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Help with sea turtle conservation

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Climb to the top of a volcanic crater

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Experience the beauty of Hawaii

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Hawaii Sea Turtle Service and Adventure (11 Days)

$3,495.00
Price:

$3,495 + Airfare + $140 Intra Trip Flight

Date:

Jun 29 – Jul 9, Jul 10 – Jul 20, Jul 21 – Jul 31, Aug 1 – Aug 11

Days:

11

Session:

Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Session 5

Who can go on this trip?

Students from all over the world!

Finishing Grades:

9, 10, 11, 12

Places we visit:

Oahu and Maui

Optional group flight there:

LAX to Honolulu

Optional group flight back:

Maui to LAX

Join us this summer for some sun, sand, and sea turtles as we explore the Hawaiian islands! From vibrant Honolulu to laid back Maui, this program covers some of the best highlights of Hawaii, including beautiful waterfalls, postcard perfect beaches, and plenty of adventure!

Spend some time learning about sea turtle conservation and participate in several projects to protect the endangered hawksbill sea turtles. Projects include snorkeling and reef surveying, nest watches, night patrols, and watching over sea turtles as they bask on the island’s beaches.

Visit a small village tucked away in a private valley and fully immerse yourself in the traditional Hawaiian lifestyle. Only those with an invitation can visit this special place and we will have the unique opportunity to spend the day. Connect with a local Hawaiian family and help out with their sustainability projects while embracing the traditional Hawaiian way of life. This is a true cultural immersion experience and a wonderful way to experience the true meaning of Ohana in Hawaii!

Our service work will also include a special visit to the Boys and Girls Club in Honolulu. While here, we will run a program for the children involving sports, arts and crafts, and anything else we can dream up! This provides the opportunity to bond with the children and gain more insight into BGCH’s mission of inspiring the local Hawaiian youth.

Plenty of adventure will complement our service projects. Zipline through lush jungles, walk through bamboo forests to waterfalls, hike to the top of a volcanic crater, take a surf lesson and more on this incredible journey to discover the best Hawaii has to offer!

On This Program You Will:

  • Earn 20 hours of service credit helping with a sea turtle conservation project
  • Learn about sea turtle conservation and protect the endangered hawksbill sea turtles
  • Spend the day with a local Hawaiian family in a beautiful valley at their sustainable farm
  • Cook a traditional Hawaiian feast and learn the ways of “old Hawaii”
  • Learn to surf on the famous shores of Waikiki Beach
  • Try out sea kayaking
  • Learn to hula and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian feast at an authentic Hawaiian luau
  • Take a step back in time and visit Pearl Harbor Memorial
  • Hike through lava tunnels to the top of Diamond Head Crater for stunning coastal views
  • Spend time playing with the local children of Oahu
  • Zipline through lush jungle
  • Try a morning of scuba diving and explore the underwater world*
  • Catch the sunrise from the top of Haleakala Volcano and bike down through the clouds*
  • Play beach volleyball, swim in crystal clear water, and enjoy life under the Hawaiian sun

*These are optional excursions.

DAYS 1-4 Aloha Waikiki!

Oahu is the perfect island for a little bit of adventure! We will take a surf lesson on the famous shores of Waikiki with professional instructors who will have you riding waves in no time. Our hotel is just steps away from the beach, so we will have plenty of time to relax, swim, and enjoy some quality time in the summer sun! For a truly unique experience, we’ll hike through a lava tunnel to the top of famous Diamond Head Crater for breathtaking views of the island.

No visit to Oahu would be complete without a journey to the past to pay respects at the USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor Memorials. Accessible only by boat, this memorial is one of several sites in Hawaii commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor and honoring those who lost their lives as well as the few remaining survivors.

Our time in Oahu will be made even more special with a visit to the Boys and Girls Club in Honolulu. While here we will run a program for the children involving sports, arts and crafts, or anything else we can dream up! This provides the opportunity to bond with the children and gain more insight into BGCH’s mission of inspiring the local Hawaiian youth.

DAYS 5-11: Maui Sea Turtle Project and Adventure!

Maui is truly a Hawaiian paradise with pristine white sand beaches, colorful coral reefs, lush vegetation, and turquoise ocean. Lucky for us, our hotel is right across the street from some of the best beaches on the island! We can hop over any time we like for beach volleyball, relaxation, and a refreshing swim.

Maui is also home to our sea turtle service project. We partner with a local organization dedicated to protecting and researching this endangered species. We’ll learn all about the hawksbill sea turtles and will participate in a variety of projects dedicated to sea turtle conservation. Some of these projects include snorkeling and reef surveying to collect ocean data and look for turtles, beach cleanups to protect their natural habitats, watching over basking turtles on the beach, and educating tourists.

Summer is also the time of year these turtles typically come on the beach to nest. This means that it is very likely that we will have the opportunity to participate in a night watch for nesting turtles or watch over a nest hatching and help the babies make their way safely to the ocean!

For a truly authentic experience while on Maui, we will visit a small village tucked away in a private valley. Here you can fully immerse yourself in the traditional Hawaiian lifestyle. The valley is stunning and surrounded by rolling hills, lush vegetation, streams and hiking trails. It’s a place tourists would never be able to visit. Only those with a special invitation can visit this magical place and we will have the unique opportunity to spend the day there!

Connect with a local Hawaiian family and help out with their sustainability projects including taro farming and fish pond restoration. Embrace Hawaiian traditions and try your hand at a variety of activities such as hula, drumming, and even cooking a Hawaiian feast! This is a true cultural immersion experience and a wonderful way to experience the true meaning of Ohana in Hawaii!

Our service work will be complemented with plenty of fun activities, including sea kayaking, zip lining, walking through bamboo forests to waterfalls, and scuba diving (optional), and learning to hula from a professional hula dancer.

There will also be an optional excursion to catch the sunrise from the top of Haleakala Volcano and bike down through the clouds. For those who don’t feel comfortable biking, don’t worry, there is the option to ride down in a vehicle too!

On the last night of our program, we will experience a traditional Hawaiian luau with incredible performances and plenty of food! After two incredible weeks together, we will part ways, but the Ohana we created will last forever!

What kind of teen typically participates in this program? What are the requirements to join?

We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.

This program is only for students who are currently in 9th through 12th grade and approximately 14-18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!

Where do we stay?

Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.

In Maui we stay at a beautiful hotel right across from the beach in sunny Kihei. We will also spend two nights at rustic cabins in a beautiful private valley. In Oahu we stay at a great hotel right in the center of vibrant Waikiki that is walking distance to all of the shops, restaurants, and best of all, just a few blocks from Waikiki Beach! There are swimming pools at both hotels perfect for cooling off after a fun day spent under the sun.

For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a program.

Do most travelers go by themselves?

Yes, in fact over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT program the next summer!

Can I bring a friend?

Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.

WHAT DO STUDENTS LIKE MOST ABOUT THIS PROGRAM?

Students love the insight they gain from experiencing the “real Hawaii” off the tourist track. Having the opportunity to learn more about the marine life as well as spend quality time with a local family gives students a whole new perspective on the islands.

What is unique about this program?

We have an exclusive invite to a private valley where we have the unique opportunity to spend two nights with a local family and learn more about the traditional Hawaiian way of life. Those lucky enough to visit describe the valley as magical, and it would be impossible to have this experience as just a tourist!

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, program related activities, program related activity admissions, taxes and tips.

Not Included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, visas and visa application fees, beverages other than filtered water at meals, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not program related, such as movies, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters, as well as personal and medical expenses.

How do the optional group flights work?

Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this program’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the program starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on programs that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.

WHO LEADS THE PROGRAM?

The Trip Director for every program is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.

It is the job of the counselors to keep the program fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Programs may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.

WHAT ARE THE SAFETY QUALIFICATIONS FOR OUR STAFF?

All of our staff members attend a week-long training session prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE GROUP SIZE?

Group size is important! A smaller group size provides unique opportunities that a large group cannot accommodate. Think of your favorite local restaurant; could it easily accommodate a group of 50 teens? Probably not! Our group sizes average between 14 to 21 students, which means that we are able to comfortably use local transport, enjoy local restaurants, and have a more authentic experience overall! A smaller group size also eliminates the likelihood of cliques, meaning that our groups all tend to bond as a cohesive unit. We guarantee that you’ll have enough people to meet some new best friends, but not so many that you feel like “just a number” or lost in a crowd.

How does this program connect to other programs?

Most of our programs are designed specifically so that participants can combine them with other programs. If you are connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.

What is the food like on this program?

In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!

The food in Hawaii involves plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and of course, seafood! Some typical foods we will have the chance to try are Poke bowls, Acai bowls, poi, and breadfruit.

As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.

How much free time do we get?

Our counselors are with the group almost always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. We do offer some free time to do some shopping, for example, in defined areas that we are very familiar with. If participants are ever shopping by themselves within these defined areas they go in groups and for no more than an hour. A counselor will always be nearby when participants have free time on each island. A lifeguard certified counselor will be supervising the students any time they are involved in water activities.

Do I need any vaccinations for this program?

We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/.

What kind of visa do you need for this program?

If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.

Reviews

  1. Taylor Klinefelter

    :

    Thanks for making this experience so amazing for Dyl! It was so good to know that he was in such good hands!

  2. Taylor Klinefelter

    :

    I always recommend TFT to my friends. I think it is extremely well organized reasonably priced and provides unusual once in a lifetime adventures for my child.

  3. Katie Zinkham

    :

    I just wanted to thank you all for the AMAZING experience Julia had in Hawaii. She enjoyed all aspects of the trip, from the incredible excursions to the service opportunities. She formed wonderful friendships and was so impressed by what you all brought to this experience. She had so much fun getting to know and travel with you. She had a great time while feeling safe and cared for. I believe you were “mom” and “dad” which was fantastic! While at home, my husband and I enjoyed the awesome pics you sent daily. What a treat!

