VAHAGNADZOR, Armenia — How beautiful the nature of Lori is — mountains covered with forests, gorgeous sunsets and picturesque scenery. In this lovely spot, on the bank of the River Debed, in Vahagnadzor village, is where the children’s camp, Gugarq, is located. From July 15 to 25, Gugarq hosted 85 Tekeyan schoolchildren and their teachers.
The 10-day retreat for Tekeyan members was possible thanks to the Summer Camp project implemented and funded by Tekeyan Centre Fund (Armenia). Compared to 2010, the project has doubled the number of participants as well as expanded the geography of schools involved. In 2011, the Tekeyan School of Berdzor (Karabagh) joined the fund’s permanent beneficiaries, i.e. the Tekeyan Schools of Yerevan, Gumri, Stepanavan and Karbi. The project participants were the excellent students in grades 9-12 from the five schools.
Tekeyan students spent 10 days in the majestic Lori region. Mornings started with the sounds of the trumpet and exercises. Students also took part in everyday sporting activities and competitions; they were especially excited about swimming in the pool and sunbathing.
For 10 days, the Tekeyan students not only enjoyed a carefree life in the camp, but also enriched their knowledge in history and geography, the Armenian language and literature, culture and art. The seminars were conducted by the Tekeyan teachers who accompanied the students during their summer holidays. They also gave various quizzes that were educational and informative. The student took part in discussions on various topics, such as learning about first aid, healthy lifestyles and the historic monuments of Lori, etc.
They also took part in cultural events devoted to great Armenian literary figures Vahan Tekeyan and Hovhannes Toumanian. Tekeyan Centre Fund enabled the students to visit Toumanian’s house-museum in Dsegh where they felt the spirit of the poet; they also recited some of his lyrics. It was wonderful to see how deep our younger generation is interested in classical authors.
Tekeyan students were excited with hiking to the mountains, to the abandoned camp, to the forest and the bank of the Debed. They also learned why the river flowed in the opposite direction. The students also had an excursion to Haghpat Monastery where in the 18th century the famous Armenian bard Sayat- Nova used to live and create his masterpieces.