Why do you support Mirai no Mori? vol.2 with Reina
Series #2 with Reina, Mirai no Mori program graduate
As Mirai no Mori celebrates its 10th anniversary, we are pleased to interview our supporters from various fields to share their “thoughts” with you. As valued partners who have walked with Mirai no Mori, they share their encounters with Mirai no Mori, the appeal of Mirai no Mori’s outdoor programs, and more.
This interview features Reina, a graduate of the 2019 LIT program.
LIT stands for Leader in Training Program, an annual program for high school students focusing on “self-reliance” that started in FY2017. Participants join monthly outdoor programs as staff members and are on the side of support, not the side of being supported. There, through leadership experiences and workshops on project management and public speaking, they will develop skills that will directly translate to life after independence.
We spoke with the dynamic Reina, who participated in the LIT program for one year in FY2019 and is taking on various challenges after leaving the program, about Mirai no Mori.
How did you come across Mirai no Mori?
I first came to know about Mirai no Mori through the Snow Program. A staff member at the care home recommended the two-day and one-night outdoor activity event in the snow country to me because I like to be physically active. I had never experienced public speaking, so I thought I would give it a try. I also decided to participate in the year-round LIT program starting in April of my senior year of high school because I really liked the outdoors.
How was the LIT program?
The hardest part was communicating in front of people and within the LIT team. When I stood in front of people, I sometimes got nervous and could not speak well, and sometimes my words did not come out smoothly. I sometimes was asked by others, “What do you want to say?”
The most memorable episode during the one-year LIT program that showed me the importance of communication was during the summer camp. In a team game, everyone thought that someone else was in charge of taking points, but actually no one was doing it. Through such experiences, we learned the importance of discussion. It is important that all sides know and understand the same thing. Even if one person understands, if the others doe not, they may cross paths.
The most enjoyable memories from the program are the casual conversations I had with LIT members and staff. Even now, when I see LIT members or attend a Mirai no Mori event and meet a familiar staff member, I feel happy. Mirai no Mori has become one of my communities.
Please tell us about the appeal of the Mirai no Mori program.
One of the attractions is the opportunity to be involved with a wide variety of people. I think the fact that there are people with various opinions and ideas is unique to Mirai no Mori. Another attraction is that we work in the outdoors and that we have a staff full of power. Mirai no Mori has so many people that I respect, such as cheerful and humble people. I enjoy participating in the Mirai no Mori program because it allows me to build relationships with people I have never met before.
What do you find attractive about the outdoors through the program?
I think the outdoors is where human nature comes out. So, you can really get to know the people you spend time with.
Another appeal of the outdoors is that you can be upbeat and positive. If I had not had the experience of spending time outdoors, I would not have liked exercise, and I would not have known the importance of cooperating with others, so I think it was a good experience for me. In my daily life, I sometimes feel that the experience I gained in the outdoors has helped me to be more cooperative and considerate of others at work.
Mirai no Mori aims to nurture the “life skills.” For you, what meaning does “life skills” have?
I think “life skills” are the power to communicate. People cannot live alone. We are alive because we are involved with others and support each other, and I believe that nothing would be possible if we were alone.
How do you want to be involved with Mirai no Mori in the future?
Even after graduation, I continue to be involved and I would like to continue being involved in this way. I still gain support through the advice I receive and the events I am able to attend.
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