茗溪学園 父母会

41K 中2筑波山キャンプ ~ボランティア体験記~ 萩原万里子

中2の最大イベント、筑波山キャンプに参加されたボランティアのお母さんに体験記をお寄せいただきました。日本語記事の後には、英訳の記事も掲載しております。あわせてお読みください。

 

1日目

悪天候が心配されていた中、なんとか降らずに持ちこたえ、中庭で出発式が始まりました。黒澤先生、鈴野先生のお話、父母ボランティア(以下、父母ボラ)の紹介などがなされ、班ごとに写真撮影を済ませたら、いよいよキャンプ場へ出発です!

子どもたちはキャンプ場までの約20㎞の道のりを、自分の荷物を全て担いで、班ごとに事前に決めた独自のルートで歩いて向かいます。道中雨も降りましたが、それほどのひどい雨にはならず、むしろカンカン照りの中を歩くよりは負担が少ないように思いました。

立哨(立ち番)

父母ボラは、安全確保のために立哨(立ち番)に立ったり、先に青年の家に行き、荷下ろしや本部テントを設営したり、キャンプ場の調理道具を各班の人数分ごとに分けて、全ての道具に班の番号シールを貼ったりと、子どもたちが安全に円滑に自分たちで作業ができるように整えていきます。今回の父母ボラは、募集の告知後たった2日で人数が揃い、募集が締切られました。やりたかったのに…と残念な思いをした父母もいらっしゃるそうです。そんなやる気満々のメンバーであり、また約半数の方が去年の猿島キャンプでのボランディア経験者。皆さん最初から実にチームワーク良く、そして手際よく作業されていて、この方々とボランティアに参加できることをとても心強く、とても嬉しく思いました。

雨のため、この日は子どもたちは青年の家の体育館(男子)や大部屋(女子)に寝ることになり、予定していたテント張りも翌日に変更されたため、初日のスケジュールは少しゆとりができました。スタートからハードなこのキャンプですから、子どもたちにとっては嬉しい変更だったかもしれません。

1日目の夕食

全ての班が青年の家に無事到着し、開村式を終えたら、さっそく夕食作りです。今回の調理は火を使いません。道具の配布にミスがあったり、雨により調理場所や食事場所に変更が出たりして少しバタつきはありましたが、予定通りに片付けも済ませ、子どもたちは体育館へと帰って行きました。聞いた話によると、就寝時間後の体育館の中はわいわいがやがやととても賑やかで、先生が見回りにくる度に、つかの間シーンとする、という繰り返しだったそうです。みんな一緒に体育館で寝るというもの貴重な楽しい思い出のひとつになりましたね。

 

2日目

 

ただいま食材準備中!

この日の天気は濃霧でスタートしました。父母ボラは6時から朝食の食材配布のお手伝いと麦茶作りを始めます。朝の集い後に調理場に移動してきた子どもたちには寝ぼけ眼の子は見当たらず、元気そうに見えました。

ひたすらお茶作りのお父さん

この日の朝の調理では、火も起こし、朝食(ホットドッグ等)と昼食(おにぎり弁当)の2食を作ります。1年前の猿島キャンプでは、火起こしに大変苦戦した班がとても多かったのを思い出します。それでも回数を重ねるごとにだんだんと上手になりましたが、今回は1年ぶりの火起こしです。手出し無用の原則に沿うべく、遠目に見守ります。やはり大苦戦している班もありましたが、全体的には去年のキャンプでの1,2回目の火起こしよりはずいぶんと上達しているようでした。父母ボラにも、班の子たちがおにぎり弁当を作ってくれます。

お昼のお弁当

とても大きなおにぎりがドーンと2つずつの班もあれば、飯ごうでかなり焦がしてしまったのかとても小さなおにぎりがコロリと2つずつの班、固くポロポロに炊けてしまい握れない班、反対に柔らかすぎて握れずパックに直接よそった班もありました。子どもたちが喜んだりガッカリしたりしながらも、自分たちで用意したお弁当を持って出かける姿は頼もしくもあり、班の子どもたちに作ってもらったお弁当は愛おしいものでした。

火起し隊発動

うまく炊けたかな?

