Leader in Training

2023 Leader in Training program report: October

Date: October 14-15
Location: Hachioji & Mitake, Tokyo

   Back to Nature program this month was a farm program on Saturday and a hiking program on Sunday. Only a few campers signed up for the Saturday program and they were all older campers, so we decided to have a special program for the LITs, where they all joined the camper teams and participated in the program activities. They were split into teams in the orientation and started the day by deciding the team name and the headcount.

   Teams were then given the special assignment of creating plans for developing their own farm, starting with a concept. Each team had unique ideas, from amusement park-like farms for tourists to small-scale operations in the countryside to tackle social issues like depopulation. They showed great creativity and teamwork to bring the ideas together. After lunch, they tried milking and butter-churning activities and talked to the corporate volunteers about their company and the jobs during their free time.

   The rain on Sunday was lifted by the mid-morning as forecasted, and we were able to hold a fun hiking program in the cool autumn air. LITs were split into camper team support and activity support. Every member was familiar with their tasks and used great teamwork to execute them very smoothly. The sun even came out during lunchtime at the river, and LITs joined the campers and corporate volunteers in the fun free-time activities.

   LITs had more opportunities to talk to other participants in this month’s program because we were not pressed for time as our usual program. They were also very efficient in completing their tasks, which created additional time for them to interact with campers and volunteers. This extra time created opportunities for them to actively pursue their interest and made us realize the importance of a free-flowing format instead of assigned tasks and schedules, especially now that they are all familiar with the flow of the programs. We are now past the halfway point in this year’s LIT program, and we hope to integrate more opportunities for them to be active in broadening their world and interests in the second half of the program.