From June 8 to 11, 36 students from Soldiers of Light (SOL) and Halau travelled to Maui along with eight other chaperones to not only bond closer together but to relax and celebrate the end of a successful 2017-18 school year.
With the money that the group fundraised through their biennial Dinner Theater show, SOL teacher Todd Yokotake packed in a full schedule for the group’s short vacation. The trip involved students visiting local joints like Tasaka Guri Guri, performing at Kahului Baptist Church, snorkeling at Molokini Crater, and watching the sunset at Haleakalā.
During the snorkeling tour at Maui’s world-famous Molokini crater, the group got to swim inside a local bay called Turtle Arches. Junior Emily White commented, “Snorkeling was definitely one of my highlights of the trip because we got to see the beauty that Hawaii has to offer. It truly was a wonderful experience to witness all the different sea creatures and the coral reefs.”
At Kahului Baptist Church, the group had one of their very last SOL and Halau performances of the year. For seniors like Cody Sugai, the experience was bittersweet. Sugai said, “After the countless hours and stress that went into Dinner Theater, I was thrilled to go and relax with everyone in Maui. Yet, I was also a bit sad since this would be one of the last times that I got to hang out with all of the SOL and Halau members.”
Later that night, students took a long drive up to Haleakalā. Students took in the breathtaking view of the setting sun until late in the evening. Freshman Micah Low-Heiser recalled, “Haleakalā was not only a long and fun drive up, but watching the sunset and being the cold weather was just something that I can’t experience often in Hawaii and it just made it even more special.”
While everyone enjoyed snorkeling in the deep blue waters of Maui and playing tourist, many agreed that the most memorable part of the trip was when the entire SOL group would spontaneously sing at places they were visiting on Maui. They broke into song at a number of restaurants as a token of appreciation to the staff for serving them. The group also sang at the top of Haleakalā as they watched the setting sun.
Sophomore Kacie Kwon said, “While singing at places like Tasty Crust and Panda Express was fun and all, it wasn’t as special as our little ‘concert’ on Haleakalā. What happened on Haleakala was unplanned; it just happened. It was more than just for fun. With the chill of the setting sun, the scenery, and the members of SOL, Haleakalā symbolized the mountain of trials and work we all went through…How could you not remember something as special as that?”
With the start of a new school year, returning SOL members have started to prepare for the upcoming 70th Anniversary Christmas Concert on December 14 and 15.