Soviet Young Pioneers: Gender Organization

Figure 1.--These girls are the Artek All-Union summer camp in 1980. This was the formal dress uniform at the camp which was loacted in the Crimea. Available images shows boys and girls in separate unurs at the camp. We are unsure at this time to what extent the program was integrated.

We believe that Soviet Young Pioneer camps were coed camps, but again have little information. Some of the vailable images suggest that the camps were coeducational. Again we have no actual first-hand accounts to substantiate this. Many of the images at camp show the children in separate boy and girl units at the same camp. We are not sure to what extent the actual program was integrated. We do not know if there were some activities specifically for boys and some specifically for girls. A Russian reader tells us, "All activities were conducted absolutely gender-independently, so to speak. There were a few exceptions. Clearly only boys played football. There were a few other activities which were conducted separately." [Prokiof] Interestingly in Amereica, football (soccer) was a sport in which boys and girls were sometimes mixed, at leasr until about age 12 when the boys started to become larger than the girls. The camp leadership was also coed. "Very often the adult leader of boys group (about 20-30 boys) was a woman, and the chief of girls was a man." [Prokiof] We are less sure about the specialized camps such as those for the marine or sea pioneers. While we know little about the gender organization at this time, available images suggest that the boys and girls wore essentially the same uniform. The only basic difference was that the boys wore short pants and the girls skirts.


Prokiof, Ivan, Fedor. E-mail message, October 2, 2002.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: October 2, 20021
Last updated: October 3, 2002