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It’s Our Giant List of Big Island Summer Camps for Keiki 2020

Summer is almost here, and with Spring 2020 wrapping up to be one of the most unusual and memorable springs EVER, hopefully we can all start getting back to something that looks like normal this summer. There may be fewer keiki summer programs than we’re used to, and some may be very different than normal, but keiki summer camps in the time of Covid-19 do exist! Just remember, most of these will fill up fast, so get those kids registered ASAP. We will continue to update this list with keiki summer camps and other resources as they are added. Did we miss a camp? Email us at aloha@bigislandpulse.com so we can add it. Have a great summer, everyone!

Newly added camps! (7/16/20)

Summer Dance Camp – Prince Dance Institute

The Prince Dance Institute is a dance and performing arts school based in Kamuela, Waimea on the Big Island. Founder Angel Prince established the school in 2004 to provide a space for the community to discover performance art. PDI offers classes in everything from ballet to breakdance, with a little something for everyone.

Their Summer Dance Camp will be entirely virtual this year, running from July 13 to July 30 Monday through Thursday via live Zoom classes.  Instructors include dancers of diverse backgrounds from all over the Big Island and the US Mainland, including New York City. Week 1 of the camp focuses on Contemporary & Modern dance, floor work, ballet and body conditioning. Week 2 breaks out into hip hop, break dancing, bass and traditional African dance. Week 3 focuses on performance arts, including musical theater, acting for dancers and choreography. Dancers and performers of all ability levels are welcome. The Kickin’ Keiki Camp takes kids as young as 5! 

In addition to the classes instructed by PDI, access to the CLI Studios 2020 Dance Experience will be included for free to students age 8 and older.  The classes from CLI Studios provide dancers with hundreds of classes in all styles and disciplines taught by world-class choreographers, available via livestream 5+ days a week.

To learn more about the Summer Dance Camp, please visit Prince Dance Institute.

Pacific Whale Foundation’s Virtual Ocean Camp

Introducing Pacific Whale Foundation’s Virtual Ocean Camp for children in grades 1-5! To continue bringing your keiki engaging educational content about the marine environment during summer break while remaining safe, we are taking Ocean Camp online. Join us for our week-long sessions where we dive into daily science lessons, team-building games and other activities, expressive crafts and nature-based inquiry. Each uniquely-themed session accommodates a maximum of 15 campers, so reserve your keiki’s spot today!  

Morning (9:00am) or afternoon (12:00pm) enrollment is available. The online access information will be provided through e-mail the week prior to the start of your session. Camps run July 13-17, 20-24, 27-31.

The cost of the program is $45 per week ($36 for members).
Need-based financial assistance for Virtual Ocean Camp may be available for individual campers. To apply, please download this application. Return completed forms to education@pacificwhale.org

Big Island Summer Camps

Paradise Park Baptist Church Summer Enrichment & Education
Location: HPP Baptist Church
Ages: Elementary through high school
Dates: Starting June 15, daily from 1 to 4 p.m.
Cost: free
Links: Facebook and Registration Page

Location: Hilo YMCA
Ages: Preschool through 6th grade
Dates: June 1 through July 31
Cost: Y Membership is required. Weekly rates, or drop-in.
Register: Available space is limited. Please call Ashley Hanohano, our Youth Program Director at 808-935-3721 for further information.
Links: YMCA Summer Camp

Come and Join the YMCA Summer Day Camp! Your child will engage in various activities that support a healthy mind, body and spirit! Breakfast/Lunch & Snacks included! YMCA Day Camps Offer: Water play, Fun Excursions, Group bonding, Guest speakers, Engagement in the use of cognitive skills

Hawai‘i County Summer Fun Program
Location: multiple sites
Ages: children who have completed 3rd through 6th grade
Dates: June 15 through July 17 (tentative end date)
Cost: free
Register: Starting June 3 at 7:45 a.m., closing on June 4 at 4:30 p.m. online registration or via phone 961-8740
Links: Parks & Rec 

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation announces its 2020 Summer Fun program will begin Monday, June 15 for a minimum of five weeks, tentatively ending on Friday, July 17. The program will run from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and include a snack and take home-lunch.  Enrollment is open to children who have completed 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th grade this past school year.  The program will be hosted at 13 park facilities around the Island.  There is NO CHARGE for this program. Enrollment will begin on Wednesday, June 3 at 7:45 a.m. and close on Thursday, June 4 at 4:30 p.m.  Enrollment will be accepted from parents/guardians via electronic submission at www.hawaiicounty.gov/summer-fun or by calling the Recreation Division at 961-8740 (During business hours only: 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Note: information left on voicemail will not be accepted.) Online enrollment is strongly encouraged as staff availability to take phone calls and process enrollments is limited.  No walk-in enrollment applications will be accepted, participants are limited to enrolling at one site and each enrollment application allows for up to 4 children from the same household.

