard to make sure that we all are taken care of, we all had a great time and we made memories to last a lifetime. I mean that is what it’s all about right? Making friends, making memories, sharing our lives with others, and just going with the flow in life. All the best and I cannot wait until the next Getaway. It needs to come back fast because I miss everyone already. I am hoping I make a trip to Montreal soon to see my friends and hang out with everyone. All the best to the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) and thank you again for a beautiful weekend which I will never forget. God bless everyone.