Creating Impact Illustration

Generations of Camp Tradition

For Sarah Partin, volunteering is part of the Camp Nubar tradition


Sarah Partin sees Camp Nubar as one of the formative parts of her Armenian identity. For her, the camp reflects the global AGBU community and has created a network of close friends across the world. Since being elected the Camp Nubar Committee Chairperson in 2011, Partin has had a hand in making the camp thrive for a new generation of Armenian children. 

When I think about camp, my mind turns to being at the lake at the end of the day. The sun is setting over the water and I can remember that moment of peace and tranquility that is hard to replicate anywhere else.

What is your history with Camp Nubar? Camp Nubar is a family tradition! Both of my parents were counselors and many of my aunts and uncles all had great summers at camp. I started going as an eight-year-old and went every summer for the next ten years, growing from a camper to a counselor. Now my own kids are campers and I feel a strong drive to continue the tradition.

What was the best part of Camp Nubar for you? The friendships I made at camp were unlike any other. It’s a unique bond that is hard to recreate anywhere else. When you put a group of kids together in a cabin for two months and have them share everything from meals to games, it’s bound to happen. And I didn’t just meet other kids from the Northeast. I learned about what it was like to be Armenian in Europe and Canada and now thanks to the camp, I can go almost anywhere in the world and see a great friend from camp. And the best part is that we can pick up right where we left off. 

What prompted you to give back to Camp Nubar? When I was in my mid-twenties, I wanted to start giving back in some way and Camp Nubar immediately came to mind. It has always been close to my heart. I saw an example of devotion to the camp in my family members and knew it was my turn to give back. And now that my children, Armen and Jamie, are also campers, there is an added reason for me to be part of making the camp all it can be with our committee members and wonderful camp director, Jen Omartian.

What is the most rewarding part of being the Camp Nubar Committee Chair? Spending time at Camp Nubar with the new crop of campers is tremendously rewarding. In particular, seeing 150 kids down by the lake, swimming, boating and making friendship bracelets without a cellphone in sight, is thrilling. With academic and social pressure increasing these days, I’m glad that we can give the kids a break from them at camp.

What is your fondest memory of Camp Nubar? Camp Nubar is surrounded by spectacular natural beauty, which I didn’t fully appreciate as a camper. When I think about camp, my mind turns to being at the lake at the end of the day. The sun is setting over the water and I can remember that moment of peace and tranquility that is hard to replicate anywhere else. 

Banner illustration by Luis Tinoco

Originally published in the 2016-02-01​ issue of AGBU Insider. end character

About the AGBU Insider

AGBU Insider profiles extraordinary AGBU program alumni across a diverse set of industries and passions. With exclusive interviews and photography, each issue reveals the Armenian impact on society, community, and industry.