|Dates:||June 28 – July 11|
July 17 – July 30
|Grade||7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th|
(Students Grouped According to Age)
*Optional Leader Escorted Flight from/to San Francisco
Learn More About Us
You May Also Like
- Restore Beaches with a Local Non-Profit Grassroots Organization
- Mentor and Inspire Students at the Boys and Girls Club
- Learn to Surf and Perfect Your “Hang Ten” Skills
- Explore the Na Pali Coast by Land and Sea
- Enjoy the Sun and Sand of Famous Hanalei Bay
- Snorkel the Pristine Waters of Kauai
- Master the Hawaiian Skill of Outrigger Canoeing
- 30 Hours of Community Service
Building a Sustainable Kauai
Hawaii is one of the most remote and remarkable inhabited island chains in the world. Known for its beautiful beaches, lush forests and volcanic peaks, most visitors consider this small collection of isles to be an unspoiled paradise. That said, vacationers rarely consider the impact they have on Kauai’s delicate ecosystem while on holiday. The Local Connections Program allows students to go well beyond traditional tourism and immerse themselves in the community to give back, while becoming a larger part of the Hawaiian Ohana (or Family). Work hand-in-hand with community leaders and local non-profit organizations to build a more sustainable Kauai. Together with locals students, we build community gardens, aid farm-to-school programs, battle invasive species, and learn about the cultural importance of native Hawaiian plants while becoming a force of positive change in Hawaii’s future. This summer, earn the respect of locals and elders alike and play a vital role in preserving paradise!
Celebrate a landscape of perfection during our Hawaii service program, where the beauty of turquoise waters melts into captivating sunsets. Link hands with Hawaiian natives and see the positive impact you can have as you work to preserve the splendor of the sea and the majesty of the lush rainforest. Share a laugh with local children at the Boys and Girls Club, and allow the island to return your generosity by sharing the “aloha spirit”. Master your surfing skills on Kauai’s South Shore and take to the ocean like ancient Polynesian explorers in an outrigger canoe. Hike the magnificent Na Pali Coast and snorkel beneath the waves in search of dolphins, colorful fish and sea turtles!
Orientation on the North Shore
After landing in Lihue, we travel to the pristine Na Pali Coast and settle into our new home away from home near the famed Hanalei Bay, just steps from the Pacific. Once there, we learn about our camp, Hawaiian culture and local traditions like taro farming. We spend the duration of the program sleeping under the stars in our private beachfront paradise watching the sun rise and set across the bay.
A Sustainable Kauai
Our work on the island puts us on the front line with local nonprofits striving to make Hawaii a happier and healthier place. Even though Kauai has some of the most fertile soil and highest amounts of rainfall in the world, every year the island imports nearly 90% of all it’s food, and if shipments were to stop, there would only be enough to feed the island’s population for 5 days!
Partnering with organizations focused on increasing Kauai’s food independence allows us to build strong local connections and make an impact much larger than ourselves. Through farm-to-school projects and sustainable gardening, we have an opportunity to give back to the land and provide food security for future generations.
Environmental Outreach and Boys and Girls Club Service
We spend a day at the Limahuli Garden and Preserve learning about the “canoe plants” brought by early explorers and the invasive plants that threaten them. At this pristine botanical garden, we take time to help with the preservation of native species and discover how ancient Polynesians first developed the land to provide sustainable agriculture for future generations.
The Boys and Girls Club of Kauai is divided into three different clubhouses around the island where we mentor and inspire local school-children through games and activities. Through field days, tri-club events and service projects we help foster positive relationships between islanders and our students from mainland.
Explore the Na Pali Coast
Hiking the Na Pali Coast is like walking through a painting as you ogle at the turquoise water lapping against the lush green hills. Escaping along red cliffs into the rainforest, we hike and meander past waterfalls and stunning beaches reaching a massive fall soaring over 100 feet high! On top of exploring the magical landscape by foot, we also spend a morning aboard a Zodiak Raft, absorbing the remarkable coastal views by boat. As we cruise along the coast in search of super pods of dolphins, we learn about the numerous movies filmed along the shore and snorkel through large schools of fish in search of unique underwater wildlife.
“This trip was a blast! I would do it again in a heartbeat!”— Katie R-D., ARCC Student
“He had a great time. The leaders were organized, well trained, lots of fun and
knowledgeable. The group worked well.”
“The Hawaii Service was a great trip with the perfect mixture between the
helpful community service and exciting adventures through the Hawaiian Islands.”
“The Hawaii Service program was the best two weeks of my life. I saw the island
from the native Hawaiian point of view. This is an experience I will never
“I can’t say enough about what great trips your group plans for teens. I think
including so much community service is so important for teens. We have made
these trips a priority financially and I wish other people would realize it is
much better to spend money on kids this way instead of so many electronics,
clothes, or….. ”
“Both leaders were excellent. A large part of the success of the trip is due to
the leader’s and from Dylan’s first introduction in San Francisco throughout the
entire trip his leaders displayed genuine enthusiasm, maturity and many other
qualities which served to make this Dylan’s best trip yet.”
“Dylan had the time of his life!!! Great combination of fun and work…it was his
first time camping and he LOVED it. You did a great job getting them all bonded
and working like a team!!”
