Academy Camp

To provide children in the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, who have been deprived of opportunities to freely enjoy outdoor activities, with occasions to be in touch with the great nature and to experience the state-of-the-art science, technology, sports and other arts.
Jul 16, 2014

The 1st Fukushima Dragon Boat Academy

On our own dragon boat at Lake Inawashiro
On our own dragon boat at Lake Inawashiro

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

On the weekend of June 28-29, 2014, Academy Camp held our first dragon boat camp at Lake Inawashiro, with 24 elementary school, junior high and high school students in Fukushima.

On the first day, the weather was bad with strong wind and rain. We cancelled our training at Lake Inawashiro that day, and instead, we did many indoor activities such as practicing paddling, dodgebee (dodgeball with soft flying disc), core training, stretching and skipping ropes. Also, we did a little scientific thinking on how boats can be made to move fast using a simple knowledge of fluid mechanics while we wait on a bus.

On the second day, we caught a short period of a fine interval between rains in the morning, and put our two dragon boats on Lake Inawashiro to practice actual paddling. We experienced that the boats can move fast if everyone paddles at the same pace together. We stopped practicing as the rain started again, and we moved to Experiences and Interchange House of Inawashiro Town in the afternoon. There, we had a lecture by a member of Eyes, JAPAN, a venture company based in Aizu Wakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, and a student from University of Aizu, on shooting pitcures using drones. Catching a fine interval again, we had some moving pictures of ourselves taken from above, while we formed human letters "AC" for Academy Camp.

Videos :

http://youtu.be/KWlc03UR-oI

http://youtu.be/uTkvOXvSDGM

At the closing session, each group of us chose a word that represents the two-day experience and shouted it out: "cooperation!", "vigor!" and "(number) one!". Surely we paddled as one, and it was a team-building experience.

Just when we were finishing our schedule on land, there was a rollover accident of canoes at Lake Inawashiro. Academy Camp takes it very seriously as we want to continue our activities at the lake. On July 6, we reconfirmed the safety of our operatiowith a help from university students of Terakoya Network from Aizu Wakamatsu, in order to protect the safety and health of children.

BONUS DAY WITH 50% MATCHING!

GlobalGiving's partner reward bonus day, that matches donations to Academy Camp at 50%, starts at 9:00am EDT on July 16, and continues for 15 hours or until the fund runs out. Please consider taking this opportunity to further support children in Fukushima and Academy Camp.

Ready to get on board
Ready to get on board
Fukushima x Dragon Boat
Fukushima x Dragon Boat
Feeling a drone
Feeling a drone
Group photo before departure
Group photo before departure
Reconfirming the safety with youths from Aizu
Reconfirming the safety with youths from Aizu

Links:

Jun 25, 2014

Academy Camp meets Yokohama Dragon Boat Race 2014

Riding the magic paddles
Riding the magic paddles

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

Academy Camp participated in Yokohama Dragon Boat Race using the weekend of July 7th and 8th. Those who participated in the race on the 8th were seven elementary to high school students from Fukushima riding dragon boats for the first time and thirteen adults who have been practicing dragon boats in Tokyo. There were also a mother who came from Fukushima to cheer for the team, some past university student leaders who came by, and Hashimoto-san from Tokyo Dragon Boat team who has always helped us. It was enjoyable with the crowd of people.

On the 7th, the day before the race, children from Fukushima came just to meet the heavy rain continued from the previous day in Tokyo. Their planned first training on the boat on a river was cancelled, and instead we talked about what dragon boats are and practiced paddling in a community center nearby. Paddling a dragon boat is mirror-wise opposite on the right and left sides of the boat. So we separated the team into two, and the right and left parts looked each other's forms and advised how they should match with the tempo. We discovered that singing "Rock My Soul", one of our camp songs, makes it easier for us to move with the tempo. We even tried with different accents on the rhythm. In the end of the day, we learned how to wear life-jackets, took a lecture on safety by our nursing staff, and were ready for the race next day.

On the 8th, the day of the race, we moved to Yokohama in the early morning, and practiced paddling on the boat in the bay for the first time. It was just some tens of minutes, but children could learn how it really feels to paddle in the water, and got motivated in the practice on land afterwards.

Then the race. In Yokohama Dragon Boat Race, each team tries twice, and they compete with the better time with others in order to move to the final round. Academy Camp recorded 1'56''17 and 1'55"05 in the about 250m course, even though it was our first participation in the race and our first challenge as a team. (We could not move to the final round, though.)

The children, after the race, said that they "want to win the next time." It looks as if the race this time set fire to their heart. We adults need to be eager to win as well, through practicing in Tokyo and Lake Inawashiro hereafter.

We wore a uniform this time: a dragon boat T-shirt. The design of the T-shirt features Fukushima Prefecture and a dragon boat. There were people in Yokohama who looked at our T-shirt, felt empathy and cheered for our team. We thank you for always supporting us, and in addition to that, we felt strong support for our ongoing activities.

Through the summer, we will hold the dragon boat trial camp and our regular summer camps, making us busy for the season. We will always remember the words "Power to Change the World, to Children." We are all in this together, and will do our best to make our activities successful ones.

VOTE FOR US AT GLOBALGIVING!

Academy Camp has been selected for participation in "Pillars of Resiliency" campaign at GlobalGiving. If we get many votes in the period between June 26th, 8 AM EDT and July 2nd, 5 PM EDT, we may be able to receive $500 from GlobalGiving. So please vote for us at the following URL:

http://www.globalgiving.org/poll/vote/?pollOptionId=358 

We would really appreciate your appreciation of our activities.

Practicing the right way to paddle
Practicing the right way to paddle
Academy Camp goes on water
Academy Camp goes on water
Fukushima x Dragon Boat T-shirts
Fukushima x Dragon Boat T-shirts
A little injury taken care of by a nursing student
A little injury taken care of by a nursing student
We will be back!
We will be back!
Saori Nonaka
Saori Nonaka

Links:

May 30, 2014

Academy Camp - Paddling at Lake Inawashiro

The beginners
The beginners' team won the final race

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

(On May 24-25, 2014, We held a camp at Lake Inawashiro, Fukushima, where the radiation level is normal, to paddle E-boats instructed by specialists and to learn Basic Life Support from medical and nursing students. This report is about the two-day camp from a viewpoint of a student volunteer.)

It was my first time to participate in Academy Camp, and I feel that I myself learned a lot from it.

The program let us learn how to use an AED and do chest compression through role playing with set situations, and I am certain that everyone will be able to put what we have learned into practice whenever necessary. Also, since we were a group of people of different ages doing the same things together, I feel that I was in touch with different ways of thinking and different views, providing me with new discoveries and findings. I really feel that I learned a lot through these two days.

I have also empathized deeply with people not so far from me having been active in providing younger generations with learning experiences. I would like to work with them from now on, although I am afraid that my contributions may be small.

Well, I think I have said enough about learning. More than anything, I have enjoyed a lot for the whole two days! Especially the E-boats were fun. I was like addicted to paddling. It was quite a refreshment for myself, with vigorous children and powerful adults around me.

I am really grateful for the wonderful experiences! I hope that more people will know about this camp, and share the enjoyment with a large number of people together.

Racing back to the marina
Racing back to the marina
Practicing BLS with hands-only CPR and AEDs
Practicing BLS with hands-only CPR and AEDs
The morning began with a little exercise
The morning began with a little exercise
Time for introspection
Time for introspection
A group photo promising to get together again
A group photo promising to get together again

Links:

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