Wilderness Engagement

For the past seven years, I have gone to the same summer camp every year. The camp is for international school kids who speak Japanese, so they can be more part of the culture and learn some new things. It is located in Nagano Japan, in a village called Achimura. In this camp I have acquired many new skills.

Firstly this camp helped me develop my social skills. At heart, I am an introvert, I like to be on my own and I don’t really like meeting new people. This was very apparent when I was younger, but it improved because at this camp I needed to interact with more than 20 new people every year, and I think this is shown through my experiences last year as a new student at YIS. I had no trouble getting to know everybody and I easily fit in with this community.

The biggest impact this camp has had on me is that it taught me to appreciate nature and not waste. For example, every year at the camp we went out to cut trees down as the mountains become too crowded. This was done because the trees got crowded and grew thinner with weaker roots which means that mountain slides can occur and life at the forest floor dies. Once we had done that, instead of wasting the trees we had cut, we turned them into bridges or other structures. We also learned to fish for and gut fish, and we never wasted anything, every edible part of it was prepared and eaten. This concept is something that was nurtured into me from this camp and it is within me to this day, appreciate the things that were sacrificed just for you and don’t waste them. I try to waste as little as possible, one of the things I dislike the most is the waste of food. I make sure to take just about what I can eat and never leave any food behind.

To summarize this camp has had a big impact on my life. I have developed most of my social skills at this camp, and grown the appreciation I have for nature.