お弁当を持って出かける先は、理科巡検と社会科巡検です。理科巡検は筑波山の成り立ちを学ぶ内容で、急勾配の山道も含まれます。この日もだいぶ歩きますが、天気は一日を通して穏やかな曇りで活動しやすかったことでしょう。

 

3日目

朝から快晴!この日も朝食(ごはん、味噌汁等)と昼食(サンドイッチ弁当)の2食を作ります。毎回のことですが、調理の進行具合は班により様々です。声を掛け合い連携してどんどん作業が進む班、サボっているわけではないのに不思議なくらい作業の遅い班、あまり働かない男子を横目に女子だけで作り上げていく班。

朝ごはん!

それでも、去年の猿島キャンプよりもっと多く協力できている場面があったように思います。色々な子がいる中で経験を積み重ねていくうちに、みんな成長していくのだな、1年後はまたもっと成長したみんなになっているのだろうなと思いました。

オリエンテーリング(以下、OL)は班ごとに地図に書かれたポイントを廻り、ゴールまでのタイムを競います。時間差をつけてスタートするのですが、出発前の広場では子どもたちがワクワクしているのが伝わってきて、こちらまでウキウキしてきます。

オリエンテーリング中

全班がスタートし、広場に子どもたちがいなくなったら、まずは父母ボラみんなで夜のキャンプファイヤーの出し物のリハーサル。

リハ真っ最中

先生方も出し物の練習を始めたのを見て、なぜか「負けていられない!」とライバル視。今回の父母ボラは初回の顔合わせ後に、この出し物のために公民館で2回の打ち合わせとダンス練習をし、練習用動画も配信。顔の装飾も決めるという気合いの入れようなのです。

リハーサル後は、慌ただしく各々の担当の持ち場へと向かいます。子どもたちがOL地図範囲外へと出てしまわないようにする立哨や、給水ポイント番、ランチポイントでの先生のお手伝い、麦茶作りやその運搬等、父母ボラ総出で手伝います。私は立哨担当でした。青空の下、大きな交差点沿いの歩道にキャンプ用の椅子付きテーブルを出し、母ボラ仲間とおしゃべりをしつつ子どもたちを待ちます。子どもたちが来ると、どんな状況なのかを尋ねながらコミュニケーションがとれることにとても嬉しくなります。また、子どもたちに作ってもらったサンドイッチ弁当は、照りつける日光で食パンがほっかりと温まり絶妙なしっとり具合でとても美味しく、なんとも特別な楽しい時間を過ごさせていただきました。

楽しく立哨

OL終盤、ゴールで待っていると、意気揚々と1番の班が帰ってきました。その後にもポロポロと班が到着し始めます。早いチームほど、やはり元気にニコニコです。熱中症の症状が出てしまった子もいましたが、ほとんどの子は休憩しているうちに回復できたようで大事に至らずよかったです。

OL後、おやつのアイスボックスを食べながらしばらく芝生で自由時間を過ごしたら、この日は早めの夕食を作り、夜にはいよいよお楽しみのキャンプファイヤーです。子どもたちはこの出し物のためにそれぞれしっかり準備と練習をし、とても楽しみにしているようでした。

 

白装束に扮した実行委員たちにより火が灯され、有志団体と各クラスの出し物が披露されます。出し物の完成度の高さには本当に驚かされました。司会進行も実にスムーズです。披露する側は、みんなを楽しませようと本気でやっていますし、見ている側もとてもお行儀良く、みんなで盛り上げようと温かい声援を送ります。先生方の出し物も大盛り上がり。父母ボラの出し物も、練習の甲斐あって大成功。子どもたちに盛り上げてもらいました。

スタート!

本当に全員で盛り上げて、全員で盛り上がる、仲の良い温かい学年なのだなとしみじみ感じました。

達成感!

