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Ginoza youth explore Central Training Area

Date Posted: 2004-03-19

CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan — Marine Corps Base Camp S. D. Butler opened the gates to the Central Training Area, Feb. 19, to students from Ginoza Elementary School for a class field trip.

Twenty-seven students and accompanying parents were treated to a morning of hiking through the thick jungle surrounding Landing Zone Dodo, a portion of the CTA, which lies just outside Ginoza Village.

The entire sixth grade class from Ginoza Elementary was able to see the harsh landscape within the CTA fence line and develop an appreciation for some of the things U.S. Marines are expected to do when training.

The highlight of the field trip was the climb to Gadamako Mountain, which stands at an elevation of almost 300 meters, sitting just north of LZ Dodo.

Shoko Chinen, sixth grade teacher, said the hour-long hike up the steep terrain is a trip the six grade students and their parents look forward too.

“This is a tradition for the students of Ginoza Elementary,” Chinen said. “The students will be graduating from the school in a few days and this is our final field trip. For the past seven years we have brought the students here with their parents to share in the experience of climbing a mountain.”

Along the way the students were given instruction from their guide on their natural surroundings and also how Marines use the facility to train. Climbing up the muddy ground while penetrating the scattered clusters of spider webs made the experience more enjoyable for the enthusiastic children according to Chinen.

Although the elders struggled to make it to the top, the children within the group raced to the peak as fast as they could. Once at the top, both students and parents took time to rest while taking in the sights of Ginoza Village, its surrounding areas and the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.

Chinen said each student was very thankful for the opportunity to climb Gadamako Mountain.

“Both the students and parents enjoyed the experience very much,” Chinen concluded. “We are very thankful to the Marine Corps for allowing us to use their facility for this purpose.”

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