This year with the move to Keanae, Camp Imua began a new chapter and allowed for an expanded program which included Hawaiian cultural activities. In the past, the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel provided a luau dinner for the closing day event, however this year, campers were tasked with the preparation of the luau. Food and supplies were still donated by the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, however, campers were involved in preparing an imu to roast a pig, making leis and learned about pounding kalo (taro) to make poi with the help of Ma Ka Hana Ka ‘Ike.
The activities gave campers a sense of accomplishment and an insight of how early Hawaiians lived. The Keanae Peninsula still grows kalo in fields which are located just below the YMCA Camp Keanae.
“Moving the entire Camp Imua experience to Keanae gave us a unique opportunity to incorporate new experiences for our campers and counselors and to invite new volunteers to experience the joy of Camp Imua, such as the Hana Canoe Club, Uncle George Kahumoku, Jr. and Ma Ka Hana Ka ‘Ike. What a blessing to be brought into their cultural sharing and teaching. Just because our kids have special needs does not mean they should be excluded from a cultural learning experience.” – Executive Director, Dean Wong.
Activities still included the regular fun activities like horseback riding, swimming, surfing, kayaking, hiking, arts & crafts, music, dance, tumbling, an ice cream social, a glow dance party, concerts, a talent show, outdoor movies and everyone’s favorite, a helicopter tour!