One of the best things about being in Hawaii is the homeschooling connections we’ve made.  It’s funny how these things snowball too.  One person led to a group, which led to another group, which led to another.  Truthfully, we’ve always been sort of isolated as a family anywhere we’ve lived.  In contrast, our time here has been an amazing experience of meeting many new people.  And an added bonus of that has been outings that we might never have heard of on our own.
One of the groups we’re members of recently posted about the YMCA’s Camp Erdman.  Aidan attended a weeklong Y day camp last summer, and we had a family membership for awhile as well.  Otherwise, our exposure to the Y has been fairly limited.  I didn’t even know they really had actual camps like this.
After a bit of research, I learned that this location offers family weekend campouts plus weeklong sleepover camps for the kids.  They are a bit out of our budget, but the idea is incredible.  So we were all excited about the day our homeschooling group set up.  For just around $110, our family was scheduled for four hours of fun.


The camp is on the North Shore which is the section of the island that has been used in tons of movies.  Just a quick glance around and you can see why.  It is insanely gorgeous here.

We got started right away with the rock climbing wall.

We waited for about thirty minutes before it was our kids’ turns.  The wall was only open in the morning, and we had a hike scheduled.  So there were many of us waiting around to get a chance at climbing.
Audra was the first of our three.

And this girl is insane.  She was the second to reach the top, but the first to actually ring the bell.

She got her monkey skills from James.

Austin went next.

He made a valiant effort, but he decided he was done about 3/4 of the way to the top.  But I think he had more fun on the way down anyway.

I really wanted to see Aidan try his best, so I may have bribed with an extra hour of Minecraft if he made it to the top.

He gave it a really good effort, but halfway through, he decided that Minecraft just wasn’t worth it.  I don’t really blame him.  That was a tall wall!

James and I got all suited up, but by the time our kids finished up, we had to sprint over to the hike meetup area.  We were bummed! (But now we’re looking into some outdoor rock climbing classes.  Stay tuned!)

We’re always up for a hike, so when we saw that listed, we jumped on it right away.  I don’t think this was on an actual named path – the Y guide simply called it the Mauka (mountain) Trail.  The kids were all given laminated cards – sort of like a scavenger hunt for the hike.

One of my favorite parts of this island is how nearly every trail has different scenery.  It’s tough to get bored.

This was our second stop, and it was when we began regretting our lack of bug repellent.  Parents of the year.

If I was a better listener, I could tell you what kind of tree this is.  But I know that it grows that way to help protect the cliff there from eroding.

This poor girl is like mosquito bait.  Two days later and she’s still covered in welts.

We climbed up this little area to see an old dried-up waterfall.

And we were able to see dried lava layers.

The hike was just over a mile, but it was interesting nonetheless.  We got to meet some new people, and that’s always fun.  One of them even took this for us as we were coming back out.

Then we all headed back towards the camp for lunch.

We picked up Subway while we were headed up to the camp.

But the camp was kind enough to start a little fire for anyone who wanted to roast wienies or marshmallows too.

I could only sit still for 4.3 seconds though.  I had to explore our surroundings.  The camp sits right on the ocean with the mountains as a backdrop.  I really can’t even imagine working daily in a place like this.  Incredible.

Then of course I dragged the kids over for a picture.

After lunch, some of the group headed over to the pool for a swim.  I think they also had some field games prepared for us as well.  But with only an hour left in the day, we wanted to check out the archery range!
But while we waited for the instructor, we walked on the balance beams. (But can I just say – this scene looks like it’s straight out of a movie.  And I even thought that while standing there.  Any kid would be lucky to attend camp here!)

Somehow we got super lucky – we were the only ones (out of 50ish people!) who decided to do archery after lunch.  So we got to shoot a lot of arrows.

He gave us all of the instructions, but I asked if the kids could go first even though there were enough slots for all of us.  Why?  Someone had to take pictures of course! I won’t bore you with them all though.

The long and short of it is that the kids had a little trouble getting their arrows to the target, but then the instructor halved their distance.  That helped – Audra got a bullseye and the boys were both able to hit the target a bunch!

After many rounds with the kids, James and I took our turn.  I don’t want to brag, but I definitely got a bullseye.  On my first shot.  Swear to you.  Beginner’s luck.  And James ended up getting one as well.  But I have to say, it was actually way more fun than we even anticipated.

We spent a full hour shooting and letting the kids shoot.  And we also chatted with the instructor who is from Maryland.  Ironically, he lives just about 30 minutes from where we resided for three years.  It’s so much fun learning people’s stories because so many are just here temporarily.  And what an experience we are all getting, right?

Now I’m all hyped to do something like this again.  But with more activities!  Has your family ever done a family camp with the Y?

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