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The Waikōloa Dry Forest Initiative is committed to offering enriching education programs for our community’s keiki. We aim to inspire children to discover their natural surroundings and become lifelong learners in nature. These hands-on, outdoor camps allow keiki to take a closer look at our storied ʻāina and the natural forces that connect people to place.

Our community makes ʻĀina Explorers possible through donations and small grants. Waikōloa residents Lynne Schneider and Dick Fusch have helped us provide free summer programming since 2022 and we are grateful to them for their dedication to teaching the next generation of forest stewards!

Only 13 spots per camp are available, applications do not ensure enrollment. 

The ʻĀina Explorers Summer Camp is a FREE 5-day program that runs from 8:00am to 3:00pm Monday through Friday. The camps are based in the Waikōloa Dry Forest Preserve and pick up/drop off will be at Quarry Road.
  • Geology Rocks (June 10-14): Explore the explosive world of rocks and volcanoes! How was Hawaiʻi formed? Who is Tūtū Pele? Through hiking and exploration learn the truth behind the rocks beneath our feet. End the week with an overnight trip to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park!
  • Elements of Hawaiʻi (June 24-28): Connect with the four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. Learn through storytelling, hiking, and hands-on experiences. Explore how the elements shape our island and community; visit waterways, forests, lava fields, and more in this all around experience!
  • Camp Kamiki (July 8-12): Walk in the footsteps of Kamiki, one of two supernatural brothers. Visit Hualālai, Waikpiʻo, Maunakea, and Puʻu Holoholokū, learning firsthand the story that earned windy Waikōloa its name. End the week with an overnight stay at the Gilbert Kahele recreation area!
  • Geology Rocks Hana Hou! (July 22-26): A second opportunity to join our most popular camp described above.
All camps will include off-site field trips to other places throughout our community in our 14-passenger van. Parent/Guardian drop-off and pick-up will be on Quarry Road.
Camp enrollment is determined by financial need and student interest. Please provide a brief statement in your application on how our program would be beneficial for your child and household. Only 13 spots are available per camp. Children must be entering fourth, fifth or sixth grade in August 2024 to be eligible.
NOTE: Each application is for ONE child. If applying for multiple children/siblings, please fill in an additional form.
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