English camp

From Akita Wiki

English Camps are camps, many of them multi-day, held at venues across Akita Prefecture during the school year as a chance for students to interact with many different ALTs and use living English in a communicative environment.

English Camps are organized and run by the High School Education Division (English Education Promotion Section) of the Akita Prefectural Board of Education.

Outline and levels

Around 15 to 18 camps are held each year. Attendance at camps is open to all students within the prefecture of the appropriate level. Each camp aims to host from 40 to 60 students, depending on level. The number of staff also ranges depending on the size of the camp, from around 5 to 10 ALTs per camp. Students and staff are expected to stay overnight and eat meals together at the camp location.

Generally camps have varying lengths. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, all levels of English Camps have been condensed into two-day schedules, with the first day (Saturday) being held online, and the second day (Sunday) being held in-person (except Wanpaku, which was only one day to begin with).

English Camps are split into the following levels.


  • Level: 3rd-year to 4th-year elementary school
  • Length: 1 day (Saturday)
  • Student attendance: around 30
  • Number held per year: 3

Usually rendered as わんぱく.

Pre-teen English Camp

  • Level: 5th-year elementary school to 1st-year junior high school
  • Length: 2 days (Saturday noon - Sunday afternoon)
  • Student attendance: around 50
  • Number held per year: 4 to 7

Teen English Camp

  • Level: 2nd-year junior high school to 3rd-year high school
  • Length: 3 days (Friday afternoon - Sunday afternoon)
  • Student attendance: around 45
  • Number held per year: 3 to 5

Super English Camp

  • Level: 3rd-year junior high school to 3rd-year high school (with Eiken level pre-2 equivalent English proficiency)
  • Length: 3 or 4 days (various days)
  • Student attendance: around 40
  • Number held per year: 3

Eiken (英検) level pre-2 (準2級) equivalent or higher English proficiency is required to attend this camp (though actual certification is not required).

Liberal Arts Seminar

  • Level: 1st-year to 3rd-year high school
  • Length: 3 days (Friday afternoon - Sunday afternoon)
  • Student attendance: around 40 to 50
  • Number held per year: 1

Liberal Arts Seminar is a rebranding of the Global Summer School program, which was discontinued in 2014.

Fun Writing

  • Level: 5th-year elementary school to 3rd-year high school
  • Student participation: around 200
  • First period: September through October
  • Second period: January through March

Fun Writing is a program within the English Camp system where participating students and ALTs exchange written letters. The content of the letters is based on students' levels. The impetus to create this program was the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused widespread cancellations of English Camps from 2019 through 2021; Fun Writing was created as a way to fill this void. It continues to this day.

Lesson plans

Full lesson plans will be sent your schools and then passed on to you. The camp will involve full group activities and small group activities. There is little if any preparation required from ALTs. The plans have been made in advance. However, it can be expected that some plans will have to be adjusted before and during the camp in response to varying group sizes and age variations.

Each activity will be lead by one more of the attending ALTs; ALTs need to be familiar with the activities they are leading during the camp with materials provided by the camp. Otherwise, ALTs typically need to create one 20-minute cultural activity for the Various Cultures presentation. This presentation is often repeated three or four times in succession.

Potential Various Culture activities are:

  • Sports
    How to play: football, cricket, fencing
  • Music
    Quiz/Sing: nursery songs, famous songs, bagpipe, didgeridoo
  • Arts & Crafts
    Art and its meaning: national flag, cave art, dot art
  • Dance
    How to: salsa, ballroom, four square, thriller
  • Literature
    Quiz: well-known stories, American symbolism
  • Events/Holiday
    Quiz: Day of the Dead, Christmas, Thanksgiving
  • Fashion
    How do we: dress (outfit quiz), traditional clothes
  • Everyday life
    Quiz: at home, at school
  • Travel
    Game: become the travel guide and guide the students, vice versa

Dress code

Staff members are expected to wear the attire that they usually wear to work (typically cool-biz, as camps are predominantly held during the warmer months). After dinner on the first day, staff may change into more casual clothing. On three-day camps, casual clothing is typically allowed for all of the second day as well.

To bring

If you are selected to attend an English Camp, you will typically need to bring at least the following:

  • Indoor shoes
  • Hanko
  • Money
  • English Camp fee (which is later reimbursed)
  • Extra change for vending machines, if desired
  • Changes of clothes
  • One set of work attire for each of the first and last days
  • One set of casual attire for each of the first day (after dinner) and any other days that are not the last day
  • Pajamas
  • Toiletries
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Bath soap and shampoo
  • Razor and shaving gel, etc.
  • Bath towel
  • Writing utensils
  • Stickers, stamps, etc. for decorating postcards (optional)
  • Materials necessary for your Various Culture activity
  • Anything else you require for a multi-night stay (medicines, contact lenses, etc.)

Questions/Information (English Camp CIR)

If you have questions or want more information, then please contact Majesty Zander. Her email address can be found on the Prefectural Advisors page. You can also check out the English Camp website here

Historical English Camp CIRs

Year English Camp CIR
2013-2014 Naomi Vogt United States of America
2016-2017 Kristina Tan United States of America
2019-2020 Allyson Roberts United States of America
2021-2022 Majesty Zander United States of America


English Camps are held (or have been held in the past) at the following venues.

Municipality Venue
North Block
Happō Akita Shirakami Taiken Center
Ōdate Ōdate Chūō Community Center
Ōdate Shōnen Shizen no Ie
Capital Block
Akita City Hokubu Shimin Center (KITASKA)
Youthpal Youth Community Center
Yufōre Prefectural Health Center
Katagami Prefectural Education Center
South Block
Daisen Yaotome Community Center
Yokote Horowasan Shōnen Shizen no Ie
Yuri Block
Yurihonjō Iwaki Shōnen Shizen no Ie


Pre-Teen Teen Super Liberal Arts わんぱく Global Summer school
2013 - 798 - - -
2014 - 654 85 - - 42
2015 - - -
2016 340 234 129
2017 367 229 94 50
2019 224 147 103 42 108
2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19
2021 cancelled


See also