Why do you support Mirai no Mori? vol.12 with Mirai no Mori board members

Series #12 FINAL with Dan Cox, Jeff Jensen and Hilda chan, board members

To commemorate Mirai no Mori’s tenth anniversary, we have highlighted supporters and volunteers of Mirai no Mori over the past interviews. The Mirai no Mori Board plays a key role in ensuring we are able to continually fulfill our mission to support children to achieve their dreams through the outdoors.

This interview focuses on three members of the Mirai no Mori Board, Dan Cox, Jeff Jensen and Hilda Chan. Join us as we learn about their passion for and commitment to Mirai no Mori.

What do you believe is special about Mirai no Mori?

Hilda: Mirai no Mori gives hope to children in need, helps them develop confidence and creates positive impact to society.

Dan: And to create that positive impact, we have a very unique team of people devoted to our mission. From our volunteers and individual donors all the way up to our corporate sponsors, camp staff and the Board. We are blessed with good people and a strong commitment to the children we serve.

Jeff: On top of that, what sets our organization apart is our commitment to ongoing support and empowerment. We’re not just a one-off experience; we’re here for the long haul. We believe in empowering youth to think independently and fostering a deep love for nature while doing it. It’s taken 10 years, but our community has grown into a family. 

Can you share your most memorable experience with children at Mirai no Mori?

Jeff: Oh, there are so many memorable experiences with the kids that it’s hard to choose just one! Whether it’s seeing their faces light up during outdoor adventures, witnessing their growth as they explore and learn, or simply sharing laughs and stories, each moment is special in its own way. From nature walks and stream hikes to quiet crafts time and campfire songs, these experiences remind me why our work is so important and why I’m proud to be a part of this organization.

Hilda: Completely agree that it is hard to pick just one, but one memory that stands out for me is our snow surfing event. Children had the opportunity to experience winter outdoors through yuki ita, which is something out of the ordinary and a new experience on their self-learning journey.  At the end of the tour, children were all happy and saying “thank you,” which was very rewarding personally. 

Dan: Mine is also in the snow! I will never forget the first time I helped host a snowshoe program at Naeba Ski Resort. I really saw the impact of our programs and how much joy our programs can bring.

What motivates you to serve as a board member for Mirai no Mori?

Hilda: Children represent the future of society.  Being able to support our future generations and bring positive impact to society is something worth striving for to make a difference.

Jeff: Spot on, Hilda. The incredible impact our programs have on so many people drives me as well. And even beyond the youth we serve; it’s about the entire community we’ve built together. Seeing how our work positively affects our staff and volunteers, supporters, care (home) workers, graduates, and the youth we serve is what motivates me to continue supporting our mission.

Dan: Very much agree. On top of that, I believe that children all need a strong set of relationships to grow into confident adults. In addition to their school teachers, friends and care home workers, it is critical that they build a relationship with nature.  Children love nature and, through that relationship, they can learn better about themselves.  Mirai no Mori is one of very few organizations that truly helps children develop a fundamental relationship with nature that is critical for the children and for the future of our planet. We as a board are excited for the future of Miria no Mori!

(Board members at 10th anniversary Winter Party in 2023)

At Mirai no Mori, we believe that there is great significance in children’s continued participation in our programs. In order to continue to provide a safe place for children to learn and grow, we need your continued support.
We invite you to join the Mirai no Mori community as a monthly supporter so that together we can continue to provide children with opportunities to gain life skills.

We look forward to you joining us as a monthly supporter so that we can continue to help as many children as possible to grow happily, fruitfully, and independently.

Series #1 with Rob Williams, co-founder of Knights in White Lycra

Series #2 with Reina, Mirai no Mori program graduate

Series #3 with Dave Paddock, co-founder of Mirai no Mori & president of English Adventure

Series #4 with Akiko Suzuki, from English Hiking

Series #5 with Daigo Shibata, from Mitake Race Rafting

Series #6 with Kappy, Mirai no Mori program graduate

Series #7 with Daisuke Itami, a care worker

Series #8 with Kazuya Miki, from Mori-to-Odoru