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ʻIke Loa Summer Program

Updated: Dec 29, 2020


During this unprecedented year we are thankful to have been able to host ʻIke Loa Summer Immersion Program. ʻIke Loa was an outdoor day program that took place at Huʻehuʻe Ranch throughout the month of July. We hosted a small group of local students from the ages of 9-13.


At this point of the year, kids were still adjusting to spending ample amounts of time indoors due to the pandemic. When they arrived they were eager to play outside and had lots of energy! We couldn't have been happier to provide a space for them to come together.


ʻIke Loa is the value of learning and means to “seek knowledge” in Hawaiian. This camp turned out to be an infusion of learning, playing, and digging deeper into our pilina (relationship) with each other and the world around us. We learned a lot more about each other through a series of workshops and hands-on activities. The group's diverse energy led the overall dynamic of the program. We spent a lot of time outdoors hiking the property, walking through the forest, and spending time getting our hands dirty in the garden.


Everything we did we tried to connect back to the landscape and the relationship that we have with nature and our environment. We incorporated cultural protocol, practices, and perspectives into our learning and discussion. Each morning we started the day off with an oli komo and we learned an oli mahalo that we offered to place at the end of the program, along with lāʻi or ti leaf lei that we harvested and made together.


Food also played a big component in our learning and connection to the land and one another. To my surprise, many of the kids were so knowledgable about the plants in the garden. We harvested plants that we incorporated into our farm to table lunches. Each day half of the group helped in the kitchen and presented the food to their peers. Along with that, each day Uncle Jeff offered us exquisite Jasmine tea, that we enjoyed together while we talked story and got to know one other better.


And as a way of giving back to Huʻehuʻe and the garden, we did a malama ʻāina stewardship project with Aunty Nicole and Aunty Paiden. The keiki learned a little about permaculture practices, creating fertile compost, and together we cleared a plot where we later planted ʻolena (tumeric). Another part of this project involved the kids working together to build an infrastructure for the ducks. They used all natural foraged materials to put it together by hand. It turned out looking like a teepee and the ducks love to hang out in it for shade.


This turned out to be a fun and fulfilling program. The kids had a chance to immerse themselves in the outdoors and dive deeper into their pilina with each other and nature. We hope they enjoyed the experience as much as we did. Check out the pictures and more highlights below!


Highlights from the ʻIke Loa program:


  • Harvested local food from the garden

  • Helped prepare lunch and make things like green papaya salad and pesto sauce.

  • Created “I am” poems with the girls

  • Learned Oli Mahalo with Aunty Liana

  • Created beautiful beaded jewelry with Aunty Paiden and N