Despite a few scrapes, scratches, bruises, and rumors of bears "collapsing the girls' tent", Evergreen's (where I have been working) first kids' camp of the summer was a great success. Forty-seven fourth graders from Tokyo International School spent three days camped on along the shores of Lake Aokiko here in Hakuba. Days were filled with mountain biking, canoeing, rock climbing, and even swimming in Aokiko's chilly spring waters. Nights introduced kids to the joys of scary camp-fire stories (for some reason the kids' stories always ended with "and she got stabbed and died. The end."), star gazing, and moon-lit nature walks.
For many of the kids it was the first time to camp in a tent. For me, the greatest sense of satisfaction (with a pinch of sadness) came when a young boy told me how much he loved capture the flag.
"It was great because we got to run around in the forest and there were hills so it made it kinda hard to get the flag 'cause you had to run up. I have played capture the flag a few times before, but only on Play Station...."