Traveler Dmitry Shparo to open an all-Russia tourist center

Dmitry Shparo, the well-known Russian traveler and director of a club called Priklyucheniye /Adventure/, is planning to set up a youth tourist center in Karelia, Northwestern Russia.

The possibility of opening such a center was discussed during Shparo's meeting with Karelian leader Sergei Katanandov in Petrozavodsk during the weekend, the press service of the republic's government told RIA Novosti on Monday.

The center will be set up on the basis of the all-Russia youth tourist camp Bolshoye Priklyucheniye, which is headed by the traveler's son, Matvei Shparo. Every season, the camp provides tourist training and organizes recreation for more than 500 Russian regions, including children from children's homes and troubled families, who spend their holidays bicycling along difficult routes, rafting down rapid Karelian rivers, and participating in ecological projects, which include activities like collecting the garbage tourists leave on the river banks. The camp is sponsored by the republic's Education Ministry.

Shparo thinks a youth tourist center will allow him to run the camp the year round and enlarge the number of children relaxing there, and hopes Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who is known to be sympathetic towards Karelia, will help him carry out his plans.

He also wants to organize more winter tourist routes, including some to be covered on dog-drawn sledges. Katanandov has promised to support the project.

Shparo is known for his journeys to the North Pole and voyages on skis and dog-drawn sledges across the northern parts of the world. One of the recent actions organized by his club involved the scaling of Mount McKinley, USA, with a team of climbers that included an invalid bound to a wheelchair.

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