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 and learned many new things over the past seven years. Because I’ve been in the camp for so long, over time I developed as a leader, or as a guide to other new campers. Some years it didn’t work out too well, but the last few years I felt confident as a leader and I feel I’ve really developed my skill to interact with new people. As someone who was raised in a city environment, it was a really nice change to go live in nature for a month, and is something I truly grew to love. I learned how to identify different plants and animals and how to avoid them, or learning what things I can interact with. And being a summer camp we also went hiking and camping all the time, so I’ve also developed those skills. It has been useful for things like the grade 9 expeditions, as we went on a three day hike in the mountains of Niigata, which has the same kind of plant and animal life, so I could identify things for other people, and also help out with skills involving camping.

To summarize this camp has had a big impact on my life. I have learned to lead, teach and be a good mentor. I have developed most of my social skills at this camp, which has helped me greatly when exposed to a new environment and in my daily life.