This Historic Camp Above Kapolei Is Inviting Everyone Up For A Day

If traffic congestion or small living spaces have you feeling stressed, a day at Camp Pālehua could be just the cure.

And a rare opportunity is coming up. The historic camp in the mountains above Kapolei is holding a one-day only event, and everyone’s invited.

What: Hui Pū Hapahā: Hawaiian culture, hiking, and service for all ages

When: Saturday, February 29, 9am – 1pm

Where: Camp Pālehua

Cost: $20 and up, includes lunch

“This mountain has a way of grounding you,” says Camp Director Kawika Shook.

“There’s no negative energy up here,” he says, “because people come up here for good reasons — to hike, to care for the land, to celebrate special occasions.”

On Saturday, February 29, the camp starts what could become a new west side tradition: The 1st Hui Pū Hapahā at Camp Pālehua. The event will happen quarterly, in February, May, August, and November. (Hui Pū means “to gather,” Hapahā means “quarterly.”)

The Best Camp Activities, Offered All In One Day

Think of the event as “Camp Pālehua’s Greatest Hits.” The camp will feature the camp’s most popular activities all at once.

  • Hawaiian Culture: The featured workshop is lāʻau lapaʻau (Hawaiian Medicine) led by practitioner Emmalani Makepa-Wong. Cost is $40
  • Hiking: A guide shares the history and ecology of the mountain on a two-mile hike to the stunning Nānākuli Valley overlook. Cost is $30.
  • Service: Tend to the camp’s Hawaiian Garden — plant native plants and mulch around existing native out-plantings. Cost is $20.
  • Eating: Kalua pig, sweet potato mash, and lūʻau leaf will all come out of the camp’s umu or stone oven. Included with event fee.
  • Swimming: After lunch, folks are invited to stay and swim in the camp pool. A lifeguard will be on hand to keep things safe for keiki. Included with event fee.

Over the past few years, the camp has offered these events separately — but having them all at once lets the staff focus on having one awesome event, instead of lots of little ones.

camp palehua hike

Hiking at Pālehua

A New West Side Tradition?

“We’re hoping to create a tradition here of people caring and supporting the camp,” says Shook.

For people who came as kids when it was Camp Timberline, it’s a chance to relive childhood memories — and make sure the camp will be there for future generations. All of the money raised at the event will be used to maintain and renovate camp buildings.

Hui Pū Hapahā begins at 9am with “Camp Protocol,” a series of mele and oli that serve to bring participants together.

“When we hui pū, we come from different backgrounds,” says Shook. “Camp Protocol grounds everybody, reminds us why we’re here.”

“We’re here because we love this place, and we want to see it preserved.”

Buy tickets for Hui Pū Hapahā on Eventbrite.

For more information you can contact camp staff here.