Introducing: 2018 Gakko Camp Directors

Meet the Gakko Camp Directors for 2018 — selected as a team of two to lead a camp in the Berkshires, USA and Okayama, Japan.

These duos believe in camp as a place for meeting, learning, and authentic personal development. They are expert listeners with unmatched abilities to sense the pulse of a group, steer thoughtful conversation, execute a schedule, and keep us all safe. We’ve selected them to lead the sempai teams in dreaming up then diving into camp because they uphold teaching with a colorful imagination and collaborative participation. But most importantly, they see camp as a gift and their directorship as an act of love.

YI-LING&GEORGIA — The Berkshires, USA

YI-LING (left) & GEORGIA (right) attentively listening during a workshop in Burgundy, France

Yi-Ling and Georgia met last summer on the rolling hills of Burgundy (GAKKO ’17), where they bonded over their shared love for 90s’ hip-hop, built a fort out of tarp and branches, and captained an all-star sports team named Guilty, Cheesy Pleasures. As cultural mongrels in search of home, the Hong Kong-Kiwi duo are fascinated by the question of community — what it looks like, the stuff it’s made of, how even the most transient ones can challenge and inspire. Their hope is to invite a group of sempai and kohai to create one of their own: a summer camp made of nothing less than the stuff of utopia.


LEORA (left) & LILY (right) having an epic breakfast in Brooklyn

After Leora directed Lily in a play at McGill, they spent a decade visiting each other in Paris, Italy, Toronto, and Brooklyn. Now, Leora uses theatre and Lily uses marketing and French pastries to gather people. At camp, they hope to live their questions about inclusion-without-neutralization, circadian rhythms, physicality unleashing the creative, and meaningful engagement with technology. How we can listen to the world in a personal way? And better listen to ourselves? They seek sempai who are sensitive without being tied up in political correctness, who advocate passionately for their beliefs while listening intently, who are nimble and full-of-surprises.


SIMON (left) & DYLAN (right) pounding a drum announcing a workshop in Chiba, Japan

From the team who brought you Aliens (a 12am workshop @ Chiba 2016) comes one brave new camp. Simon, a drummer and a student of the law, is from Minnesota. Dylan, a camp professional and an actor, is from Minnesota. Their first collaboration, the camp translation of the song “I Don’t Care To Stay Here Long”, is a heartbreaking ode to brief meeting and life-long friendship. In 2017, alongside a global team of sempai with transferable & idiosyncratic talents, they’ll pursue more heartbreak, more life-long friendship stuff, and more wildness.

SAM&ORIANA — The Berkshires, USA

SAM (left) & ORIANA (right) creating a workshop in Bucharest, Romania on a comfortable couch

Oriana and Sam want to grow a little monster of a camp: one that is alive and kicking, and occupies its own fantastical slice of reality. They are excited to work with sempai who intend to risk themselves as boldly as the kohai will, and who want to explode the traditional summer camp experience. They believe a three-week session will create a profound connection for participants; a tethering that is steeped in rigorous vulnerability, active listening, and relentless curiosity. For us, it is an opportunity to create a blissful microcosm that reflects what we wish America could be right now.

Want to join the Gakko Project? Find out how to apply.

OR send an inquiry to Zoe and the crew at Looking forward to hearing from you!