June 24 - July 10, 2018 // 17 Days
July 13 - July 29, 2018 // 17 Days
“Aloha 'Aina,” named for the Hawaiian phrase "love of the land," takes us on a 17-day teen environmental community service trip where we explore the beauty and culture on the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Kauai.
After reading the journal, seeing the pictures, and hearing my daughter's ecstatic stories about this trip, I can easily say this was one of the best experiences of her life, and I am so glad that we sent her on this trip.” - Parent of Miriam H., Hawaii: Aloha ‘Aina
We volunteer with a Maui-based grassroots land trust organization whose mission is to stabilize, protect, and restore Hawaiian cultural resources, and a local environmental NGO on Kauai for a variety of vital environmental land- and water-based projects.
Our free time has us surfing Lahaina and Hanalei, snorkeling at Ke'e Beach, hiking the Nā Pali coast, sea-kayaking to hidden waterfalls, and exploring and boating along the famed North Shore of Kauai.
Keep scrolling to learn about more our Hawaiian teen environmental community service trip!
No water in the United States matches the beauty of the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. Unquestionably, some of the most diverse and spectacular underwater experiences are to be had snorkeling in this maritime oasis of oceanic wonders.
The state fish of Hawaii, humuhumunukunukuapua’a, is a tropical reef trigger fish often seen while snorkeling. In case the name isn’t slipping off your tongue, check out this "High School Musical" sing-along with Ryan and Sharpay and you'll soon sound like a native.
There's nothing like the Hawaiian thrill of getting up on a board to catch a wave and be propelled by the ocean's power!
Besides all the beautiful sand beaches, amazing food, fascinating culture, and adventurous activities, another attraction awaits: the state's most beloved ocean species, the spinner dolphin. These playful creatures are often seen skimming the surface of the ocean, spinning and leaping.
Fiery eruptions create molten lava that flows to the sea and becomes enchanting arches, grottos, and sea caves along the coast – once homes to ancient Hawaiian settlers. Each turn reveals more caves, arches, and intriguing formations to explore.
In Hawaiian culture, the wind is a revered god. So while almost all island electricity today comes from massive generators that burn imported oil from a never-ending line of tanker ships, conversion to wind power is being pursued as pono — Hawaiian for "righteous" or "morally proper."
Kayak to a natural pool fed by a 100-foot bridal-veil waterfall, referred to as the Sacred or Secret Falls. Swim, rest, and relax amid picturesque tropical scenery before paddling back down the Wailua.
Past the sands of Kē'ē Beach, peace and beauty prevail where the palisades of Nā Pali rise straight from the beautiful Pacific. The beautiful fortress keeps the rest of the world at bay, and visitors never want to leave!
Hawaii isn’t called the “Rainbow State” for nothing! Often referred to as aneune in the native language, rainbows are very common in the Islands. More than one rainbow can often be seen at the same time in different locations.
One of Maui’s most memorable experiences is seeing the sunset from almost 10,000 feet above sea level. The lunar landscape of the world’s largest dormant volcano is so big that Manhattan could fit inside. This is the place for stunning views.
Grassroots land trust organization on Maui; environmental service in Kauai; native plant, taro patch, and fishpond restoration
A Certificate of Community Service indicating the total number of hours worked and a Presidential Volunteer Service Award will be issued upon successful completion of the program.
Boat/Snorkel Expedition: Na Pali Coast, Kauai
Snorkel: Lahaina, Maui; Na Pali Coast, Kauai
Surf: Lahaina, Maui; Hanalei, Kauai
Sea Kayak: Sacred Falls, Wailua River
Hike: Haleakala National Park, Maui; Na Pali Coast, Kauai
On both Maui and Kauai we sleep in tents near the beach. Showers are available; however, we shower every three to four days to conserve resources and support sustainability. Bathrooms are a mix of flush toilets and latrines.
Kahului, HI (OGG)
Additional inter-island group flight is required and is not included in tuition. Please contact our office for fare information.
Join in on the fun! Check out #AlohaRLT for a behind-the-scenes look at photos from past participants and leaders.
In ancient Hawaii, the konohiki, or caretakers, looked after the ahupua’a, the land stretching from the mountains to the sea. We travel to Maui and Kauai to understand the konohiki way of life. We experience Kanaka Maoli ancient traditions while helping to preserve the land and the waters of this paradise.
