The 2014 summer camp was N`s 2nd year of attendance. N is an 18 year old boy attending his local school for the disabled. …more
Connection with people: N
The 2014 summer camp was N`s 2nd year of attendance. N is an 18 year old boy attending his local school for the disabled. He is reserved, and causes no trouble at school or at his home or amongst his peers, but he doesn’t like to spend time playing with other children and so spends time alone much of the time.
Usually he doesn’t have much chance to spend time with his peers, so it was difficult to imagine N spending several days with children his age at the camp and enjoying himself. However, in the camp that N attended for the first time last year, he seemed unfazed mixing with his peers and seemed to gain confidence in the fact that he could build relationships with other children. This time when the camp started he seemed really lively and was talking and mixing happily to all kinds of people.
I feel that by attending his 2nd Mirai No Mori Camp, N was able to experience “the close relationships between people”. This was something that was possible as he was able to attend consecutively and he was able to feel that there are people are waiting for me, are cheering me on. Because of such people, he felt he wants to be able to respond to their expectations, that he should be able to do things too, and that this led to a positive mindset and him gaining confidence. On return to his daily life, I feel that he has tried to communicate his points of view and thoughts more, and gained more confidence in his dealing with other people. Again, I feel that his motivation towards athletics that he had been participating in since high School became even stronger.
I hope that he will keep the Mirai no Mori Camp memories and experiences close to his heart and will hold dear to himself his future meetings with other people.
（Fukushima Prefecture participating Care home, Male ）
M who has been attending Mirai no Mori camps since she was in the 5th grade of Junior school, used to have very little confidence and was very passive.…more
Leadership and self-confidence: M
M who has been attending Mirai no Mori camps since she was in the 5th grade of Junior school, used to have very little confidence and was very passive. On attending the summer camps every year, she firstly came to gain confidence simply by the fact that she was attending the camp. At first she used to follow those around her, but we were able to watch her grow in various ways by challenging herself to work hard together with everyone.
This (shy and retiring) M became a Middle School student and in her first year became a class vice chairman and ran as candidate for the Year Leader. Recently as a 2nd grade student she stood for student council and is working really hard in front of and for all the students. Her time in care is long and we feel that her successive participation at Mirai No Mori Camp, meeting lots of new friends and the various staff members and her various experiences there have helped to bring out the confidence in one who used to be so passive. M herself is excited about attending the camp in the future, and if she is able to attend we hope that the camp will help to further widen her view point.
Again, the Mirai no Mori staff kindly remember all the children, not just M, who attend over the years. Just the feeling that they are remembered, that they are watched over, is something that really gives courage to children in care and strengthens their belief in themselves.
The Mirai no Mori Staff provide empathetic care for all the children they work with. This not only helps the children gain confidence, but the care staff also feel encouraged and we are filled with gratitude. We hope that we can continue to keep our relationship in the future too.
（Iwate Prefecture participating Care home, female）
In recent years the number of children in care homes due to abuse from their parents is increasing. …more
Power of Mirai no Mori camp
In recent years the number of children in care homes due to abuse from their parents is increasing. Many of the children who suffered from abuse do not have confidence in themselves and often cannot trust other people. Within such a background, to be invited to Mirai no Mori summer camps every year, they must work together in teams (and trust each other), they will experience success（gain positive self-affirmation and feelings of accomplishment）and finally they can create many new happy memories. These things can be seen to be reflected in their everyday lives, for example, caring for others (taking the initiative and helping), or feeling of wanting to challenge themselves (positively studying and taking exams for High School, and participating in club activities). Again, while the most of children in care will have experienced great sadness or hardship, these bad memories are being overwritten and replaced by happy memories. To be able to yearn for happy memories is something that is necessary for their future lives, and will become a very precious legacy.
（Fukushima Prefecture participating care home, Male）
A-kun who doesn’t particularly stand out in the care home, and is very much in his own world (takes things at his own pace) …more
Real life English in outdoors: K
A-kun who doesn’t particularly stand out in the care home, and is very much in his own world (takes things at his own pace) attended the summer camp in Miyagi Prefecture for the first time last year, and attended for a second year as a repeat participant this year. It seems that the 5 days spent in close contact with friends and staff was a really good fit for his personality and he participated in all activities with great earnestness.
We feel that his independence has increased thanks to the experiences over the 2 camps. In particular, being chosen for the “Camper of the Day” on the 2nd day seems to have really boosted his confidence. After returning from the camp, even after receiving verbal abuse from a child in the care home after a little trouble, we could see his inner strength in his actions. We feel that the accumulation of experiences at the camp have become his strength.
Last year, when he attended for the first time he said “there are a lot of nice foreigners”. We feel that to be able to mix with other cultures while in Elementary School, not only with regards to learning English, but to be able to actually experience it directly enables the children to learn various things. We feel that the camps have supported and provided some very valuable experiences that can`t be had in everyday life at the care home. He is also looking forward to attending again next year.
（Tochigi Prefecture participating care home, Male)