Would you like to take a workday and go for a walk? Maybe head down to the ocean and cook up some lunch? In Japan, students (at least in Jr High and Elementary) go on a spring and fall ensoku (outing). Here that means that the entire Jr. High gets together and takes a walk to one of the local ports. There among the rocks they cook their own lunches in groups over flames. I’ve seen everything from yakisoba to pizza. It’s a good chance for them to work on planning. If they forget something, then they go hungry. Having no plates is a good way to remember for the next time. It’s also a good way to practice cooking for when you don’t have access to all the basic amenities (ie if a tsunami comes along and wipes out gas, water and electricity).
After lunch, the different groups get together for recreation time. This usually includes various games planned and supervised by the students for the students. It’s another great way to build team working skills as well as leadership. Not to mention the whole exercise gets the students out of school for a day to experience and communicate with their teachers and friends in a wholly different atmosphere. I look forward to this year’s Spring Ensoku in just a couple days.
Have questions about Japan or the Ensoku in particular? Comment below.