Our project on Maui is to work with land, wind, and water while enjoying sun, sand, and surf. We travel to an ancient agricultural village to work with a grassroots organization whose aim is to stabilize, protect, and restore Hawaiian cultural resources. We remove invasive species and restore the land with native plantings from the days of the ancient Hawaiians. By returning to the past, we learn how to move into the future ... preserving the value of self-reliance while helping conserve this unique land that exists in the middle of a vast ocean.
With consistent trade winds, Hawaii is an excellent candidate for wind power. We learn about the plan to responsibly harness Maui’s sustainable wind resource as an alternative to importing and burning oil for electricity. The plan includes commitments to protect sensitive wildlife and habitat.
The marine life of Maui Nui faces threats from over-harvesting, stream diversion, lack of education on fishery management and rules, sea level rise, and ocean warming. We focus our efforts on decreasing the amount of sediment and pollutants that flow into Maui's near-shore waters from land-based pollution sources. We'll help with fish surveys, limu planting, and other marine conservation initiatives.
Moving to the Garden Island of Kauai, we remove invasive plants and restore rare plant species in a variety of ecosystems. Every stream we clear and every plant we place in the ground contributes to the balance and preservation of this remarkably delicate paradise.
At Kauai, known for its nalu (waves), perfect surf awaits. Building on the surfing skills we learned in Maui, we pick the ideal curl and time its approach, relishing the inevitable wipe out!
We sea-kayak to the Sacred Falls down the Wailua River. Our wanderings around the island are glorious as we explore paths with waterfalls and wildflowers bursting with life.
We snorkel and swim in sapphire waters surrounded by lumbering turtles and colorful tropical fish, and explore Kauai's rugged Nā Pali Coast in ridged sea rafts! These boats offer an amazing view of sea life (think playful dolphins!), waterfalls and the coast’s 3,000-foot cliffs and pinnacles.
Following an ancient custom to celebrate auspicious occasions with a feast, we end our journey and give thanks to our Hawaiian friends.
After meeting at the airport in Maui, transfer to accommodations and spend the evening getting to know each other and our new home.
Work on a wind-energy farm, at an ancient agricultural village, and with Ekolu Lindsey on his Ocean Project. Learn how to make traditional double-hulled canoes and become familiar with the island's cultural farming and culinary practices. Spend a day learning to ride the waves in beautiful Lahaina.
Flight to Kauai (Day 8):
Transfer to Kauai. Orientation at our new service location.
Complete orientation at the Waipa Foundation. Work to help re-plant native species, remove invasive species, clear streams and waterways of pollutants, and help with fish surveys. Learn how to make poi, the staple food of native Hawaiians.
Practice new surfing skills learned a few days earlier on the beaches of Hana. Paddle up the Wailua River and hike to the Sacred Falls.
Take an expedition along the Nā Pali coast and the beautiful Wailua River. Close with a traditional final banquet.
Fly from Kauai back to Maui. Say goodbye to new friends before continuing the journey back home.
The Road Less Traveled does not require any vaccinations or immunizations to travel with us, other than an up-to-date tetanus shot or booster (within the last nine years).
Please click below to view your program’s equipment and packing list!
To receive an emailed copy of this program’s day-to-day calendar, please call our office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST at 773-342-5200, and we’ll happily send you one!
It is highly recommended that participants on this program are comfortable being in the water and swimming.
Families are individually responsible for booking their own airfare or making their own travel arrangements to get their student from home to Maui (OGG) on the first day of the trip, and from Maui (OGG) to home on the last day of the trip. RLT will provide exact windows of time that we require all students to arrive and depart within.
Please note that there will be an additional in-land Group Flight for this program. All students and leaders will fly from Maui (OGG) to Lihue, Kauai (LIH) about half-way through the trip, and will return to Maui (OGG) on the last day of the program. Each student’s individual flight home must be scheduled for after the group returns to Maui from Kauai. You are responsible for booking this Group Inland Flight from OGG to LIH.
It is imperative that no one make any travel arrangements until RLT directs them to do so. We will provide directions to our clients, including timing specifics and arrival day details, at the appropriate time of year (usually mid-spring).