茗溪学園 父母会

42K 中1里見キャンプ〜ボランティア体験記〜岸田靖之

中学校1年生の里見キャンプに参加されたボランティアのお父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。

 

9/1(金)-9/3(日)、常陸太田市の里美野外活動センターで実施された42回生の”里美キャンプ“に父母ボランティアとして参加しました。

19名のお母様、8名のお父様がボランティアとして参加され、お母さんチームが食材配布や後片付けなどを、お父さんチームが麦茶作りや本部テント設営などを担当しました。先生から“自分達で考え、自分達でやらせて、それを見守って下さい”と指示を受けていたので父母には”我慢”が求められました。

天候は、雲→雨→予想を下回る低温→快晴とプログラムされたかのフルコースの天気となりました。

<初日>

食事は各班に材料を渡されて生徒達が調理します。ナタを使っての巻き割りとマッチを使っての着火は多くの班が苦戦。夕食のメニューはカレーライス。私がお世話になった班は食事準備中に男子がいつのまにかどこかに消えてしまい、戻ってきた時には女子は不機嫌。男子は女子のご機嫌を直そうとギャグを言ったり、おだてたりと必死に取り繕う姿に思わず噴出しそうになりつつも、12歳とは思えない高等なテクニックに感心しました。”女子が作った”カレーはなかなかの出来栄えでした。

 

 

 

 

<2日目>

夜中はとても寒かったので震えながら起床してきた生徒達。麦茶を沸かす焚き火に暖を取りに来て離れられなくなっている女子もいれば、半そで短パンで(前日と同じTシャツ?)やたら元気な男子もおりました。早速朝食とお弁当作りを開始。

 

朝食はなぜか水を含んでしまったパンで包まれたホットドッグを頂き、お弁当を渡されて小雨の降る中オリエンテーリングに出発。オリエンテーリングは地図を渡されていたはずなのですが、コースアウトの生徒が続出。コースに戻る途中の山道を歩きながらコースアウトの理由を聞いてみたところ、前の人を追いかけ、追い越す事に必死で前の人がコースアウトしているとは思わなかったとの説明で、まだまだ危なっかしいんだなぁと実感しました。

お昼のお弁当は、十分に炊けていないカチカチの(ほとんど米粒状態)、握った後から塩がふりかけられたおにぎりを頂き、貴重な経験となりました。

夕食は焼きそば。2日目にして早くもコツをつかんだのか、各班次々に着火に成功するも、今度は薪の入れすぎと吹き荒れる風で燃え上がる炎で中華鍋のようになっている班も。我が班も少し焦げてカタ焼きそば状態、ややしょっぱい焼きそばを頂きました。たくさん動いた後でお腹がすいており、生徒達とお話ししながら、そしてみんなの苦労を感じながら美味しく頂きました。

そして夜キャンプファイヤー開始。雨は上がっていたのですが、湿った木がうまく燃えるようにお父さん方が少し多めの油を注入して備えましたが、それが裏目に。強く吹き付けた風のせいで火が大きくなりすぎて火の粉が舞い散り、大慌てで部分消火を開始。お父さん方の抜群のチームワークで何とかキャンプファイヤーを開始する事が出来ました。

 

有志生徒による歌の披露に続いて女子ダンス披露。ダンスは夏休み中も練習を重ねて挑んだ本番だったそうですが、盛り上がってしまったお笑いセンス抜群の男子生徒数人が飛び入り参加し、たくさん笑わせてもらいました。

その後、定番のマイムマイム=>”絆”の火文字 =>”やってみよう”の合唱でファイナルを迎え、見上げれば満天の星空の下、徐々に消えゆく炎を見ながら”青春”を共感させて頂きました。

 

<3日目>

朝から快晴。朝食後は”来たときよりもきれいに”をスローガンに荷物の整理、テントや調理器具の後片付けを開始。父母は返却されたもののチェックと積み込みを担当しましたが、先生からチェックは間違いがないか厳しくお願いしますと言われていたのでやり直し続出でした。

お風呂に入れず、テレビも携帯もゲームもない、暗くて寒い夜は毛布1枚とクラスメイトがそばにいるだけという、普段の生活よりも不自由な環境だったと思います。その中で仲間と協力しながら挑戦を続けた3日間は生徒達にとって大きな収穫があったのではないかと思います。学園に戻った時には達成感を感じさせるようなキラキラした瞳が印象的でした。

少し幼さの残る男子生徒は話しかけると色々話してくれて私もたくさんの知り合いができましたが息子2人の父親、女子慣れしていない私は女子に冗談を言っても反応ナシ、ちょっと大人な女子生徒にはどう接していいかわからないまま終了しました。

学寮にお世話になっている息子との会話は限られますが、”学校は楽しいよ”と言っている意味を実際に体験、理解できるいい機会となったと思います。

42回生の学園生活はまだ始まったばかりですが、これからが楽しみになりました。

企画並びに遂行して頂いた先生方、受け入れてくださった里美野外活動センターの職員の方々、ボランティアのご父兄方に深く感謝しております。

個人的には忘れていた感覚を取り戻し、たくさん気付き、たくさん笑った3日間となりました。

42回生保護者 岸田靖之

 

I joined the parent volunteers of the 42nd Meikei Students Satomi Camp held at Satomi Outdoor Activity Center in Hitachiota-shi Ibaraki September 1st (Fri) – 3rd (Sun).

