RUTH HARIMOTO: I spent the first 10 years of my life in the USA, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Then, the event that changed the course of my life: My dad was sent to Japan as a missionary! For the next 8 years I lived in Japan and attended international schools. My love for Japan grew, and with great sadness I left at the age of 18. But, thanks to my Japanese husband, I ended up moving back to Japan as an adult. I am a nurse! In Japan I have been blessed to find rewarding work as a school nurse for more than 20 years. I discovered the southern Izu peninsula years ago, and particularly fell in love with the quaint town of Yumigahama. The ocean, the rocks, the sea glass, the warm water, the lush vegetation, the friendly people… I think it is my favorite place on earth. Adventure Beach Camp in Izu is a dream-come-true for me.
ANITA GESLING: The first five years of my life were spent on an Australian farm - “don’t go down near the chicken coop without an adult - there might be snakes” my parents would remind me. Dogs and cats were not pets, they were for rounding up sheep and keeping the mice out of the shearing shed respectively - I spent a lot of time outdoors roaming the paddock around our house. When we moved into town I would spend my youth back in the countryside riding horses, or out on the lake sailing. Family holidays meant exploring ocean rock pools. My first year in Japan was when I was 17 - oh how I missed the blue sky, wide open spaces and greenery! I’ve now lived more than half my life in Tokyo and I still miss the space - but Izu offers a taste of that. I am a middle school Japanese language teacher with a passion for sharing the great things about this country. I’ve been involved in camps for Japanese and other students from around South East Asia and with my husband (also from Canberra) we have raised three bilingual children now aged 20, 18 & 15.
AMBER DOHRENWEND: I love to garden, sew, build, take pictures, do science experiments with my children, and make things out of cardboard. Previously an elementary classroom teacher, I have been working in project-based, maker-style education for the last 5 years, developing programming both in the U.S. and Japan. Tokyo has been an amazing home to my family for nearly 10 years now. Growing up in the Mid-West of the U.S., I never had the opportunity to visit the ocean, and Izu's beaches, with all of their colorful seaweed, crabs, sea slugs, and batwing sea stars have totally stolen my heart! I can't tell you how excited I am for the opportunity to work in a living classroom. I'm director of The Warehouse and co-collaborator for Adventure Beach Camp and Adventure Building Camp.
PETER DOHRENWEND: Nature is where I feel most at home. I always recharge my batteries in the woods or by the ocean and these are places I like to spend as much time as possible. As a kid, I had access to a 10 acre park that had a small stream, overgrown fields and a hemlock grove, and these wanderings planted the seed for my future outdoor adventures. Currently, I teach middle school science at an international school in Tokyo. I'm also a Red Cross certified lifeguard, a former whitewater river rafting guide, science field station technician, Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, bus driver, caterer and camp counselor. I have taught in schools in Colorado USA, Cairo, Egypt, Karachi, Pakistan and Tokyo, Japan. I spend most of the summer in Marquette, Michigan, USA working at Adventure Building Camp. I am Amber’s husband and a father to two wonderful girls, Eleanor and Iris.