Camp Kerry Retreat Day 6

On Day 4 we all headed out early with Charlie Fleck of Blue Soul Maui and his 19 year old nephew Charlie of Spokane to do a hike in the Bamboo Forest. This is a beautiful hike just past Ho'okipa and the Twin Falls. I have done this hike once before and remembered it being easy as well as beautiful. We had to do a little bit of rope and ladder climbing but really nothing dangerous or too high. Aside from a couple of people who required some extra coaxing and hand holding, the children and I forged ahead and reached the part where you get to jump in and go for a 5 minute swim to the final area where there is a beautiful lagoon and waterfall. We reached the end, had a great swim admiring the beautiful lagoon and waterfall, watched a couple of brave young men dive off a very steep, waterfall into the lagoon and it started to rain heavily. To make a long story short, we all arrived back, safe, sound, soaking wet and covered in mud! Fortunately there were a couple of outdoor natural pools to wash off in :)

We then went to Paia and had the best pizza's of our lives at Paia Flatbread Company. No kidding, it was delicious. Thank you Patty of the Paia Flabread Company, we had one group of starving individuals!

The next day (Day 5) the families had yet another adventurous day. They all went surfing with Charlie Fleck of Blue Soul Maui; the parents, children and a couple of the Counselors all tried it and 8 of the 10 were surfing by the end of the lesson. Charlie had a few people helping him and many said that they would never have been able to do it without Charlie and his assistants. Thank you Charlie for your generosity, patience, time and kindness! I know both the surfing and the hike will be memorable hi-lights for the families. After the surfing the families then made their way to the Saturday Farmers in Kahului. This was another outing that was enjoyed and appreciated by all ages, everyone came home with memorabilia (food, ukulele's, jewelry, beach bags etc…) and I was told it was perfect as there were items in all price ranges and the variety was outstanding.

The retreat has been incredibly busy but each day the families take time out with their Counselors for Circles and each day there is a new theme (reflection). I have spoken to the teenagers and the parents and they all found this time very beneficial. One of the teens (age 15) told me that she finds it helpful to know that she is not alone and that others are going through the same as her. I am so happy that these families are able to bond and have had this opportunity. As I reflect back, I think of all the people who come to Maui and never leave the beach or their swimming pools and again feel so blessed that Mark and I have been able to give this gift and have been able to participate with them all. Mahalo to all the sponsors and individuals who have helped us sponsor Camp Kerry Maui families.

Today was Family Day (Day 6) and we spent the morning with the families at the beach, Caroline and Tristan gave them the tour of all the slides. The Counselors are heading to the beach and will have time to reflect on all that has happened this past week. The Grand Wailea has been very generous, providing the families with massages for the parents, Luau's and two days use of the pools. Tomorrow we will go out on the outrigger with the Kihei Canoe Club. The next two days will be spent relaxing and reflecting and focusing on moving forward. The families will have dinner at the Monkey Pod on the way to the airport Wednesday evening. I have been able to speak to them all individually and get their feed back on how the retreat has been going and they all agree it has been perfect.