Soviet Young Pioneer Activities: Summer Lighting Motion

Figure 1.--.

The Summer Lighting Motion was an esecially popular activity among many boys. I assume because of the name that this was a Summer activity persued during the school vacation. Specifically, this military sport game most of all gives to the Pioneer organization the feature of skautskogo motion. At the high levels of this game for youths in the Pioneers was its osoboya uniform. Here separate military elements were added.

Military Sports Game

Summer Lighting was a military sport game.


All Pioneer members played in this war game activity.


Within the framework of this game a theoretical knowledge about the Soviet Army and Navy was necessary.

Weapons Handling

Actual weapons were shown the children. {? Mel'chiki] and girls within the framework of this game for the first time could see actual weaponry and other military equipment during excursions with military units. Related games were organized.


These were multi-level games, the nature varied depending on the children's age/grade level.


Games were conducted both at the unit/school level which often meant in an urban level and at the provincial level. There were all national (All-Union level) games.


The children actually used real military equipment under the supervision of soldiers. The games included overcoming obstacle course, sport competitions and relay races. Sometimes there was shooting from the small-caliber or other combat weapon. There were tactical exercises in which groups would assault enemy strong points armed with mock-up weapons. The children also worked on First aid, practicing the rendering of First Aid to injured sldiers and civilians. There were also orientation exercises where the children learned to read topographic maps and use compasses.

Summer Camp

These war games also seem to have been a feature of summer camp. At summer camps similar games were compulsory in each change (new group). Each camp ran three sessions (24 days each) during the Summer period. There were variations from camp to camp as the size and facilities at the camps varied. The game sounds rather like an elaborate Soviet version of capture the flag. The usual procedure was to divide the children into two opposing groups. One group was called name "dark-blue" and they identity strips made from dark-blue paper. The other group was called green and were given green idenity strips. Each child was given two shoulder identity straps which were attached to the childrens' shirts. Each group had a banner. The object of the game was to capture the banner of the opposing force. The children manuered to grab the paper identity straps. If one of the participants lost one of the straps, he was considered injured, but could continue the game. If he lost both, then he was considered killed and had to withdraw from the game. Usually this game lasted from the morning until the evening. The participants had insignia of ranks like the soldiers. If the Pioneer was a commander, then he had a star sketched on his identity strip. If the participant was a simple pioneer, then his identity strip was plain.


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Created: 6:58 AM 4/20/2005
Last updated: 3:49 AM 4/21/2005