A large gathering of Artek tourists has made it into the Russian Book of Records as the most popular young tourist event. Experts officially recorded 3,238 children. And this is just the beginning! According to Artek Director Alexei Kasprzhak, this hiking tradition will be continued because it is so important.
Young Artek tourists took three day to go along more than 30 kilometers of different sections of the legendary Great Sevastopol Trail and a recreational area near Toropova Dacha. The children developed a map with tourist routes which show the country in a new light and provide knowledge about the natural and historical wealth of Crimea and Russia. More than that, the children competed in tourist disciplines and experienced what it was like in a camp. With the support of mentors, they established camping sites and demonstrated culinary skills during an animation festival.
At a festival glade on May 19, all 3,238 participants present were given the title of “tourist.” A very big Artek fire was then lit. The flames illuminated the woods around from the lake to the huge pit. The beautiful ceremony was one of the most spectacular moments of the evening, and another camp tradition, the song festival, added to the warmth and cordiality. Denis Maidanov, Honored Artist of Russia, was a distinguished guest at the festival. Artek children were reminiscing, while listening to the sounds of music, about the brightest moments of the convention and their own personal achievements.
“I climbed a mountain for the first time in my life!” said Maria Sarancha from Mytishchi. “The views up there are breathtaking. It was not easy, but our group is one big team. I think that what we performed today at the festival helped us to unite. The song is great and it has these lines that go like this: ‘In one year and in five we'll meet again.’ It helps you to be optimistic!”
“Before this Artek tourist gathering, I’ve only ever been on a picnic with my parents. I’ve never been on such long hikes,” said Veronika Batagova from Taganrog. “I have no idea where I got the strength from to do this. Maybe I’m more energetic than I thought. And everything around, it seems, charge you with energy: the sea, the mountains, nature.”
The large Artek tourist gathering was organized with the personal support of the governor of Sevastopol, Dmitry Ovsyannikov. “It is a lot of work to have to organize a forest trip for so many young people. And I am very grateful to the governor, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and the security agencies that helped us with the project,” said Alexei Kasprzhak, the director of Artek. “It’s a real pleasure to go hiking in Crimea and Sevastopol. Children get a chance to see for themselves the recreational opportunities of Toropova Dacha. Participants of the Great Tourist Convention will become hiking agents in Russia, and everyone who sees them here will understand that it is something that is really interesting.”