Hawaii's New Junior Expedition Leaders
By Sophia Taylor, Expedition Guide on the Safari Explorer
Recently onboard the Safari Explorer, we adopted four new junior guides into the Expedition Team. Cousins Emerson, Garret, Liam, and Charlotte (who went by “Coco” and was fondly re-christened “Coco Loco” by most of the crew) were sailing with their parents and grandparents on a family vacation.
One of our stewards came up with the idea for a scavenger-hunt-type game for the kids to play all week and earn points to win a prize at the end of the trip. On the first night, we presented each one with their own “Expedition Guide” name tag and assigned them the tasks for the week. Each task was posted on the route board where we document what we do, what we see, and where we are in the world. Each Junior Guide had a color-coded sticker that they got to post next to the task when they completed it and got signed off by a crewmember.
Here were some of their tasks:
1. Learn all 8 Hawaiian Islands
2. Try something new
3. Take a picture of a lava rock
4. Point out a volcano
5. No phone for a day
6. Say the Hawaiian State Fish name
7. Do a flip underwater
These are just a few of the fun goals we gave these guys for the week. It was amazing to see their competitive and inquisitive spirits come out. At the end of the week, they had to answer a quiz with questions from all the guide presentations, and it inspired thoughtful conversation about the native flora and fauna, Hawaiian history culture, language, and mythology. I was so excited to see Coco approach a Park Ranger at Kaloko- Honokohau National Historic Park and ask questions about the native plants and birds we saw along the trail. They offered to make her a Junior Ranger, and after completing all the tasks, she was sworn in!
When asked what their favorite thing they saw, did, or learned this week was, we got some great answers:
Emerson: “Snorkeling with turtles.”
Liam: “Learning how to free dive.”
Garrett: “Learning how to blow bubble rings underwater.”
Coco: “Learning about endemic fish in Hawaii.”
These young adventurers taught us a lot, too! It was so fun to see them helping each other, getting out of their comfort zone, and trying new things. I think the whole crew was inspired to take their positive and inquisitive energy forward with us.