The Army recently hosted several educational tours to Pohakuloa Training Area for three Hawaii Island youth organizations.
Dozens of youth from the Kona Hongwanji Cub Scout Troop, Hawaii Island Youth Corp, and students from Waiakea Elementary School were given the opportunity to tour PTA’s facilities, view equipment, and learn more about the Army’s Cultural and Natural Resource programs.
“An important part of what we do is ensuring that we are part of the community. Working with the youth of the island is one way we can give back and, quite frankly, these visits become the highlight of our staff’s week,” said Lt. Col. Eric P. Shwedo, commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Pohakuloa.
Several Kona Hongwanji Cub Scouts tried on specialized protective gear to get a feel of how the Army installation’s Environmental Resources staff works out in the field.
Paul Martin, a natural resource specialist at PTA, introduced some of Hawaii’s endangered and rare plant species in the base’s interpretive gardens. Visitors also participated in mock mapping of archaeological sites and viewed photos of archaeological sites found at PTA.
Hawaii Island Youth Corp visitors were also given the opportunity to inspect insects in a display with natural resources specialist Marty Kawasaki.
“The entire day we were welcomed warmly and greeted positively — that made the boys feel at ease,” said Anthony Savvis, Hawaii Island Youth Corps.
Waiakea Elementary students also enjoyed the opportunity to learn about firefighting.