SLS Big Adventure: Waimanu Valley
When it comes to adventure, Surfers Leadership School does not mess around. Surfers Leadership School (SLS) takes place during a staff member’s first three months of being on staff. Among reading books, writing papers on leadership, leading group lessons and apprenticing in a department, the ‘crown’ of the three month training is the Big Adventure.
For eight days, SLS students strap on 50-70 pound packs and hike into the Waimanu Valley of Big Island. There in the wilderness, they set up camp right next to a black sand beach and forage for food from the earth and sea. Hiking to waterfalls for water and keeping track of your water purification tablets becomes a number one priority.
The hike is strenuous, but for every painful step, the valley compensates with beauty, eclipsing the present discomforts. The time in the valley is filled with pristine star gazing, falling asleep to the sound of the ocean, exploring untamed wilderness, and of course, taking everything learned about leadership and putting it into practice.
Here are are some of the photos captured on the trip: