2% of $300,000 goal
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Camp Haiastan has been working on the design of an expanded Under the Trees. Anyone who has attended Camp Haiastan knows it holds a special place in all our hearts as one of the iconic locations on the campgrounds. It is the place where everyone gathers multiple times to recite the Hayr Mer before meals, the place where daily announcements are given, and the place to just sit and enjoy the beautiful grounds of Camp. It is the Camp’s primary vantage point of Uncas Pond, Hye Hope Pavilion, the basketball courts, and the lower Camp entrance. Anyone sitting Under the Trees can see nearly everything that is going on at Camp Haiastan. Many campers take solace Under the Trees to relax, gather in smaller groups, play board games, read, or just observe nature.
The new design will double the size of the Under the Trees area. Most importantly, it not only saves and secures the existing trees but also plans for the future by planting new ones. Following the current Under the Trees design, the stone patio will include a new Armenian Eternity Symbol, inspired by the previous existing symbol. The area closer to the Summer Office will have rounded benches while the section closer to the Rec Hall will be square and have two new platforms and multiple benches.
Since its inception, the Camp Board of Directors earmarked this project to be in memory of one of its most long-serving members, Mark Alashaian of New Jersey. Mark was the epitome of a “Camp Haiastan lifer” and passed away on July 1, 2017, at the age of 52. Whether spending his summers as a camper or during his 12-year involvement as the Camp’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, the love of our beloved 100 acres was always close to his heart. If you were at Camp on visiting Sundays and Mark was around, you would see him sitting quietly Under the Trees just taking in the fruits of his work at Camp. Mark was equally involved in the New Jersey Armenian Community following in the footsteps of his parents, Avedis and Rosemary Alashaian of NY and NJ. He gave his time and leadership to the ARF, AYF, and Homenetmen in every capacity.
The existing Under the Trees was built and dedicated in 1982 in memory of another New Jersey Armenian community member, Vaghinag Koroghlian who passed away in 1981 at the age of 41. He was one of the first campers who attended the inaugural session in 1951. Like Mark, Vaghinag was also a respected leader of the NJ/NY Armenian community and was involved in all the same organizations – AYF, ARF, St. Vartanantz, (Ridgefield, NJ) Board of Directors.