Young Pioneers

Some of our work takes place in ex-soviet pioneer youth camps. Our camp Elama is on the grounds of an old pioneer camp. Here is an article about the Young Pioneers, the soviet youth organization:

Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Emblem of the Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union

The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union, also Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization was a mass youth organization of the USSR for children of age 10–15 in the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1991.


After the October Revolution of 1917, some Scouts took the Bolsheviks’ side, which would later lead to the establishment of ideologically altered Scoutlike organizations, such as ЮК (Юные Коммунисты, or young communists; pronounced as yook) and others.

50 years, Stamp, 1972

During the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1921, most of the Scoutmasters and many Scouts fought in the ranks of the White Army and interventionists against the Red Army.

Those Scouts who did not wish to accept the new Soviet system either left Russia for good (like Oleg Pantyukhov and others) or went underground.

However, clandestine Scouting did not last long. Komsomol persistently fought with the remnants of the Scout movement. Between 1918 and 1920, the second, third, and fourth All-Russian Congresses of the Russian Union of the Communist Youth (Российский коммунистический союз молодёжи, or Rossiyski kommunisticheskiy soyuz molodyozhi) decided to eradicate the Scout movement and create an organization of the communist type, that would take Soviet youth under its umbrella.

On behalf of the soviet government Nadezhda Krupskaya (Vladimir Lenin‘s wife) was one of the main contributors to the cause of the Pioneer movement. In 1922, she wrote an essay called Russian Union of the Communist Youth and boy-Scoutism. However, it was the remaining scoutmasters themselves, like Innokentiy Zhukov and some others around Nikolaj Fatyanov’s “Brothers of the fire”, who introduced the name “pioneer” and convinced the Komsomol to keep the scout’s motto “Be prepared! – Always prepared!”

Just some days before the Komsomol conference the Moscow scoutmasters adopted a “Declaration of the scoutmasters of Moscow concerning the question of the formation of a children’s movement in the RSFSR” on May 13, 1922. Thereby they suggested to use the system scouting as a foundation of the new communist organisation, and to name it “Young pioneers”. Continue reading