KAMP Hawaii’s “Pride and Victory” Summer Program 2015

Our summer program reaches thousands of at-risk youth in Kalihi, West Oahu, Ewa / Ewa Beach, Makakilo, Kahuku, Laie, Hauula, Waimanalo, Waipahu, Halawa Valley, and Palolo annually. The participants from program sites all over the island of Oahu receive a day filled with low cope course activities and excitement with a positive message on staying “Drug Free”. Participants learn important values in communication, cooperation, decision making, leadership and teamwork and the important of Staying Drug Free. Topics also include gang violence and anti-bullying. Our summer calendar is completely booked one year in advance.

KH Summer Calendar 2015


KAMP Hawaii’s 10th Year Anniversary Celebration

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KAMP Hawaii is celebrating it’s 10th year anniversary on Friday, September 11, 2015
At the Honolulu Country Club
1690 Ala Puumalu St. Honolulu, HI 96818
Silent Auction 5:30pm
Dinner Program 6-9pm
Hawaiian Style Buffet
~Tables of Ten~

“Lau” (Leaf) Table Sponsors $10,000 Sponsors of our In-Schools Outreach Program,
In-School Special Needs Program, Anti-Bullying Program and
Alternative Learning Outreach Program.

“Ha” (Stem) Table Sponsor $5,000Sponsors our Outdoor Outreach Camping Program.

“Kalo” (Root) Table Sponsor $2,500
Sponsors of our Summer Enrichment Program

“Hoaloha” (Friend) $1,500 Friends of KAMP Hawaii

Net proceeds from this benefit dinner will go toward continued efforts serving the at-risk and special needs children in our communities. With your help, we can champion the cause for a better Hawaii. KAMP Hawaii is 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization; its taxpayer identification number is 20-3412425.

Dinner Committee

Dana Tokioka
Danny Kaleikini
Diane Kodama
Eddie Hayashi
Elroy Chong
George Kamau
Glenn Goya
Ikaika Mahoe
Jason Ito
Linda Wong
Norman Mizuguchi
Tyler Tokioka

Pacing Ourselves to the Finish Line


Pacing ourselves to the Finish Line! 

 Currently, we are in our Outreach Camping Season and have completed 4 weeks
of camps with 3 weeks to go.

·         2 weeks of camp for students with special needs from Kaiser HS,
Kalani HS,  Leilehua HS, Roosevelt HS, and Niu Valley Middle School.

 Every year our special needs students look forward to camp. At the beginning
of the school year students are asking their teachers for their camp dates.
They look forward to getting reacquainted with students from other schools.
Students participate in low cope course activities, campfires, swimming,
cooking and fellowshipping with their peers. These camps are precious for
all who attend. From the time they get there greeting everyone off the bus
to the last day of camp they are just so excited and happy!  The farewells
are emotional as they leave camp but the excitement grows as they yell out
from the bus “see you next year”!

DSC09549Special Education Teachers, Skill Trainers, & KAMP Hawaii Staff

·         1 regular education campout with Makaha Elementary.
·         1 Youth Mentors training camp for our Summer Program. (Farrington)

Upcoming Camping Dates:
May 7-8 Lincoln Elementary
May 21-22 Jefferson Elementary
May 27-29 Aina Haina Elementary (Combined camp for students in our Special
Needs program and 4th Grade level students)

June 3rd is our last day for our In-School programs

From June 15th through July 24th we will conduct our Summer Enrichment camp for 3,500
-5,000 participants. They participate in our low cope course activities conducted by our youth mentors and they listen to our youth mentors messages on staying drug free, bullying which includes cyber intimidation and childhood obesity. We are getting ready for another busy and fulfilling summer.

August the cycle begins with our year round In-School Outreach programs!

September 11th we are celebrating our 10th year birthday celebration at Honolulu Country Club. Planning for this exciting event is underway. With your help we can meet our goal. Catch the Spirit and climb aboard! Mahalo! 

Aaron Kamau

Executive Director

KAMP Hawaii’s 2014 Celebration Dinner

On November 13, 2014 at The Willow’s Restaurant, KAMP Hawaii held its Celebration Dinner to begin the 10th year of serving at-risk youth and children with special needs. KAMP Hawaii for the past nine years have been touching the lives of youth in Hawaii through our In-School Outreach, Special Needs Outreach, Camping Outreach, Alternative Learning Center, Anti-Bullying Outreach and Summer “Pride and Victory Programs which is geared towards mentoring youth about anti-bullying, living a healthy lifestyle, and learning important life skills.

