All-ASA Leadership Retreat
Each year the All-ASA sponsors a weekend-long excursion for young Armenian students and future community leaders organized by its Leadership Retreat Committee. Students are invited to indulge in a series of programs and interactive activities consisting of group-bonding, special guest speakers, and cultural exposure. The purpose of the retreat is to inspire interest in Armenian culture and to foster discussion among attendees about the state of the Republic of Armenia and the Diaspora, including pressing issues, possible solutions, and the means to implement those solutions. The Retreat also functions as a networking event not only between attending students but between students and the guest speakers who are prominent writers, leaders, scientists and businessmen from the local and global Diaspora. Attendees leave the Retreat with a renewed sense of purpose and passion for their role in Armenian society in addition a new outlook on its future.
The Leadership Retreat is held during a winter or spring weekend at the Armenian Youth Federation Camp in the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California, spanning three days and two nights. Attendees are charged a fee to cover the costs associated with the event although waivers are granted to individuals who contact the Leadership Retreat Committee and demonstrate need, since no one should be excluded from this important event for personal financial reasons. Attendees are welcome to drive to the camp although they are also free to participate in any carpools arranged by the Committee. Parking is free and onsite. Hazardous weather conditions such as snow, ice, and rain are often present on the winding mountain roads leading to the camp so drivers are expected to mind the forecast and plan accordingly. The camp is in a secluded area of wilderness with poor cell phone reception and deserted roads, avoid driving to the camp alone or without adequate fuel and supplies.
Planned activities begin Friday night and end Sunday morning, arrive slightly early to avoid missing out. Meals are provided, some by a trained cook. Attendees can also look forward to an barbeque – խորոված – on the second night. Attendees are encouraged to bring, among other things, blankets, pillows, thick winter clothing, extra snacks if desired, a phone charger, an open mind, a desire to learn, and civility when participating in a debate. Accomplished and notable members of the community should contact the Executive Board to inquire about speaking or hosting an activity at the Retreat. The Leadership Retreat Committee is responsible for planning which occurs during the early and mid part of the school year. Interested individuals can join the Leadership Retreat Committee at any time before planning is finished by applying through the committee registration form. Students can register to attend once the Committee announces the Retreat through social media and All-ASA’s constituent organizations.