Welcome to the discussion thread for the story, Why American Kids Have Been Going to Soviet Sleepaway Camp. You can share your comments and thoughts about the story in the conversation below.
I genuinely enjoyed the article. As a child of the 80’s cold war it had personal relevance and was an interesting look back. I do take issue with the portrayal of the The National Council of American-Soviet Friendship (NCASF). The NCASF was absolutely a pro-Communist organization. The NCASF and it’s predecessor The Friends of Soviet Russia, were conceived by and funded by the Soviet intelligence apparatus. Their funding was repeatedly traced by to the Soviet state including the arrest of the NCASF head in 1989 after he smuggled 17,000 dollars back in to the US for NCASF use. The ties between the Communist Party of the USA and NCASF are well documented. This isn’t “Red scare” paranoia just simple acknowledgment of the Soviets US insurgency programs role in NCASF operations. Just like the US and NATO allies funding/supporting the Solidarity labor movement in Poland, the underlying goal of the NCASF was to cause instability. Bottom line the NCAF was a political tool of the Soviet Union, any attempt to paint it otherwise is disingenuous
** I have long been interested in APTEK. the article is very informative. It missed when it said Samantha Smith donned the Pioneer Scarf. She was not allowed to wear the Red Scraf because she was not a Young Pioneer she was given a Blue Scout Scarf to wear. It was not shown in the picture but I have seen other photos with her wearing it. **
The article has made one regrettable mistake: the camp’s alumni are artekovtsy (артековцы), not artekovsky. ‘Artekovsky’ is an adjective, e.g. ‘artekovsky flag’. I hope the monograph that was mentioned in the article doesn’t suffer from the same mistake.