Participants at each site will be chosen via a random selection method as space is limited. Selected participants will be contacted by Recreation staff by Wednesday, June 10, at which time an appointment for submitting completed registration forms will be arranged.  All other enrollees will be placed on a waitlist should a program site determine it is able to expand or if prior selected participants exit the program. The Summer Fun program may be extended up to an additional 2 weeks, through July 31, at some or all the sites should resources become available.  Participants will be notified when a determination is made for their specific program site.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Summer Fun program will be significantly modified to address the health and safety of program participants and staff.  The program will adhere to all federal, state and county level rules and standard for safe operation, as appropriate. along with various applicable industries and organizations. This includes screening each morning prior to entry, a mandatory face mask/cover policy, physical distancing during program activities and enhanced sanitization procedures.  The State of Hawai‘i Department of Health’s “Guidelines for Child Care Facilities to Reopen or Continue Care” will be incorporated, as appropriate.

The following is a list of this year’s proposed Summer Fun program sites:

  • Andrews Gym/Waiākea Waena Park
  • Pana‘ewa Covered Courts / Pana‘ewa Park
  • Kawananakoa Center / Hualani Park
  • Pi‘ihonua Gym / Gilbert Carvalho Park
  • Pāpa‘ikou Gym / Frank M. Santos Park
  • Honoka‘a Gym / Honoka‘a Park
  • Waimea District Park
  • Ikuo Hisaoka Gym / Kamehameha Park
  • Kekuaokalani Gym / Kailua Park
  • Nā‘ālehu Community Center / Nā‘ālehu Park
  • Rep. Robert N. Herkes Gymnasium & Shelter (Ka‘ū District Gym)
  • Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility / Pāhoa District Park
  • Herbert Shipman Park / Kea‘au Armory

For more information contact the Recreation Division at 961-8740 or via email at recreation@hawaiicounty.gov 

UH Hilo Health Careers Opportunity Program Summer Rural Health Academy 2020
Ages: high school & college students
Dates: June 8 through July 17, 2020
Cost: free
Register: Due by 5 p.m., June 5 – Registration Form
Links: For more information and to see if you qualify, please email danalynn@hawaii.edu.

FREE Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) provides an educational pathway to health careers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (UH Hilo). Students will explore various health career fields and learn about college or health program (e.g. Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physicians Assistant, etc) entrance requirements and campus life through a summer residential program. High School and college students receive academic advising, individualized counseling and other support services as they pursue and complete their health degree programs. The program and all related activities are FREE. Students who complete the program will receive a stipend in the amount of $3,000. 

Example of the program activities include, but are not limited to: ● Problem-based learning (PBL) sessions on common healthcare issues ● Exposure to Health Disparities in Hawaii & Social Determinants of Health ● Research training ● Health career resources and mentoring support ● Cultural awareness activities ● Introduction to Healthcare and Allied Health Career Opportunities ● Meet professionals in different healthcare and allied health positions

Jack’s Diving Locker Marine Life Education
Location: Kona/Waikoloa area
Ages: 6 to 12 years old
Dates: various dates
Cost: prices vary
Register: Registration forms available online
Links: Kids Camp Programs

Hawaii’s ocean environment is filled with pristine coral reefs, colorful reef fish, sea turtles, dolphins, manta rays and more!  Through snorkeling and scuba diving, kids and teens discover the beauty and awe of the underwater world while learning new skills and making new friends.  Jack’s Diving Locker has been offering scuba and snorkeling programs for kids and teens since 1987 that emphasize ocean ecology, marine life conservation, and environmental stewardship.  All camps are 5 days unless otherwise noted.

Big Island Sailing Foundation Youth Sailing Camps
Location: Keauhou Bay and Kona Sailing Club/Honokohau Harbor
Ages: ages 8 to 11 (keiki camp) and 12 and up (teen camp)
Dates: various dates
Cost: $175 recommended donation
Register: Forms available on their website

Learn to sail with this Hawai‘i non profit, dedicated to promoting safe youth sailing on the Big Island.

Big Island Summer Camps: Keiki Swimming/Diving Lessons

Jack’s Diving Locker Swimming & Scuba Camps
Location: Kona/Waikoloa area
Ages: 6 to 12 years old
Dates: various dates
Cost: prices vary
Register: Registration forms available online
Links: Kids Camp Programs

Hawaii’s ocean environment is filled with pristine coral reefs, colorful reef fish, sea turtles, dolphins, manta rays and more!  Through snorkeling and scuba diving, kids and teens discover the beauty and awe of the underwater world while learning new skills and making new friends.  Jack’s Diving Locker has been offering scuba and snorkeling programs for kids and teens since 1987 that emphasize ocean ecology, marine life conservation, and environmental stewardship.  All camps are 5 days unless otherwise noted.

