茗溪学園 父母会

40回生猿島キャンプ~ボランティア体験記  -鈴木ゆかり-

1年F組父母の鈴木ゆかり様より、昨年9月に行われました40回生猿島キャンプの父母ボランティア体験記をお寄せいただきました。日本語版と英語版の両方でご紹介いたします。

日本語版 英語版(English Ver.)

一日目

初日の朝は、生徒前での自己紹介前にまずは事前のボランティア同士の紹介、そしてキャンプ中のスケジュール確認からスタートいたしました。 その後、各ボランティアの車へ分乗し無事キャンプ場へ到着。 生徒たちの猿島キャンプ、そしてパパママボラのボランティア3日間の始まりです。

まずママボラは、生徒たちが食事の準備を始める前にキャンプ場からお借りするお皿、鍋等を班員の人数へ振り分け、タグ付けする事が第一課題でした。
まだ初対面のママボラさんと緊張しつつも課題をこなし、第一問題が浮上。なんと各班の菜箸がカビだらけなのです。 どんなに清潔に料理してもこの箸ではと、町田先生に詰め寄る母たち。数十分後に学校で新しい菜箸を用意したことが分かり、ひと段落です。

そうこうしている間に時間は過ぎ夕飯の支度へ。打ち解けてきたママボラは手際よく各班の食材バスケットへ食材を振り分けます。各班の食事係が食材を運んだところで私たちも調理場へ移動。子供たちの自主性を尊重しつつも、ついつい火起こしや包丁の使い方を指導してしまうパパママボラたちでした。 競うように夕飯の準備を各班で行った後はボランティアも事前に割り振って頂いた生徒のテーブルへ参加です。お鍋の蓋を開けた子供達の反応はそれぞれです。白いお米が炊けて満足そうな班、カレーが上手に出来た班、お肉が女子だけに盛られていて男子は野菜だけの班などなど、会話を聞いているだけでも笑顔になります。さて私の班は、というとお米が少し焦げ付いてしまったけれど、お焦げが好きだからと笑顔でした。そうかわざとお焦げを作ったのかと感心しつつ1日目の夕飯は完食です。

夕飯の片付けの後は岩間先生率いる星の観測の予定でしたが予想外の豪雨の影響でスケジュールが変更になり、パパママボラは先生と第2日のオリエンテーションのプラン立てを行いました。
一方、生徒たちは日中頑張って組み立てたテントでは宿泊できないことが確定し、雨の中宿泊棟へ移動です。女子の中では、宿泊所の肝試し話に花を咲かせしまいには泣いてしまう子も。 その頃、ずぶ濡れの生徒たちの羨む眼差しをよそにパパママボラは入浴を済まさせて、夜のミーティングへ。 
ミーティングでは、第一目の反省、そして第2日夜のキャンプファイアーの注意点の確認です。さてミーティングが無事終了し就寝かと思いきや、ここは茗溪学園、一筋縄ではいきません。先生たちからプリントを手渡され、これから体育館の移動して明日のキャンプファイアーの出し物のダンスの練習です、とのことでした。 入浴後、そして日々の運動不足のせいか突然ダンスの練習をすることになったパパママボラは汗だくになったのち、就寝となりました。

二日目

昨夜とは見違えるほどの晴天に恵まれ、第一目から比べるとかなり全員上手になってきた火起こしの結果、全班時間通り朝食&ランチ の調理を終えることができました。
私の班は、白いご飯が炊き上がりみんな口ぐちに白いごはんだーと感動しています。昨日はお焦げが好きと言っていたけど やっぱり白いご飯が好きなのかと、心では思っておりました。

そしてオリエンテーリング出発です。具合が悪くなってしまった子の荷物を手分けして持ってあげたり、男子だけチェックポイントへ走って答えを見つけたりと書き出したら止まらないほどのエピソードがありますが、各班とも工夫して、そして労わりながらゴールをしました。 ここは茗溪学園、休む暇はありません。オリエンテーリング後は、すぐに夕飯の準備、食事、キャンプのクライマックス、キャンプファイアーです。 ママボラも夕飯後、宿泊所でダンスの最終確認後いざキャンプファイアーです。さすが茗溪生、勉学共に才能がある生徒達が大勢おり歌やダンス、そして山下先生の切れのあるダンス、思いのこもった花火文字。ー時間の経過を忘れてしまう一夜でした。

最終日

最終日には、初日と比べすっかり成長し逞しくなった生徒たちが疲労感と達成感の表情でキャンプの終わりを惜しんでおりました。 このような自然に触れつつ、クラス外での学びの場を人生で何回持つことができるでしょうか。大人になった時にきっと貴重な体験ができた学生時代に感謝する ことと思います。 また、ボランティアという形で生徒のイベントに参加でき、通常見ることのできない息子の違う一面、また大勢のお子さんと触れ合うことができとても重要な経験をさせていただきました。 そして、ママパパボランティアにも共通の目標を達成した連体感が生まれました。チーム40回生ボランティアとして今後も末長く、色々な行事を共にしていけたらと思います。 このような貴重な経験をさせていただける学校そして先生方に感謝します。

(一年F組父母・鈴木ゆかり)

英語版(English ver.) 日本語版

 Day 1 morning – Before introducing ourselves to junior high students, we introduced each other among ourselves – mom & dad volunteers, and went through 3 days schedule and logistics with teachers. Once our introduction and gathering with the students done, we drove ahead to the camping area. Beginning of the first camp for the 40th Meikei students as well as mom & dad volunteers.

