Well, J left this morning for camp. A short school thing for all the fifth graders.
The kids have been preparing for a month or so. They divided themselves into groups (cleaning team, cooking team etc.) J was elected as one of the chiefs so that is cool. They even made a booklet with all the information they'd need. It is quite adorable. Someone drew a schematic of the bus and they all decided where they would sit on the drive there beforehand! So Japanese. They even have the offical ghost story teller!
To encourage thinking the teacher gave each team three yellow cards. They are only allowed to ask him three questions. Each time they ask they have to hand over a card. When the cards are gone they can't ask anymore. I said, "Wow...so, like, if someone gets bitten by a snake and goes up to the teacher and asks...'do you think this leg will have to come off?' He then has to give up one of his cards?" J said no, it was for questions that they should already know, where's the bathroom, when is dinner, who goes first into the baths... stuff like that. Thank goodness!
Last night we were talking before bed and he said that they are going to have a gigantic campfire/bonfire. He showed me the schematic for that and how they had already planned out where each group would stand around it. Then he showed me the songs they were going to sing. "They are all songs to call the Fire god", he told me. I said, "Huh? You guys are gonna conjure a Fire god!" He goes, "Yea, and if it doesn't appear after awhile we have to keep singing until it does." I said, "Ooo how pagan!" His reply was a dry, "Well, it will probably be one of our teachers or the staff dressed up."
Here are a couple of pictures of what came up when I googled Fire god in Japanese. It seems to be a pretty common think. Oh, 'dem Shinto roots!
Tomorrow they send them out into the woods with a map and a canteen full of tea. The hike is supposed to take 8 hours for an adult! These kids are going to sleep good tomorrow night.
And then Thursday is when they let them loose in caves.
I can't wait for the stories and the pictures!
Oh, yes. Before I forget each team has its own name. J's team is called the Black Fires (Ha ha!) Team.
I remember a lot of knot tying in Girlscouts. A little widdling and my first encounter with outdoor drop toilets. It was all very traumatic.