Cousteau Joins Ohana Keauhou

Partnership draws families to the Big Island’s Kona Coast

By: Dawna Robertson

Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society and the Kona Family YMCA have partnered to offer a series of marine science educational programs and overnight camps this summer on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Created by Cousteau’s Hawaii Ambassadors of the Environment, this experiential education program is offered at the Kona Family YMCA sustainable campsite in Ke’ei. Kids from 10-17 years will learn about Hawaii’s unique coral, marine life, plants and environment from marine educators and Hawaiian cultural practitioners.

Parents staying at the Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort can enroll their children in special one-, two- or three-night adventure camp programs that include all meals, supervised activities, equipment, beachfront camp accommodations and round-trip transportation from the resort to the camp.

According to Sharen Paoa, sales and marketing manager for the property, children are actually driving the destination decision in this case.

“It’s really interesting to see how kids are saying they want to go to the Big Island and participate in this program,” she explained. “We had a call from a parent who found the information online last year, but couldn’t quite pull off the trip then. But her daughter was so excited about it being offered again this summer, that they re making the trip.”

This year’s camp schedule is June 20-26, June 27-July 3, July 4-6, July 7-10, July 11-17, July 18-24, July 25-31, Aug. 1-7, and Aug. 8-14. The cost is $ 85 per child, per night. Guests can register in advance with the YMCA or upon arrival at the hotel, based on space availability. Camp registration must be made through the Kona Family YMCA (808-329-9622;

As part of the program, the hotel will offer a special Ocean Adventure Rate of $119 per night, single or double occupancy, to guests with children attending the camp. The rate covers oceanview accommodations, with waived local calls and parking fees.

Guests also receive one complimentary FairWind Raft Adventure with the purchase of one paid adult ticket. This award-winning trek cruises along the Kona Coast to sea caves, lave tubes and Kealakekua Bay for snorkeling at the historic site of the Captain Cook Monument.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for families to experience Kealakekua Bay together,” said Paoa. “It lets the kids apply what they’re learning from the camp. It’s a great partnership.”

The 311-room oceanfront Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort features 10 acres of landscaped grounds, restaurant and bar, salon and day spa, fitness center, six tennis courts and an activities desk. It is managed by Ohana Hotels & Resorts, a division of Outrigger Enterprises, Inc.