Hawaii Swimming
Location: Waikoloa
Ages: beginning at 3 years old
Dates: dates vary
Cost: prices vary
Register: Register online

Come join the fun with Hawaii Swimming for our Swimming for Life classes. *We have discounted the fees 25% to help all those affected by COVID-19.Hawaii Swimming Reopening Plan. ~We will be utilizing a Private Pool in Waikoloa for lessons. Our mission is to serve both our local and global community through our swimming for life classes, safety preparedness trainings, educational opportunities, professional training courses, and service on committees, which enhances the quality of life for our aquatics Ohana. Through our mission, we assist with the development and advancement of stronger programs at the local, national, and global level; which provides a positive aquatics experience and assists in building a stronger community.

Hilo Swim School
Location: 1717 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo
Ages: 6 months and older
Dates: ongoing
Cost: pool lessons from $31; ocean lessons from $135
Register: Hilo Ocean Adventures website

Do you have little ones that want to learn how to swim? Hilo Ocean Adventures offers Keiki swim lessons with professionally trained swim instructors in Hilo’s only heated indoor pool. We teach children anywhere from six months old and up and cater to any experience level, even offering lessons for adults! If your child is looking for a new challenge, we also teach ocean swim lessons so kids can be prepared and know what to expect when playing in the ocean. Reserve your swimming lesson in Hilo below!

Big Island Summer Camps: Virtual Camps/Activities

Editor’s note: These are all Hawai‘i Island-based. We may include some other state programs in the future.

EDvance at Hawaiʻi Community College is pleased to announce that enrollment for the 2020 Summer Youth Academy is now underway. All courses have been redesigned for live online delivery and for hands-on engagement.

We have classes for keiki who have completed grades 1-12 with the first session starting June 15, 2020.

Don’t delay, courses will fill quickly!

KTA SHAKA (Summer Home Adventures & Keiki Activities) Program
Location: online
Ages: all
Dates: June 1 through 28, 2020
Cost: free
Links: KTA Superstores

2020 is certainly a year for the record books, and as summer creeps closer, Hawai‘i’s keiki are finding themselves with fewer and fewer options for summer education and fun. In an effort to provide kids of all ages something fun to do over the summer, KTA Super Stores has partnered with ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, Shaka Tea, and the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center – Youth Arts Series to create the SHAKA (Summer Home Adventures & Keiki Activities) with KTA program, a series of weekly online activities for the month of June.

This series of classes will include DIY, how-to, or educational activities for everyone; KTA encourages everyone to participate, no matter their age or home island, as long as they want to have fun and learn! The weekly activities are designed to help keep participants busy, positive, and engaged as they adjust to a different sort of school break.

“Summer is such an important time in kids’ lives. They’ve endured so many difficulties over the past few months, so we wanted to give Hawai‘i’s keiki something to really look forward to during the month of June. These activities are designed to be engaging and educational, with the added element of excitement at the opportunity to win prizes,” said KTA Super Stores President Toby Taniguchi.

How it works:

Each week, KTA partners will post an activity on their social media pages. After completing the activity, participants will post a photo of their finished masterpiece on social media and tag @ktasuperstores plus that week’s host and hashtag the post #SHAKAwithKTA. ALL participants will receive a special KTA Mascot keychain and will be entered to win one of ten $20 KTA gift cards, as well as prizes from each week’s activity host. Ten winners for each activity will be selected randomly at the end of the submission period; participants can enter every week to win up to $80 in KTA gift cards. 

All social media accounts that are participating must be public and following @ktasuperstores and the host of the week to be eligible to win. In observance of social distancing, all prizes will be mailed to the participant at the end of the promotion. Participants must provide an email and valid state of Hawai‘i mailing address to receive their prize. There is no purchase necessary to enter or win.

For a more detailed list of the Official Rules of the contest visit ktasuperstores.com/promotions

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center: ‘Imiloa@Home
Location: online
Ages: all
Dates: ongoing
Cost: free
Links: ‘Imiloa@Home

While ʻImiloa is closed to the public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are shifting our attention to providing free online resources for our island communities and beyond. Our online resources page will offer make at home crafts, science and astronomy video clips, and more! 

Tinker & Do Coding Camp
Location: online
Ages: 4 years old to 4th grade
Dates: June 8 through July 2
Cost: $40-$150
Register: Tinker & Do
Links: Hi Fusioned

Need something for the kids to do as we “shelter-in-place”? Join our “Just for Little Coders” online class series for students 4 years old to 4th Graders. Students will learn basic coding concepts through robotics, game design and animation. Why coding at such an early age? Coding gives children the ability to “tinker”. Understanding how tech works provides a foundation and some essential skills in preparation for their 21st century journeys. With this understanding, they can certainly help us build a better world!

