A new trend in Children’s holiday program in England
Yulia Romanenkova is author and founder of the Maksatiha camp Russia Children’s filmmaking program which successfully realizes own projects in Russia since 2018 and UK since 2014.
Maksatics Camp is a unique filmmaking project in the United Kingdom for kids on ages 7-16 in Russian rooted Maksatiha Club project.
For the time being 1500 children from different countries of the world took part in Maksatiha camp and school programs in Russia, 60 short feature films have been made and young film maker received over 17 nominations in various Children’s festivals.
What were your reasons for creating the Maksatics Camp?
When I was a child I had a dream to be an actress, a singer or a film director but my parents told me that I did not have talents, no money- no talent! That was my first lesson. I grew up playing my role. I graduated from the TOP financial university in Russia and in USA as is Chicago Booth School of Business. Finally, my knowledge and creativity allowed me to become successful and self-made businesswoman in they banking industry and financial consulting. However, my three children changed my incentives, a life style and the country of residence, so far that I would do all my best for their real dreams to come true. That was the main reason behind the idea to open our first Maksatics Creative Filmmaking Camp in Russia, and since it has been operated for five years and has gained a big success, now we are launching our holiday program in England.
In 2015 the idea of the project in UK is to enable Russian speaking children and children who learn Russian language as a foreign, live in UK and all over the world gain experience in filmmaking process, to learn more about Russian tradition and Western culture, Russian ethics, at the same time to explore British way of life, and do the best – to learn English/Russian from children mouth.
Maksatics camp is the first resident camp in UK for Russian speaking children designed to develop verbal social and communication behaviors between children by armature film production within London and Portsmouth setting, so that on their return the group could share videos and experience with their class mates in different countries.
How did your family influence your choice to open a Children’s Camp?
The idea of setting up a camp occurred when my own children were growing up. At that time I was a Chief Executive for different companies in the financial sector and a young mother to my three kids. I did not have enough time for long holidays, and due to the time constraints of my job, I was constantly concerned with where I was to send my children during the summer.
In the period of 3-4 years my elder son visited a wide range of camps in Russia, UK, US, Switzerland, and Croatia. What a tremendous experience I acquired along with that search! Those experiences gave me food for thought, and I came to my own realization of what parents need and what children want. The result of these influences was Maksatics Camp.
What is the Maksatics Creative Filmmaking Camp?
Filmmaking as a way of awakening interest in the Russian language showed its effectiveness not for the first time and a special method of training and entertaining was contributing to this for the whole week.
Most of the children couldn’t speak Russian at all when the program started. However, all of them were expressing their thoughts and feelings in foreign language without any discomfort at the end. Trusting and warm atmosphere was helping and inspiring all them a lot. This program is particular importance in light of the cross- cultural year between Russia and United Kingdom. We feel that it is very important that young generation would build cultural bridges across nations, to find a positive communication between each other and get their dreams come true.
In short period of staying at the camp children activate all their knowledge and enjoy sharing their skills in environment warmly organized for that. Filmmaking and cartoon making, staging of performances, creative workshops and a lot of games and teams activities.
UK team of tutors and mentors from filmmaking industry, experienced working with children, transfer the unique methodology of Maksatiha camp Russia Children’s filmmaking program, developed by the author of program and director of the Maksatics Ltd, Yulia Romanenkova. Some of UK staff has been successfully trained in Russia last seasons and spring session in 2016.
The Maksatics is a program for children 7-14 years old designed with the interests of their parents in mind
Children in the camp are busy all the time, occupied with different activities: filmmaking, arts & crafts workshops, dance and music performances, outdoor sports and team games. Being limited of location (school or nature around premises), people in a team (there are 15-17 kids in one group), period of time (3 days only), children cooperate face-to-face to each other and build a story to be filmed in 2 days with film presentation and Gala Awards at the end.
Eight fantastic tutors will do their best to inspire kids’ creativity, discover their passion and unleash their talents, and finally leave them with memories they will treasure forever.
Why have you decided to open the Camp in the UK?
I have been living in UK since September 2013. Nowadays my children, a teenage son aged 17 and two lovely daughters aged 13 and 8 years old, my 16 years old nephew, they all live and study in the UK. Boys are boarders and stay home on weekends. After years of full time occupancy at business I was about to have depression. It was hard to realize one day that you don t have to drive yourself to job in a morning and there is no plans till kids pick up. I am sure that many mums who just moved to live in foreign country know might be complicate to swap your life from business to householder. I had few offer to come back to financial industry but I did not like it.
Living here I have realized that the actual concept behind our Camp in Russia is unique and innovative, among another children’s holiday program existing in England. In Russia Maksatics has many awards and achievements, and I personally believe that we could bring a definitely new trend here.
In 2016 Maksatics Ltd became an official partner of International Cannes Film Festival of disability (http://www.festival-international-du-film-sur-le-handicap.fr) . We hope that Maksatics camp films will be seen by professional Film Academy in September 2016, and it will help children to build a confidence and to believe that dreams come true nevertheless of difference of culture and political environments. Children are children everywhere in the world.
Do you think the Maksatics Camp program will get success in the UK and why?
Absolutely sure! Life become more and more complicate. Younger generation will struggle a lot to find a place in world to survive. Parent could support but not forever. All heritage is limited of amount.
WE could give our kids good education; they might be sporty and healthy. But it might be hard for them to use it in life. And an only Creativity will help them to adjust to real life.. And sense of humor, of course.
In Maksatics Camp we believe creativity is not a skill to be taught but rather inspired by its daily practice. Somewhere along the way, we simply forgot to honor this innate gift and how to access its power. Our role is to encourage learning experiences that increase the ability to recognize and listen to our inner voice.
Even though there are many obstacles and challenges we face by starting our first holiday program here in Edge Grove School, Rookesbury Estate¸ like different mentality, cultural traditions and national heritages, we consider children are the same in any part of the world. And we, as their parents, are similar in the way of searching for the best for our offspring by putting all our efforts to find high-skilled teachers and prestigious educational institutions, well-know sport clubs or effective after-school activities. However, by getting focused generally on the development of their cognitive abilities and physical skills, we often forget how creativity is important, and that was one of the main reasons for our first program to be appeared.