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Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Corp.


John Hall’s call for volunteer hike leaders for: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

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The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is based at UH Manoa, but is
funded by a private foundation.  It is intended to provide enrichment
and educational opportunities for seniors (50+ y.o.), and offers a
variety of courses, mainly  given by volunteers.  In Hawai’i there are
about 40 different courses offered each of 3 semesters in the year.
These range from 1 hour illustrated tourist talks about a trip to Bali
or Antarctica etc, to full semester classes in tai chi, water color
painting, or mah jong.  Most are for 6 or 8 weeks, courses (once a
week) and  are on topics like Shakespear’s tragedies, Death and Dying,
American foreign policy in the Pacific, a close reading of “Vanity
Fair”,  the Ancient cultures of the Pacific of South America.  I gave
a 3 lecture series on Evolutionary psychology.

A few years ago, I wondered if a hiking class might be of interest, so
I offered:  “Adventure Hikes for the Fit Senior:.  Eight or ten people
signed up, and I led them on 6 progressively more venturesome hikes.
These hikes are once a week, all on the same day, and with the same
group, so we had a chance to get to know each other.  It was a lot of
fun.  These are older folks, many have hiked little or not at all
before, and often a few drop out after the first hike or two, but most
really seemed to love it.  I once missed a trail in the back of Lyon
Arboretum and we had to go across country for a bit to regain where I
wanted to be.  Another time we went up the Pu’u ‘Ohi’a trail and
around the rim of Tantalus Crater, then down into the bottom to the
swing, and around the marsh in the center.  I missed the trail out and
we ended up scrambling up a very steep slope to reach the trail we’d
come down on, swinging from one bamboo to the next.  The group thought
these “mishaps” were great fun!  Exciting!  Adventure!

The class proved to be so popular that after a few semesters, we had
40 or 50 people clamoring to get into it.  I tried taking larger
groups, with the invaluable aid of Jan Nako-Piburn as assistant and
sweep, but really prefer smaller groups, and for this Summer we are
planning to limit each group to 10 people.  I will lead the novices,
and Mike Fujita, Randy Ching, and Richard Nettell will lead other
groups.  We have no idea at present if this will be enough to meet the
demand or if the pent-up wish to hike with us will lead to an
overwhelming enrollment, so it would be great to have some more
leaders on tap.  I really loved working with these people – their
enthusiasm makes up for any lack of experience.  Each leader can
choose the day of the week that fits best in her/his schedule, though
it should be the same day every week, and the 6 week series that best
fits within the 11 or 12 week semester.  We skip weeks if one hike
falls on a holiday or if the leader has an emergency, and just add
another hike at the end.  If we have a surplus of volunteer leaders,
they could act as assistants to the ones we have while they learn the
ropes (not that there is much to learn).  I’ll help in any way I can.
I think some of you would get as much pleasure from leading these
folks as I have!

If you want more information, call me, John Hall, at

Aloha!  John

For more information about Osher Lifelong Learning Institute CLICK HERE