Cross Summer Academy

Cross Education has come to Japan to establish its fully cultural & communicative immersive international summer camp experience to Japanese and offshore students.

There are certain places in the world where international education community building has happened and flourished. We’ve seen so historically in the USA, Switzerland, Canada, the UK. We believe that Japan makes absolute sense for may reasons: one for its global economic reach and impact; two for its positioning in the East, from where global economic growth is now largely being driven; and three, from a country that provides the connectedness, the safety, the security, and the richness of life and experience that inspire learning in all ways. 

The directors have a long heritage in both Canada and Japan offering English-based experiential programs for international students. Through Cross Education, Japan, they proudly bring an exciting new brand of education to Japan to create a venue for people from all corners of the planet.

The Cross Summer Academy, coming next in the summer of 2019, is a multi-locational program based in the Tokyo and in the Kanto region. It brings a community of children and teenagers (from 5 to 18 years old) together from around the world, and from around Japan.

Together they engage in up to six weeks of challenge and discovery in the Cross Summer Academy:

Overall Theme:

  • Open Minds Change the World

Weekly Sub-themes:

  • Eco-Environmental Studies
  • Mechatronics & Technology Design,
  • Online Media & Design,
  • Photography, Videography, & Production
  • International Dynamics & Awareness
  • Remote, Virtual, & Real Flight

Program Contents & Features

(Applied weekly and thematically integrated into daily learning experiences.)

  • Technology: 3D, Mechatronics, Artificial Intelligence, Renewable Energy
  • Blockchain Innovation Theory and Application
  • Agriculture and Environmental Studies
  • Photography, Videography, and Digital Production
  • Aeronautics, Aviation, and Rocketry
  • Fine and Performing Arts
  • Sports and Athletics
  • Architecture and Design
  • Animation and Design
  • Outdoor Learning (Urban, Mountain, and Ocean)
  • Age Range: 5 to 18
  • Flexible & Variable Groups (same age, cross ages, by Academy “house”)
  • Full native English speaking environment and focus.
  • International Social and Cultural Awareness
  • Japanese Cultural and Language Studies
  • Integration and interaction between all ages.
  • Specialized focuses within age groups.
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Coaching, Mentoring, and Leadership Education
  • Weekly Social and Family Events that Include:
  • Performances, Parties, Presentations, and Park Barbecues

Cross Education Japan believes that children and young adults should participate together in a relationship that helps both learn. Older children help younger, and younger children are inspired to learn by the examples set by their older peers.

Equally so, Cross believes that in order to become inspired, at any age or level, inspirational figures and role models are essential. That’s why we tie professional in their fields into everything we do. Each theme and category of learning throughout the camp is tied to international professionals and organizations who are impacting the world with what they do.

We use the best examples and advice available in all of the learning opportunities we facilitate, from organizations and institutions such as Siemens, Platinum, Line, MIT, an more.

Cross Education Japan, and the Cross Summer Academy, provides educational opportunities, based in Japan, where ideas and people from around the world come together to benefit equally:

  • to inspire each other,
  • to learn from one another, and
  • to impact their lives each in ways that may later help each of them impact the world.

Check us out at and send us a note should you want more details:

All the best,

The Cross Team

The Mousetrap

Ok… here we are, 47 years ago, around the time this picture was taken. I believe that’s my brother. It’s raining. No matter.

We are standing in the doorway of a small toolshed behind a small, white, red-trimmed house built 47 years earlier by my grandfather.  This particular little workshop is situated about as far as you can possibly go from the town in which he was born. In this small and slightly ramshackle structure are the tools he uses and the spaces in which they all belong. They sit, stand, and hang, all at the ready for whatever necessity or whim might happen to capture his sense of responsibility, his attention, and, likely, often, just his imagination.

The walls are adorned with every kind of yard tool: rakes, hoes, shovels, spades, and others whose purposes are, in my six years of experience, mysteries. A rusty well-used scythe hangs there too. The concrete floor is stained with oil, and, likely, his blood and sweat. There sits the massive, round, pedal-driven grinding stone mounted in the ancient wooden contraption he’d built especially for it. Behind that is a work bench; attached to its edge is a heavy cast iron vise. I think it’s green. Behind the vise sit numerous old coffee cans filled with every kind of nut, bolt, nail, and screw you could possibly ever need in a lifetime. He’d indeed spent much of his life collecting them. He created this space as only a creator could.

