Ka Papa Lama picnic congratulates students


Photo by Aaron Veincent

Stephanie Bodin and Lexi Figueroa take a running start for the 40-foot slip n’ slide. Seniors enjoyed a day off from school, April 20, in celebration of their hard work in their senior year.

Unlike the rest of last week, Friday was hot and humid with not a single gust of wind to be felt. It was perfect day for a picnic, a senior picnic.

The sun made its way through the overcast clouds and onto the practice field, reaching the senior haumāna who spent their school day doing fun activities and getting red sunburns.

Since the conclusion of the spring break, the class of 2018’s student government had been planning a class picnic event.

The idea originated by Academies Pooʻo Kumu Ms. Jay-R Kaʻawa who wanted the day to be a “class bonding experience” that would be held off campus as a field trip.

She set only one rule: the haumāna had to pass a grade check on Tuesday.

“Hopefully through revisiting of expectations, everyone can get through together,” she said.

With over a month to plan, the class officers informed classmates of the deal and began making the day’s activity schedule.

“We met every week [since spring break] up until the week before the picnic, which is when we started meeting every day,” class representative Austin Peters said. “At each of the meetings, we’d work with our budget to brainstorm and plan out fun activities our class would like.”

As time dwindled, so did the amount of haumāna who were eligible to participate.

In the regularly scheduled grade-check a week before the picnic, almost half the senior class was shown to be ineligible to attend based on their grades.

Because of the high numbers, Ms. Kaʻawa quickly recommended that the government officers move the venue from Baldwin Beach to the high school campus for that and multiple other reasons.

Two days before the picnic, the class officers scrambled to relocate all of their plans.

“Although we were bummed to move on campus, it was easier to do so planning-wise, plus we’d have more time for activities,” Peters said.

As word spread out about the low attendance and venue change, many seniors took action to raise their grades.

In order to attend, Tyson Haupu stayed after school with Ms. Malia Panglao in hopes to bring up his AP Biology grade before the picnic day.

When the day came, the numbers had risen and less than a quarter of the class hadn’t passed, down from nearly half.

“Although I wasn’t able to go, the picnic really gave me a reality check on both my grades and how much time left [our class has] of high school,” Mākena Pang said.

Those who couldn’t attend carried on with their normal school day, using the day as an advantage to get ahead in their work.

Meaaloha McCabe watches Kela Kauhaʻahaʻa and Melinda Lee play Connect Four.
Meaaloha McCabe watches Kela Kauhaʻahaʻa and Melinda Lee play Connect Four.

“[The class] only has a couple weeks left,” Ms. Kaʻawa said. “[I] just wanted to celebrate what they’ve done thus far: their academic, behavioral, and athletic accomplishments.”

For those who did go, an eventful day was planned for them-providing them with a celebration of their hard work, and opportunities to make more memories before their graduation day in a month.

“It was great to see [the students] not rushing an thinking about classes, enjoying one another’s company, and laughing while partaking in a variety of activities,” class advisor Ms. Kathleen Frampton said.

Slip n’ slide kickball, a class-colored waterslide, a pool flotilla, and much more filled the participating haumāna’s day.

Between activities, haumāna had lunch catered by Poi by the Pound and desert from Guri Guri.

As they spent their whole day under the over-casted skies, the heat of the sun left many haumāna leaving school darker and sunburnt, but still with smiles on their faces.

“I definitely had a blast,” Noa Vierra said, “but I became so red that my friends started calling my Larry the Lobster from SpongeBob! [I] guess I have to bring sunscreen next time, at the senior bash.”