Students in grades 5 - 8 had a memorable and fun three day excursion to Uenomura, Gunma in September. Our tried-and-true location allowed the older students who had visited before guide the first timers in expectations. On Wednesday the ISS bus delivered us to Mahoba no Mori where we unpacked our provisions and settled into our cabins. Before our barbecue we had time at the Forest Experience Center for a leatherwork craft and a wood craft, featuring goodies from the woods of the area. Some of us played outdoors in the beautiful mountain air there, crossing an old and rickety suspension bridge near the craft center.
Our barbecues and cookouts had something for everyone, as the staff at the cabin facility carefully took into consideration those of us who follow Islam. On Thursday Mr. Mondino served pancakes before we set out for Kozu Dairy Farm, where we milked a cow, visited the pigs, fed goats and petted rabbits. Our guide led us to a mountain trail on which we spent about 80 minutes climbing rocks to a spectacular view of Gunma, about 100 kilometers from Tokyo.
On Friday we arranged for a treetop obstacle course and discovered what is so fun about swinging from trees, all suspended by a harness in the forest canopy. It was a very successful trip based on exercise, fresh air, cooperation and new experiences.