Success Stories: Connection with people
The 2014 summer camp was Takashi’s* second time at Mirai no Mori. Takashi is an 18-year-old boy attending a local school for the disabled. He is reserved and causes no trouble at school or at our institution. However, he doesn’t like to spend time playing with the other children, and he spends much of his time alone.
So, it was difficult to imagine him enjoying several days at camp with others his age. However, at his first camp, last year, he seemed unfazed as he mixed with his peers and appeared to gain confidence in his ability to build relationships with others.
This time—his second stay at the camp—he seemed really lively and was talking and mixing happily with all kinds of people right from the start.
I feel that, by attending his second Mirai no Mori camp, Takashi was able to experience what it means to feel close connections between people. And because he attended camp for two consecutive years, he began to feel that there are people waiting for him, cheering him on. Because those people were there for him, he wanted to rise to their expectations. This led to greater expectations for himself, along with a more positive mindset and increased confidence.
On returning to his daily life, he has tried more often to express his points of view and thoughts, and has gained more confidence in his dealings with other people. His motivation towards athletics, which he has been participating in since high school, has also become stronger.
I hope that he will keep the Mirai no Mori camp memories and experiences close to his heart and continue to value his encounters and connections with other people.
* All camper names have been changed to protect privacy.