Maui Arts & Entertainment

The Lahaina Restoration Foundation Hosts Lahaina Quest Culture Camps

October 21, 2021, 12:46 PM HST
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Lahaina Quest campers making Portuguese Sweet Bread to be baked in a traditional Portuguese oven. From left to right: Zale Roddenberry, Linea Crichton, Halen Chaney, Madison Nakihei, Helaiyna Corniel-Luna, Caelin McClintock. PC: Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

The Lahaina Restoration Foundation hosted a five-day Lahaina Quest Culture Camp over the Fall Break for students in Grades 3-5. The camp was a quest through time and places in Historic Lahaina, with a different era as the focus for each day. The fall camp was fully funded by the donors of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, with no cost to participating families.

Six students from Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena, Sacred Heart, and Maui Preparatory Academy explored four different time periods spanning nearly five hundred years of Lahaina’s history. Every day the kids investigated a distinct era and its culture through food, games, arts and crafts, as well as visits to historical sites/museums.

On the day that the camp focused on the sugar era, the kids made from scratch and baked pao doce (sweet Portuguese bread) in an authentic Portuguese oven fired with kiawe wood at the Agawa Home. Showing off their artistic talents, they decorated their own set of POGS, a game originally from the 1920s and played with milk caps. Of course, there was an intense POGS tournament before the end of day.

When asked about the camp, fourth grade student Caelin McClintock said, “[It was] such an amazing experience like no other camp that I’ve been to.” 

Fellow fourth-grader, Helaiyna Corniel-Luna said, “It’s a fun camp to make friends. We did fun experiments.”

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The Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s mission is to preserve and protect the historic legacies of Lahaina. The foundation, led by Executive Director, Theo Morrison, extends its mission to include cultural education of children as well as those young at heart. 

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Morrison said, “As a kid, I loved going to camp. When I realized that Lahaina didn’t have a cultural camp for kids, I knew it was my responsibility to start one. That’s how Lahaina Quest Culture Camp was born.”

Kimberly Flook, Deputy Executive Director at the Lahaina Restoration Foundation said, “Kids are very receptive. If we can get kids to understand people through the study of cultures, they will have that understanding throughout their whole lifetime. Plus, we have an excellent program that is not only educational, but also so much fun for the kids and the teachers too.”

Throughout the five days, the basecamp was located at Hale Aloha where the Lahaina Restoration Foundation has its collections room. Each day the kids had time to explore its treasures. They got to see and touch a real milk cap for playing POGS. Also, they learned how to type on an old-school typewriter and dial on a rotary phone. “One of the highlights for me as well as the kids was time in the collections room. It was a real hit to hold history in our hands,” said Flook.

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Flook will be heading up multiple Lahaina Quest programs between Christmas and New Year’s. The history and cultural focuses remain, but the attendees can choose to enroll in one or more programs. The winter programs are designed for multiple age groups, including students in Grades 1-3, Grades 4-5, and a family class. The Winter Lahaina Quest Culture programs will be fully funded by Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s donors.

To learn more, or to register a keiki for participation, visit www.lahainarestoration.org or email [email protected] 

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