Adventure in Paradise

Just Live invites clients to vacation out of their comfort zone

By: Marty Wentzel

Picture the Wild Woozy. Two cables attached to the base of two pairs of trees standing 28 feet apart. At one end the trees are about a foot apart, while at the other they’re 10 feet apart, so the cables create a V-shape. The trick is for two people to step up onto the cables across from each other at the narrow end, hold hands, and slide their feet along the cables to the far end while balancing and supporting each other.

“Do you want to give it a try?” asked Just Live president Julianne Lester. She looked like someone I could trust. Linking hands, we faced each other and stepped up on our respective cables. Her grasp was strong and confident; my feet were unsteady.

“No fair,” I thought. “She’s done this before.”

Still, by working together, we managed to shuffle about halfway across before falling off, laughing.

The Wild Woozy is one of the many team-building games awaiting your clients at Just Live, a new activity option for families and groups visiting Kauai. Set in a grove of 200-foot Norfolk pines, the course features 12 low elements like the Wild Woozy, where groups problem solve, share ideas and set goals as a team. Six high elements, like a zipline and climbing wall, let individual participants test their self confidence while the rest of the group cheers them on.

After creating and running successful eco-challenge camps and clinics for children with disabilities, Lester launched Just Live 18 months ago. “I want to provide experiences that allow people to achieve their potential,” she said. “Everything we offer here is challenge by choice, but we encourage you to step out of your comfort zone.”

As we strolled the wooded course, I got a firsthand look at a man who was clearly far from comfortable. Forty feet above us, he was inching his way across the Jungle Vines Traverse, moving his feet along a cable while grabbing various dangling ropes for balance. Although he was securely harnessed and a Just Live employee held a rope that would keep him safe, he was understandably terrified. His family shouted encouragement from below. When finished, he beamed as he was lowered, and his clan swarmed him with congratulatory hugs. Just Live is also beneficial for relatives who want to reestablish communication.

“Family reunions can have a ball doing it,” Lester said. “We had one group of in-laws and their kids who just weren’t getting along well beforehand, and afterward they left with newfound appreciation for each other.”

Just Live can also craft experiences for corporate groups as large as 500 people.

“We’ll customize activities to meet your unique needs, goals and desired outcomes,” she explained.

While a day in the forest sounds like fun for executives who usually deal with each other in an office, it’s the end result that Lester looks for.

“When working with any type of client, my most important goal is to help them transfer what they’ve learned here back to their real life,” she said. “After each group activity, we debrief and discuss how it was symbolic of what’s happening in their work place.”

While some tests come from on high, staff members also dream up ground-level challenges using low-rope elements and cooperative games. The end result is a program that’s exciting, meaningful and, Lester hopes, life changing. “Experiential learning is our focus, first and foremost,” she said. “We want you to trust yourself, and trust others, while taking a few healthy risks.”


Just Live
P.O. Box 993
Kapaa, HI 96746

Just Live customizes team-building and adventure programs for a variety of clients, including leisure travelers and corporate groups.
Friends and families vacationing together can book its commissionable 4 1/2-hour eco-challenge tour, which includes five activities, all safety gear, lunch and beverages for $95 per adult and $80 per child ages 5-10.
Full-day corporate programs cost about $125 per person with an eight-person minimum.