Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Pictures from Branden's 5th grade camping trip

Here are both 5th grade classes combined together taking the group photo. Branden's male sensei is on the left and the female sensei is on the right hand side. Branden's sensei, made a CD of 200 pictures from the camping trip and then gave a CD of the 200 pics to each child to give to their parents. We were very happy receiving these pictures from Branden's camping trip. So, that's why I am sharing them here, so you also can take a peek and hopefully enjoy these pictures also. They went on the camping trip someplace in Ibaraki, they said it was about a 50 minute drive away from our town.
This is just the 5th grade #2 class, Branden's class. His sensei in the blue in the middle at the back. Here they were all normally smiling.
And here they were all doing goofy poses. Branden and his friend on the right of him. And the boy at the back in red doing and "oh my!!!" pose. Hands on the face. Even the sensei being silly.
At the start of their very long walking rally. Remember they arrived there morning-ish still. So they jumped right into the rally right away. With thermos from home in their backpacks.
Halfway point with their walk.
And done, time for lunch. The school provided. After all that walking they must have been hungry. : )
Time for fun! Making the name plates. First they were browning the wood in the fire. The "boy next door" in the black zip up jacket.
Cleaning the wood down. Branden in the right bottom corner. 
Time for decorating their name plates. Branden in the green in the back of this pic.
About to start the bonfire! Ohhh what fun!
Very pretty!
As you may or may not know when Branden started this elementary school, and we went to orientation and heard the schools philosophy and way they run things we were a little surprised. Our school definitely has a different way of thinking, teaching and doing things. Branden's teacher told Noboru during the last Father's Club meeting, I love that Branden has an opinion and he said how it's hard to get opinions from the others at times but he's working on it. They also believe kids can get a better understanding not just by opening a book but also from "experiences"...like gardening at school or planting rice (our school is big on learning through experiences, which is why they start cooking class as soon as they enter this school. Also for example, the 2nd graders went out catching zarigani last week for an hour for class. And the sensei's went with. They also do have a lot of studies but they do want these kids to be kids. So instead of standing rigidly around the campfire. These kids danced. And they danced and they danced. They got their boogie on! : )
Get down get down...get down get down! Here they are getting their dance on yet again! I said to Branden, the fire was much smaller, then the pic up above and it was pitch black, surely you all didn't dance THAT long, did you? "Yes we did", he said. And apparently the teachers got into it also. So it would be a fair statement to say....they danced all night long (well until dinner and bath time). : )
The facility made dinner but the kids served it to their fellow classmates. They had hamburg, rice potato or macaroni salad, miso soup and rice and veggie.
This is my favorite picture of Branden from this camping trip. His smile is so genuine. He is *so* happy you guys!
Is this right before bed or right in the morning? I think I see daylight outside through the window. They had so much fun these kids.
Yep, I think this is morning alright. Branden at the back on the futon in green sweatshirt. He slept next to Genki in yochien at the overnight stay and he slept next to Genki on the 5th grade overnight stay too!
Breakfast! Branden chatting with Yuki. And Genki on the other side of Branden. Didn't Genki get a bit older. How cute! I see him all the time so it's hard for me to tell. But yeah, they've grown up together. Branden looks like he's in mid conversation during this pic. But he does have lots of friends.
An after breakfast play on the playground. Yes they are still kids. : ) And I'm happy our school recognizes that.
Time for lunch, time to make it yourselves kids! @_@ Good luck! Gambatte! You can do it! They made a fire from wood. And are now boiling water for pasta. The teachers walked around to make sure everyone was safe though.
Genki adding some more wood pieces. Right on Genki-kun.
A pic of them eating their pizza and pasta they made.
Branden drinking...someone doing the peace sign and 2 eating. : )
Branden rolling out the dough. He told me, the rolling pin was teeny tiny, I could see what he meant after seeing this picture. : )
I am so proud of you kiddo.
The boy standing up, you may notice his face is covered. He was in a very bad car accident 4 days before they went on their trip. Branden said, when Kouta took off his face mask/cover for the bath time, it looked really badly hurt under there. Poor kid. I hope he heals 100%. He lives in the same housing community as us. I hope he gets better.  Everyone was worried if he'd be able to make the trip since we all knew he was hurt, but he wanted to come.
Tomato and garlic pasta. Very simple.
And everyone cleaned up afterwards (this pic is of K-kun). Branden says they had a blast. And after looking at the pictures, I can tell. : )

Did you have a class camping trip growing up? I remember mine back in the US. I was in the 6th grade. We stayed in cabins. I think me and my group slept in the "blue jay" cabin. We did have a very long walk.  We ate all our meals together. I did archery, first time. I did wood work, but with a bunch of nails and thread. I missed home terribly at first but I did also have a lot of fun. Each cabin had a college aged type girl making sure we were all okay. At night, every night she brought out some music. We danced and danced. I slept on the top bunk, I remember that clearly. Even today, whenever I hear certain songs I am instantly transported.....and think back about being in that cabin dancing and having the time of my life. And now I get to hear about my son having a similiar experience. It's like coming full circle sometimes you know.