Tag Archives: Honolulu

DSG Hawaii Overseas Exchange Day 8 – Big Island Day 2

Day 8 of Dragon Scout Group (DSG) Hawaii Overseas Exchange Program, Day 2 on Big Island, Hawaii. After an exciting Day 1 on Big Island, the boys and girls woke up in the chilly morning for a morning PT, running from the Kilauea Military Camp (KMC) towards nearby areas in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I didn’t join them and stayed back taking photographs of the KMC, the surroundings, enjoying the morning breeze walk with Wayson and Sterling. I had a nice hot coffee with Wayson and Sterling, chatted at the staircase leading up to our accommodation. Thereafter, Wayson, Sterling and myself picked up breakfast and lunch packages from KMC admission office for the boys and girls later to have their breakfast.

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After the DSG boys and girls were back from the morning PT, it was rest time and breakfast time. We all had packed our daypacks, cleared our things from the bunks and got ready for our Big Island Day 2 adventure. Soon, we were on a road trip along Crater Rim Drive, heading towards the coastal area, the Chain of Craters Road. The Chain of Craters Road is a 38mile (62km) round trip that descends from 3700 feet (1128m) to the coast. Driving downhill towards the coast, what we saw were vast giant land of lava flow that were hardened/solidified since 1986. The road trip was very quiet and peaceful outside because there weren’t much traffic at all. However, during the road trip, my rental van was singing in the van while it was heading towards the end of Chain of Craters Road. We had our first stop at Kealakomo Overlook and Picnic Area (if I get my facts correctly). The view was special, vast open flat lava land, it never seemed to be ending anywhere that our eyes can view. I simply had to take a group photo of DSG here, we were going to leave our Dragon Scouting footprints here!

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Continuing our road trip downhill, the coastal and shoreline became more visible. Being a landscape and travel photographer myself, I just took photographs from our van tinted windows, the views were simply breathe-taking beyond words of description and composition here. The photographs that I took simply spoke for itself the beauty and aura of Mother Nature’s gorgeous natural artworks. Driving downwards and reaching the flat coastal plains, we soon reached the end of Chain of Craters Road because the road was closed and no longer accessible by vehicles due to the young 2003 lava flows. We disembarked after parking our vans and started trekking along the road. Passing by the huts and restrooms and barricade, we just trekked on the road, unable to really see what was ahead, the scene seemed never-ending. However, straight ahead, we saw something sticking out of the road, black and totally sealing the road off. This was the young 2003 lava flows, the youngest land on Earth being rewritten into the history books. Trekking on the uneven lava land, the adventurers from DSG continued their exploration, soon, we found a signboard that was placed there “Road Closed”, that suited the location perfectly 100%.

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After many photo taking by the boys and girls from DSG, we took a Group Photo there with the “Road Closed” signboard. It’s simply can’t be missed and I loved it how DSG had been leaving many Dragon Scouting footprints in Hawaii. We then begun to trek towards the coast line, where we can watch and enjoy the beautiful ocean waves and breeze. The views were simply gorgeous, yet it could be dangerous since there weren’t any barricades around the edge of the cliff and it was a vertical straight drop. Therefore, the teachers, along with Wayson and myself, being adults, had to ensure that the DSG boys and girls were kept a safety distance and being looked after carefully at all times while they were looking and enjoying the ocean breeze and waves splashing against the cliff. Although our plan to view the lava flow around this area wasn’t available, we still enjoyed ourselves a lot trekking and exploring the End of Craters Road.

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After many photographs were taken, we returned back to our rental vans and started our return journey uphill towards Kilauea Visitor Centre. We stopped by the Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku) and this was a very popular tourist attraction with coaches, rental vans and private cars parking nearby and hordes of people walking towards the Lava Tube. Therefore, there was a bit of queuing up to enter the Lava Tube cave. This was a pretty short trek because the other half of the Lava Tube cave was closed to the public. This was an eye-opener on how lava once flowed this tube (given the size and height of the tube/cave). After finished trekking and exploring Lava Tube, we departed Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, had our quick lunch nearby from Volcano Village. We drove back to Hilo, whereby the rental vans would be returned and getting ready to board our domestic flight from Big Island to Oahu. Before that, we visited Rainbow Falls Lookout, that had a nice pool of water below yet no waterfall due to the dry weather that day. We then drove toward Big Island Candies for shopping and rest, some of them bought cookies while I just bought ice cream and rested. Sterling and Wayson went to refuel the rental vans that were due to be returned.

