Camp Imua Retreats to Ke‘anae
Imua Family Services hosts its 42nd annual Camp Imua Program June 9 to 14 at YMCA Camp Keʻanae. The week-long recreational camp provides children with disabilities and special needs an opportunity to experience camp with the help of supportive high school volunteer counselors and the Imua Family Services staff.
The Keʻanae Peninsula is located on Maui’s North Shore, half way between Pāʻia and Hāna. The peninsula was formed during a massive lava flow from Haleakalā and was almost completely destroyed in 1946 by a tsunami caused by an Alaskan earthquake.
Taro is still grown on the Keʻanae peninsula today. With the cultural significance of the area, this year’s camp will focus on activities of Hawaiian culture, such as kalo pounding, lei making, hula lessons and a demonstration of how to cook a pig in a traditional underground oven or imu.
Fifty-six campers and 120 counselors will participate in Camp Imua that will include helicopter rides, hiking to waterfalls, a glow dance party, horseback riding, arts and crafts, movie nights and marshmallow campfire roasts.
Famed Maui artist, Philip Sabado will offer campers a guided painting experience capturing the beauty of the Keʻanae landscape. The final day of camp includes a lūʻau feast provided by the Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel, a long-time supporter of Camp Imua. Entertainment will be provided by Grammy Award winner George Kahumoku Jr., who will also share his cultural knowledge with the imu demonstration.
Camp Imua is a free experience for island keiki with special needs thanks in large part to the recent Bluesmiths Paddle Imua race held on May 5, 2018. The annual event raises a significant portion of the funds needed to make camp happen. Since 2011, the ocean community has “paddled” out each year to support Camp Imua with 161 athletes participating this year in various divisions, including standup paddleboard, prone paddleboard, surf ski, OC1, OC2, OC6, and hydrofoil SUP.
Since 1976, thousands of high school student caregivers, community partners, ocean athletes and other behind-the-scenes volunteers have helped to create lifelong memories for hundreds of children with special needs by supporting Camp Imua. Imua Family Services is grateful to the countless community partners who make camp possible by donating their time, money and services to keep the Camp Imua tradition alive.