“All the stars were aligned regarding Hillary’s ARCC experience…the counselors,
the kids, the location, the experiences, the weather, the onsite staff, the
“I really loved the kids and I want to get involved with my local Boys and Girls
“The Hawaii Service trip took me to the real Hawaii, not just the Hawaii people
see on TV. It was so worth it! ”
“ARCC changed my life. It taught me things about myself that I would never have
learned. The counselors were phenomenal, the experience unimaginable. Thanks
“This is a great way to meet new people, try new things, work hard, and have fun
the entire time.”
Group Journal Excerpts
Below you will find several Group Journal excerpts, written by ARCC students during their summer program with ARCC:
A Good Beginning
Aloha from Hawaii! The past 3 days have been so much fun! Everyone in the group is so friendly and I feel like I already know everyone so well. For our first community service project we worked with Surfrider Foundation to test the water around Hanalei Bay for pollution. On our second day we worked…
Boys and Girls Club Service
Today we headed to Lydgate Beach Park to help run the “Mini Olympics” with the Boys and Girl’s Club. We got to help out at each event… obstacle course, volleyball/soccer, cross fit and track & field. The kids were so much fun to work with and although it was super hot we made sure to…
Habitat for Humanity Service and Surfing
Today we woke up and quickly chowed down some oatmeal as we rushed to the shores of Kihei for our first surfing session. It was spectacular! Although we had some experienced surfers, many were new to the skill and I am proud to write that we picked it up quite well! Those few moments of…
Hike and Tour of the Napali Coast
Wednesday morning we woke up to an amazing breakfast of French toast prepared by Isabella and Beaumont. After breakfast we were delighted to get our phones back to connect with family while Ben and Debbie cleaned up breakfast. We then took a short drive to the Na’Pali Coast trailhead and began out expedition to the…
Journal: Boys and Girls Club Service
Wednesday we woke up and made yummy chocolate chip pancakes before heading to the Kauai Boys and Girls Club. Once there, we got a short orientation and then went out to meet the kids. We played some ice breaker games to get to know each other then went to the main program which consisted of…
Aloha! So far the trip has been amazing and memorable! Our first service project was at the Limihuli botanical garden, which consisted of lots of weeding and wading through native Hawaiian vegetation. It was really cool because we not only bonded with our own group but also with the volunteers from the Hawaiian conservation corps.…
Our Time on Kauai
Hi from Kauai! Thursday, the group woke up very early to make the hour and a half drive to begin the Zodiak Boat tour. To me, this was the most thrilling experience so far. We joined our captains Dennis, and Jason on the small raft to blast over choppy waves and through dark, bat infested…
What is the packing list for this program?
Each program has a specific packing list that has been designed to fit the program’s activities, length, and climate. Please click here to view the Hawaii: Local Connections packing list.
What is the weather like in Hawaii?
The average daytime temperature should range between 78-85 degrees F (25-29 degrees C), with a drop of about 10 degrees at night. Due to Hawaii’s many microclimates, the climate can vary depending on location within the island. The program takes place during Hawaii’s dry season, however it is not unusual to see small amounts of rainfall in the tropical areas. It tends to be a bit cooler in the mountains and and warmer near the beaches.
What are the service projects like?
ARCC has been operating programs in Hawaii for several years, and we have built relationships with a variety of individuals, small communities and organizations who enjoy hosting ARCC student groups. The specific service projects that each group will work on depend on the needs of the communities at the time the groups are there. Possibilities include mentoring local schoolchildren, trail maintenance, beach clean-ups, assisting in the preservation of tropical plants and homeless outreach.
Where will we sleep?
You will sleep in tents on the beautiful North Shore of Kauai. All campgrounds have restroom facilities with showers and running water for cooking, washing hands, etc. You will sleep in groups of 3-4 in tents supplied by ARCC. Please make sure you check the Hawaii Clothing & Equipment List and remember to bring your own sleeping bag and pad.
How will we travel?
Each group will travel together, with their two leaders, in a 15-passenger van. If you would like to bring music for these rides, feel free to bring a music player or CDs. If you bring an iPod or MP3 player, make sure to bring a radio adapter, as most of our vans do not have a MP3 jack.
What is the food like?
The group will work together to create each menu and prepare typical American food and fruits throughout the duration of this program.
Vegetarians and medical dietary requirements (i.e. allergies) are catered for. It does help if we are informed of this prior to departure date.
How much spending money should I bring?
We suggest bringing spending money of roughly $75/week. Most cash should come home, but you will want some personal money to pay for airline baggage fees at the airport, souvenirs/gifts, laundry, extra snacks and emergencies (lost items, clinic visit, etc.). A small amount of cash and ATM cards usually work best.
Do I need some form of ID to travel?
If you are traveling to Hawaii from somewhere in the United States and are under the age of 18, airlines do not require photo identification. It is a good idea to travel with a picture I.D. if possible, but it is not necessary to bring a passport. A school identification card with your photo on it is best, but a library card or credit card with your name on it is also helpful. If you are traveling to Hawaii from somewhere outside of the United States, you will need to bring your valid passport.
Do I really need to bring a backpack, or can I bring a rolling suitcase on this program?
Although you will not be doing traditional backpacking on this trip, it is important that you bring a backpack as your main piece of luggage. During the program the group will be navigating through airports, on and off buses, up and down stairways, and taking short hikes on unpaved paths. The group will be able to move much more efficiently if everyone is carrying their belongings on their back.