Back to Nature
2023 July Back to Nature: HIKING Report
Date: July 9
Location: Mitake, Tokyo
Participants: 17 campers, 6 care workers, 7 LITs, 5 Mirai no Mori staff, 19 sponsors
Despite concerns for rain, cloudy and sometimes blue skies greeted the children and the sponsors who were full of energy as they gathered in Mitake for the hiking program. Everyone was a bit nervous in the beginning, but campers all gradually opened up as they played orientation games with friendly volunteers.
After coming up with unique team names, we packed onigiri lunches and bear bells, and finally set off on a 4-km hike! With the theme of “5 senses,” we enjoyed nature by walking with an awareness of what we could see, hear, smell, and touch, and by sharpening our senses that we are usually unaware of, such as “the sound of birds,” “thick moss,” and “the smell of the forest.”
After coming down to the riverbank, it was time for the long-awaited onigiri lunch, followed by free time. The campers enjoyed themselves in various ways, such as searching for living creatures, skipping stones, and playing in the water. Volunteers also bravely joined in the water splashing with campers and enjoyed bonding with them.
The final reflection was also conducted in a friendly atmosphere.
“I was so happy to find newts because I didn’t give up!” by a camper
“I enjoyed having a splash battle with so many adults and I got them all wet in the river!” by camper
“It was impressive to see so many campers and volunteers participating and spending their free time on the riverbanks in their own ways. I want to try and join all the games next time.” by LIT
“We had a very shy camper this time, so I was worried if he would be able to get along with people he had never met before, but I was pleasantly surprised to see him having fun working as a team without any problems at all” by a care worker
“I was very happy to see how the campers, who were nervous at first, started smiling as they hiked and played in the river together with us!” by a volunteer
Thank you very much everyone for making this fun Summer day happen!