I see this, this spot of time, vividly, even the smell: a musty combination of gasoline, oil, decomposing grass, metal, and wet wood. And here we are, one hand in my grandfather’s as he rummages around with his other to assemble those things we need to take care of a situation needing attention. Mice.

My grandfather emigrated from Italy in the early 1920s. I believe 1922? It was soon after the First World War had ended, and soon after he was released from an Austrian POW camp located not far from his home town, not far to the north of Venice. My grandfather was a conscripted soldier in the Italian Army. However, he apparently refused to accept the role of a soldier and would shoot into the air above the heads of his Austrian neighbors who had likewise been commissioned to shoot at him.

Since he was able, years later, to be here in this workshop with me, I like to think that those Austrians shared the same pacifist rebelliousness. I like to think that there, in the Alps, the Italian and Austrian conscripts shot over each other’s heads, more in favor of sparing the lives of neighbors than in doing what the common mousetrap mercilessly does to mice. He spent the remaining years of the war in a prison somewhere on the other side of the Italo-Austrian border, not so far from home.

After the war, and his release, and as soon as he could, he, his wife, and my young uncle (God bless them all), packed their bags, boarded a ship in Genoa, and left. Via Ellis Island, they journeyed to about as far away from all that nonsense as they could possibly get: the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada, at the edge of a small logging town in what was then one of the farthest reaches of the civilized world. Incidentally, the whole notion of “the civilized world” needs a little more consideration, but that’s for later.

So, here, in his workshop in 1971, my grandfather wants me to help him make a trap to catch the mice that are terrorizing his wife. And so we do. He quietly, but unforgettably, goes to work to transform an odd collection of items into a devise fashioned to capture the vermin responsible for the recent acts of terror. He builds a mousetrap, but one fashioned according to his principles and world view, and surely inspired by his life experiences, to spare their lives.

He was my teacher. I learned this from him. I have never made anything quite like that mousetrap in my own life since then. However, there is much that I have done that I would never have been able to accomplish, nor perhaps understand as well, had it not been for that one experience with him.

Fields of Sensibility

We live in fields of sensibility. 

We live in spaces that at every millisecond are defined in full by our sensitivity to external stimuli. Incidentally, at some point I would like to dig more deeply into the concept of “now.” That one will blow your socks off for sure! At least, it does mine.

Just to set the record straight, I’m not in fact too fond of yellow cars. I much prefer darker tones, blacks, blues. If I let myself succumb to my more radical side, I might go for a red Maserati GT Convertible, but that’s an entirely different conversation as well. Having said that, I, now, as result of all of this chatter, see yellow cars everywhere. It’s kind of irritating to be honest.

But that’s the nature of learning, and being taught…by a teacher, or a blue dragon fly. It is precisely those things, for better or for worse, that happen and exist in our fields of sensibility that, for whatever particular reasons, become part of the defining characteristics of the realities each of us inhabits. Those are the things that ultimately become part of those things we say we understand, recognize, know, and have learned.

One favor. Patience. This does segue into mousetraps and guillotines.

Teaching + Learning = Education. Yes. Even Now

There is always a teacher.

However, like yellow cars that, for me, never existed prior to me wanting one, we all share the same conception: a teacher is that person who stands in front of rows of desks staring back at us, talking way too much.

But, wait…

What we fail to remember is that we are surrounded by teachers, every moment of every day, in every place we might be. The teacher is the blue dragon fly that lands on the corner of your phone while you’re sitting on a lawn chair watching your dog wade happily in the ankle high pool you recently set up because of weather far too hot for most men, women, and dogs.

In fact, all of them are teachers: the phone, the lawn, the pool, the heat, the dog, and everything else that completes the moment. Whether we appreciate it or not, each one of those things is demonstrating to us something that was not entirely the same moments before, and guides us in directions that we would not have taken should we not have been there exactly at that moment…or perhaps better put, in that particular reality. And that reality itself we created from knowledge we gained from all of the teachers that preceded that moment: the sun beaming through windows, the algae that inspired a clean pool, fresh water, and an excited dog. Cause. Effect. Intertwined. All are teachers.

But wait!

By teacher we don’t mean all of that! We’re talking about that person who keeps talking at us about all sorts of stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with anything going on around us as we sit in rows of seats in front of him.

Aren’t we?

More on this to come, with a little discussion about mousetraps and guillotines.