'I went to a Soviet holiday camp'
13 August 2014 Last updated at 00:23 BST
Artek was the Soviet Union's most popular holiday camp, on the shores of the Black Sea in Crimea.
The brightest children were sent to the camp as a reward for their achievements.
Thousands of children visited every year - Maria Kim Espeland was one of those chosen to go.
Witness is a World Service radio programme of the stories of our times told by the people who were there.