ECOPLUS conducted snow camp from March 20 to 22 in a mountainous village, Shimizu in Niigata, Japan with 12 participants including high school, university students and young adults. TAKANO Takako, executive director of ECOPLUS, Shimizu villagers and 2 other staff supported the program.
Due to extraordinary warm weather condition of this winter, snow was far less than normal. We only had 50cm to 1 meter of snow at the filed where it should have more than 2 meters. However, wet snow and strong wind suddenly came when the participants began to set up the tents, toilets, the fireplace and other facilities.
Finally they set up the living space. Creative boys’ and ladies’ toilets were built in snow decorated with leaves and trees. Cooking was also done on the snow. They cut vegetables on the snow table and made fire on the snow.
On day 2, we enjoyed snow shoe hike under the blue sky. Using traditional Japanese snow shoes, called “Kan-Jiki,” we started walking. On the surface of snow, many animal footprints were spotted. The villager, ABE Kazuyoshi, taught us they were raccoon’s or marten’s. We also found marks of hares, squirrels and others.
During three days, we spent time on the snow; cooking, eating, talking, playing, sleeping, and so on. Villagers offered us a big pod of wild bore stew and wild deer curry and rice. They talked about life and nature now and then. We concentrated our senses on listening, watching, communicating, without being annoyed by modern devices. By simply using time just for living, participants had rich and dense learning experiences.
ECOPLUS will conduct a snow camp in a mountainous village, Shimizu, in Niigata from March 20 to 22, 2020. The area is know as the deepest snow area in Japan which has 4 meters of snow in mid-winter. Even in March, we expect more than 1 meter of snow. Participants will enjoy snow and learn the ways of living in snow. English language support available.
TAKANO Takako, the executive director of ECOPLUS, who travelled over frozen Arctic Ocean and other remote areas in the world will organize the project. With the strong support from the local people, participants will learn the knowledges and skills of the mountainous village and will enjoy the beauty and power of the snow.
Participants: Youth over 15 years old, like his school and college students. Junior high students may be joined based on the situation.
Program : Camping on snow, Hiking with Japanese snow shoes, dynamic snow sliding, Cooking, Snow toilet, Making snow statues, Sledging, and any other creative activities on snow.
Assembling; 10:50 am, March 20, at Shiozawa Station, of Jyoestu Line. Toki 309, departing Tokyo at 8:52 has easier connection at Echigo-Yuzawa station.
Break up: 15:30, March 22, at Shiozawa Station, of Jyoestu Line. (tentative)
Fees: 23,000 JPY including food and tent accommodations, programs, insurance. Travel cost and rental gears are excluded.
TAKANO Takako Received Dragonfly Award at PBE Conference in Flint, MI
エコプラスの高野孝子代表理事は、2019年11月8日に米国ミシガン州で開かれたPlace Based Education Conferenceで、長年にわたっての場の教育への取り組みに対して「ドラゴンフライアワード」を受賞しました。1990年代から、アラスカやミクロネシア、日本の農山村などを舞台に、その地で積み重ねられた自然と共生する知恵と技を基礎とした学びを構築してきたことが評価されました。
TAKANO Takako, executive director of ECOPLUS, received “Dragonfly Award” at Place Based Education Conference in Flint, Michigan in the US on November 8, 2019 for her two decades long efforts for the PBE. The organizer of the conference, Mary Whitman of Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, said that TAKANO was chosen because of her efforts on PBE through adventurous expeditions and other activities in many places in the world for long years.
The conference was organized by Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, GLSI, and was the seventh meeting with teachers, researchers, academics, administrators and students from 22 states including Hawaii and representatives from Japan, Canada, and Germany. The 335 registered attendees exchanged active conversations throughout the two days of 8 and 9 November.
Nearly 90 sessions throughout the conference reported a variety of examples of PBE in formal and informal education. In Michigan, PBE is now embedded in teacher education and more than 20% students are taking PBE courses, one of the professors said.
In the session, titled “What is a priority?”, TAKANO reported her research on programs in Japanese rural villages and on a Micronesian island. Many program participants from cities acquired foundational learning linked to values through direct contact with the nature, culture and people of the place.