Outdoor Education

The Outdoor Education program at Punahou immerses students in experiences that fit within a mindful progression of K – 8 outdoor education experiences. These are designed to:

  • Meet the changing needs of children and the world around them oIntegrate and enhance the School’s inquiry-based curriculum goals
  • Immerse students in age-appropriate, memorable experiences that enhance a sense of place, both local and global
  • Build a foundation of self-confidence, independence, awareness, exploration and inspiration by challenging the body and mind
  • Connect them physically, mentally and spiritually to Hawaiian culture
  • Enable them to form a meaningful relationship with the natural world

Age appropriate grade level experiences include:

  • First-grade nature hikes and explorations of the living, natural world through gardens and on-campus green spaces
  • Second-grade evening trip to the Honolulu Zoo and `Ualaka`a trail hike
  • Third-grade Hawaiian studies trip to Kualoa Beach Park
  • Fourth-grade “Adventure Week” exploration experiences
  • Fifth-grade landmark trip to Hawai‘i island
  • Sixth-grade four-day Camp Timberline experience
  • Seventh-grade combination of three off-campus experiences at Waimanalo, Kualoa/Hakipu`u and Waiahole Valley
  • Eighth-grade retreat at Camp Mokuleia; a culminating event before entering high school strongly built around values education and bonding experience.

Specific connections are reinforced through these grade-level learning experiences, including: student-to-student, student-to-teacher, grade-level-to-school and school-to-environment. 

Ultimately, the program aims to build a deep connection to the natural world as a key step in developing students who care about the earth, are effective stewards of our natural resources, and are equipped to take action towards global sustainability. 

In the Academy, outdoor education experiences are integrated into specific courses across a variety of departments, as well as the two-day Camp Kuleana experience offered to all incoming freshmen. 

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