Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back from camp

I thought my blogging friends would like to see a view of Mt Fuji. From the forested camp grounds it is not too easy to get a view.

The winter is the very best time for viewing Mt Fuji, when the days are clear. At that time it can even be seen from Tokyo.

In Summer, the air is so humid and low clouds sit in the foothills. To get a view, the best time is at sunrise and the view of a "Red Fuji", reflecting the morning sun is quite famous. BUT, You had better find a high place above the surrounding forest and be there just as the sun begins to rise. As you can see, the moon has not yet set and the clouds are beginning to creep up from the valley floor.

So, for my blogging friends, Nikko and I set off in the early morning to catch you all a view. We reached the high spot just as the sun was rising but the clouds were too and the view did not last very long.

When we returned to our campsite, the sun was working its way through the mist of morning and the air was beginning to heat up.

Camp was fun with Scouts from BSA, Taiwan, and Nagoya. There were young Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Venture Scouts.

I was asked to do a craft. The Camp's symbol is an Owl so I had the Scouts make owl neckerchief slides out of wood picked up in the surrounding forest.

I had a number of samples but the kids were quite quick to jump in and do their own thing. Some of the kids even returned another day to try making more, bringing twigs from the camping area.

I cut the larger slices of wood but let the kids cut their own eye pieces and bamboo for the back ring.

They sanded and glued and varnished and came up with not only owls but a few other animals as well.

Even leaders caught the creative bug and were making their own. I was especially happy to see that because it meant they were not interfering with what the kids were doing.

Many were surprised that a craft could be done without great expense by using what is available in nature and that the kids could use sharp saws and knives following my safety instructions. (in my rather crude Japanese, I might add.)

Now it is just over five months since the earthquake and tsunami. It is the season of Obon, when it is the Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of ancestors. It is travel time back to one's home town and the roads resembled parking lots. Because of the early rise for picture taking, I was able to get my gear stowed and be on the road to beat the rush. I found Tokyo just as hot and humid as when I left but Papa was glad to have Nikko back and my toe was glad to leave the shoes in the entry-way.

The banner will get a sash for hanging and I can get on to other things once Vacation Bible School is over. Yea!


  1. Thanks for taking the effort to get a photo of Fuji-san! especially as you had to get up early! I love the little owls! What a great idea and what great results! I bet you were pleased as punch with what the kids came up with! Really really cute!

  2. They are great photos. Once again you surprise with your ingenuity and creativity. I bet those kids will never forget.

  3. What absolutely beautiful pictures. I love the mist - here on my lake when the air is the right temperature and they're generating up at the dam the cold water from the bottom of the upper lake comes through the dam and all the way down at my house, several miles away, the mist rises. Ethereal is the only word I can think of to describe it. And what fun to make the owls - I know the kids enjoyed it but how wonderful that the adults did too. blessings, marlene

  4. Thank you Julie for a lovely photo.

  5. Thanks for blessing us with the Red Fuji photos.

  6. The pictures of Mount Fuji are most beautiful, thanks!
    You and the kids made very nice owls.

  7. Beautiful photos of Mt. Fuji and the misty forest!
    Great idea for the owls. They all look so cute!

  8. The pictures of Mt. Fuji are wonderful. Japan always seems like a beautiful country. The kids look so focused and industrious making their crafts :)

  9. What a wonderful place to camp, beautiful view of Mt. Fuji.


  10. Beautiful! I was in the upper part of Michigan last week, after another Venturing leader had a death in the family. 36 hours notice before leaving. Whew!

  11. Thank you for those beautiful pictures of Mount Fuji. It looks majestic in the mist.

  12. What a beautiful pictures , and these kids never forget this camp again. Greath!!!

  13. love the picture of Mt Fuji and really loved the picture of the scouts working on their owls
    what creative owls all the counselors made!!!!