Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
Here are a few things you can expect:
- We typically receive 2-3 blog posts per week here at GLA Headquarters from our program staff and students, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a blog post daily – that’s totally normal.
- Blog updates sent on weekends may not be posted until Monday.
- Due to many factors, including but not limited to internet accessibility, photos may not always be available to post onto the blog. Sometimes onsite program staff are only able to send text back to Headquarters, where our team updates the blog.
Cell Phone Policy: The GLA cell phone policy is currently in place this summer to help foster meaningful connections between students. This means your student’s phone will be collected every day and returned to them throughout the program during designated spaces of time we call ‘tech time’. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location. During designated ‘tech time’, your student may use their phones as they wish. Please note that your student may not always choose to use this time to get a hold of their parents. If you are not hearing directly from your student each day, you can assume that no news is good news! We strongly recommend you follow the blog to follow your students’ experience without talking to them every day. If you are a parent and would like to get in touch with your student directly, you can call us at +1-619-758-3031 and we can set up a formal time for you to connect with your student.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 21
After a long day of traveling from all around the world, our students have finally landed on our remote little island in the pacific!
It’s a breezy day here, a nice reprieve from the humidity, lingering clouds above the nearby mountains has kept camp relatively cool. Perfect weather for arrival day! Those who came in early settled in, and broke in a few decks of cards, exchanged names, found out what seemingly impossible connections and mutual they already share.
This is usually one of my favorite parts to watch as a leader on these trips, students coming together for the first time, nervous, polite, maybe a little awkward at first. They don’t know yet how close they’ll get in just a short amount of time, and before they know it, they’re surprised how someone they just met felt like someone they’ve known their whole life.
After arriving back to camp after an amazing sunset with our last group of arrivals, Zachary, Logan, Ona, and Julia, I was surprised to find everyone was already huddled together talking and laughing up a storm. Perhaps I’m the one who forgot just how quickly students tend to bond!
-James (GLA Staff)
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 23
Written by Mills, Jules, Ane and Sophia C.
Today in Maui, we gathered for breakfast served by Jake and Kelly. Then we headed to Kipuka Olowalu, a cultural reserve committed to rebuilding the connection between the environment, local people, and native practices. After we arrived we took part in a welcoming ritual, and were educated on how delicate the Hawaiian Ecosystem is.
We then tended to sacred land and plants by clearing a pathway for the reserve. We worked below beautiful mountain tops and next to flowing rivers. Later on, we were taught about red wiggler worms and how they provide to the soil. Throughout the day we stayed hydrated and ate lunch under the shade.
We loved spending time around the river and exploring the lovely lands surrounding our camps. We learned more about Hawaiian culture while cooling off by the river. We then practiced a Hawaiian chant with Ua, the native Hawaiian man who runs the program, before we headed back to home base for rest and activities. We spent our free time bonding in the ocean, followed by pre-dinner s’mores!
Then Brendan led a leadership workshop followed by an educational and inspirational ted talk. Then we ate a delicious meal and talked about tomorrow’s adventure. We ended the night with our mentor groups, talking more about leadership and our roles in the world. Now we are off to stargazing and bed!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24
Written by Jacey, Brooke, Avi, and Eva
Today we woke up really early and started off at 6:30 with an amazing breakfast. All packed for the day, we headed down to the Hang Loose Surf Shop where we got an in depth surf lesson, led by Abner and fellow surf instructors. We all reached out of our comfort zones by trying to do our best and having a great time while surfing.
After that we took a small break in a park before setting off on our catamaran boat ride. Even though the waves and wind caused some severe soakage, we were able to have a great time and share lots of laughs with our new found friends. Once arriving in the cove, we set out on our snorkel adventure and saw sea turtles, an octopus, and native fish. We enjoyed a relaxing and smooth boat ride back where we indulged in a delicious lunch and refreshments.
Once we arrived back at camp, we had a few hours of recharging before our fun activity planned by both our counselors and leaders of the day. We played our own version of olympics where we faced off with each other in lighthearted competitions. The dinner for the night was pizza, salad, and sweet treats. We ended the night by breaking off into our mentor groups as we normally do, and followed it up with stargazing and relaxing with friends before we headed off to bed for the night.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25
Written by Aakash, Natalie, Julia, and Zachary.
Today we started off with a great breakfast at seven o’clock. Soon after we packed up and shipped ourselves out to the road to Hana. The three hour drive have caused some car sickness through 576 turns, but the amazing views made it all worth it. At arrival we headed over to the Kahuna Botanical Garden of Hana. We learned about native and non-native invasive plants which reside on Maui. Additionally, we learned about Hawaiian religious stories and cultural value from our wonderful tour guide, Mike.
