The fourth annual Gulamerian Retreat!

Yesterday we left for Stepanavan for the Summer Retreat. We stopped midway to have some sandwiches and drinks. The place we stayed was very beautiful, surrounded by mountains, trees and flowers. The kids had time to get to know each other, they decorated picture frames, played different games and in the evening they danced near the bonfire. We had a birthday yesterday. It was Armen’s birthday from Nubarashen. We bought cakes, candles and had gifts for him. He was very happy as in Nubarashen they are not have birthday celebrations as we understood.

Day one GAOF 4th annual retreat

Day 2

After having breakfast in the morning we left for Dendroparc. We walked about 5kms and enjoyed the natural beauty of the park. As it was raining and the kids were tired, we took taxis to go back to the hotel. After lunch we had art classes and the kids showed their creativity.

Day 2 GAOF Retreat
Day 3 GAOF Retreat

Day 3

The day began with hand work and creativity. They made bracelets, necklaces, painted and presented or offered their works to others. After having a walk in nature, we started to make pizza and involved all the children. They were very good chefs and their pizzas were delicious. In the evening we passed time by watching cartoons outside on the big screen.

Day 4

The day began with outdoor activities and then the children continued working on their hand work. As it was raining outside, they passed some time in their rooms. In the evening we had a training about professional orientation led by Alina. The children had some questionnaires to fill out and then talked about their preferences. Our volunteers shared their experiences and advice with the children.

Day 4 GAOF Retreat

Day 5

The day began with painting activities led by SOAR volunteer Sona. The kids made a big painting decorated by collages. Every child had his contribution and finally we saw a beautiful work that will be kept in the SOAR office as a nice souvenir. The second activity was based on candles decoration. As it was the last evening, we decided to make cakes and cupcakes with kids for the farewell party. Our volunteer Mariam is an expert confectioner. She guided the kids and we had a yummy “sweet” party in the evening.

Day 5 GAOF Retreat


2017 GAOF Retreat

The third annual SOAR retreat took place in August 2017 in Jermuk, Armenia Hotel.
Dates: August 3 – August 10
26 girls from Mer Hooys Center, 13 girls from Mer Doon, 2 volunteers from Moscow Chapter, 1 volunteer from Yerevan chapter, 2 Mer Hooys employees, 2 Mer Doon employees
Over 10 study sessions including arts classes, cooking classes and development classes
Trip to Jermuk waterfalls
Final concert prepared by girls from Mer Hooys and Mer Tun and volunteers

View PowerPoint presentation made by the girls of Mer Doon HERE


The second annual SOAR retreat took place in August 2016 in Aghveran, Best Western Hotel.
Dates: August 7 – August 14
20 girls from Mer Hooys Center, 12 girls from Mer Dun, 2 volunteers from Moscow Chapter, 2 volunteers from Malaysia Chapter, 2 Mer Hooys employees, 1 Mer Doon employee
Over 12 study sessions: choice of arts classes and English classes + 2 study sessions on Environment Education
Trip to Monastery
Final exhibition and sale of art pieces made during the retreat
Final concert prepared by the girls from Mer Hooys and Mer Doon


The first SOAR retreat took place in August 2015 in Yeghegnadzor, Arpa Hotel.
Dates: August 5 – August 11
18 girls from Mer Hooys Center, 2 volunteers from Moscow Chapter, 1 volunteer from Frankfurt Chapter, 1 Mer Hooys employee
Over 8 study sessions including arts classes and religion session
Trip to Tatev and Noravank Monastery
Trip to Sevan