Day 2 of camp. What a day. Very physical and very HOT! HOT! HOT! Up at 6.30 and ready for the morning assembly. The Japanese love ceremony so we listened to the National Anthem while the flags were raised. Kaitlen was selected to do the honours for our group. Then the whole group performed morning exercises and various children addressed the group. After breakfast we all gathered at the assembly area and had a go at the smashing watermelon game. We went out on the lake, pulling rafts across and back and then went rowing in a cutter. Hard work and blister making. The best part was splashing a in the river at the end. Kiah caught a frog and Jack and Daniel saw heaps of fish. No rest for the wicked, so as soon as dinner was over we met once again at the assembly area and took part in all sorts of group activities ranging from caterpillar races to Paper Scissors rock. We even had a go at Hokey Pokey. One of the staff brought out his mandolin and we sang along to a couple of songs. Mathias, who is a JAPEC staff member from Argentina, stole the show with La Bamba. As soon as it bagen to get dark, selected studetns were chosen as torch bearers and they solemnly filed along to the bonfire and lit it. More games followed until the fire had died down enough to toast marshmallows. Incredibly, no one got burnt by fire or marshies! Time to head off for bed after a wsh. The Tasmanian kids felt a lttle out of their depth with the notion of traditional Japanese communal bathing, but felt comfortable wearing their bathers.
Day 3 . Last day of camp. Up with the lark, packing and cleaning up done, we headed off to the morning assembly which was a repeaat of day 2. A lovely breakfast again was followed by meeting in the auditorium for the Japanese cultural presentations. Our kids who thought they had got out of it due to runnung out of time on the first day, were gobsmacked to realise they were expected to kick things off with theirs. They all did a great job, though and the Japanese loved it. We were treated to 4 Rakugo plays, which are a bit like theatre sports. The only props allowed are a fan and a cloth. The students act a story with several parts and the punchline is always funny. I loved it. We had demonstrations of finger play, origami, judo and calligraphy, before being invited to try them for ourselves. Next was a photo frenzy with everyone snapping away at each other. Lots of Aussie transfers were applied, too.
Just before heading off on the buses, we watched a DVD that JAPEC had made of the camp. Everything we had done on the camp from setting out had been filmed and the film crew had stayed up half the night editing it. It was great to see all the kids participating in the various activities offered throughout the camp. We will each be sent a DVD when the final edit is complete, so families can get a good idea of the JAPEC Cultural Exchange Camp.