In 2002, thanks to an enthusiastic outpouring of donations, we opened our new, Olympic-size swimming pool complete with underwater lighting for evening swimming activities. Camp Haiastan boasts the largest vinyl lined in-ground swimming pool in New England. You’ll experience a wide variety of aquatic activities including swimming, canoeing, kayaking and sunfish sailing instruction, lots of competitive pool games, and of course, camp-wide staff/camper free swim every afternoon. Click here to read about our new pool in Aquatics International magazine July / August 2002.
At Camp Haiastan’s 25-acre Uncas Pond, you’ll enjoy a variety of boating activities. Learn to paddle with a friend in a canoe, navigate your own course in a kayak, cruise around in a paddle boat with new friends, or harness the power of wind as you glide across the pond in one of our fun, easy to sail Sunfish sailboats. Some campers like to just take time out to fish from our dock, shoreline or boat. Catching and releasing turtles has been a favorite free-time pond activity for generations.
Climb to new heights as you test your physical skills on our ROPES Challenge Course. The climbing wall, zip line, fidget ladder, trust fall and balance platform are just a few of the challenging elements on the course that you’ll enjoy with your counselor and cabinmates. ROPES Course is the ultimate “team building” activity at Camp Haiastan. We also have nature classes for campers to learn about sights, sounds, and life that compose our surroundings.
Armenian School is what we call our daily instructional program of Armenian-related classes focusing on Armenian history, music, language, dance, culture and current events. Our approach to Armenian cultural education takes advantage of resources such as audio-visual aids, workbooks, hands-on projects, fun and clever word and action games and lively discussions led by our experienced staff and invited guest experts. Armenian School is all about being Armenian, learning about your Armenian heritage and discovering things you never knew about our ancestral land from long ago as well as today. It also gives a feeling of new-found pride in knowing that your connection to being Armenian (no matter how) puts you in a very elite ethnic group in today’s world. These are all ways that Armenian School will ignite your Hye Spirit during your stay with us.
The most profound Armenian experience you will feel at camp is being welcomed into your “new family” because everyone, campers and staff alike, consider Camp Haiastan their second home.
Sports, Games and Athletics
Our campers love to participate and compete in a variety of challenging outdoor sports, games and activities. Competition and challenge abound on our athletic fields, courts, pool, waterfront, ROPES Challenge Course, archery range and recreation hall. Whether you win or lose, it’s all for fun and Armenian fellowship! We have lighted basketball and sand volleyball courts, a grass athletic field over an acre large for softball, soccer and two-hand-touch football, and Hye Hope Pavilion can accommodate a variety of activities at the same time. Every one gets a “shot” at archery during their session. The archery range is well equipped for all ages and certified instructors teach campers to shoot safely for accuracy as well as for the fun of competing in target games. Of course we have our own favorite games and tournaments that have been around Camp Haiastan for years like knock-out, broomball, stickball, basket-baseball, kickball, boxball and wiffleball to name several. Rain or nightfall means that we shift into our well-equipped indoor recreation facility. Our campers enjoy every manner of table and floor, and arcade game. The oldest running tournament at Camp Haiastan features the entire camp divided into teams for the session ending Olympic Games! For two full days, nearly every activity and skill from Armenian culture to canoeing to archery to tent pitching to volleyball is recreated into a competitive carnival culminating with the teams parading in review before judges behind their own uniquely decorated hand-made team flags until a victor emerges.
Our Arts & Crafts program at Camp Haiastan is designed to work hand in hand with Armenian School. Our Creative Arts instructors and Armenian School instructors work together to offer campers the opportunity to create truly memorable and culturally meaningful hands-on craft projects that often reflect a particular historical event or Armenian village custom.
Special Days, Evenings, Themes & Social Events
Special theme days and night activities are big events at Camp Haiastan. Our campers anxiously look forward to what the staff has planned each evening. It’s a tradition at Camp Haiastan for the staff to keep special theme days and evening activities a secret to enhance the fun and excitement. Campers look forward to Peanut Carnival, Backbreaker, Movie Night, Detective Game, Brainteaser, Backwards Day, Song Night, Talent Show, Alphabet Game, Night Swim, and the Dances. Every session traditionally begins with Introduction Night and ends two weeks later with the Olympic Victory Dance.
Some close by and fun destinations that campers enjoy for special occasion field trips are Franklin Candlepin Bowling Center, Tangerini Farms (hay ride and haybarn maze), Hopkinton State Park (picnic grounds and lake canoeing), Spruce Pond Dairy (ice cream stand) and Franklin Town & State Forests (camping, hiking and nature interpretation).
Armenian Enrichment Evening or “Lecture Night” is a new program that has fast become one of the most popular evening activities at Camp Haiastan. Twice each session specially recruited Armenian guest presenters are invited to Camp Haiastan to present, show or demonstrate their particular skill, talent, knowledge or expertise. Campers have been thrilled and honored to be in the presence of Armenian athletes, writers, photographers, clergy, youth leaders, artists, musicians, performers, academicians, cooks, political leaders from the U.S. and Armenia, and dance companies just to name a few invitees over the past recent summers. These informal yet intense experiences prove to be not only highly informative but also fun, especially when campers get to participate!