Pre-College Programs

Emergency Contact Information

Families may contact us at any time during the program in the event of an emergency. Students should enter these numbers into their phones prior to departure.

Lauren Watka – BELL On-site Director
401-523-6218 (only active after March 18)

Brown University Department of Public Safety

Non-emergency assistance and information

For Accepted Students

BELL Hawai'i

Congratulations! We are looking forward to your participation in this unique and engaging program. We have compiled some important information for you; please review this carefully with your family and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Table of Contents

Required Forms

Once you've paid the deposit, don't forget to submit all required forms through your account.

Additional Forms, if applicable

Travel Dates and Times

Program Dates: Saturday, March 21 - Sunday, March 29, 2015

Arrival - March 21, 2015 at Hilo International Airport (ITO) between 3pm and 6pm HST (Hawai’i Standard Time)*

Departure - March 29, 2015 Kona International Airport (KOA) between Noon and 3pm HST*
Important note:  Our program is held on the island of Hawai’i, also known as the Big Island. Honolulu is located on a different island, O’ahu. 

*Please contact us at 401-863-7900 or before making a reservation if your flight falls outside these time frames.
Once you have confirmed you flights, please fill out your itinerary on the Travel Itinerary Google Form.

How to Book Tickets with Different Arrival and Departure Locations

Depending on your point of origin, the flight to the Hawai’i can be quite long and we recommend that you carefully review travel plans with family prior to your departure to ensure a safe and stress-free journey. Hawaiian Airlines flies direct from some mainland cities to Hawai’i or with a short lay-over in Honolulu on O’ahu. Depending on your point of origin, you may find it more economical and convenient to purchase a round trip ticket to Honolulu with a major airline and then purchase one-way tickets arriving in Hilo (ITO) and departing from Kona (KOA) on Hawaiian Airlines. For those of you who are connecting through Honolulu, please allow enough time to travel between the Main Terminal to the Interisland Terminal. Students should allow approximately 1.5 hours for a layover in Honolulu in order to catch the WikiWiki, the free shuttle bus, between terminals.

Airport codes: Hilo (ITO) Kona (KOA) Honolulu (HNL)

Airport Pick-Up and Drop-Off

Hilo and Kona airports are quite small and easy to navigate. Brown and Kohala Center staff will meet you in the Hilo airport at the base of the escalator at baggage claim. Look for staff wearing “BROWN” t-shirts in the arrival area. The group will drive to dinner then to our lodgings at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The Park is about one hour drive from the airport.

At the end of the program, we will transport the group to the Kona airport. Students will be responsible for managing their flight departure but staff will be available if assistance in Kona is required due to flight delays or unexpected concerns.

If your flight is delayed
If you experience a delay while traveling to Hilo, call or text Brown’s On-site Director, Lauren Watka, at 401-523-6218 with your new arrival time.

Before You Arrive

Additional information on how to access the conference will be emailed the week prior to February 16.

Pre-program required reading

We ask you to complete some pre-work so we can launch into the program with a similar foundation.


Please be very conservative in packing and bring only essentials. There is very limited luggage capacity in our transportation vans and where we are staying. Also, most airlines charge extra for luggage weighing over 50 lbs.

If you would like to ascertain the weather prior to packing, check forecasts for both Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park weather and Kailua/Kona Kailua/Kona weather

You are required to bring the following items as these items are required for admittance on some properties and during certain activities.

Required items

Recommended items

What not to bring

Students should not bring laptops, iPads, e-readers, or other valuable electronics. Students are prohibited from bringing illegal drugs, alcohol, and weapons of any sort, including pocket or swiss army knives.

Laundry Facilities

There are coin-operated washers and dryers at KMC which students will be allowed to use on the last night prior to departing to Kona There are NO laundry facilities at Halau Maluhia camp site.

During the Program

Cell Phones

Depending on your carrier, you may find mobile phone coverage spotty. In addition, students will have limited opportunities for cell phone charging. Students must restrict any texting, internet, and/or phone usage to free time in the evenings. Limiting cell phone use helps us stay better tuned in to each other, to our natural surroundings, and to the new culture.

At our second site, Halau Maluhia, electricity will be limited and supplied by a generator so students should not expect to charge their cell phones during the last 4 days of the program.  However, staff will keep emergency phones charged at all times. We will also make sure that student phones are charged before we depart for the airport.

Spending Money

All your food and housing is covered in the program fee as well as entry fees to various sites. You will only need money while you are traveling to and from Hawai’i and for purchasing souvenirs. Note:  Shopping time will be very limited as the focus of this trip is on Hawaii’s natural environment and traditional culture.

Fellow Students

There will be approximately 15-30 students from all over the U.S and the world in the program. Usually there are slightly more girls than boys ranging from grades 10-12.


There is no homework in the traditional sense. For the most part students will be doing experiential learning together with some journal writing. Students will be required to present a short oral presentation related to their learning at the end of the program.

Health and Wellness

The BELL Hawai’i program includes moderately physically challenging activities. We will spend a significant amount of time walking/hiking or snorkeling almost every day. We will conduct on-site swim evaluations to determine the level of assistance each students requires while snorkeling. Students may participate in all activities, independent of their ability to swim. We provide life jackets for beginning swimmers.

Accommodations and Meals

For the first part of the course, students will stay at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park at the Kilauea Military Camp (KMC). Students will stay in same-sex dorm-style (hales) structures with bunk beds. Students will have access to showers and toilets in the dorm and meals will be at the KMC cafeteria.

For the second part of the course, students will camp on the pristine white sand beach of Halau Maluhia in Kealakekua, South Kona. Students will sleep in share, same-sex tents (provided) on the beach and food will be catered by a local island chef. Students will work together in groups to prepare breakfast. This site is rustic, but you will have access to outdoor showers and composting toilets.

Dietary Restrictions and Medical Conditions

We will work with the staff at each location to make accommodations for dietary restrictions and food allergies if we are notified in advance. Students must communicate significant food allergies that require meal accommodations (e.g. gluten, shellfish, soy, eggs, milk) on the Disability, Medical and Dietary Services Request Form. Please indicate dietary preferences, including vegetarians and vegans, on the Student/Attendee Allergy Form to allow us to plan accordingly. 

If you student brings prescription medication, the On-Site Director or his/her designee will collect and stores all prescription medications on the first day of the program. Students must be responsible for requesting and taking prescribed dosage. Students with life-saving asthma and anaphylaxis medications (eg. epi-pens and inhalers) must keep them on their person at all times. All students who are taking prescription medications should bring prescribed medication in the original container, and a copy of their prescription and give it to the On-site Director. Having a copy of the original prescription will enable us to replace medication if needed.

Hospitals and First Aid

The BELL Hawai’i program is a physically taxing program involving significant exertion in the outdoors. For your safety and comfort during the program, we expect participants to fully disclose any and all pre-existing medical conditions in required medical forms.

In a medical emergency, you will be transported to the hospital in Hilo or Kona. We will always be within a 1-2 hour drive from a hospital. For minor problems, we have a well-equipped first aid kit and staff certified in first aid, and lifeguarding.