Russian Children's Center "Orlyonok"
Founded 1959
Location Novomikhaylovka, Krasnodar Krai, Russia
Coordinates 44°15.5′N 38°49′E / 44.2583°N 38.817°E / 44.2583; 38.817
Director Aleksandr Vasilyevich Dzheus
Website http://www.center-orlyonok.ru/
Orlyonok location in Russia
Orlyonok location on the Black Sea coast

The Russian Children's Center "Orlyonok" (Russian: Орлёнок, literally "eaglet" in English) is a federal state all-year camp for kids aged 11–16 (school grades 6 through 10). It is located in the Southern Federal District of Russia, on the eastern shore of the Black Sea, Krasnodarskiy Krai, 45 kilometers north-west from Tuapse. Orlyonok is officially registered as the Federal State Education Organization.[1]

Prior to 1991, its full name was USSR Pioneer Camp "Orlyonok", and it was officially part of the Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union. Orlyonok received the Order of the Badge of Honour from the Komsomol (abbreviation of Communist Union of Youth) organization, a decoration awarded for outstanding social and civil accomplishments.

Orlyonok welcomes children from all regions of Russia and other countries, regardless of their social strata or affiliation. During the combined summer/spring season it accepts up to 3,500 kids, in the fall/winter season – up to 1,200; the total number of children that it receives annually is about 20,000 children of both genders. Depending on the season, the duration of a stay varies between 21 and 30 days respectively.[1]

Origins of the name[]

It is generally believed that the Orlyonok's name was taken from the title of a popular Young Pioneer song with the same name about a 16-year-old Red Army soldier about to be executed by enemies during the Russian Civil War.

A statue named "Orlyonok" stands in the center of the camp, being part of the Memorial Plaza. It is similar to another statue with the same name in the city of Chelyabinsk.


The Orlyonok Young Pioneer camp was established on July 12, 1960 by the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Russian SFSR (March 27, 1959).[2] Similar to Artek, Orlyonok was intended for Russian children who were notable for excellent study, prize winners at various Student Olympiads, contests, or sports competitions, decorated or notable members of Komsomol or Young Pioneer organization activists.

In 1962 Orlyonok welcomed 50 representatives of the then-experimental Communard Movement, including kids from the famous Leningrad Frunze Community organization (now dismissed) led by Igor Ivanov. During this time, Orlyonok acquired some of its laws and traditions and adopted what has become known as the creative team effort methodology.[2]

After the successful experience of the previous year, in 1963 Orlyonok hosted the first all-USSR gathering of young communards.[2]

In the beginning, the 1960 Orlyonok camp hosted 520 children, and by 1973 the annual attendance increased to nearly 17,000. By then Orlyonok had grown to an area of 3 square kilometers, with 60 buildings, including the dormitories, the "Young Pioneer Palace" (with a winter swimming pool filled with sea water, and a cinema), secondary school, medical building, Museum of Aircraft and Cosmonautics, astronomical observatory, sports stadium, playgrounds and a winter sports hall. There were more than 200 hobby groups of 50 different kinds, mostly in polytechnics, sports, and aesthetics. Orlyonok had its own passenger ship, 45 yachts, and many motor boats and rowboats.

In the early 1990s, when the Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union was dismantled, the camp attendance in Orlyonok was greatly decreased; however, attendance has increased since 2000, as the camp was nostalgically associated with the Young Pioneer camps of the past. It is believed that between the years 1960 and 2010 Orlyonok hosted over 800,000 children.

On July 12, 2010, Orlyonok celebrated their 50th year anniversary. It welcomed guests from all over Russia and abroad, all ages and walks of life, whose life was connected with Orlyonok. The celebration culminated with a special concert and fireworks at the central stadium.[3]

In 2011 Orlyonok hosted a delegation from UNESCO reviewing Orlyonok admission to the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network.[4] In 2012 Orlyonok was admitted to the UNESCO ASPNet.

On February 5, 2014, Orlyonok hosted the final part of the 2014 Winter Olympics torch relay. A relay torch was lit with the Olympic flame next to the Memorial Stone, from where it was carried throughout Orlyonok by 15 torchbearers covering a distance of approximately 3 kilometers.

Notable visitors[]


Camp Description[]

Orlyonok is really seven independent camps, Solnechnyi, Zvyozdnyi, Stremitel'nyi, Komsomolskiy, Shtormovoy, Dozornyi, Olimpiyskiy, located on the combined territory of more than 244 hectares. Four of the camps, Solnechnyi, Shtormovoy, Zvyozdnyi, Stremitel'nyi, are all-year while the rest close for winter. Every camp has extended facilities in addition to the sleeping accommodations.[5]

The original names of the camps reflect their history and overall themes:

In addition to the seven camps, Orlyonok has its own hospital, auto park, hotel, radio and TV center, various administrative buildings, museum of aviation and cosmonautics, observatory. The seaside boardwalk that runs from the Stormovoy camp to the Solnechnyi camp is part of what is considered the central part of Orlyonok that includes Memorial Plaza with the statue of Orlyonok, "Palace of Culture and Sport" (Russian: ДКС, Дом Культуры и Спорта) that is connected to the library called "Pharmacy for the Soul" and is adjacent to the stadium "Youth".

