Overnight Senior Bonding at Keahuolū- Queen Lili’uokalani Trust


Jessica Brown

The senior class of 2019 gathered for a photo at sunset after a long day of playing.

This week my class, the senior class of Kohala High School had a “bonding” camping trip at a beach in Kona. The beach is part of Queen Lili’uokalani Trust of which the purpose is to benefit the children of Hawai’i. The first thing we did when we arrived was meet some of the men working there who would guide us in a work activity. At first, some of the kids were a bit testy with the fact that we had a work activity, but afterwards I think everyone could say they enjoyed the experience. There were three stations: shrimp finding, plant transplanting, and stick moving. The alkaline ponds further inland of the beach house millions of little (and big) shrimp. Because of the abundant vegetation in the area, leaves and other natural matter fall into the pond which decompose and make algae. This algae covered the entire pond and floated at the top, but it wasn’t good for the shrimp. So our job was to push all the algae to a small section of the pond and then scoop it out and sort through it to find tiny and large shrimp and place them in a container with water where they would stay until being returned to the pond. We also carried cut sticks and helped load them onto a vehicle to give other plants room to live and to lessen the amount of leaves that would fall into the ponds. The last thing to do was to take a native plant and remove them from a path and go to plant them somewhere safe and mark the spot with a flag.
After the work activity, everyone ate lunch and set up their tents and cots. Then, we went swimming. I brought an eight foot circle raft and some other floatation devices for the class to use. The boys, and some girls, rough housed on the rafts and viciously attacked each other with pool noodles.

Kaylee Cordiero
Seniors Lazing on a raft

The boys also played water football, and everyone joined in for sharks and minnows.
We eventually decided to give the water a break, and everyone got out to play some bonding games like “storm”. Everyone was running around and having a great time. We continued to play, went swimming, and everyone got a chance to do their own thing as well.
At sunset, the whole group gathered for a picture on the rocks.

Jessica Brown
The Senior Class of 2019 poses for a group photo while at bonding in November.

Ms. Kise made spaghetti for dinner and we also had Costco Pizza that Mr. Kealoha picked up. After dinner the advisors lit the fire. The senior class gathered around the fire and played “mafia” and “safari”. Then we had smores. After that, the seniors broke up into their own groups and to listen to music and chill.
I saw lots of great shooting stars that night, one of which being the longest I’ve ever seen in my life. I would say that it lasted a good 5 seconds (which doesn’t seem like long but it is for a shooting star). The seniors talked story or told scary stories, and most of us stayed up until past one AM.
When we got up in the morning we all ate together and then made a circle to say what each of us were grateful for. Then many of us swam, did chicken fights, and did some more rough housing.

Kaylee Cordiero
Morning swimmers

Then we all helped pack up and went home.
The senior bonding was SO much fun. The advisors say that overnight bondings are the highlight of the Senior School year and I think they may be right. We all had such a blast and I personally got to know some of my classmates better. I hope we can do something like this again. I also hope that other classes will take advantage of their ability to plan an overnight bonding.
Some kids (like at my old school) don’t want to do anything but play on their phones and be inactive, but I was SO happy to see so much participation from the seniors at the bonding. I am very thankful for my classmates and for my class advisors, Ms. Brown, Ms. Kise, Ms. White, and Mr. Kealoha, for making the bonding possible.