During KAMP Hawaii’s Celebration Dinner, KAMP Hawaii honored two very special people with its Outstanding Youth Mentor and Outstanding Classroom Outreach Teacher Awards. Dio Labayog works for NAN, Inc as an engineer, was given the Outstanding Youth Mentor Award for his passion for reaching at-youth and giving them encouragement for a brighter future. The Outstanding Classroom Outreach Teacher Award was given to Mrs. Renee Hirano who is a fifth grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary. Mrs. Hirano and the fifth grade at Jefferson Elementary have been active participants with KAMP Hawaii’s Classroom Outreach program and Camping program since the start of KAMP Hawaii.FullSizeRender


KAMP Hawaii wants to send a big Mahalo to all who attended our Celebration Dinner and to our donors who made this a very special occasion.  Mahalo to all of you who attended our dinner and to those who have supported us since the beginning, we sold 28 tables and raised $30,850 thanks to World of Aloha, Danny Kaleikini Foundation, Iron Workers Local, Island Insurance , Hawaiian Properties, Atlas Insurance, Duane Kurisu, AC Kobayashi Family Foundation Inc., Poseidon Properties, Inc., N&K CPA’s, Hawaii News Now, Honolulu Star Advertiser, First Hawaiian Bank, Nan, Inc.,  James D. Swoish Inc., PAMCAH-UA Local 675, Friends of Brian Schatz, Bright I S LLC, Hawaii Sheetmetal Workers, Eddie Hayashi, Valerie Trotter, Ronald K. & Leila E. Migita Foundation, and other companies and individuals. Again, thank you for your invaluable contribution, which demonstrates your commitment to the “at-risk” youth in our communities and KAMP Hawaii’s mission.  All proceeds from this event will be used for our outreach programs on Oahu. We look forward to next year’s 10th Anniversary Celebration, with your support together we can continue to champion the cause in improving the quality of life for our youth of Hawaii and for the betterment of our communities.

KAMP Hawaii would like to thank The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation for their support. In attendance Trustee Kenneth Okamoto and his wife, Sandy, Trustee Cathy Ching and her husband Peter Grossman and Trustee Ray Tam and his wife, Audrey.unnamed

KAMP Hawaii would also like to thank Honolulu-Star Advertiser. KAMP Hawaii was the Midweeks featured cover story for the July 9th, 2014 edition. Mahalo to Ron Nagasawa and his professional staff for giving us the opportunity to tell our story. You can visit our story at www.midweek.com/home/mid-week-cover-story/aaron-kamau-kamp-hawaii/


A Postcard From KAMP Hawaii (Midweek Article)

A Postcard from KAMP

Midweek Oahu July 9, 2014 by Chad Pata


Aaron Kamau (center) grew up in Kalihi and knows the risks youth face. In response he created KAMP, which promotes teamwork while giving kids confidence in their own abilities. Teachers say the results are amazing.  Also pictured (from left): Cadance Christian, Farao Maileoi, Juliana Sugitan, Harlen Kayne UjanoBayudan, Miley-Zoe Viernes, Paula Telles, Hailey Faleunga, Danity Shickan-Kahanu and Ben Kamau | Nathalie Walker photo nwalker@midweek.com


With newspapers filled with stories about new Common Core standards, Race to the Top funds and teacher evaluations, we often get lost in the mission we all have as parents and educators: to raise quality human beings.


Aaron Kamau (center) grew up in Kalihi and knows the risks youth face. In response he created KAMP, which promotes teamwork while giving kids confidence in their own abilities. Teachers say the results are amazing.
Row 1 Michele Kamau, Paula Telles, Gabby Maualaivao, Kauanani Mailou, Aaron Kamau, Hailey Faleunga, Grichelle Domingo Row 2 Stephanie Aiona, Aaron Kamau, Jr., George Kamau, Elroy Chong, Eddie Hayashi, Danny Kaleikini, Brittany Kamau, Joseph Vierra, Jr., Sharon Souza, Bert Carter, Mary Kamau Row 3 Ashley Kamau, David Pila, Glenn Goya, Linda Wong, Tyler Tokioka, Randall Okimoto, Shayna-lyn Mailou-Miller, Ben Kamau | Nathalie Walker photo nwalker@midweek.com


Kauanani Mailou gets a boost through the Spider Web from Hailey Faleunga, Daniel Mailou, Cadance Christian and Farao Maileoi. | Nathalie Walker photo nwalker@midweek.com

All the books, technology and classroom time in the world do not ensure that happens; it takes us caring about kids and showing them the way. But what about the kids in tough situations not of their own making, the ones who have no one to turn to but our baser elements and easier roads?

These are the ones at the heart of the founding of KAMP (Kids At Risk Mentoring Program) Hawaii.

Started in the living room of Aaron and Michele Kamau, they wanted to find a way to help at-risk kids and arm them with the power of confidence and the ability to work with others.

Drawing from his two decades of experience working with Boy Scouts of America, Kamau formed an outdoor activity experience that shapes the interior of their minds and hearts.

A born-and-raised Kalihi boy, Kamau grew up surrounded by hard situations and broken families, but was raised by his father not to be scared of it, but acknowledge and help those individuals.

“My dad George Kamau is my greatest supporter as a person who has helped me form a solid base for life,” says Kamau, who also works as a track and football coach at Farrington High. “My upbringing has a huge influence on how I operate KAMP Hawaii today. He would encourage me to take care of the people who reach out to me and to never take anything for granted. Never run from adversity, just face it head on and resolve it.”

Every summer KAMP runs day camps at different parks around the island from Kahuku to Waimanalo to Waianae. The camps are staffed by 30 youth mentors hired straight out of Farrington.

