Orientation Camp 2016

Ashinaga Orientation Camp 2016!

August 2016 — This year, Ashinaga USA held its first ever 2016 Orientation Camp in Washington, DC! Five new scholars gathered with current scholars and staff for a week full of activities that contributed to the growing sense of family within Ashinaga USA and allowed the new scholars to be fully prepared to head off to school. Almost all of our current scholars — Angelique (American University), Hilda (Smith College), and Joseph (Villanova University) — joined as leaders during the program and guided the 2015 cohort through their first few days in the US. Daniel (Pepperdine University), who was unable to attend the East Coast event, sent along his advice to the freshmen in the form of an inspiring video message.


Ashinaga USA held its first ever 2016 Orientation Camp in Washington, DC!

Orientation Camp helped build cohesion in the quickly-forming Ashinaga USA family. This family, consisting of nine nationalities from three continents — Kenya, Japan, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, USA, and Zimbabwe — was strengthened by spending both structured and unstructured time together, communicating expectations, and sharing cultural practices. Each evening of Orientation Camp was capped off with a home cooked cultural feast prepared by staff and scholars, beginning with Japanese dinner night on opening day, followed by American dinner night, and ending with a night of scholars preparing all kinds of foods from their home-countries.


Orientation Camp also provided an opportunity to mentally, logistically, and academically prepare the five new scholars for college life. The older scholars reflected on what they wish they had known when they began college, and shared their experiences with the new scholars. Staff members held sessions on mindfulness and campus resources. There was also a visit to American University, where the scholars participated in an information session with a librarian learning how to navigate library resources, helpful tools for citing sources, and research best practices. Angelique Uwabera, our 2014 scholar, concluded the visit with a tour of her beautiful campus, where she will be a sophomore this year.


In the end, Orientation Camp allowed us to solidify a sense of Ashinaga USA family among staff and scholars.