Back to Nature

2024 May Back to Nature: KIKORI Day Report with Oracle

Date: May 18, 2024
Place: Takao, Tokyo
Participants: 23 campers, 8 big campers, 3 LITs, 8 Mirai no Mori staff, 3 sponsors, 3 program partners
Sponsor: Oracle

On a sunny May 18th, the green slopes of Takao buzzed with excitement as this year’s first Kikori Back to Nature program kicked off. With the support of our sponsor, Oracle, the event saw a lively mix of participants of many ages and backgrounds, all coming together with one goal in mind: helping Takao’s forests thrive. 

The day started with everyone splitting into six teams, each picking fun, nature-themed names. There were a lot of unique names such as “Brown Nature” and “Green Wood Ax”. The main activity? Battling the invasive vines that were hurting the growth of the trees. It was a challenging mission as the slopes were steep and the work was tough, but that did not stop the teams! Some campers showed great courage, going against their fears of climbing the tall hills; others showed perseverance when cutting thick tree trunks and vines; others demonstrated kindness, encouraging their teammates through the tough spots. 

Lunch was outdoors, surrounded by greenery. Everyone mingled and chatted, making new friends over bento boxes. After re-energizing, teams went back to the forest to continue their mission in the afternoon, applying what they learned in the morning- from technique, to communication with teammates – to accomplish the task.

We wrapped up the day with some reflection time. For a lot of us, it was the first time we’d done something like this—got our hands dirty, worked with tools, and really connected with nature. Some campers express interest in working in the forest as lumberjacks in the future, inspired by our wonderful program partners Mori to Odoru!

Thank you to Oracle and to our partner, Mori to Odoru for making this program possible. Here’s to more days outdoors, more new friendships, and a healthier forest!

“I wasn’t able to cut the thick vines I found at first but I learned how to use the tools and took out the thickest vine of the whole day!” by camper

“It took a long time but I cut through an old tree trunk all by myself. I did not give up!” by camper

“I have been to programs since I was in elementary school. I am very busy with my school work but I want to continue doing my best so that I can come to Mirai no Mori programs because I always enjoy them.” by camper

“We were expecting to have more LITs to support the program since we have a lot of participants, so I was worried at first, but we were able to go through the day smoothly in 3 LITs and I was able to step up more. I am excited for Day 2!” by LIT

“I was very grateful for the experience of spending time together in nature at Mirai no Mori during the period when we were getting to know each other as we became responsible for new children starting in April.”  by big camper

“This is my 5th time participating in Mirai no Mori programs, and 2nd Kikori program. I enjoyed the wonderful weather in the forest with my energetic team” by sponsor

“My team was very quiet at first but there was a lot of communication towards the end. The campers felt comfortable to give ideas on how to cut the difficult vines and tree trunks, which helped the team bond and work together!” by camp staff