On June 16, 3,300 children from around Russia and 34 other countries celebrated the 92nd anniversary of Artek at the children's center. They were joined by thousands of Artek alumni of various generations from around the world. For the past 92 years, the Artek community has grown to over 1.5 million people. A large-scale project in Crimea, Artek was fully revamped in 2014. For the past three years, Artek has hosted nearly 70,000 children from more than 50 countries.
In his congratulatory address, the head of the children's center, Alexei Kasprzhak, said every child should visit Artek at least once in their life, because it is an invaluable opportunity to gain confidence.” He believes the main gift to Artek is the kids’ gratitude.
There is a good tradition in Artek to invite successful people as “star counselors.” After spending time with them, kids gain confidence in their abilities, in their future. Several famous athletes – European gymnastics champion Anton Golotsutsukov and famous Russian football player Alexander Filimonov, as well as young Russian actors Yegor Salnikov and Denis Buzin – came to visit on the anniversary day.
“It's not the first time I've been to Artek and I see how the children’s center is changing,” says Yegor Salnikov, a star counselor. “Children at Artek receive an incredible energy boost. No wonder they say, Artek is a country of childhood. Being a counselor, shooting movies with them, leading workshops, I also got a lot of impressions and drive.”
Artek even received gifts on its birthday. One of them is a new pitch for beach football. Together with footballer Alexander Filimonov, kids immediately tried it out in a friendly match. Goalkeeper Filimonov lost a goal to young player Medzhid Magomedov.
“At first I was worried," the young player from Makhachkala admitted, “I could never have dreamed that I would be lucky enough to meet a six-time Russian champion, a world champion, and play with him! I have been playing football since childhood; I do extracurricular sports. In Artek, I also trained hard the whole time. And now – such luck, I scored a goal against a real champion.”
Another gift to Artek was the opening of a folk art and crafts center, Khokhloma Painting, at the Lesnoi camp.
Following the tradition, on the eve of the anniversary, a Black Sea Fleet ship arrived at the bay of Artek. The legendary sail training ship Khersones was used for the first time on Artek’s 92nd anniversary. Raising the sails, the Khersones solemnly moved along the entire coastline of the children's center. The sailors of the children's naval flotilla greeted the Khersones crew using the semaphore signs. The reciprocal greeting of the Khersones crew was three long beeps, which were heard in all the camps of Artek. Before leaving, the Khersones sailed for exactly 92 minutes along the coastline of the children's center and then went home to Sevastopol.
The festive day ended with The Roads of Artek gala show that featured creative teams from various countries who stayed the festive session in Artek.