やるな先生

 

4日目

朝食を済ませたら撤収作業です。茗溪精神に則って、来た時よりもきれいにして帰ります。

撤収

 

3泊4日のハードなスケジュールで疲れているでしょうが、みんなでちゃんと片付けができました。このキャンプで、友人との距離がとても近くなったり、楽しい思いをしたり、また辛い思いをしたり、日常では考えられないほどたくさんの経験をしたことでしょう。
この経験を得た子どもたちが、またさらにどう成長していくのか楽しみでなりません。

 

おわりに

ボランティアとしてキャンプに参加させていただく中で、先生方がどれほど子どもたちに対して愛情をもち、成長させようと願い、また成長できるように尽くしているかを目の当たりにします。こんなにも素晴らしい先生方に出会えるなんて、子どもたちはなんて幸せでしょう。本当に、感謝いたします。

先生方、父母ボラの皆様、お疲れ様でした。ありがとうございました。

 

 

 

41st Meikei Students Mt. Tsukuba Camp  ~ Volunteer Experience Note ~   Mariko Hagiwara

Day 1

Despite the weather forecast showed a chance of rain in the morning, we kicked off the departing ceremony in the central courtyard of the school. Mr. Kurosawa and Mr. Suzuno both gave a speech saying explaining the purpose of this event for the students, and what they expect the students to learn during this camp. And parent volunteers (below described as “ma-pa vol.”) gave their self-introductions to the students. Each team of boys and girls, 6-8 people per team, took the picture then departed towards the camp site on Mt. Tsukuba.

Students had to walk 20 km distance from the school to the camp site carrying all their belongings, each team had to decide their own route to get there by themselves. During that time, there were scattered showers, but it was still comfortable to walk since it was not too sunny or too warm.

Some of the ma-pa vol. first had to stand at several places among the 20 km walk, where it was easy to lose the way. This was to keep the student’s safety. Some ma-pa vol. arrived at the camp site earlier to do unpacking, make up the headquarter tents, or post the group numbers on each of the dishes. The kitchenware was divided into each of the team headcounts to help the students complete a smooth and safe work by themselves.

Just 2 days were enough to fill up the number of the volunteers this time, the deadline date to apply came so soon and so many parents volunteered that some did not get to join. All members of ma-pa vol. this time were so proactive, half of them experienced the volunteer last year camp in Sashima too. Teamwork of everyone was really strong, knowing well what needed to be done from the beginning. I feel really glad to be a member of such a team and happy to work with them.

Because of the rain, students stayed slept in the gym the first night, there was no need to make up their tents this day. They could have some leeway. The schedule was fully packed, and hard, so looks like this change made them happy.

Thankfully, all the teams completed the 20 km walk and arrived safely. After the camp opening ceremony, they started to prepare their own dinner. Ma-pa vol. were served together with them. This day they didn’t use the fire. Some kitchenware was missing or was moved to a different place, and the eating place was relocated because of the rain. It took some time but they could prepare, eat, and clean up on time. After that, they went back the gym to sleep. We heard from the teachers the next day, they talked and chatted all the time after turning off the lights. They were only quiet just a moment when the teachers came to check on them. They repeated that until midnight. It looks like all the students (although boys and girls were separated) sleeping on the floor would be a treasurable memories for them.

Day 2

The second day started with heavy foggy. Ma-pa vol. started to work from 6:00 AM to make the tea or to prepare the breakfast food delivery. Students, after finishing their morning activities, didn’t seem sleepy at all. They were all very active from the start.

This morning they needed to make two meals, they started to use fire to make breakfast (hotdogs) and lunch (rice-ball lunchbox). At the camp in Sashima last year, I remember there were so many teams that struggled to make a fire. They could make it finally make it after many tries, but it has been almost one year since then. We couldn’t help them (the teachers told us not to) just watching what they did. Some of the teams took a long time to make it but overall, they had improved from the previous year. They also made the rice balls for lunch for ma-pa vol. I could find there were so many variations, one team made very big rice balls, others cooked it too long and the rice turned black, and some rice balls were too small. One team, could not make rice balls because of the rice was too hard from the weak fire. On the other hand, one group could only serve the rice in the plastic pack directly because the rice was too soft. They were happy or unhappy looking at their rice, but they made it by themselves and this made them look independent. Receiving such a lunch from students me feel sweet.

