Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau

I could not locate an official Junior Ranger web page for the Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park.

My family visited Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau Park National Historical Park on December 23, 2009. I was unable to determine if Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park has their own separate Junior Ranger program. They did have an activity booklet for children, which my five year old daughter completed. It is called, “The Hawaiian Honu Activity Booklet for Kids.” The booklet teaches children about the Honu (green sea turtle). It was a fairly simple booklet, but reading is involved and a little advanced for five year olds. Samantha did receive a Junior Ranger badge for her efforts.

The Hawai’i Island National Parks Adventure Book consisted of four activities. I am going to discuss two of them. One of the activities was to play one of the games that children participated in to prepare them as a warrior and leader. The game available during our visit was a game called KÅnane. The game is similar to checkers. The game is played on a huge flat lava stone and the game pieces are made of black lava and light colored coral. Alyssa and I had fun sitting in the sun, playing the game next to the ocean.

The second hands on activity was participating in a traditional craft. The craft of the day was Lau Niu (coconut leaf). This craft involves folding a coconut leaf to make an item. Ranger Charles Kalehua Hua showed and helped us make a fish and a fishing pole. Ranger Kalehua Hua was extremely friendly. The park was very busy, yet he continued to focus on the project at hand.

At the completion of this activity, Ranger Kalehua Hua awarded the girls with a Junior Ranger badge and patch. Make sure you ask for the patch. I can’t remember if they charged for the patch. Please see below for a picture of both the badge and patch.

This was quite a fun visit. This was the second time I have visited the park. Both times that I have visited, there has been a Honu basking in the sun. This time there were also several turtles swimming in the ocean. Just remember that the Honu is fully protected under both the Federal Endangered Species Act and state law and that you need to stay several feet away. While there we saw several people get too close to the turtle on the beach.

There is also a beach right near the park where you can snorkel. We forgot to bring our gear, but it looked like there was a lot of people who didn’t.


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