What’s Left of the Pioneers at Vostok Camp

Today I had occasion, not for the first time, to go to the childrens’ summer camp just south of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk called Vostok (East) camp.  In the winter, the place is used by companies as accommodation for some of the thousands of third country nationals who are working on the Sakhalin II LNG facility at Prigorodnoye.  Hopefully these companies will all have their men out by the summer when the children arrive, unlike last summer when a hundred construction workers were found to be living amongst three hundred kids.

Nowadays the camp is decorated with lots of brightly coloured cartoon drawings of very uncontroversial scenes as would be found in any childrens’ centre worldwide, but there are still one or two of the murals dating from the Soviet times when this would have been a Pioneer camp.

Soviet Mural, Vostok Camp, Sakhalin Island

The words beneath Lenin’s profile are Vsegda Gotov! (Always Ready!) which was the motto of the Young Pioneers, who can be seen on the left giving their salute and on the right doing, erm, something with an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Soviet Mural, Vostok Camp, Sakhalin Island

This one, badly in need of refurbishment, depicts Pioneers sat around a large campfire, which relates to the Pioneer song Vzveites’ Kostrami, which I wrote about hereVzveites’ Kostrami roughly translates to “Higher Rise Our Campfire”, and was one of the most popular Pioneer songs of the Soviet times (it can be heard being sung here).


4 thoughts on “What’s Left of the Pioneers at Vostok Camp

  1. Pingback: Siberian Light

  2. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Russia: Pioneer Camp Murals

  3. These Soviet era murals are always interesting. I asked my wife if she could handle a rocket launcher after seeing this one… Said she was only a sharpshooter with an ak47, :-). Kelly.

  4. I don’t think that’s a missile. Pretty sure it’s a model space ship. If you watch the movie “Goodbye Lenin!” (set in E. Germany under communism), the pioneers there have a space ship building contest and they look quite a bit like that. Perhaps that was a standard Pioneer activity.

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