“Total buy-in from the kids, right out of the projects, but they are good students and they are put into the fire right away,” says Kamau. “They are working with 45 kids for 45 minutes and they have to incorporate everything, drive the nail in and keep it fun.”

The camps generally have six activity areas staffed by these fresh graduates, who bring lessons about bullying, drugs and gangs, and correlate them with the games and challenges they have, such as Human Ladder and Kalo Bridge Crossing. They are reaching almost 9,000 kids a year currently, and with more funding — they recently received a grant from NFL Foundation in conjunction with the 2014 Pro Bowl — hope to raise that number each year.

These summers also serve as a training ground for these graduates to give them life skills and confidence in handling groups of people who are invaluable to any of us, but especially to these teens either entering the work force for the first time or preparing for the grind of college.


Ashton Evangelista leaps after crossing the Human Ladder held by Louis Matagi (left) and Aaron Kamau | Nathalie Walker photo nwalker@midweek.com


Farao Maileoi assists Shayna-lyn Mailou-Miller across the bridge | Nathalie Walker photo nwalker@midweek.com

Even though his roots are in the rougher edges of our Island home, Kamau sees needs in all our schools.

“To us, every kid is at-risk,” he says. “After years of working with the DOE, now they call us and we go there and provide once-a-week programs where we can.”

Their programs are currently serving 66 schools on Oahu, either a 13 or 27-week course that is run during the school day and brings those same messages and physical challenges to younger students. These have become some of the kids’ favorite part of the week and have helped reach those who sometimes struggle with the traditional school environment.

“I have seen students who have behavioral problems in the classroom, but when KAMP comes in every week, they are the ones who shine because they have a chance to get up and move around and be involved in more activities,” says Renee Hirano, fifth-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary.

Sometimes it is something as simple as building “hobo stoves” and cooking their own bacon and egg sandwich that enables the kids to see that they are empowered and can accomplish goals.

The five main components they emphasize are team building, leadership, decision-making, communication and cooperation, many of which are hard to conceptualize in the rush of a school day.

“They have an activity, talk about the activity and reflect on it,” says Sharon Souza, a special education teacher in Aina Haina who has been involved with KAMP since its founding in 2005.

“Kids around 9 and 10, especially competitive boys, are not good at teamwork. They all want to be the leaders, and they want everyone to do what they want to do. They learned that it is a life skill being able to work with other people cooperatively on a team. They were used to a team with coaches that tell you what to do, then you go do it. In this, they have a problem, they have to figure it out and work together on a solution.”

She has watched firsthand as the students who have participated in KAMP have excelled when it comes to problem solving, and it has made her students much more well-rounded, even students you would not ordinarily worry about.

“We have kids who are very smart. They can do all this stuff on their own, but they can’t work in groups,” says Souza. “They do real well all through school and then they get out, and when they get into the world they can’t function because they are smart but they can’t work with other people.”


Nathalie Walker photo nwalker@midweek.com


Nathalie Walker photo nwalker@midweek.com

Learning to work with other people started from the home as the Kamau children have found they love to help Dad in his work.

“I love to empower our youths to facilitate our life mentoring program, and what better place than at home with my children?,” says Kamau. “My children have learned to mentor at-risk youths, mentor our youth staff, help with our special event, be responsible for our program equipment. They are always the first ones to arrive for our program and special events and the last ones to leave.”

The program’s physical component also has had a lasting impact, according to principal Shannon Goo of Lincoln Elementary.

“Obesity and healthy living has been a challenge for many students,” says Goo, who had 200 students a week participate. “This program has helped us to expose students to an active lifestyle in a fun way. Interacting with each other in a fun and active way is impactful, yet the mentoring that takes place has a lasting effect on student behavior.”

Their “Pride and Victory” enrichment days have started for the summer, with a new batch of mentors heading all over the Island with the hopes of impacting more than 5,000 kids this summer.

All the programs are free. Funds are raised to help offset the cost of the programs by Aloha United Way, which recently approved KAMP as a Partner Agency; Island Insurance Foundation and the aforementioned NFL Foundation.

This backing, though still needing more, has allowed them to begin new programs such as Anti-Bullying Lunchtime.

In it they use positive activities for students to help discourage fighting and eliminate negative activities among students during their mealtime.

They use a series of COPE courses (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) to help bring these messages home, and it is seeing the effects of this message on kids that tells Kamau he made the right decision when he left the Scouts.

“It was about getting to work with flesh and blood, and not having to live up to Mainland standards,” says Kamau, who has crafted his system to appeal directly to local kids. “We don’t have to go reach 20,000 kids. It’s about the heart, the passion for kids.”

KAMP Hawaii Named to Aloha United Way


The Aloha United Way Board of Directors approved KAMP Hawaii’s application for Partner Agency status. This approval means that KAMP Hawaii will be listed on their website www.auw.org and in their campaign materials as an eligible organization in 2014. KAMP Hawaii has met all of Aloha United Way requirements since 2008.

Please visit Aloha United Way’s website for a Partner Agency designation form or designate KAMP Hawaii on your Aloha United Work Place/Company card. Our designation number is 70800.

Mahalo to Aloha United Way and to our supporters.