Emerald Summer Camp
THE ABANDONED SUMMER CAMP IN THE UKRAINE
‘Emerald Summer Camp’ or, in Russian, ‘база отдыха Изумрудный’, was a children’s holiday camp inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine.
The camp is hidden in the forest, located on the banks of the cooling pond of the Chernobyl Power Plant, behind the village of Lelev and the Checkpoint of the ten-kilometer Exclusion Zone. Before the Chernobyl disaster, children of the military families, living in the secret military town of Chernobyl-2, and the personnel of the Nuclear Power Plant were enjoying holidays here. It was a quiet place to relax, with clean air and beautiful scenery.
The camp has a hundred wooden huts with bright-colored murals showing cartoon and fairy-tale characters. It offered guests a library, ballroom, boat station, cinema, and shop. In the center of the park is a big metal water tower.
After the Chernobyl accident, the Emerald camp was not abandoned immediately. During the liquidation work at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the recreation center was used for the housing of the liquidators. I visited the camp in 2015. ‘Emerald Summer Camp’ was burned down during the big forest fires in 2020. You can find more Chernobyl reports on www.chenobyl.one.