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.
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 JULY 8
Aloha from Maui! Today was arrival day, and thankfully everyone made it here safely. Many students had some very long flights, but everyone is in good spirits and stoked for surfing lessons tomorrow. After moving into the tentalows we came together as a group over a yummy taco dinner provided by our awesome caterers. After dinner we started some orientation activities and then crashed in our new beds with our new roommates after a long day of travel.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
After settling into our tentalows in Maui, we went straight to Lahaina Beach for surfing lessons. After a couple hours of catching waves and some fabulous wipeouts, we went out for some well-earned refreshments; suffice it to say, Dole Whip became the new favorite summer treat for many of us today. After lunch, we had orientation, and started getting to really know each other, as well as the ground rules and home base. Overall, this shared experience is off to a spectacular start.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Today was our second full day of camp and our first day of service with the Maui Ocean Conservation Marine Institute(MOCMI)! The day started with a group heading to the beach on camp for sunrise before we headed to another beach to meet the MOCMI interns. We had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see them release a turtle they had rescued yesterday after it was caught in some fishing wire. Then, we headed over to their facility to do some service work, which included picking up trash near the harbor, feeding coral, and helping out some of their sea turtles. Next, we broke for lunch before one last beach cleanup and a conversation about plastics and how they affect our daily lives.
After this informative conversation, we drove back to Home Base for some free time and everyone swam and played games at the beach together before dinner and mentor groups. Overall, today was a fun and educational day jam packed with interesting activities! Tomorrow we will be hiking the Haleakala crater, which is known to be the quietest place on earth!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Today in Maui, we hiked Haleakalā, also known as the East Maui Volcano! Being above the clouds, yet still on the ground was truly an ethereal experience. After our strenuous but exciting hike, we cooled off by visiting Paia, where we shopped for cool refreshments as well as many keepsakes and souvenirs. We cleaned up, had dinner, and finished off our pleasantly eventful day around a bonfire, with music, chatter and many a s’more in hand. (Photo courtesy of Ester)
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
After a quick breakfast it was time for us to head out to our second day of service with MOCMI. We split off into two groups. This first group hit the ocean and went snorkeling with the goal of counting how many turtles we saw. We swam to a turtle feeding/cleaning ground and saw loads of turtles as well as a variety of fish. While the first group swam, the second group listened to a presentation about turtles and learned about the different types of turtles, their anatomy, the nesting process as well as how MOCMI helps rehabilitate them.
The groups then switched and it was time for lunch. After lunch the two groups battled it out over an intense game of turtle trivia. The winning group won a grand prize which was being first in line for shave ice. After dinner we broke into our mentor groups and proceeded to have an engrossing debate over turtle conservation.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Today, we went back again to MOCMI for another day of service. Split into 4 groups, we rotated through stations led by MOCMI interns. At these stations, we toured the aquarium, learning about different sea life and creatures, watched a humpback whale 4D experience, helped out with and fed sea turtles, listened to coral presentations, cut up squid, sorted trash, and more. Some took the time to explore the aquariums gift shop and browse through nearby shops. We were also lucky enough to watch and help out with another sea turtle release, which was really cool to watch.
After coming back to home base, some people went to the beach, some played cards, and some chilled inside their tentalows or hung out with friends. We watched a movie called “Chasing Coral” after dinner- which was delicious by the way – and it was especially eye opening. Then, we participated in a discussion on whether or not we believed GMOS and human interaction should be allowed to help save coral.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
For many campers, today was the most beautiful day by far. After boarding a 60 ft catamaran, we set sail for the day. 15 minutes after setting sail, the campers experienced something very few will ever get the chance to see. Around 30 false killers whales lined the waters around the boat, popping up every few seconds.
Although seeing this spectacular sight was amazing, hearing the excitement in the voices of the boat crew may have been even more special as they described the rarity of the situation after not seeing a group that large for 12 years. As if that sight was not enough, the group saw a seemingly endless number of spinner dolphins swimming close beside the boat. Once the campers reached the snorkeling site, they leaped off the side of the boat, holding tight to their goggles. Another awe-inspiring snorkeling session was followed by a bumpy boat ride back. Once arriving at the port, a large shopping opportunity ended off our excursion on a high note.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Yet another day on the beautiful island of Maui! We woke up for breakfast at 7 and headed down to MOCMI to help them with a coral reef clean up. We did some water quality testing first, then went snorkeling.
We were all very surprised at what we found entangled in the reef. During our clean up, we came across multiple long fishing lines embedded in the reef, fishing weights, and hooks. It was very cool to be able to help clean up these reefs all together and make a difference. After our clean up we headed over to a small park by the ocean side for a quick lunch. We then immediately picked our stuff right back up to head back over the MOCMI for a beach clean up. Once we finished our activities out in the sun, our amazing counselors volunteered to take us to Safeway and a couple other shops. Yay for the mentors! We ended off the night with a delicious sushi dinner and a well planned mentor activity. See you tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
Today we took a drive down the road to Hana. This winding road took us through the rainforest, with scenic views of the ocean. With our tour guides, we got to learn all about the history of Maui, and about the wildlife and plants that we were passing. Our stops along the way included a waterfall, a black sand beach, a botanical garden, and a delicious banana bread place! When we got back to camp, it was pizza night for dinner, and we ended the night with some exciting trivia about what we had learned earlier that day.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Unfortunately, today was our last MOCMI service day. We spent the morning scouring a local beach for micro plastics and found a shocking amount of small pieces that could have potentially harmed the aquatic life. After, we took a break from the beach cleanup and played an intense game of capture the flag! We did one final beach cleanup near the parking lot before partaking in a discussion on micro plastics and the effect they have on the environment and our lives. We then headed back to camp for some much needed free time and began packing for our upcoming departure. Finally, we finished the day with one large mentor group and made a goal for ourselves over the course of the next year.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 18
*Note – Photos have been added for the final blog post below*
With this session coming to a close, we spent our last day before departure enjoying each other’s company bright and early at the beach. The water was amazing and everyone had a great time. Small groups took strolls to the nearby cafes and ice cream stores. Slowly, we headed back to camp to prepare ourselves for the Lūʻau. Lots of showering later, everyone was dressed in their best attire. We took photos with the sunset and headed out.
As we arrived, we each got leid walking in. The Lūʻau was beautiful and students were able to try many of the native cuisines. With full stomachs, we watched an amazing show of fantastic hula dancers. Once we arrived back to camp, we circled up and had a final mentor group all together. With the last hour of the night, we spent our free time wisely getting in as much time with each other as possible before finally going to bed on an amazing day.