AcademyCamp

    Academy Camp – Overview in English

    More resources in English can be found at our Facebook page in English.

    Children playing with Kinect

    Children playing with Kinect in 2012 summer camp (term 3)

    We would like to provide children living in areas affected by the nuclear disaster with the best environments and opportunities to play and learn

    The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 and accompanying disaster of TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant have drastically changed the lives of those who live in Fukushima and its vicinity. Children, in particular, are now spending everyday hesitating to play outside to avoid exposures to radiation because their bodies are more susceptible to the hazards than those of adults. Such children are living under both physical and mental stresses around the earthquakes, tsunami and the nuclear disaster.

    Because we would like to give those children of Fukushima the best environments and opportunities for playing and learning, we provide Academy Camp as a school of fun, through which we would also like to bring a small happiness to the families of the children.

    Drawing the most memorable event

    Drawing the most memorable event in 2012 summer camp (term 3)

    Who we are

    We, Academy Camp as a non-profit organization, is a collection of university faculty members, camp instructors and members of a non-profit to support children in the areas affected by the 3.11 catastrophe. We have held camps to play and learn together with children of Fukushima since summer 2011. With our initial motto “to give smiles to children of Fukushima and their families”, we have so far provided over 300 elementary and junior high school students with joyful 3 to 6 days with us in camp sites in Kanto region (where Tokyo is) during their summer / winter vacations or 3-day weekends. Now we are expanding our activities to include monthly 1 or 2-day indoor camps in Fukushima.

    staff gathered

    Staff gathered on day 1 of 2012 summer camp (term 1)

    Full of programs for learning, provided by university professors and other professionals

    In the past two years, we have provided children of Fukushima with experiences through numerous types of programs in the camps we have held in August 2011 (3 terms), January 2012 (1 term), August 2012 (3 terms) and February 2013 (1 term). These camps were made possible by the help from many university professors and lecturers, graduate students, researchers, artists, athletes and entrepreneurs, who have empathized with our motto.

    The variety of themes in our programs so far includes astronomy, planetology, zero gravity science, climate, energy, radiation, environment, biology, nano technology, computers, media literacy, blogging, robots, crafts, history, locomotives, photography, emergency medicare, education on foods, kite chain, mini motorcycles, taekwondo, futsal, rhythmic sportive gymnastics, street dance, clay animation, live paintings, body paintings, noh comedy, improvisational play and improvisational music with ethnic instruments.

    Playing with a smart phone

    Playing with a smart phone in 2012 summer camp (term 3)

    Of course, we do not just provide children with learning opportunities. We also provide them with the joys of outdoor camps, including nature experiences, outdoor cooking, campfires and their indoor alternatives in case of rain.

    Playing tag

    Playing tag in 2012 summer camp (term 3)

    Building friendships, with peers and with youths

    We regard building friendships is one of the most important aspects of our camps, and we provide them with team building games in many occasions and deliberations with dialogues on specific themes, in the hope that those who become friends in our camps will help one another in the difficulties they will experience in the future world.

    Friendships are also developed between children and volunteer university / college students. What we hear a lot from children after the camps are, in addition to the memories of the individual programs, the kindness of the volunteer students and how fun it was to talk with them. So far, more than 90 university and college students in total have participated in our camps, as dependable brothers and sisters for children, or as nursing and management staff.

    While the intentions of the students must have been to give, those students have also been given, having learned leaderships by accepting responsibilities over children, and extended their abilities through the camps. That is also the case for the adult participants as staff members or lecturers. Academy Camp provides any involved persons with opportunities to grow.

    Team-building game

    Team-building game in 2012 summer camp (term 1)

    This is like a lab, to experiment on future of learning, destined to continue for many, many years

    The half life of cesium 137, the dominant radionuclide released from the nuclear power plant by the disaster, is about 30 years. Efforts for decontamination have been continued, but the true conclusion of the accident will have to wait many tens of years until the radiation level gets back to normal. We think we have to continue Academy Camp until such a day will finally come, to keep providing programs for several generations.

    Because of the expected duration, Academy Camp will continue to challenge new things, so that children who repeat to participate can always enjoy. The camps are like a lab, in a sense that we continue to experiment for the future of learning.

    Experimenting with bubbles

    Experimenting with bubbles in 2012 summer camp (term 1)

    So please join us

    What we dream is that someday, some of the children we hosted will consider coming back to our camps as staff members. It will be a joy out of this regrettable disaster. We would love to share such a joy with you.

    So please join us. We look forward to working with you in our camps.

    How to be part:

    1. Donation
      Please join our challenge at GlobalGiving and/or spread the word of it.
      Our project page at GlobalGiving

    2. Becoming a staff member or a lecturer
      Wherever you live, there are chances of your participations in our camps in many different ways. Please contact us by e-mail.
    Four-leaf clover

    Four-leaf clover found in 2012 summer camp (term 1)

    Organization information

    Name Academy Camp
    Type General incorporated association (of non-profit type)
    Date of foundation December 7, 2012 (registered date)
    Representative director Kenji Saito
    Address 4-14-22 Ishikawa, Fujisawa 252-0815 Japan
    Web site http://academy-camp.org
    Contact info@academy-camp.org
    Board of directors Daisuke Ogata, Masaki Minami, Shinichiro Kurosawa, Akira Nagao and Kenji Saito
    Comptroller Takeo Ninomiya
    Core partners
    • YMCA Kawasaki
    • Internet and Society Lab, SFC Research Institute, Keio University
    • Project YUI Consortium

    Financial Statements

    Overview in Japanese is here.