From July 15-16, 2012, Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian attended Armenian Summer Camp in Dunlap, California. Meeting with campers and staff, the Primate delivered the day’s spiritual message and also participated in a basketball shoot-around session with the campers. Archbishop Derderian commended the dedication of the youth in preserving their rich Armenian heritage and the unshakable Christian Faith of their forefathers.
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 are conducted by clergy throughout the Diocese 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 clergy, staff members, educators and community leaders, the classes are conducted in a workshop-like atmosphere cultivating active participation from the campers. Armenian dancing and cooking classes are also part of the curriculum.
Campers leave camp with a renewed sense of pride in their heritage, faith and culture. They make friendships that last a lifetime.