Girl Scouts host distinguished visitors at Camp Kilohana on Big Island

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Members of the Innovative Readiness Training team, Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi Interim CEO Michele Saito and Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi Hawaiʻi Island Coordinator Chelsea Ahern. (Photo courtesy of Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi)

Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi leaders and troops hosted nearly 90 guests for a Distinguished Visitors Day on Aug. 17 to showcase the Innovative Readiness Training team’s repairs to the Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi’s Camp Kilohana outside Waimea on the Big Island.

Distinguished visitors in attendance included Innovative Readiness Training Deputy Director Col. George Koklonaris, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Bennett, Air Force Lt. Col. Steven Johnson, Air National Guard and Air Force Chief David Abildgaard and Air National Guard Chaplain Corps. Col. Leah Boling.

The day began with a project briefing at the Kona Elks Lodge followed by a tour and lunch at Camp Kilohana.


Innovative Readiness Training is a collaborative program that leverages military contributions and community resources to multiply value and cost savings for participants. Communities typically provide materials and basic services, while military units contribute personnel and training resources.

The program’s projects produce mission-ready forces, civil-military partnerships and stronger communities. Throughout five two-week rotations, more than 200 soldiers from U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard, Army and Marine Reserve units used their skills to update the cabins and facilities at Camp Kilohana.

  • Chief Guy Travis and Capt. Esteban Acevedo detail cabin updates to distinguished visitors during a tour of the newly repaired Camp Kilohana on the Big Island. (Photo courtesy of Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi)
  • Girl Scouts recently welcomed several distinguished guests to Camp Kilohana on the Big Island. (Photo courtesy of Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi)

“The [Innovative Readiness Training] program has allowed us to save an estimated $850,000 on repairs to Camp Kilohana,” said Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi Interim CEO Michele Saito. “Thanks to the Department of Defense and the amazing work of members from the U.S. military, our camp facilities are better than ever before. We now have a newly fixed campsite that will benefit Girl Scouts throughout the Hawaiʻi Island community as well as the entire state.”


The 6.83-acre camp is located on Saddle Road, 10 miles from the Waimea side junction and 44 miles from Hilo. At an elevation of 6,000 feet, this site experiences a variety of weather conditions and is a perfect spot for meetings, retreats, stargazing or studying nature.

For more information about Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi camping sites, click here.

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