The 1993 International Junior Art Camp, the 7th camp since its inception in 1987, was held in Sapporo and at the Aloha Resort Tomamu in Shimakappu from August 7th through the 13th. This year 56 junior participants and 13 adult escorts from 7 countries; Canada, China, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States, attended the camp.
The seven-day program was designed to provide an opportunity for junior participants to experience Japanese culture. The program started with Japanese lessons and went on to contain many different activities. Additionally, the junior participants experienced a home stay with a Sapporo family and a camping trip to Tomamu, a main event of the International Junior Art Camp.
The staff was well prepared, so the unseasonably cool summer weather, and even a forecasted typhoon during the Tomamu camp, did not present major problems. It is debatable if the participants were even aware of the projected weather as they ran around the campsite and fully enjoyed the beautiful natural surroundings. Overcoming differences in cultures, languages, and customs, junior participants met new friends from different countries, and deepened their friendships during the stay in Tomamu.
|Trip to Mt. Moiwa Japanese lesson Bon festival dance lesson Opening ceremony Summer festival parade||Aug. 7 (Sat.)||Hokkaido Youth Center Downtown Sapporo||Overseas juniors|
|City tour Japanese cultural classes||Aug. 8 (Sun.)||Downtown Sapporo Hokkaido Youth Center||Overseas juniors Sapporo students Volunteers|
|Art school Visit to a factory||Aug. 9 (Mon.)||Sapporo Art Park Coca-Cola Bottlers||Overseas juniors Sapporo students|
|Meeting with host families Reception party||Aug. 9 (Mon.)||The Hokkaido Shimbun press Hotel Alpha Sapporo||Overseas juniors Host families Escorts People involved with int'l exchanges|
|Homestay||Aug. 9 (Mon.) ~ 10 (Tue.)||Host home in and around Sapporo (Greater Sapporo Homestay Association)||People involved with int'l exchanges|
|Camp in Tomamu||Aug. 11 (Wed.) ~ 13 (Fri.)||Alpha Resort Tomamu in Shimukappu Village||Overseas and Hokkaido juniors|
As a steady drizzle fell outside, a stage performance was held in the Resort Center in which junior participants from each country presented well-known songs and dances from their homeland. Participants from New Zealand presented songs and dances of the Maori; juniors from the United States sang songs in a western film style; Korean participants performed songs and dances in their traditional national costumes; Chinese juniors sang songs; Canadian participants presented cowboy dances; Thai participants danced in beautiful national costumes while holding candles; and those from Singapore presented rhythmical songs and dances. The Resort Center was filled with applause and cheers throughout the Stage Perfomance.
I drove with my family to Calgary and then flew for 8 or 9 hours and landed in Tokyo. We drove to a historic city and by that point I could hardly stay awake. I had been up for over 24 hours. When we finally arrived at our hotel it was dark and I was glad to finally get some sleep. The room was very small and the window looked out into a crowded little alley. The next morning was so cool. I got up and looked around the area. Things look so different the next morning. I took some pictures and then we went touring the city. They have some weird insects there, like a really big green caterpillar. I noticed a few of these on my trip. We toured a place called Kyoto and Osaka. Then two days later we took a bus back to Tokyo and flew up to Sapporo (on the island of Hokkaido) There we meet the other participants and our translator. We stayed for a day and a night in Sapporo doing Japanese arts and crafts and stuff like origami. Then we went for a homestay (basically just to see what Japanese life is like). After two days we met together and took a train and a bus to Tommomu Resort where we camped out and made giant totem poles. (Not real ones but ones made out of huge cardboard tubes, I think the tubes were used to hold carpet at one point.) And that is about the whole trip (summed up a whole lot though).
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Once again the grand natural summer surroundings of Tomamu were blessed by the arrival of 300 teenage artists. This has become one of Hokkaido's popular summer events, and during this seventh annual camp the participants once again enjoyed and participated in the creation of art. This camp provides a wonderful opportunity for kids from all over the world to come together and experience the world of art. Therefore, the theme of the camp, which changes yearly, has to be a topic which attracts and fascinates the participants.
This years's theme was the creation of totem poles, a symbolic statue mad by American Indians to protect themselves from evils. All juniors participated in a team to produce a totem pole. They designed, roghed out, and then colored a pole of approximately 4 meters. Each totem pole represented the team's unique characteristics. It was a wonderful experience to see the 22 tall totem poles standing together in the open spaces and blending in with the background of green mountains. I am sure that if evil spirits were watchhing they would not dare venture near.
I hope the participants will always remember this wonderful summer experience. This year's Junior Art Camp was yet another successful and enriching experience for all of us.
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