Visitors to IYC should anticipate high standards of accommodation, facilities and comfort, perfectly adapted to study and holiday stays for children, families and adults. This allows them to relax and concentrate fully on the purpose of their stay here. Volunteers and employees can expect the same for the duration of their time at IYC. The facilities at IYC are designed and run so that visitors of any nationality will enjoy and be able to make the most of their time here. Discovering the joys of community life, meeting new friends and people from other countries, sharing culture, relaxation and entertainment with your new friends, and speaking different languages in complete relaxation throughout the day are some of the great attractions of this type of accommodation.
Rooms for camp participants and volunteers vary in size from 2 to 7 people and are mostly single beds or bunk beds. Rooms are spread across several different buildings on the same site, within a few meters of each other. Every room has a desk and lamp, storage, mirror, bedside lamps, fans etc. There are power points throughout all rooms and by beds to allow for charging of electronic items. Rooms are furnished to a very high standard and each is decorated in a different Russian style. There is additional storage available on each floor. Residents can expect high quality bathroom facilities as well: all are of Western-quality. The camp has its own independent water supply, and bathrooms have power showers, heated towel rails and some have baths. Each building has its own boiler and hot water supply. Linen and towels are provided. Visitors staying for more than two weeks will have the opportunity to use the laundry service, and there is also a washing machine for personal use.
The dining room and professional-standard kitchen are both newly refurbished. A balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided – along with other two snack meals – in the dining room. Second helpings are often possible. There is a plasma screen TV in the dining room and music is played during meals. The room can also be used for meetings and socialising. Boiling water, tea, coffee and drinking water are available throughout the day.
A typical breakfast would include pancakes, yoghurt, porridge, jams, bread, condensed milk, a selection of four cereals, fruit, tea etc. Lunch includes a soup, salad, portion of meat/fish, vegetables and pasta/potatoes. Dinner is similar to lunch, usually without soup. There are snacks available twice a day and these can be fruit, biscuits or delicious home-made traditional Russian cakes or pastries, or foreign snacks.
There are two fully equipped classrooms currently in use, perfect for fun and motivating classes. There is also two further rooms that can be used if required. There are large whiteboards, wall-mounted plasma TVs and a number of chairs and desks in each. Teachers often use the TV screens to connect to laptops, watch films, show pictures and slideshows etc. Around the rooms are signs, labels and posters in different languages to encourage multi-lingual learning where appropriate. Folders of worksheets and notes are organised with designated shelving in cabinets.
Sport and wellness are extremely important at IYC, and we boast many top-class facilities. Children on English + camps, for example, spend much of their time dedicated to physical activity. The large tarmac area is used for basketball, football, volleyball and general fitness in the summer. IYC also has five trampolines with safety fences, next to a climbing frame and slide.
In winter, the indoor gym hall is split and used as a changing area and for the maintenance, organization and distribution of ski equipment and skating equipment. The outdoor basketball court is converted into an ice rink, and large amounts of snow are piled up to make a sledging hill within the camp. The cross-country ski trails around Nerekhta are used.
During the warmer months, IYC boasts an outdoor heated swimming pool with a collection of toys and games for entertainment. There are two outdoor showers, benches and coat hooks etc for the convenience of pool-goers.
The forest camp is a former Soviet Pioneers’ camp, and is now an idyllic escape for children. It provides a sense of freedom and emphasises the importance of conservation of nature, physical activity and relaxation. There is a large amount of space, and so activities that can be pursued simultaneously in the forest camp include archery, knife throwing, BB guns, basketball, volleyball and football. There are also swings, a playground roundabout/merry-go-round, climbing bars and a main campfire area. There is lots of space for different groups to build their own fires and pursue their own activities. During the daytime at the forest camp, visitors are provided with packed meals and snacks. In the evening, groups can cook their own hotdogs and baked potatoes over the fires. Later, all of the groups gather around the main campfire to enjoy guitar music and sing.
The spacious crafts room is now known as the ‘Hand Made Studio’. In here there is lots of desk and floor space for the pursuit of creative activities and all materials are provided and stored in this room. Again, there is a whiteboard, TV screen, large fans to keep cool in the summer. Materials available include paints, crayons, glitter, beads, wood burning tools, fabric paints, sewing materials etc.
There is a stage and audience-seating area with high-tech lighting and sound capabilities. There is a strobe and other lights for discos. This room can seat approximately 90 people, or seating can be rearranged and stored to create a large indoor space. Children on English + courses use this primarily for their presentations and skits.
A banya is a traditional type of Russian sauna, and visitors to IYC are able to use this for their leisure, health and relaxation. Three separate rooms make up a banya: the entrance room (предбанник) is a lounge area and has pegs, towels, benches and easy-chairs. There is herbal tea, honey and delicious homemade jam. The second room is a washing room with two hot/cold showers. The main banya is a wood-panelled room that has temperatures that can reach up to 200 degrees Farenheit or (90 degrees centigrade). Special felt hats are provided to protect the head from the intense heat, and felt mats can be brought in to protect the skin from the dry heat of the wooden benches. Different aromatherapy extracts are added to the oven to provide different scents to the air inside the banya such as lavender, clove, orange and tea tree. After a good sweat, participants can cool off in the outdoor swimming pool (during the summer) and return to the banya after a while to increase circulation by gentle hitting and massaging with bunches of dried leaves and branches known as veniks (веник).
The баня is an extremely relaxing and comforting experience and is an excellent way of socialising in a traditional Russian way. International staff can expect to use the banya at least once a week if they wish.
IYC has water fountains throughout its main camp area and in the Forest Camp. While Nerekhta’s mains water supply is good, the water provided to these sources is specially filtered and so visitors can be sure that they are drinking only the purest fresh water of the highest quality. All of the buildings have their own central heating and boilers, so many hot showers can be taken at the same time!
Security Security is a priority at IYC. There is recorded CCTV throughout the camp and 24-hour surveillance from guards. Nerekhta is a small, safe town and the International Youth Center has never had any trouble with the local area. If you or your relatives are attending a program here, you will get short term access to certain webcams the camp via an online link, such as the classrooms, sports ground and table football room. This way, you can see what what we’re getting up to during our programs.