  4. Katie Zinkham

    :

    Please know that we are so thankful for how absolutely wonderful every aspect of sending our daughter on your 11 day Hawaii trip has been! She cannot stop talking about every day and everyone she met !!! Your staff did an awesome job chaperoning the group and guiding them through one amazing activity after another! Please extend our appreciation to them!

  5. Katie Zinkham

    :

    Thank you so much for all the pics and updates. I looked forward to waking up to your email every day! Sounds like an amazing time! I don’t think Jacqui wanted to come home. Midway through the trip I received a text from her asking if she can go to college in Hawaii LOL! She had the time of her life! Thanks for everything!

  6. Katie Zinkham

    :

    I am certain the girl that came back to me is not the same girl I put on the plane to Hawaii! I can never thank you enough for the spectacular experience I know she had from this trip! Just from the photos this group looked very united and seemed to be having the time of their lives. I am certain friendships were gained and I also know that Vandalina most likely shed some tears along the way back home! Thanks again for everything!

  7. Katie Zinkham

    :

    I want to thank all of you sooo much. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Kianna. She cried on the way home last night at the realization of being home. She did NOT want to come back! She had the time of her life. I’m sure she made wonderful friendships and amazing memories! Thank you for taking such good care of her.

  8. Katie Zinkham

    :

    Thanks so much for always capturing the days’ events (and I don’t just mean through photos!). We are so thankful that you all seemed to really “get” Dylan. Your enthusiasm about his curiosity not only allowed him to be himself, but it encouraged him to take risks and form bonds that he would not have had the chance to otherwise.

  9. Katie Zinkham

    :

    I hoped Grace would have a positive, enriching travel experience when we began researching possible travel opportunities. As her parent, I had all sorts of reservations and vetted the program, but I had an eager, excited, and passionate teenager yearning for adventure, independence, and exploration. Having been through this experience, the program Grace has been on is more than I expected and hoped.

    Of course, a large part of this has to do with her counselors. I can imagine the stress that comes from keeping track of a group of teenagers with different needs, desires, and experiences. I appreciate how much you were all wiling to do in order to make this a positive experience. Your continued enthusiasm and dedication to our youngsters was evident in the photos, trip descriptions, and periodic updates from Grace. Thank you! Thank you for taking care of Grace and the others, managing supervision, but making this such a wonderful, life changing experience. As I have learned, Grace and the person she will become is shaped by so many people outside her father and I. She has wonderful mentors through basketball and other activities. I would include you all in this group. There are things that you shared with her that I have no doubt will help shape the person she is and the path she chooses. Thank you for your time, interest, and commitment. All children should be fortunate enough to learn and interact with a group of young adults for which they can aspire. I am especially grateful mine has had this opportunity.

  10. Katie Zinkham

    :

    Other than the 12 hours Shana spent sleeping – since she & Myka arrived back in Arizona – she has not stopped talking about the totally awesome 10 days she spent with the staff & the other TFT campers!

    This trip has far exceeded both her and our (her parents) expectations. The outings and community service projects were outstanding – the lodgings were great – the fun and laughs and learning never ended!!!

    Your leadership and example certainly brought out the best in Shana – she was so excited & happy for every adventure & challenge! We are so glad she made the most of every opportunity and found the joy of experiencing new places and cultures! Today she has gone through each day’s set of pictures and keeps saying, “This was the best day ever!” or this was the “most beautiful ….” and, then makes the same statements for the next day :)
    …. so you can see she really had a very memorable trip!
    And, I must add she has cried a lot too because she realizes what a special group you all were and how lucky she was to be a part of it!

    Thank you ever so much for all of your preparation and care in making this trip truly awesome! Thank you too – for the daily emails – you have a wonderful way of writing and with the pictures – we almost felt like we were with you!

  11. Grace Ekstrom

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    The TFT Hawaii Trip was 10 times more fun and amazing then I ever thought itnwould be. I became great friends with everyone in my group, including the counselors. The counselors were up for anything and made the trip truly wonderful. All the fun activities we did and all the breathtaking views we saw left me wanting to stay in Hawaii forever. I loved every second of this trip and would highly recommend to anyone!

  12. Sammy wencis

    :

    As someone who personally went on this trip it was one of the most amazing experiences I have been able to have. I learned a lot while on this trip from being independent and traveling with only one friend across the country to learning more about myself. I got to try all new things and learned so much about Hawaii. I made new friends from states and even continents! If I could go on this trip again I would! I faced fears and learned to be more outgoing. Anyone debating on whether to go on these trips should definitely go because it was the best time of my life and I now have a passion for traveling more in the future! I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable and I was surprised that I never once felt home sick while on the trip.

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