For mom volunteers, we were assigned to classify all dishes, pots, pans, chopsticks, etc into each team (most of the teams are consisted by 6-7 students, plus assigned volunteer or a teacher). The first problem already came out from mom volunteers….the chopsticks were fully molded…actually they looked totally black or green. All moms gathered into Teacher. Machida, told him that we really needed a solution – otherwise, kids would get sick from them. After 10 minutes, teachers already provided a solution (new chopstickts). How wonderful Meikei teachers- they already know anything may happen in the camp, they prepare things prior!

 Day 1 Dinner – We got a pre-made lunch box at lunch time, the first meal we cook was dinner. The menu was Japanese curry & rice. It was so exciting for students to cook the first meal. After mom volunteers provided rice, vegetable, and meat to students, mom & dad volunteers started oversight how kids made a fire – some team were efficient and great at making fire (with huge help by dad volunteer) while others were struggling and got a fire from next teams. Mom volunteers couldn’t stop themselves to teach students how to use knives. Yes, volunteers were supposed to be “oversight” how students grow over 3 days, however it was difficult for volunteers to stay away and just watch them.

It was really great to see each student’s face and reaction for what they made. Some of them looked relieved they could cook proper curry, other teams competed against each other for who made dinner first. My team dinner was pretty delicious, they put lots of effort to cook – a rice was a bit burned but they told me that they liked burned rice. Don’t worry, we can make it better next.

After cleaning up dinner, it was supposed to be “astronomical observation” led by Teacher. Iwama. Unfortunately, it got canceled due to unexpected hard rain. Teachers and mom & dad volunteers stayed at dinner area and confirmed next day logistics, role and responsibility during the orienteering. For students, even though they put tents in the day time, they couldn’t stay over and moved into lodges to stay away from raining. We heard, it is quite rare that students could sleep inside of lodges, maybe the 40th students were quite lucky this year. Some of the girls were giggling around about ghost talk, enjoying the night. In the meantime, mom & dad volunteers had another meeting with the teachers after a quick hot bath. A meeting started seriously, discussing post mortem matters from day 1, lessons learned, what we needs to focus on day.2. Last but not least, when we were reviewing a camp fire logistics, the teachers gave us a paper showing how to dance “Shake if off”. They said to us, “You can dance similar to TV commercial, Haiji. Let’s move into exercise room, so you can dance tomorrow!” Our 1st night ended quite sweaty and tired from dancing….

 Day 2 – A nice sun shine day, a great day for camping & orienteering. After students had a morning gathering, they cooked breakfast and lunch. They brought a rice ball lunch box for orienteering. All teams could make fire efficiently and quickly. They already learned from day 1 what’s the tips. My team was also quite happy, today we could get nice white shiny rice. All students now know how appreciate it is that we can eat whit shiny rice every day.

At orienteering – volunteers paired up and were either walking/ driving/ riding bike around to help guiding a correct route in case any team got lost or went to a wrong spot. Time to time, we encountered great stories. For One of the teams, one person started to get sick on the way, all other team members helped to carry the bags to make sure they could finish together. One for all, all for one. It is really great mindset. About the other team, the girls were getting tired so the boys asked the girls to stay & wait there till they could find a check point. They learned the importance of team building, got a strategy how to get through the difficult situation.

Right after all of the teams completed the orienteering, they got into dinner cooking, and camp fire. No break – of course – they are Meikei students.

 Camp Fire – I cannot describe all of them as every moment was just wonderful. Several students self-volunteered on performing their expertise at the camp fire. Meikei students are really great, not only at studying, but also at singing and dancing. It was great that Taylor Swift joined the event (Yamashita-sensei was a great dancer!). It was touching moment when fireworks made a word “dream”.

 Summary 

It might be difficult for students to understand how precious experience they are going through at Meikei student life when they are at school. Many great opportunities / several activities in nature, are providing forever lasting friendship and team building. I am sure they will appreciate how their student lives are full of learning opportunities and they will become stronger and grow up into the next level through each activity.

Thank you very much for this opportunity for me to join this camp as a volunteer. It was a great opportunity for me to learn and get to know many students, understand how teenagers are, how my son is doing at a school, among friends. As mom & dad volunteers has become tightly teamed up, (like a student) after going through this camp, we have achieved the same target together. Looking forward to participating another volunteer opportunities and working together as a team anytime soon.

At last, thank you very much for all of the teachers to make this activity successful and make really fruitful experience to the students.