Daycare Camp Grande - Maui
Maui Island Traveling with Children To Hawaii
- Summer Edition -

Many families are finding that vacation destinations can be more accommodating and safer for their children than previously thought.

By: Sheri Castello, Chairmom

Maui Aahh! Vacationing in Hawaii! How sweet it is! What paradise! Warm tropical winds, the beach, swimming pools with incredible water slides, awesome sunsets, mouth-watering sea food, fresh delectable fruit, and the Castello Familyscenery and terrain of the beautiful islands were all so welcoming. It was a trip the we will fondly remember forever. Anything and everything that you could want was available for the entire family. We first stayed on beautiful Maui and next ventured to the big Island of Hawaii during our 11 day visit for this article.

We started our trip at the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui Island and stayed for six glorious days. They offered anything and everything you desired. I think the kids' highlight were the wonderful water slides which seemed to endlessly cascade from one level down to the next as we couldn't tear our children away. What a blast!

The Grand Wailea has offered a wonderful kids camp for children age five to twelve called Camp Wailea or Camp Grande. Our children Jonathan and Jessica had a great time and enjoyed themselves with the many activities that were available. The staff were warm and friendly, happy to lead us on a tour of their very well designed facility. It was awesome and quite large but well staffed. The staff were professional and very accommodating. There were rooms with computers, a movie room, and a game room just to name a few. We were very impressed and felt confident about leaving our children in their care for the evening. Camp Grande is well organized with planned events for every day of the week. The activities are educational as well as entertaining. They also have a night time adventure for the kids where they use flashlights in the enclosed garden area of the facility. They go that extra "island mile" for the kids.

Camp Grande Camp Programs (Maui Grand Wailea)

Morning session - 9:00am - 12:30pm
Kids begin with a "friendship circle" so that they can meet fellow campers and get to know their counselors. Activities may include sand sculpting contests, guided tide pooling and reef exploration, swimming, relay races, games, arts & crafts, and scavenger hunts. Lunch is included.

Camp WaileaAfternoon session - 12:30pm - 4:00pm
Afternoons are filled with water fun at the Wailea Canyon Activity Pool and later kids relax in the Camp Theatre and enjoy popcorn and a snack.

Night Camp - 5:00pm - 10:00p
Exciting adventures are in store for kids with walkie-talkie tag, hotel scavenger hunts, crab hunting, theatre games, Team Challenge or Night Swim. Dinner and a snack are included.

After our sixth day on Maui, we headed for the Big Island of Hawaii. We had never visited this island before, known for it's vast tropical terrain and Kona coffee. We were looking forward to this new adventure. It had the same appeal as Maui and we felt we were still in paradise. There is an active volcano named Kilauea that the children can learn all about.

Hawaii is a lot larger than Maui and it has very few beaches. Most of the island beaches are sheer cliffs or very rocky with little or no sand to meet the water. But beautiful it is. We saw some gorgeous waterfalls like the Akaka Falls, located in Akaka Falls State Park near Hilo. We stopped and took a short five minute hike to see this amazing waterfall which drops several hundred feet. As we pulled into the park there was a local man weaving baskets out of palm fronds. They were the most beautiful baskets you had ever seen. It only took him about five to ten minutes to weave each one. They were detailed with birds and flowers. Just incredible!

Camp WaileaIt was quite interesting how one side of the island was more like a desert, being fairly dry, whereas the complete other side of the island was a tropical rainforest with plenty of rainfall. It is said that the area near Hilo is one of the wettest places on earth which is why they have plenty of waterfalls!

Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to hike to the currently erupting volcano Kilawea. We did stop by the information center just before closing and were able to read some interesting information about it. The entire island is covered with old lava from past eruptions and there are many black beaches. They have a tradition of piling up rocks into a formation and visitors write their names into the black lava rock by creating letters with pumice. They say you are not to remove the stones from the island or the god of Kilauea will bring you bad luck.

We stayed at the Hilton Waikaloa Village. It too was a huge resort. They actually have a tram and a boat that will take you wherever you want to go within the resort. They had a few slides for the kids, but what was really exciting here was the dolphin quest. We actually had a close up encounter with a dolphin. It was very exciting. I never realized how soft a dolphin skin feels. They are amazing creatures. My family will always remember this experience.

The Hilton Waikaloa Village also has a camp for kids ages five to twelve called Camp Menehune. You can walk to it or take the water taxi which is great fun. We were given a tour of the facility and were very impressed with the sincere interest they had in the children and how the facility accommodates them and they have daily activities scheduled throughout the week. Our kids had a wonderful time there.

Camp Menehune Camp Room Features (Hawaii Island)

MauiDiscovery Center where children can touch and see creatures in our touch pool.
MauiA Block/Game Center for those who love playing foozeball, ping pong, pool, board games or building with Legos and blocks.
MauiA Hawaiian Dramatic Play Area where children can dress up in aloha attire.
MauiA Book Corner for our avid readers who'd like to read stories about Hawaii or just get cozy and look at Hawaiian picture books.
MauiAn Art Area where young aspiring artists can get creative using any of the art mediums that are set out on our fully stocked art bar.

The natural beauty of these islands is something that will instill an inderstanding to the purity to which the area was originally known for. This was very educational for our children.

Also available in both resorts, were nanny services. We used them on both islands. The reason we used the nanny services instead of the camp on a couple occasions was because we needed care for our children during a time when the camps would be closed for and hour or two. The wonderful perk with having the resort nanny service was the nanny was able to use the camp facility with our children during the time that the camp facilities were still open. She also took them to lunch/dinner, swimming, and brought along many age appropriate toys and educational items to keep them occupied. They were wonderful, and I felt very relieved and knew my children would be safe and well taken care of.

These are services you should really look into when traveling with your children. Talk to the concierge as well as the kids’ camp director to get their feedback on the nanny services. Their opinions are invaluable. Also, don't forget to research them on the internet before you take your trip. You can have most everything taken care of before you leave. It's always good to talk to the directors on the phone before you get there. You can get an impression ahead of time. You need to give any service, whether it's a camp or nanny service at least 24 hours notice to properly prepare for your children and to give them the utmost of care.
A Hawaiian vacation is an excellent choice for a family beach vacation. Hawaii has it all. Beautiful beaches, world-class golf, surfing, shopping, swimming, top notch hotels, condominiums, eco tours, national parks, warm weather, and cool ocean breezes. There are so many fun things to do with the family that your Hawaiian vacation will be one that you will never forget and your kids will thank you for.

Maui Island

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