Copyright 2013, Guy Healy, Japan
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In Memory of Erik Spindler (1982-2002) On November 11, 2002 the USA Summer Camp family suffered a tragic loss. Erik Spindler, 2002 AC (American Counselor), suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at the young age of twenty years old. Erik gave so much of himself as a counselor. There has never been a counselor who gave more of his time and love to his campers. His pure heart and love of people touched everyone he met in Japan. Erik's memory will be honored with the foundation of the Erik Spindler Award to be presented each summer to the counselors who best exemplify a caring spirit and genuine camaraderie to their campers. Erik was a great example of that spirit and a wonderful representative of the many talented and caring counselors who have made USA Summer Camp such a special program. In this award, Erik will always be a part of camp and will continue to positively influence the lives of future campers and counselors. AN AC REMEMBERS ERIK "It's hard to find another person who shares my love and taste for movies. The only reason I ever go to the library at UW-River Falls is to check if any new films have been added to their very extensive and practically untouched collection. It always seemed like I was the only one who ever had an interest in them, gawking at them time and time again. Sometime in late August, a couple of weeks after returning home from an exciting summer in Japan, I was on my way to do my regular check- up when I see this tall, blonde head sticking out from a desk in uninhabited territory-directly across from the movie aisle on the second floor. Surprised, I check to see who it is?and who is it but Erik himself. Erik, is that you?" "Kinnic! What`s up? What are you doing here?" "This is my favorite place in the library!" "Mine, too!" Erik told me that he always sits directly across from the movies, hoping that they'll give off a special aura that inspires studiousness. It made me laugh, realizing that I'd probably do the same thing. Thinking about that time in the movie aisle, I realize that Erik has passed away. And now, sitting here, all that is playing through my head are perfected movie clips of who I know him as. Erik's passion for movies is a larger metaphor for how he lived his own life. He was passionate about the small things and had the imagination of a child. At camp, he was just another one of the kids. The first time I really began to know Erik was during our first few nights in Sasebo, Kyushu. A group of us first-timers to Japan were trekking up a mountain that overlooked the city-a city defined by its 99 islands and fertile green hills that envelop it. It was rainy season, so the late afternoon sky was barely covering the sun that was slowly receding into the horizon. There was a slight breeze in the air as we were walking through these tall leaves of grass. We were all so amazed at the surreality of it all. Erik was not only amazed, he was completely energized by the beautiful landscape. I remember him prancing around like a little kid, telling me what a perfect place this would be to shoot a movie, how he couldn't believe he was in Japan now, and how he'd never seen anything so beautiful, asking if this beauty was even possible because he never thought he'd live to see it. From that moment on, I knew Erik was a great person with an admiration and love for life. As a counselor, it was his admiration and love for the kids that made him great. When most of the other ACs had looks of fear on their faces when walking into a gym of 130 screaming and running little kids, Erik had a big grin on his face and ran around with them, yelling "I love these kids!" That summer, Erik never ceased to catch us off guard with his sudden quirks that came of nowhere. Normally a very laid-back and quiet guy, Erik wasn`t the outspoken leader-type who would get in front of a crowd and do a little dance. But that summer, it was obvious that the kids triggered something in him to do such crazy things--like the one time at one of the last camp fires of the summer when he suddenly started jumping around like a mad man and started the wave. Erik may not have been the best leader or teacher of the group, but he was the best friend to many of the campers that summer..."
ZA RASUTO WAADO Funniest Commercial in a Long Time! Nisshin has a new commercial out.  It’s all about globalization and the new push in Japan for companies to use English as their main language.  It is set, however, on a battlefield, pitting Civil War era Americans against Japanese salarymen.  HILARIOUS!
Acceptance Emails USA Summer Camp American Counselor acceptance emails will be sent on April 1.  Check your mail often!
AC Photos and Videos Check out the photos and videos past American Counselors have posted themselves.  A real look at camp!
New Internships at Guy Healy, Japan GHJ has two new ways for you to get valuable work experience in Japan.
Meet the New Nagasaki Interns The Nagasaki interns bring the ENG style of English learning to Seido Girls and Seido Boys schools in Nagasaki.  New interns soon!
Looking for Camp Photos! Do you have any photos of your camps?  Send them our way! We’re making an Alumni Center on the Web.
ALUMNI CENTER The Alumni Center, the Jobs Board, and related sites are coming soon, but we’re still working on them. Check back for an awesome alumni site!