By Taraneh Aminian, IAAB
Camp Ayandeh 2009 is the fourth installment of IAAB's Iranian-American high school leadership camp. 2009 camp is being held at Duquette Academy in Western Massachusetts, June 28- July 5.
Khosh Amadid! Today is the day that all staff and counselors have been eagerly awaiting.
Campers from all over the country - California, Georgia, New York, and everywhere in between - arrived as the first day of Camp Ayandeh commenced. At the airport, our staff ran from terminal to terminal, warmly greeting campers who gave long awaited hugs to old friends and said hi to new faces.
Sivon Paransun, 19, a fourth-time returning camper has built a fond relationship with Camp Ayandeh: "I can't wait for camp to start every year because at Camp Ayandeh you go into who you are-you form a profoundly deep relationship with other campers and find role models, which helps you figure out your own identity."
As more campers arrived, we filled the baggage claim area of Logan Airport, sitting in circles playing card games, talking, and laughing. Once all 70 arrived, we began the three-hour bus journey to western Massachusetts, anxious to join the counselors and IAAB staff at the campsite.
After arriving at the lush grounds of Duquette Sports Academy, we all ran out to start our first game of vasati (Iranian dodgeball). Playing vasati has become a time-honored popular tradition here at Camp Ayandeh. As we cheered one another and broke out into dance in the middle of the game (another camp tradition!), the energy that Camp Ayandeh is known for quickly spread.
We took that energy into Camp Café, where the clapping and beshkans began as the most outgoing of our IAAB staff and campers danced between the dinner tables, much to the surprise of the kitchen staff who we are sure have never seen anything like it. Camp Ayandeh 2009 has officially begun!
About Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) - IAAB is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit volunteer organization with a young, dedicated staff spread across the United States, Europe and Iran. The mission of the organization is to address issues of the Iranian diaspora community while raising awareness of the Iranian community, promoting leadership, and connecting Iranians across borders. For more information about IAAB, please visit www.iranianalliances.org.
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