They went out for geoscience and geography on-site study. Geoscience study was of the Mt. Tsukuba formation process. They had to climb up the heavy slope some places. They needed to walk longer distance again on this day, but the weather was calm and cloudy.

Day 3

The third day was clear and sunny from the morning! They made two meals: breakfast (rice and miso soup) and lunch (sandwich lunch box) again in the morning. The whole time the cooking progress was really up to each team. All team members working together communicated pretty well with each other, they proceed faster without failure. Although all team members were working, the progress was a little slow. In some cases just girls (or just boys) worked but not boys (girls). However, I could see this time, when I looked those and compared to the last year in Sashima, I thought they were working together much better than last year. There are many different characteristics in students. When spending time and having experience with each other, they learn a lot and grow up. They will further grow more and more I feel.

Orienteering (below described OL) was done when the team went around the points indicated on the map and competed the speed of time toward goal. Each team started at a certain time interval, when waiting for their start time to come, I could feel they were so excited. I was excited to see that. After all, the teams had left, ma-pa vol. practiced the dance which all the teams do at camp fire on that night. The teachers practiced too, I don’t know why but we feel they were our strong rival, so it couldn’t make it worse. Prior to going to the camp, we had a meeting and practiced the dance twice for a few hours each at a community center. We had so much passion, and provided the video to all members to decide the face decoration before coming to camp.

After we practiced the dance, we rushed back to each work place. Some members stood in several places to keep the students from not going out into the OL area farther, helped the tea supply points, helped teachers at lunch points, and made tea supply. All the ma-pa vol. members worked very hard to help. I stood at one place to guide students not to be lost. Under the clear blue sky, I placed a camping table and chair on the walkway along to the cross point, we waited for the students to come, and enjoyed talking with other volunteers. When students came, I asked them their OL points status, I enjoyed having such conversations with them. At lunch time, we found the sandwich lunch box made by the students had been nicely warmed by the sunshine. It’s was in really moist good condition and so delicious, I felt so special and had such a fun time.

Toward the end of OL, we moved to the goal and waited for each group to show up, after that teams came back minute by minute, the team that came to the goal firsts, looked to be happy. Some students had some conditions such as heat illness, but most of them had recovered after getting rest and it was not so serious.

We gave everyone ice candy for an achievement snack. They could rest and have free time before they started making dinner earlier. After dinner, the biggest and the long-awaited event of camp, the camp fire, was held. Students did many song dances and practiced to prepare for this.

Committee members who worn the white gown turned on the fire to the center fire then camp fire had started. Each class and dance volunteer groups showed their dance or song. I was really surprised each dance and song level were very high and perfect. MC (master of ceremony) was very smooth too. Members were showing on the stage doing their best they could keep enjoying everyone, all students were sitting around the fire, and paid attention to help with warm cheering gently. Teacher’s dance was so excited. Because of many times practice, ma-pa vol. play and dance was done perfectly too. Students cheered us so much. Indeed, I fell all the people did their best and they recognized each other from the heart, did the great work and warm grade of the students.

Day4, Last day

After finishing breakfast, students started to clean up and pack all their things. With the Meikei spirit, we cleaned up the camp much cleaner than when we came.

After 3 nights and 4 days camp, everyone was really tired, but the students cleaned up well together. They could make closer relationships with their friends, and made wonderful enjoyable memories. Some had a little bitter experience or other experiences they couldn’t get in daily life. I’m really glad to see how the students matured during this time.

Summary

When I joined this camp as a volunteer, I could see what a deep love and passion the teachers have and wish for the students’ growth. I can see and directly feel how the teachers are doing their best all the time to help the students grow up. I feel how happy the students are, and meet with such wonderful teachers. I’m really appreciative to all of the teachers.

To all the teachers and volunteers, thank you very much for helping create such a wonderful experience for everyone.

Translated by Yukari & Arata