Afterwards, on our way back from the garden we stopped at a beautiful waterfall in the mountains and cheered on some cliff Jumpers. Then, we stopped at a local ice cream and coconut food truck which had local and tropical flavors such as lilikoi and ginger lemongrass. After feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, we bravely went down the road to Hana back to the camp.
Once home, we had a lovely Asian Cuisine dinner from our wonderful Chef Jake with orange chicken and spring rolls. For dessert we had homemade s’mores around the campfire while sharing jokes and stories about our travels to Hana. After s’mores, we hung out together and stargazed while reflecting on our incredible day before hitting the hay and getting ready for the next adventure.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26
Written by Amelia, Alexa, and Ona
Today we visited Haleakala National Park, a dormant volcano with the elevation of 10,000 feet. It took about 2 hours to drive up to the volcano; it was so high up that we above the clouds. There was an amazing view at the summit where we saw the ash covered mountains with red, black, and green that painted the landscape.
After a quick lunch break, we headed into the mist for a 3.5-mile hike. During the hike we took moments of silence as the crater is the quietist place on Earth! We got soaked hiking around the crater because we were in the clouds. We saw many native plants and animals such as the Nē Nē bird and the Silver Sword plant which are critically endangered species.
Once we returned to the camp, we quickly changed out of our wet clothes and headed into Lahaina. Many of us enjoyed refreshing treats like Dole Whip or ice cream to cool us down on such a hot day. We also explored many shops with jewelry, clothes, and other souvenirs which will help us remember this trip and share it with our friends and family.
After this very special but long day, we all sat down for a lovely dinner of BBQ pulled pork, tofu, potato salad, and more delicious food. We then split up into our mentor groups and finished off the day with a thoughtful reflection of our experiences.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27-28
Note to families: We are leaving the jump link here for anyone who has not read this post yet (since it was just updated this morning). But we have just added a new post below this one for the final day! Happy reading 🙂 -GLA HQ
Written by: Sophia K.T., Laksha, Theo, Harper
We began our Day with a hearty breakfast, consisting of pancakes and eggs. After going over the turtle themed day, we boarded the vans and headed straight to the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute.
When we arrived they greeted us with open arms, leading us to the marine theater where we listened to an amazing and educational turtle seminar. We learned about all the species and behaviors of turtles in Hawaii, and how to identify them.
Fun fact, the five turtle species in Hawaii are: green sea turtle, olive-ridley, leatherback, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtle.
After exiting the seminar we headed over to tables to play an exciting tournament of trivia Jenga, about what we had just learned. We played for prizes consisting of lip balm, bamboo toothbrushes and reusable cutlery, sunscreen, and stickers (All reef safe!). We reviewed a demo of how they use their rehab center to assist turtles who are injured. We were able to test blood and use all the tools necessary for turtle rehabilitation. We also spotted sea turtles in the wild searching for food in the surf a short walk from the facility. Once we concluded our studies we took a long hike down to the beach where we munched on lunch in the warm sun.
Following lunch we went back to home base to have some downtime as well as learn about what type of leaders we are. Before we knew it, it was dinner time. Our amazing chef cooked us a delicious meal. After dinner we all walked to a nearby beach to watch a breathtaking sunset. After the sunset we came back to homebase for movie night, we watched Lilo and stitch. After the movie we called it a night and went back to our tentalows for bed.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Written by: Zooey and Isabella
We have entered our final day here on Maui! In the morning, we spent a few hours doing a beach cleanup. Our goal was to improve the animals’ safety and health, along with making a clean environment for others to enjoy. We also spent some time picking up micro-plastics and learning about them. Though they are smaller than a centimeter, they have a huge impact on marine life. Our last service project was a success!
It was all business when we headed back to camp. After packing and cleaning up the Tentalows, we were given some free time to hang out. We then had our last mentor group meetings where we reflected on our experiences and set goals for the future. The afternoon ended with preparations for the luau.
When we arrived at the luau, we checked in and received special shell leis. Strewn with lush grass and golden sunlight, the venue was beautiful, and the food was delicious. We learned more stories of Hawaii, had a hula lesson, and experienced an amazing performance that included fire dancing. What a superb sunset and a wonderful celebration!
Our day closed with a final ceremony back at camp. Filled with heartfelt goodbyes, we sat in a circle and took some time to appreciate each other. Though our journey was rough, we all finished it together with new friendships that will last a lifetime. Goodbye Hawaii!