Providence ARF Holds 10th Annual ‘Panagoum’ at Camp Haiastan

The Providence “Kristapor” Gomidehoutuin of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern Region held its 10th annual panagoum (camp) at Camp Haiastan on Columbus Day Weekend, with the participation of 22 members.

A scene from the panagoum

The traditional panagoum is a weekend that is developed around educationals and formal presentations about topics that make up the fabric of the ARF. The discussions address current conditions and ways to strengthen the Gomidehoutun and enhance the work it is committed to. This event also provides a great opportunity for the ungers to bond with each other.

The participants began arriving on Friday night, and were given time to unpack, unwind, socialize, and prepare for the busy weekend.

After Saturday morning’s eggs and soujouk breakfast, the first panel discussion took place, entitled “The Role of Leadership in the ARF,” presented by ungers Garo Tashian, Steve Mesrobian, and Andrew Bagdasarian. Unger Ani Haroian, the chairperson of the educational committee, served as moderator. The discussion with those present that followed was fruitful and went on for longer than expected.

Following lunch, the second group took the floor on the following topic: “Who is an ARF Member?” Presenters Ungers Paula Burke, Raffi Rachdouni, and Steve Elmasian shared their thoughts with Unger George Mangalo serving as the moderator. Members in attendance took great interest as was witnessed by the question and answers that followed.

Ungers Paula Burke and Melissa Danielian then had organized a “team activity;” a feature everyone looks forward to each year.  There was a period of down time, which gave the tavlou (backgammon) players time to play. A much anticipated dinner of ribs and pulled pork with the fixings prepared by the Chairman of the Gomideh, Unger Hagop Donoyan and his crew followed.

Following dinner, the members broke into three groups for an Armenian Jeopardy contest. Ungers Hrag Arakelian and Andrew Bagdasarian organized this eventful game, which was a hotly contested event decided by the Final Jeopardy question. An added feature this year was Family Feud. All questions for both games are strictly based on Armenians and Armenia.

The ungers then proceeded outside for a gathering by the fire pit and enjoyed each other’s company by sharing stories and memories and telling jokes.

Sunday brought an all-day steady rain, but that could not dampen the spirits as the traditional Family Day was upon us. From its inspection, the panagoum has invited family members of all the ungers to join on Sunday. This year, grilled marinated steak tips and chicken breast with pilaf and the fixings were served. Thirty-five members and family guests enjoyed the final panagoum meal together.

The Providence ARF works hard all year long, this weekend included. The panagoum and the camaraderie and bonding that takes place on these hallowed grounds is something all the members look forward to year after year.


Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Providence ARF Holds 10th Annual ‘Panagoum’ at Camp Haiastan

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