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In the late afternoon, we reached Hilo Airport, the boys and girls rested, did their reflections and wrote down their thoughts and stories on their second day in Big Island while Wayson and Sterling returned the rental vans. Once they were back, we entered the immigration area, waited for our flight and returned back to Oahu. Our hosts were there to pick us up from Honolulu Airport and we were now headed for Waikiki, our hotel was the Aqua Aloha Surf Hotel, located at 444 Kanekapole Street, Honolulu, HI  96815. We collected our backpacks that were brought to us by our Hawaiian friends from their home, waited at the hotel lobby. Once rooms were assigned, we went to our rooms, dropped our bags and quickly went for dinner in their respective groups. I had a quick dinner at the nearby International Market Place and went back to my hotel room for a good sleep and rest after helping Janice and Guan Ying to prepare for the farewell dinner video. It had been an awesome 8 days in Hawaii and tomorrow would be our last night in Hawaii!


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DSG Hawaii Overseas Exchange 2012 Day 1 – ALOHA Hawaii !

The Korean Air flight from Incheon International Airport to Honolulu took approximately 8hrs 20mins, after flying from Singapore to Seoul and spending a 12hrs transit at Incheon International Airport. The 8hrs 20mins flight was filled with a number of turbulences, (constantly rocking on the journey to our destination Honolulu) since the plane was flying over the vast and open Pacific Ocean. Arriving at around 1015am Hawaii local time, we touched down at Honolulu International Airport and it’s ALOHA Hawaii !!

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It’s Day 1 in Hawaii, we were all happy to be on the ground after 8hrs in the air. Clearing immigrations and customs check, the boys and girls changed into their Scout uniforms, collected their backpacks and getting ready to move out together. As for me, since I am no longer wearing a Scout uniform, I made arrangements to exit first and linked up with our Hawaiian Scoutmasters who were waiting for us outside. This would also allow me to prepare my camera and start taking photos when the DSG contingent exit from the airport. When I reached the Group Arrival Entrance, I managed to spot Wayson and Edwina! I received a warm Hawaiian welcome from them, chatting with them while waiting for the boys and girls to come out from the airport. Sterling soon appeared and it was great to see him again and in Hawaii!

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Soon the DSG Hawaiian Overseas Exchange Program 2012 contingent were led out by Mr Kevin Kung, one of the teachers-in-charge and coordinator for this exchange program. The 25 boys and girls followed suit behind with their backpacks and daypacks on the trolleys. The DSG group gathered around the side and each of them was presented with a nice Hawaiian Kukui Nut Necklace by our lovely host Edwina, just like a Mummy to the little boys and girls. After the welcome and presentation was completed, we started making our way to the other end of the airport, where the postal services compound was located. We started to load up our bags and our hosts/Hawaiian friends started to ferry all of us to our campsite, DAV campsite beside Keehi Lagoon Park that was not too far away from the airport.

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The schedule for Day 1 wasn’t too packed for the boys and girls. After settling down with their bags, we took a group photo with our Hawaiian hosts/friends to mark our arrival at Hawaii and the start of DSG Hawaii Overseas Exchange 2012! Lunch was first on the list, hosted and prepared by our Hawaiian hosts/friends, this was also a chance for the boys and girls to rest and interact with our Hawaiian hosts/friends too. After lunch, it was camp development time, pitching up the tents, getting the bags into the tents. Once that was done, DSG had their first Flag Break ceremony in Hawaii. Since the schedule wasn’t too packed, I was able to explore around the campsite, walked to the bay area and captured a very beautiful Hawaiian sunset!