19 mothers and 8 fathers joined as parent volunteers. The main job of the mother team was to deliver the food and clean-up, the father team made the tea and set up the tents. Teachers told the parent volunteers, “let the students think by themselves, and do by themselves. Just keep a safe watch”, parent volunteers were forced to keep patience all the time.

 

The weather changed from cloudy → rainy → unexpected cold → clear sky and so on, as there was a big variation of weather.

 

Day 1

Students cooked each meal by themselves. Food materials were provided to each 6 – 7 person groups. Almost all groups faced difficulties to chop firewood with the chopper and light the fire with the matches. The dinner menu was curry and rice. During the dinner preparation time, all the boys in the group I joined suddenly disappeared before I was aware. When they came back, the girls got angry. The boys tried to put the girls back in good humor by say some jokes, but this played off desperately. I broke up into laughter looking at that when I saw the boys, but I impressed the boys used such a high technique trying to help the girls. I didn’t know how the girls felt about the looks it but their curry and rice was so delicious.

 

Day 2

Since midnight was pretty cold, students woke up shivering. There were some girls coming but couldn’t leave to get warm in front of fire to make tea, or there was a sprightly boy just wearing T-shirts with short pants only. He looked like he was wearing the same T-shirt as yesterday. Readily they started to make breakfast and lunch box.

 

We had hotdogs for breakfast but the bread got wet for some reason. After that, the students departed with their lunchboxes for the orienteering in the light rain. All teams brought a map, however many of them lost the way. When I walked on the trail going back to the right course with these lost teams, I asked them the reason why they were lost, they said they just focused to chase the team in front of them. They never imagined the other team was losing their way. I felt we still needed them to take care, they could easily do the wrong thing.

 

The lunch box was rice balls. The rice itself was so hard, or maybe I should say the rice was not steamed enough. This was the first time I had this type of rice ball.

 

The dinner menu was fried noodles. Since it was the 2nd day, it seemed they learned how to light a fire well. Many teams were able to light the fire soon. However, some put too much fire wood force of the wind affected the cooking. Some groups had change to the crock pot to cook the Chinese food. In the team I joined, the noodles were a little hard and a little salty. I fell their hard work for cooking the noodles made it really delicious, especially because we walked a lot in day time. I could also spend a fun time chatting with the members having dinner. That helped the meal feel delicious too.

 

After dinner, the camp fire started. The rain was gone but the fire wood was a little wet. The father volunteers poured a little too much oil on the fire wood and that lead us to have some backfire. The wind was so strong, so the fire became bigger and sparked one of the students. Immediately all the fathers put out the excess fire. Because of the wonderful father’s team work, we could start the camp fire on time safely.

 

The show started with a student’s song then next was the girl’s dance. They said they practiced during the summer holiday. During the dance, unexpectedly, a few boys came in and started a comedy show. The audience didn’t know but that was produced. They made us laugh very much. After that, all the students danced Mayim Mayim together, then the fire letters ‘Kizuna’ (bonding) were lit as students sang ‘Yattemiyou’ (let’s try). When we looked up at the sky, it was stadium of stars. Watching the fire slowly vanish, I felt lonely for the days of my youth.

 

Day 3

It was fine weather from the morning. After breakfast, under the slogan “get cleaner than before”, we started to clean up the baggage, tents, and cookware. Parent volunteers confirmed the number of the returned things and helped load the truck. Teachers told us to confirm everything and try not to have any errors. Students had to count and collect things many times to get everything right.

 

Students couldn’t take a bath, there was no TV, no video games, and on the dark and cold night there was only one blanket each. I thought it must have been a tough and uncomfortable time for them compared to the life they live every day. During those three days, they challenged many hardships and got positive experiences. It was impressive. I could sense their feeling of accomplishment when we came back to school.

 

When I talked to the boys, they were a little more childish than the girls were. They taught me many things and I could talk with them a bit, but for the father who has 2 sons, talking to girls was a bit tough. At the start of the camp, when I talked with them, even jokingly, it was difficult to connect. Eventually, I could talk well with them all the time. I finished the camp days but I still couldn’t understand how to properly talk with the girls.

 

Conversations with my son, who is living in the school dormitory are limited typically, but this from this camp I could understand why he is always saying his school life is full of fun.

School life of the 42K students are just started, but looking forward to seeing what they will feel from now on.

 

I deeply appreciated that the teachers planned and executed this camp so professionally. Also, I appreciate the Satomi Outdoor Activity Center staff who welcomed this group and parent volunteers. Personally, I could spend three days regaining senses I forgot, noticing new things, and laughing a lot.

 

Yasuyuki Kishida

Translated by Arata, edited by Bryan Snow