These abandoned Soviet pioneer camps will CREEP you out (PHOTOS)

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Many Soviet youths had their best days here, but today, these places are not for the faint-hearted.

In the Soviet Union, Young Pioneer camps were summer camps that were created for both recreational and educational purposes, similar to the boy scout camps in the U.S. Most people who grew up in the USSR attended such a camp at least once, although most youths went to one every summer.

These camps were lively places where young people socialized, developed, as well as growing physically and mentally.

After the fall of the USSR in 1991, many of the Soviet pioneer camps retained their function, receiving and hosting Russian students every summer. But some of them were abandoned and left to decay.

Although these places did not attract youngsters anymore, they became an infinite source of inspiration for photographers, who found the aesthetics of abandoned and dilapidated camps eerily attractive.

In September 2020, a twitter user named @nakifaria started a thread, where she encouraged people to post photos of abandoned pioneer camps. Below are some of the best photos.

“In the early 1990s, after the abolition of pioneer activity and the collapse of the USSR, it was as if everyone had escaped from these camps, leaving the interior untouched.”

“The pioneer camps not only supported children’s health, but also nurtured a patriotic spirit in them. Today, these are mostly places of pilgrimage for lovers of abandoned places. And, unfortunately, very little of the former pioneer greatness has been preserved to our time.” 

“The ‘Kudryavtsevo’ camp is located on the territory of the former Samsonov estate from the 19th century, as evidenced by the main wooden house and church. In Soviet times, it was common to nationalize estates and use them as social institutions.”

“In the ‘Kudryavtsevo’ camp are nine residential buildings, statues of pioneers and a playground with roundabouts. All this has […] slowly been destroyed.”

“Perfectly preserved Soviet mosaics can be seen through the thickets on the main alley of the ‘Chaika’ camp. I hope they will live for many more years and wait for the recognition of mosaic art as a Soviet heritage subject to state protection.”

“Famous for its crazy sculptures, the ‘Skazka’ camp was built in the Soviet years for the children of employees of the ‘Children’s literature’ publishing house. Another confirmation that a person’s imagination is limitless. And that time can make any art creepy.”

“Continuing on the topic of creepiness… Just look at these amazing sculptures from children’s fairy tales in the ‘Salyut’ camp near Moscow.”

“The ‘Kaverino’ pioneer camp in Kaluga Region was built in the 1980s for children of employees of the Balabanovsky match factory. The scope of the camp is amazing: a lot of concrete buildings, a movie theater, an arcade machine hall, a bomb shelter, a library, a medical center and, of course, its own amusement park.”

“Children’s camps are also about interesting architecture. For example, look at the abandoned ‘Leninets’ camp in Nizhny Novgorod Region.”

“This is the ‘Salyut’ pioneer camp in Moscow Region, where a satellite mockup is located in front of the main building.”

“The ‘Yubileyny’ pioneer camp belonged to the Ministry of Light Industry of the USSR and was located in Kolyubakino. What a beautiful Soviet legacy!”

Patriotic education was also depicted in pictures on the walls of the pioneer camp named after V.I. Lenin in Moscow Region.

“The ‘Foros’ children’s camp in Crimea was closed in 2014. Workers lived in nearby residential buildings. The dining room, dance floor, summer cinema and ordinary cinema halls are now gradually deteriorating.”

“Tver Region, Konakovskiy district, Energetik settlement - the abandoned ‘Energetik’ camp on the Volga bank. [It is] not guarded.”

“The ‘Lesnoe’ pioneer camp in the Novgorod region.”

“The Legendary ‘Morskoy’ [pioneer camp] in a picturesque place near Togliatti on the shores of the Zhiguli Sea for the children of the Frunze Plant in Kuibyshev.”

Click here to see photos of 50 EPIC abandoned places in Russia.

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