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As time goes by for Day 1, it was dinner time, a continuation of rest and interaction with our Hawaiian hosts/friends. The Day 1 program was planned to be relaxing, as our kind and warm Hawaiian hosts considered jet lag and having to adjust our body clock to local day/time conditions. During Day 1 dinner time, we had old Hawaiian Scout Troop 42 friends and other Hawaiian Scoutmasters dropping by to visit us and catching up.

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During the night, there was a group debrief, that was a common feature for this whole exchange program and also a briefing for Day 2 activities, schedule, timings and instructions to be carried out e.g. Duty Group (Patrol) for Flag Break/Lowering Ceremony and Duty Group for Breakfast/Dinner cooking. Thereafter, it was lights out, sweet dreams and this signals the end of Day 1 for DSG Hawaii Overseas Exchange Program 2012.

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DSG Hawaii Overseas Exchange 2012 – SG to Incheon (transit)

In her 90th Anniversary celebrations, Dragon Scout Group (DSG) was planning to visit Hawaii for an overseas exchange program with the Hawaiian scouts and being an old boy of DSG, I jumped upon the chance to follow along with the boys and girls for an fun and exciting  travel 12 days of adventure and scouting exchange program across the world to the sunny island of Oahu, Hawaii. The Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group (DSG) in Singapore, is one of the oldest and most established Scout groups, founded in the year 1922.

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Our adventure started on the 27th November 2012 in Singapore, arriving in Hawaii on the 27th November 2012 for a wonderful and fun time, camping, trekking, sightseeing, scouting exchange with the Hawaiian Scouts, reaffirming heartwarming Scouting brotherhood ties with the Hawaiian Scoutmasters, our lovely caring hosts. Armed with my trusty Canon DSLR 1D Mk III and my EF 17-40mm f4 lens, I took upon the mission of photographing many photographs of the boys and girls,  the adventure, fun and enjoyment over the next 11 days. With over 2400 photographs captured in many many different memories over the 11 days, I would begin and start to share my daily stories of DSG’s Hawaii Overseas Exchange 2012 program with the Dragon Scout Group family and Dragon Chapter family, friends, Hawaiian Scoutmasters, Hawaiian Scouts and scouting movement friends from all round the world.

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The DSG Hawaiian overseas exchange program 2012 group consisted of 25 boys and girls, 4 teachers and 1 old boy (that’s me). We all gathered at Changi International Airport in Singapore, final administrative preparations and briefing by the teachers before proceeding to check-in the backpacks for our Korean Air flight from Singapore to Incheon International Airport, Seoul in South Korea whereby we had a 12 hour transit before boarding our connecting Korean Air flight from Seoul to Honolulu, Hawaii. The 25 boys and girls parents were also there with us to send us off at Changi International Airport and it was a bit of a celebrity star treatment when I took the group  photograph and the parents were eagerly snapping away with their cameras. Clearing immigrations and waving goodbye to their loved ones, the whole group went inside and waited for the Korean Air flight at 0130hrs Singapore local time.

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After a flight of about 6hours 20mins, we reached Incheon International Airport at around 0835hrs Korean local time. Since we had a 12hours transit, the group decided to take it easy, explored Incheon International Airport from one end to the other end for about 2hours. Thereafter, the boys and girls settled down in the  transit segment area, preparing their items for the upcoming exchange program between the Dragon Scouts and Hawaiian Scouts. There were 4 patrols (groups) and each of them has a specific task to complete, something that they will share, demonstrate and give to the Hawaiian Scouts.

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It’s not all just preparation and preparation! We had lunch, dinner, rest breaks and wash up at Incheon International Airport. It was quite a challenge for all of us with a 12hours transit inside the airport, nevertheless, we managed to get ourselves busy and active. At around 2110hrs Korean local time, we boarded our Korean Air flight to Honolulu for the start of our Hawaiian Overseas Exchange Program 2012. Our overseas exchange program adventure in Hawaii was about to start!


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