Discover Hawaii’s most beautiful islands on this introductory adventure. Sea kayak lush coastal lagoons. Surf magnificent beaches. Sail a catamaran while snorkeling along Hawaii’s Kona coast. Earn your life-long scuba diving certification and learn the importance of preserving this magnificent tropical ecosystem.
Our programs offer a wide variety of activity options. Explore the activities specific to this program below.
Aloha! After arriving at the Honolulu airport on the island of Oahu, you will meet your fellow trip mates and trip leaders for the first time. Once all together, you’ll have one more flight to take as a group, to the city of Kona on the Big Island. It will be a big travel day, but filled with games and bonding time with your comrades for the next three weeks. There will be an overwhelming sense of excitement for the adventure ahead!
The next day, you will head to the southern portion of the island to Volcanoes National Park. Here, the astounding Kilauea Volcano, the most active of the five volcanoes that for the Hawaiian Islands, awaits. From a safe distance, you’ll see a volcano erupt in person—an opportunity that few people have the chance to experience. Afterwards, you’ll have the extremely rare chance to tread on ground that’s actually younger than you are!
From Volcanoes National Park, you will hike to the famous Green Sand Beach, or Papakolea Beach. Papakolea Beach is one of only four green sand beaches in the world! The beach gets its distinctive coloring from olivine sand eroded from old volcanic activity. It will be a day of secluded body surfing, beachside lunches, and numerous group games!
For the next two days, you will take to the ocean and learn how to sail aboard a catamaran boat. Alongside an experienced crew, you will learn the ropes of sailing, navigation, and more. You will get the chance to navigate the boat yourself along the Kona Coast, and there will be plenty of time to swim and snorkel. At night, you’ll even get to sleep on the catamaran: few experiences compare with sleeping under the stars on a boat off the Hawaiian Islands.
No experience on the Big Island is complete without exploring the underwater world. You and your group will become SCUBA certified through PADI, a world-wide diving organization. The four-day course will teach you everything you need to know in order to safely discover the arena of sea turtles, manta rays, and schools of colorful fish below the ocean’s surface. And, since it’s a life-long certification, you can dive again in the future!
For your final day on the Big Island, you and your group will pick the watercraft of your choice – canoe or stand up paddle board, or both! You will paddle along the Hawaiian coastline, before boarding an inter-island flight the next day to Oahu.
Saying goodbye to the big island of Hawaii for now, you will take a short flight over to Oahu. Inter-island flights are a way of life in Hawaii, and you will be a pro traveler at this point! The next day, once oriented on Oahu, you will take to the water once more to kayak and snorkel! You will travel to Coconut Island, or Moku o Lo’e, a small island in Kane’ohe Bay. The island itself is actually a marine research facility for the state’s university. You will kayak and snorkel through the island’s surf and coastal areas in search of the area’s marine biodiversity!
After the incredible experience of Coconut Island, you will begin giving back to the amazing Hawaiian community through various service projects. First, you will spend the day in Kaneohe Bay at “the Hawaiian Fish Pond,”one of several remaining fish ponds left in the bay. You will work with a local organization dedicated to this area and will help with the restoration of the pond. At another nearby project, Malaekahana, you’ll help maintain the watershed of one of the most important and diverse ecosystems of the area. But don’t worry, there will be time to visit the birthplace of surfing and catch some waves, too! The breaks on Oahu are ideal for novice surfers, but can challenge even the most seasoned veteran. By day two, you will all be riding waves and will “hang-ten!”
To break up the days of surface, you and your group will get your legs moving along several of the area’s most famous hiking trails. You will hike along the North Shore, famous for it’s surfing and snorkeling spots, and also the Lanikai Pill Box! Also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, this hike is one of the most picturesque hikes of Oahu. It has incredible views of Lanikai beach along Oahu’s windward coast.
After a few days of service work, you’ll make your way to Waimea Valley and Waimea Beach where you will rest and relax with a well-deserved beach day. There’s nothing like a summer beach day with your friends! You will have one last day of surfing to hone in your skills before your final service project: working on a taro farm. Hawaiian taro is the staple starch of the native Hawaiian diet and is at the core of Hawaiian culture. You will work alongside local farmers to learn about the cultivation of this Hawaiian staple, and do your part to give back to the land and the community.
During your final days, you’ll reminisce about your experiences together. You’ll spend time on the beach, play games, take pictures, and share your last day in Hawaii together as a group. You will have your final WA banquet and bid farewell to your new friends with your hearts and minds full of incredible memories.
This was my first summer camp experience could not have gone any better!
Nicholas, 2019 Hawaii Explorer Student
Trip Price Includes
- Group gear
- Inter Island Flights
- Personal gear and clothing
- Airfare to and form the trip start and end