Summer camp with the best!

By on May 30, 2009

Sports camp of America (SCOA) is holding its fifth annual American summer sports camp. The camp gives campers a real American summer camp experience in Japan. SCOA is the only camp in Japan that brings over American college student-athletes and cheerleaders to be camp counselors. 


We asked co-founder, Keiko Best, what’s going on at SCOA.


How was last summer’s camp?

Last summer, we tried some new things that really worked out well.   We reached out to the international community in Japan.  We were very pleased that fifteen students from international schools participated.


Why do you want international students to participate?

It’s important for us to make our camp truly international. We want bilingual kids to realize how great it is to become a bridge between different cultures. For international kids who are here only for a few years, we give them a chance to get to know Japanese and experience the joy of teaching one another about their own language and culture. 


What other new things did you introduce last summer?

We emphasized team building. It is a very effective way to bond in a cross-cultural camp.  Each team, led by a counselor, made up its own team chant and banner and the teams competed against each other for points in such activities as potato sack races, water balloon toss and a treasure hunt. Each team also performed a funny skit on the last night. The campers had a chance to really get close to their counselors and the friendly competition was fun.


We also gave the campers more sports options.  They can still choose cheerleading and football, but now they can also choose to play soccer, ultimate Frisbee or other sports. 


What’s new this year?

This year, we are offering a three-night session in Shizuoka. Campers can also spend up to six nights with us by participating in three sessions in a row. We’re also going to have a program specifically for junior high campers.  


Any message to international parents who are considering a summer camp in Japan?

As a parent, I would definitely encourage my son to be exposed to different cultures. SCOA gives this rare opportunity where your child gets to experience that in a familiar environment. They will learn a lot from teaching about their own culture and language and will probably be surprised to know how much they actually have in common with Japanese kids.


For more info about the American Summer Sports Camp in Japan, e-mail or call J.R. at (03) 3914-5221.


Summer camp! The words alone create an image of sunny days of boundless adventure and the freedom of youth at play. The concept is nothing new: kids get a great camp experience making new friends and doing loads of cool activities and parents get a week or so of quiet downtime. A win-win situation!


Evergreen’s summer camps operate with the central focus on creating a unique camp experience that combines plenty of outdoor recreation, learning new skills and exploring children’s creative side while maintaining a high standard of safety. Located in Japan’s Northern Alps in Hakuba Village, Nagano, it has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery and a plethora of beautiful lakes, rivers and trails to explore. 


The true “camping” feel to the program is definitely a fantastic component to the camp as campers will be staying in lakeside cabins and one night upon a local mountain in tents, helping with camp cuisine and eating, playing and learning in the great outdoors.  Their staff of genki camp counselors make each energy-filled day exciting with activities ranging from swimming, hiking, raft making, rock climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, arts & crafts, evening camp fires, fire fly watching by canoe and much more. Campers by the end of the week will have seen many of Hakuba’s best areas, learned a heap of new skills and will come home beaming about all the cool stuff they did!


Evergreen Summer Camps are held over five day periods during July and August and campers can be accompanied by our staff to and from Hakuba by train from Tokyo. 


For dates and camp registration, please check out their website at: or feel free to give them a call at: 0261-72-5150


Hakuba is in the north of Japan and is an easy weekend outdoor escape for families  looking for some place near yet  away from the noise of the city. Just a 1 hour and 40 minute-bullet train ride from Tokyo,  Hakuba in winter is famous for its powder snow.  But what is there to do in summer? You will be amazed to know a number of fun activities for one and all such as long hikes to the valley, mountainbiking, canyoning, paragliding, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing and a lot more.  If  accommodation is your concern, experience staying in Morino Lodge, one of the area’s family-friendly lodges. Choose from 3 types of rooms: the Wadano, Morino chalets and Japanese style Sekkasai Lodge. u  

Tel: (81) 90 9380 8817 / (81) 80 3127 1878


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