Ukr6 – My camp my camp, my camp my camp my camp!

Haha, I wonder if somebody guesses, that was in reference to The Black Eyed Peas song “My humps” ; P.

I spent nearly 2 weeks at the children camp called “Sosnovy” (“Pine”), which was situated near Starobielsk, in Luhansk district. I joined the camp in the halfway of its duration and left it together with kids, at 23rd of June. Administration requested just one foreign person to come and since I knew Russian it was decided that it would be me. In terms of living circumstances and capacities I think it was one of the poorer camps, so I wasn’t too lucky… or that’s what I think after seeing the pictures of the other camps in the district. Well in the end it happend to be also my one and only experience with camps, as I didn’t go to any other one as some people did. And in general I have mixed feelings about it.


The best thing during my whole stay in Sosnovy was kids and I have no doubts about it. What they will be like, it was actually one of my biggest fears. I knew they will be something like 10-15 years old and some of kids at that age are really unbearable. So I didn’t expect to meet such friendly and polite small people. I mean, it’s not like they were angels, no way.  But they were just normal, they had their ups and downs like all children do.


My JD was specyfing my job as an English teacher, I was also supposed to prepare some cultural activities connected with my country. In the end there was no English (the director of the camp told me that nobody could speak English there, so they wanted me to talk with children in Russian) and I had only a presentation about Poland in 3 out of 5 groups of children. Most of the time I would just go to their classes, play or cheer for them, spend the time with them. So on one side it was very comfortable, as I didn’t carry any responsibility and had a lot of free time, but on the other – after few days – very boring. I guess it would be better if there was any other intern with me. For the last few days 2 Ukrainian students – Natasha and Tonya – joined me and it was more fun, as we could talk together or spend free time together : ).


Speaking in general, camps would last 3 weeks. Every day would be planned with different activities, but there were some pernament parts of it: the breakfast around 8 am, lunch at 1 pm, then silent time till 4 pm, supper at 6 pm, disco at 8pm… so you can see how easy it was to fell into a routine. Usually if the weather was good kids would go to swim in the river in the morning and then had some activities before the dinner – sports, drama, talents competition etc. Before the disco some of them would always play on the playground in pinierball (a game like volleyball, but they are allowed to catch the ball and throw it away later) and I used to play it too. I really enjoyed it, it was funny even though the game was not too dynamic ; ). After a while I also tought them a Polish team game called “zbiyak” (I know it from my primary school) and they really liked it. The food in the canteen was so heavy, it was like eating a dinner 3 times per day (always a hot meal, with no sandwitches, milk soup, fruits and barely any vegetables…) and it was making me sooo lazy… so I was forcing myslef to do at least something ; P.


Even though most of the day there was no hot water (it SHOULD be 3 times per day at specified time, but in reality it wasn’t like that), the rooms, shower and toilet were not nice I think kids really enjoyed their stay in the camp. I was impressed how much effort teachers would put into organising their time – they would do whatever was in their capacity and since the camp was very poorly equipped they were trying to compansate for it with a good will and positive approach. All of them very young, in their early twenties, usually working during their summer break from studies. We would chatt sometimes, but with my poor Russian I was a bit ashamed of starting any more complicated subject as I had the feeling I couldn’t really follow the conversation later… to be honest that was also the reason I spent most of my time with smaller children, who would be very pacient while talking to me, explain me all words I didn’t know and not say mean things when I messed up something.


I mean, when I was going to the camp everyone was like “it’s so good that you speak Russian” or “oh, you will cope with everything somehow, you speak Russian”, but it wasn’t that easy. My Russian wasn’t so good at the begining, it was quite difficult to speak up. At the end of the day I was so tired of thinking in this language ALL THE TIME. It still doesn’t feel as comfortable as English, which I’m used to. And you know, kids kept asking questions every time they would see me, so there was really no break. So sometimes I pretended not to hear what they had said haha ; P.



Basically I liked it in Sosnovy, teachers and kids were very kind to me and it was not a slave work. But I was kind of expecting something different, more ambitious, with a mission to pursue.  After these 2 weeks it was a bit sad to leave, but on the other hand when I got to know that the administration didn’t want me to stay for another turnus, I was actually relieved and happy to go back to my friends to Luhansk :  ).


~ by jumikao on September 6, 2011.

2 Responses to “Ukr6 – My camp my camp, my camp my camp my camp!”

  1. Looks pretty much like my own pioneer camp.

  2. In my chidhood shower and rest- rooms looked better, It seems they didn’t fix it since 1987))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: