“Kuleana,” is a phrase unique to Hawaiian culture describing the recipricol relationship between a person who is responsible and the thing they are responsible for. We explore this idea as we take on the responsibilty of caring for the earth as the earth often cares for us on a 15-day teen environmental community service trip exploring the beauty and culture on the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Kauai.
I want to thank RLT once again for allowing me the pleasure of befriending some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. Not everyone can say they have friends around the world.” - RLT alumna
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 at Hanalei Bay, 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 more about our Hawaiian teen environmental community service trip!
After removing invasive species on Kauai, enjoy a break from the summer's day with fresh, locally harvested pineapple. Once named "anana" (a Caribbean word for "excellent"), pineapples are enjoyed throughout all of the Hawaiian Islands.
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.
#3 The West Maui Forest Reserve
Nothing beats a campsite on the islands of Hawaii, with tropical mountains in the distance and the ocean just a stones throw away. The perfect location for nearby hikes, cooking, group games, and deep conversations, Hawaiian campsites are the quintessential way to end a summer day!
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 with focuses on agriculture, ocean conservation, and wind energy.
Environmental service assisting to remove invasive species on Kauai.
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: Nā Pali Coast, Kauai
Snorkel: Lahaina, Maui; Nā Pali Coast, Kauai
Surf: Hanalei, Kauai
Kayak: Sacred Falls, Wailua River
Hike: Haleakalā National Park, Maui
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. Following time in the ocean, participants will be swimming and rinsing off daily. 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.
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.
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).
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 inter-island 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 Inter-island 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).