A Memorial Stone commemorating the founding of the camp in July 12, 1960 stands close to the Solnechnyi camp. On it there is a carved five-line stanza that reads (approximate translation):

This date is carved on stone
Remember friend, Here are the Eaglets
Stood in formation
The flags were flown
From hence began the Camp

There is no single official Orlyonok uniform, instead, there are uniforms for different camps. Also, while not strictly enforced, eaglets, while at the camp, wear colored neckerchiefs, which have different color combinations for different camps.

Orlyonok culture[]

Orlyonok has its own history and traditions, one of the most important among them - respect for people, their work, their personality, and experience ... This requires future "Eaglets" to have a certain culture of communication and interaction with peers and adults. Furthermore, almost everything is planned and done by the kids themselves, as part of joint activities performed together with teachers and peers. For example, self-help is the rule of the day: from simple things like making one’s bed in the morning and self-care, to collectively serving a rotating duty around the camp and in the dining rooms.[1]

Having a lot in common with the world-wide Scouts youth, the Eaglets’ culture has a few notable points distinguishing them, one of them - not being separated into groups based on gender. Eaglets, too, enjoy camping and hiking, they place great emphasis on being self-reliant, responsible and trustworthy when asked for help. It is also stressed that merely accumulating the history of achievements is secondary to the goal of self-development and growth, with everyone’s input helping to grow all together as a team.

Eaglet Circle

The Eaglet Circle is the smallest stable self-governing, self-regulating unit, usually under 35 kids, unlike Boy Scouts, of both genders, directed by two or more Eaglet Circle Leaders. Initially members of the Eaglet Circle are called "Eaglet Candidates", and the actual "Eaglet" title has to be earned by successfully completing tasks assigned, while displaying a positive attitude. The processes of officially establishing the Eaglet Circle and assigning individual Eaglet titles happens during the second and third weeks of camp.

The Eaglet Circle, while supervised and directed by one or more Eaglet Circle Leaders, is also governed by the Eaglet Circle Captain (elected permanently for the duration of the camp) and the Eaglet Circle Captain of the Day (elected daily during the evening meeting). There are sometimes more than one Captain that addresses different aspects of the Eaglet Circle (for example, for the duration of a trip there could be the Trip Captain in addition to the main one), but they all work together with the Eaglet Circle, with the Eaglet Circle meeting having the final say on things that affect everybody.

Throughout the day, there could be multiple smaller units formed, Task Committees. The smallest Task Committee may be 3-4 kids that will work on assignments. For example, an entire Eaglet Circle may have to come up with a stage performance, and to make the task easier, will break into smaller Task Committees addressing various parts: stage setup, choreography, music, script, troop, etc. etc. Once work commences, results are reported at the Eaglet Circle meeting.

Eaglet Circles obey five Eaglet Circle laws and follow about a dozen traditions. Each Eaglet Circle is also supposed to have some kind of signature, distinguishing it from other circles, and this is where creativity and improvisation plays an important part; simply copying what others have done before is viewed as below the Eaglet Circle's self-respect. The Eaglet Circle's signature could be a song, a T-shirt, a name, a talisman or a mascot, or the combination of all of these, but altogether it should have some form of meaning for the particular Eaglet Circle that it represents.

The original laws and traditions brought by Communards in 1962 and 1963 now became these:

Eaglet Circle Laws

Eaglet Circle traditions


See also[]


  1. ^ a b c Official Orlyonok Page - General Information (russian)
  2. ^ a b c d Official Orlyonok Page - History (russian)
  3. ^ Official Orlyonok Page - History (russian)
  4. ^ Official Orlyonok Page - Press Release 10/20/2010 (russian)
  5. ^ Official Orlyonok Page - Description of Camps (russian)
  6. ^ Official Orlyonok Page - Sunny Camp (russian)
  7. ^ Official Orlyonok Page - Celestial Camp (russian)
  8. ^ Official Orlyonok Page - Aspiring Camp (russian)
  9. ^ Official Orlyonok Page - Komsomolskiy Camp (russian)
  10. ^ Official Orlyonok Page - Stormy Camp (russian)
  11. ^ Official Orlyonok Page - Patrolling Camp (russian)
  12. ^ Official Orlyonok Page - Komsomolskiy Camp (russian)
  13. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. p. 178. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.
  14. ^ Unofficial Orlyonok Page - The Conquest of Mount Elbrus by Eaglets (russian)

External links[]