The Sports Complex “The Owl Grove” was set up in the 1950s. It is located among the picturesque oaks, not far from the Samara River, in the Novomoskovsk Forestry. They used to get to the camp either by truck on dirt roads, or by boat on the river.
In the 1960s, the camp worked on three shifts that lasted from the beginning of July to the end of September. During this time, about 500 people rested there – students, teachers, staff of the institute and members of their families.
The campers lived in five-seated tents (in the camp there were 56) and in four wooden houses. Since 1966, the construction of a two-story building, which was intended for both summer and winter recreation, began.
All camp residents were divided into sports departments: rowers, gymnastics, sports games, general physical training (the latter included most teachers and students with reduced health – a special group).
Twice a day all sports departments trained (and so 4-5 times a week) – the camp was something sporty !!! For training, the camp had a well-equipped gymnastic pitch and other sports facilities. Caring for them and their repairing were vacationers’ work.
Those who did not know how to swim, taught the faculty of physical education in the river, and at the end of the shift they successfully passed the standards for swimming on the badge of the second tranche of the TRP (“Ready to work and defense” – a system of physical training in the USSR).
All holidaymakers were provided with three meals, which at that time cost 1 ruble 60 kopecks per day. Interesting and rich was the leisure time of those holidaymakers.
During one summer camp 1966, four hiking trips to the Dnipropetrovsk forests were held, nine lectures were read, 15 films were shown, 13 wallpapers and 8 photo papers were produced, six evening amateur performances, an evening of poetry were organized. Famous sportsmen of the USSR, in particular, the Honored Master of Sports of the USSR, the champion of Olympic games, the double record holder of the world, the champion of Europe, one of the best stalers of that time – Petro Hryhorovych Bolotnikov, met with the inhabitants of the camp; Honored Master of Sports of the USSR, senior trainer of the national team of the USSR on football – Mykola Petrovych Morozov and others.
The branch of the institute library, which worked in the camp, signed all the central and sports newspapers, as well as eight magazines. In 1975, the sports camp was transformed into a recreation center that worked all year round. In the summer of 1975, 1256 people resided in the camp, including 507 students and 481 people. On the base of the camp, there were training sessions of the national teams of the “Burevisnik” of the Kirov and Baku cities, “Slavutich” Youth Sports School of the city of Dnipropetrovsk. The inhabitants of the camp also helped to prepare forage for kolkhoz cattle: in 1975, 28 tons of coarse fodder were sent to collective farms. During the summer holidays in 1979, 1,300 students and staff of the Institute rested in the camp. Three two-story houses and 20 cottages could have more than 400 people at a time. At that time, the camp had volleyball and basketball courts, a football field with a grass cover, as well as an asphalted playground for mini-football and handball. There were also several badminton courts, tables for tennis. The camp was trained by swimmers and academics. There were more than 30 boats for vacationers and fishermen. It was full of evening entertainment: in the indoor movie theater featured feature films or concerts of amateur performances. Dance parties were accompanied by VIA music.
In 1985, about 700 people resided in the camp. Fishing and boat rides, sports games, picking up mushrooms and herbs, air and sun baths, daily water treatments – this camp attracted active recreation lovers. The teams of the institute were trained here: volleyball players, rowers, basketball players, athletes and others. Evening entertainment was decorated with demonstration of movies, disco, evenings of rest and a great library.
Recreation of students and employees at different times was organized by camp employees, sincerely committed to their cause, not indifferent to the fate of students and staff. More than one generation of Chimtech admires remember their summer mentors with gratitude.