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Summit to Sea Itinerary 2019

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESDays 1-2:  Aloha!  As soon as our group arrives, let’s go to the beach!  We’ll swim and do team building exercises to encourage a highly functioning community.  By the end of our time together, we’ll know each other very well!  With our field instructors, we’ll discuss the people and nature connection, sustainability basics, systems thinking, and justifications for supporting the environment.  There’s so much mental stimulation right from the start!  


Days 3-5:  Water!  In Hawaiian culture, water equals wealth.  We’ll explore that concept in lush Waipiʻo Valley and the Puna rainforest.  We’ll analyze water quality with a LabQuest 2 at the island’s most pristine waterfalls and snorkeling reefs (followed by a refreshing dip, of course!).  We’ll see the importance of this water as it feeds local farms and aquifers.  We’ll discuss the “Ahupuaʻa System” which enabled a large community to thrive in Waipiʻo Valley.  We’ll learn how to apply the Ahupuaʻa System locally and globally.

Day 6:  Fourth of July!  Let’s enjoy the holiday with surf lessons at the beach, calling family, stuffing ourselves with bar-b-que and watermelon, listening to music in the park, and watching fireworks after dark.  Happy birthday, America!

Day 7:  Forest Conservation!  Today we’ll do meaningful service learning with our partners at the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative.  HOI has adopted an acre within the preserve that many HOI students have contributed to.  The forest is home to the few “wiliwili” and “uhiuhi” trees remaining in the world.  We’ll share the field scientists’ passion and excitement for this important conservation work.  We’ll finish the day with snorkeling and sunset on the beach.    


Day 8:  Local Food!  We’ll explore the thriving local farm scene at Hip Agriculture and Waipiʻo Valley, to experience the pros and cons of different farming methods.  We’ll discuss the relationship between farming, culture, energy, and climate change.  We’ll dive in to Hawaii’s current debate on GMO’s, pesticide use, health, and the future of food.  These are real world challenges that our future generations should be prepared to solve!  Weʻll also experience a cultural night on the town at the Honokaʻa First Friday celebrations.           SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES      



Days 9-10:  South Point!  We’ll visit remote beaches on the southernmost tip of the island.  Even one with extremely rare green sand!  On these beaches weʻll volunteer with the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund and see the sobering effects of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  We’ll learn about sustainable resource management, plastic use and recycling.  We’ll explore innovative solutions that give our oceans hope.         



Days 11-13:  Backpacking!  Ready for adventure?  The waterfalls and black sand beach of Waimanu Valley are enjoyed by only a few hearty backpackers.  The trail requires fording rivers and ascending steep valley walls where the views are unbelievable.  Day two is a well deserved rest in this remote wilderness.  We may see endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals basking in the sun or be able to eat tropical fruit from the trees.  On day three, we reflect on our amazing accomplishments while hiking for home.  After this challenging 20 mile trip, you’ll agree Waimanu is a true paradise.    

Days 14-15:  Volcanoes!  We’ll contribute to an international Phenology project in the native ecosystems of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  Phenology is the study of seasonal changes in plants and animals, and how it relates to climate change.  Our contributions to this cutting edge science are vital to environmental health.  Weʻll make a positive impact while exploring lava flows, cinder cones, and volcanic craters!    


Days 16-18:  Research and Mauna Kea Stargazing!  The goal of this course is to inspire and empower YOU to solve the world’s challenges.  Because it’s your world, and it’s your future.  How will YOU make an impact?  As we prepare for our final projects weʻll find ways to make the world a little bit better.  Or a lot better!  Our work will be inspired by an amazing Mauna Kea sunset and world class stargazing. 

Day 19:  Pololu Valley!  Weʻve earned a relaxing day in a majestic valley.  Weʻll immerse ourselves in nature while exploring the beach, forest, and rope swings of Pololu.      

Day 20:  Final Presentations!  The essential question of this course is, “How do we prosper, while living in harmony with our environment?”  And how can we apply what we’ve learned to our home communities?  We’ll now have the knowledge and experience to answer those questions.  You’ll develop a take home project based on your home communities needs.  You’ll present your plan to distinguished and supportive members of our community.

See the impact our student’s have made!

Day 21-  Aloha!  We’ll say goodbye to new lifelong friends.  You’ll return home with an excitement for learning and adventure.  You’ll be better prepared to make a positive impact in your world.  Aloha!

Dates: Stay  tuned  for  next  year’s  details!Enroll in Hawaii Outdoors Institute Courses

Ages 14 – 17