2004 Hawaii Paradise Tour
Troop 33 - First Lutheran: DeKalb, Illinois

Hawaii Paradise Tour
June 1 - June 11, 2004 . . $1150.00

The Hawaiian Islands are some of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Troop 33 experienced Hawaii recently on an adventure tour that included hiking through rain forest in the mountains, swimming, surfing, snorkeling, mountain biking, free jumping, and exploring hidden waterfalls.

The first place we visited was the U.S.S. Airzona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. The visit included touring the museum and a boat ride to the memorial itself. After more than 50 years, drops oil still leaks from the hull of the sunken ship like tears.

The top left photo shows our group posing in front of the anchor and chain of the U.S.S. Arizona. The person in the blue shirt is Eagle Scout Don Downing Jr of Honolulu Troop 189.

The other photos represent images of a lifesaver and the memorial itself which is built over the ship. The american flag is an extension of the ships own flag mast.

Below is a panoramic view from another battlefield at Nu'uanu State Park where King Kamehameha united the Hawaiian Kingdom with a great victory. Many of the opposing warriors jumped to their deaths from the Pali Cliffs rather than surrender. None of our Scouts did any jumping, but they did get a history lesson and an awesome view of Oahu's eastern shore.

We also visited the offices of Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America. They must have the most beautiful council property in nation. A handsome building surrounded by magnificently landscaped grounds. Here we pose by their sign.

Swimming, body surfing, and snorkeling was found along the golden sands of Kailua Beach.

We also had some hiking adventures on Oahu. Our first hike was to the top of Diamond Head, the famous extinct volcano that overlooks Honolulu. Pictured below is a view of Honolulu from atop Diamond Head.

Another hiking adventure took us through bamboo and rain forest to Manoa Falls.

Another extinct volcano on the island has been eroded and invaded by ocean waters creating the Hanuama Bay Marine Sanctuary. It provides one of the most beautiful beaches and some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii.

Troop 664 of Mililani Town hosted us for an authentic Hawaiian Luau featuring exotic dishes like Kilui Pork, Massaged Salmon, Poi and other native foods. Some of their troop spent all day preparing food. Their Scouts presented us with neckerchief slides they had carved from Kukui nuts, and also leis they had made for us. Members of Troop 33 and Troop 664 posed together for a photograph.

The website of Troop 664 has more photos.

At Barber's Point Beach we were introduced to the sport of Kings, surfing. Don Downing Jr. of Honolulu's Troop 189 served as our master surfing instructor. It was a dream come true for us midwesterners from Illinois.

We did a quick stop at the Dole Pineapple plantation in the central part of the island. Much of that area is covered with fields of pineapple and sugar cane. We stayed at Camp Pupukea operated by the Aloha Council on the north shore of Oahu. On the north shore we visited Shark's Cove for some free jumping off the rock cliffs into the ocean. We had locals guide us to the jumping location.

Afterwards we enjoyed delicious Hawaiian Shaved Ice at Motsomoto's in Hale'iwa.

Our travel to Maui was via Pacific Wings Airlines, accomplished onboard two Cessna Caravan airplanes where we enjoyed great views of Oahu as we took off, Molakai and Lennai as we flew over, and Maui as we landed. It's much more exciting than flying between islands on a big jetliner.

While on Maui we stayed at Camp Mahulia, operated by the Maui County council of the Boy Scouts of America. It is a beautiful camp situated on a mountainside overlooking the ocean. Lush with tropical vegetation, a waterfall is visible nearby.

The island of Maui is dominated by a 10,000 foot volcano, Mount Haleakala. This is the location of one of Hawaii's national parks, Mount Haleakala National Park. One of the highlights of our trip was bicycling 38 miles from the crater of Mount Halaekala to the sea.

We stared into the crater of Mount Haleakala and mounted our bicycles amid 40-mph winds. Speeding down a dormant volcano on mountain bikes, miles of twisting roads beckoning, we looked out upon a span of billowing clouds outstretched beneath us to the horizon. It was the closest thing to flying without leaving the ground.

One quick note of caution. When traveling at night, beware of free range cattle on the highways. We had one experience where a calf ran in front of one of our vans. The van screeched to a halt, barely making contact with the calf, but enough for cow tipping. The calf regained it's footing and ran off into the night, much wiser for the experience.

Another night found a full grown steer (with great big horns) wandering on the highway. There was no room, one side of the highway was vertical up the mountain, the other side a cliff down to the sea. Combining the use of my horn and flashing my brights I was able to "herd" the animal down the road where there's a grassy right-of-way for him to graze. (I traveled 4,500 miles to hawaii so I could herd cattle with a mini-van?)

Traveling along the famed Hana Highway with its tight turns and one-lane bridges, we stopped to sample what can only be described as paradise.

Hiking through tropical rainforest, wading through a flooded cave, we found hidden waterfalls where we could jump from rocky cliffs into deep cool pools below.

At one pool there was a great banyan tree with a canopy of branches spreading out high above the water. With a thick rope suspended from one massive branch, Scouts could swing across the water "Tarzan"-style. Everywhere around us were giant flowering plants and lush vegetation. It was a place too perfect to describe. Photos cannot begin to capture the beauty.

We snorkeled and explored tidal pools filled with sea-life at Baldwin, Poopika and Wailea beaches. Pictured below is Wailea beach. Our last morning on Maui featured a continental breakfast on a small sandy hill overlooking the beach. (We had just visited the only Krispy Kreme franchise in the Hawaiian Islands.)

Our final evening in Hawaii took place in Oahu, where we stayed at a high-rise hotel in Waikiki. We enjoyed a farewell dinner in a large restaurant fashioned after a Polynesian village, where we also celebrated Brad's 16th birthday.

Our last evening was spent shopping for souvenirs at the International Market and Duke's Lane, with a final walk along Waikiki beach under a watchful moon.

We worked with and met some other Scout troops during our trip. Troop 189 from Honolulu, hosted us for 3 nights and one of their Eagle Scouts served as our Oahu guide and surfing instructor. Troop 664 from Millilani Town provided an opportunity for us to meet native Hawaiian Scouts and they showered us with warm hospitality, providing hand crafted gifts and a most delicious traditional Luau. They demonstrated for us what the Aloha spirit is all about. We are forever in their debt.

Troop 33's Hawaiian Paradise tour will always be remembered for fun, adventure, challenge, excitement, and the thrill of new experiences. Every time we close our eyes and feel the sun's warmth upon our face, we will remember our days in paradise - a time when there was excitement every single waking moment.

2004 Hawaii Paradise Tour
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- Pacific Wings
- Barbers Point
- Ft DeRussy
- Hanuama
- Kailua
- Waikiki
- Baldwin
- Poopika
- Twin Falls Pools
- Wailea
- Shark's cove - Oahu
- Twin Falls Pools - Maui
- Camp Pupukea - Oahu
- Diamond Head - Oahu
- Manoa Falls - Oahu
- Twin Falls - Maui
- Hickam AFB
- Pearl Harbor
- Fort DeRussy

- Aloha Council Office
- Camp Maluhia - Maui
- Camp Pupukea - Oahu
- Troop 189 - Honolulu
- Troop 664 - Mililiani
- Hanuama Bay - Oahu
- Barber's Point - Oahu
- Mt Haleakala - Maui
- Dole Pinapple Plantation
- Duke's Lane
- Haleiwa
- Hana Highway
- Honolulu Sightseeing
- Hula Bowl Swap Meet
- Luau (Troop 664)
- Pali Cliffs
- USS Arizona Memorial
- Waikiki hotel

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. . .

Cliff Golden



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