Please register at www.bit.ly/tinkeranddo or email ERIN at erin@hifusioned.org or call her at (808) 389-0077 for more information. Fill out my online form.

Youth Art Series At Home: Summer 2020
Location: online
Ages: all
Dates: May 15 through August 1
Cost: free
Links: YAS at Home

YAS has made the decision to cancel our 2020 Summer art camp due to the current circumstances as a result of COVID-19. Although the YAS team had many exciting things planned and was looking forward to seeing all of your junior artists, we feel this is the best decision for everyone involved. In lieu of our on-site programming, YAS will be pivoting towards online programming. Beginning this month, and continuing through July, we will be periodically releasing new art content for keiki on our website. YAS has some fun online collaborations in the works with some of our friends, so stay tuned!

We hope that these changes will be temporary, and that we will be able to resume regular art camps and workshops in the Fall. We ask for your patience as we navigate this new normal. The YAS team is wishing everyone positive thoughts in these challenging times. Please stay safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing everyone in person again someday soon. 

Kona Historical Society
Location: online – Kona Historical Society Facebook
Ages: all
Dates: ongoing
Cost: free
Links: Mondays with Maile and Story Time 

Mondays with Maile: For years, Maile Melrose has contributed her memories and stories of Kona with the Kona Historical Society community through a variety of programs, lectures and experiences. She is one of Kona’s most dedicated advocates as an author, historian, and President of the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, and has dedicated her life and work to the preservation of Kona’s history, the appreciation of the historic places and monuments throughout the North and South Kona districts, and the stories of Kona’s people, places and plants. Ms. Melrose has contributed countless hours to local history with her online publication “Maile’s Meanderings” on the Kona Historical Society website, and by guiding tours that are immersive journeys into Kona’s history. Monday’s With Maile are presented by Kona Historical Society and are livestreamed to the Society’s Facebook page every Monday at 1 p.m., beginning May 4.

Story Time: With the governor’s stay-at-home order now extended through May, many ohana are searching for additional resources to keep their keiki entertained and engaged. To provide parents and caregivers a few minutes of precious relief, Kona Historical Society launching a new weekly virtual story time on its Facebook page.

The nonprofit is inviting ohana to gather around their computers, phones and tablets together to enjoy short stories about Kona’s unique history and heritage. Some of the books shared will transport viewers back to the past or take them down memory lane. Other selected books aim to spark curiosity, smiles, joy, and laughter. Many celebrate community, diversity and friendship.

Every Wednesday at 1 p.m., Kona Historical Society’s Programs Team will conduct a virtual story time, lasting between 5 and 20 minutes on Kona Historical Society’s Facebook page.

Girls’ Circles
Location: online
Ages: for girls
Dates: May 15 through July 3 UPDATED: Additional sessions to be held on Thursdays at 3 p.m., July 2-30 
Cost: by donation
Register: Girls’ Circle

A girls’ connection with others is a central organizing feature of her inner development. The quality of these connections can determine her wellbeing. In Girls’ circles, we offer : an avenue for authentic, supportive relationships, simple rituals and creative activities to enhance self-understanding, and experiences that honor young womanhood. ​BIG ISLAND GIRLS’ CIRCLE ONLINE – Join us via Zoom, FRIDAYS AT 3PM. Starting May 15th. Eight weeks of Circles For: Ages 11-13. We will explore themes of: Character Strengths, Female Archetypes, Healthy Relationships, Mindset and Mindchatter, Body Image, Choosing Role Models, Science of Gratitude and Happiness. This class is offered to the community on a donation basis. Please fill out the contact form to receive more information.

Other Big Island Summer Camp & Summer Fun Resources

Hawai‘i Public Library 

Although our buildings remain closed to the public for now, we are excited to offer Library Take Out as a convenient and safe way to access library books and materials. Starting Tuesday, May 26th, you may now schedule a Library Take Out appointment time to pick up your hold item(s) at your favorite library in 47 of our 51 libraries.

Here’s how it works: 1.Go to Library Catalog or call library branch to place a hold on the item(s) you would like borrow. 2. After receiving a notice that your item(s) are ready for pick up, you can schedule a Library Take Out appointment online.

 If you placed your hold(s) before the closure, just schedule a Library Take Out appointment to pick them up. Library Take Out service is not available at the following libraries: Liliha, McCully, Pearl City and the Hawaii State Library.  No book donations will be accepted at this time.

Featured photo via Seaventures

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