About my life in Armenia, about being a mom and an activist, working for women's rights.
The challenges and benefits of raising a family in a post-soviet republic.
Finding a place, my place and calling it HOME.

9.7.13

Canadian Adventures: Camp Tamaracouta

For as long as i remember scouting was always part of my life. I used to be a girl guide in Lebanon for a while, then when we moved to Montreal, i got involved in the movement here as a cub assistant then a leader. My nickname was Akela and i volunteered for almost 10 years with different groups, then started to train others with Scouts Canada to become beaver or cub leaders. Most of what helps me to survive in life i have learned in scouting: cooking, taking care of myself, persisting in times of despair, adapting to changes, rescuing, healthy living, public speaking, being creative...and much more. It was also during my volunteer years in scouting that i met most of my best friends and my life partner. I remember how i used to spend days and evenings planning, organizing and preparing for the next camping, event or cuboree. I loved working with cubs (8-12 year olds). There was a time in my life, when i was a University student that my duties as a cub leader were above all. Most of my sundays were spent at the church basement singing, playing and discovering the world around with a group of 32-34 eager girl cubs.



The Nature Educational Center at Tamaracouta
Eventually, my responsibilities grew and i had to move on. But i kept contact with some of my cubs who are now grown ups, professionals, - some with families and kids,- and every time i visit Montreal, we meet, talk for hours and enjoy each others' company.

Camping was an essential part of my scouting life and being out there in the wilderness was so empowering while growing up. Even today, when i am faced with different challenges at work or in the family, scouting skills come to the rescue. It taught me as well how to care for the world around me, to value life and nature.

 One of the best spots for scout camping was Tamaracouta Scout Reserve, which is the oldest continuously running scout camp in Canada. I have so many wonderful memories there and decided to take my kids there this year for a visit during one of the Armenian camp fire nights.


Varanta and Vayk were amazed by the "so many big trees" and loved playing on the ropes installed in the forest. Yeprad was running happy and free and watching carefully for bears behind trees. Amassia enjoyed the campfire and tried to compare it to her experiences as a scout in Armenia.  We also walked by the lake, one of my favorite places in the area. I used to come here, even when 9 months pregnant with my first one, for a quick swim and canoeing. Almost nothing had changed... Other kids were there enjoying the nature and clean water. The little cabins for winter camping were there as well. I remember how we used to stay all together there talking endlessly until dawn, telling stories, singing...feeling overwhelmed by the immensity of the forest surrounding us.


I felt a little sadness while leaving the place after the camp fire. Years were passing so fast. I missed these green immense spaces and large forest, something which is rare in Armenia. And the best thing was that we were allowed to walk on the green spaces...no more "chi kareli kanach khoti vra galel"* in this place:)



*it is usually forbidden to walk on green grass in public places in Yerevan, even in parcs 

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