Held over five weeks during July and August, Aoba-Japan Extension (AJE) Summer Camp 2016 welcomed more than 225 kids from eight different countries for a jam-packed program. Here’s what went down…
Week 1: South America
The overall theme of the camp was “Communication Unites the World,” so as soon as we arrived, each camper was assigned to one of five “Continental Teams” with a corresponding color. As every team held a mix of ages from five to 18, the kids learnt how to work together – especially important if they wanted to win challenges like the Pokemon Scavenger Hunt. Besides designing a flag for each group’s designated continent, campers enjoyed a jazz and tap dance workshop taught by pro dancers Satoko Iida and Nobuyuki Kato, and a comedy performance by Pirates of the Tokyo Bay.
Week 2: Asia
Each day at camp started with morning classes covering subjects like geography, history, society, and culture. Afterwards, we joined our “continental” teammates for plenty of fun activities. This week we began making models of rockets, boats, planes, cars, and trains. One day, a percussionist and composer named BB Mo Franck – who is originally from the DRC and now lives in Japan – came to perform for us. We also went river rafting at Minakami, worked on our soccer skills, and tucked into a delicious barbecue lunch.
Week 3: Europe
The most exciting thing about this week had to be the day we launched our model rockets. It’s a great sense of achievement to learn how to make them, and then see them set off in motion. We also practiced slacklining – balancing on that tightrope is really not as easy as it looks! – and visited the JR Railway Museum, which is home to Japan’s very first steam locomotive made in 1871. Amazing!
Week 4: North America
By week four, we had made so many friends from around the world that it was hard to think about saying goodbye. Luckily, many of our friends who weren’t planning to stay for the full five weeks changed their minds and decided to stay on. They definitely wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on this week’s adventures – we hiked up Mt. Takao, had a barbecue next to the Tama River in Oume, and raced remote control cars.
Week 5: Africa
Did you know that capoeira is a form of martial art? It was created about 500 years ago in Brazil by African slaves, and is a combination of dance and fighting techniques. In our last week at AJE Summer Camp, we learnt some capoeira moves along with some more jazz and tap dance steps. We painted African masks, visited different embassies, and exhibited our creations including robots, cars, and pottery. The week ended with the 2016 Olympiad and Family Day, along with a graduation and awards-giving ceremony. But the best reward of all has to be the memories we’ll always keep of summer 2016 in Japan.
Coming Up Next…
Aoba-Japan Extension hosts annual summer camps at Hikarigaoka campus in Tokyo. To make sure you get a spot for next year’s camp, download the application form for AJE Summer Camp 2017 via tinyurl.com/AJE2017.
Keen to get involved sooner? Join AJE’s new Evening Academy which includes sports and performance programs: tinyurl.com/AJE-evening
More info at www.japaninternationalschool.com