Back to Nature
2021 Back to Nature Program Report: Dairy Farm
Date: July 3 & 4
Location: Hachioji, Tokyo
Participants: 30 campers, 12 care workers, 2 LITs, 10 Mirai no Mori staff (Total over 2 programs)
Sponsor: Morgan Stanley
We were finally able to hold the long-awaited weekend outdoor program. The campers spent a day at Isonuma Farm, who pioneers in animal welfare and sustainable farming using such methods as eco-feed and coffee bedding material.
The theme for the day was “journey of milk to your kitchen.” During the orientation, we asked campers, “where do you think the milk comes from?” and many of them answered “refrigerator” or “convenience store.” They then went around the farm with their team to find out the entire “journey” of milk. They had a chance to feed cows, brush calves, taste yogurt and milk, and asked many questions to the farmer. And each team presented what they found to the whole group in the end.
The campers also got the chance to milk a cow by hand. After listening to the explanation, they squeezed milk into their hand and felt its warmth. The farmers told them that the happier the cows are, the tastier the milk becomes.
In addition, two high school students who had been campers since elementary school joined us as Leader in Training participants this time. As campers, they had seen how LITs act in the past, and since this was the program they had been waiting for since April, they took on the challenge of introducing themselves in English in front of everyone and supporting the campers in a very positive way. It was very encouraging to see them notice various things and act proactively to make the activities go more smoothly, and we are looking forward to the LIT program in the future with them.
Some campers were reluctant at the beginning of the day with the smell and the size of the cow, but by the end, they were all walking around, petting and feeding cows, and engaging all their senses to fully enjoy the farm experience.
“I didn’t know that yogurt was made from milk.”
“I was scared at first, but in the end, I was happy to be able to pet the calf.”
“It was interesting to see that each cow had a name, smelled like coffee and chocolate, and it was different from what I imagined a farm to be like.”
Thank you very much for your support and sponsorship.