Kauai Christian Fellowship brings youth group to Queen’s Bath

  • Courtesy Kauai Christian Fellowship

    Kauai Christian Fellowship youth group members partake in a summer adventure program at Queen’s Bath in Princeville, which is gated off to visitors.

  • Courtesy Kauai Christian Fellowship

    A Kauai Christian Fellowship youth group poses for a picture at the jumping rock at Queen’s Bath in Princeville on a calm day. Despite the calm conditions, the access gate to the area was allegedly closed, making any entrance a trespassing violation.

  • Courtesy Kauai Christian Fellowship

    Kauai Christian Fellowship youth camp members take the plunge off of the jumping rock at Queen’s Bath. The fellowship has stated that the group entered the area through a private residence.

PRINCEVILLE — Several photos and a video are spreading across social media of the Kauai Christian Fellowship North Shore Edge youth group that made their way near Queen’s Bath and swam at a nearby location that has been dubbed off limits when the gate is locked.

KCF youth group leader Sarah Hill, who was portrayed by Carrie Underwood in the 2011 film “Soul Surfer,” posted a photo of the adventure on her Facebook page Thursday morning, which soon showed up on Kauai group community pages, where hundreds of comments were made.

The location has claimed the lives of 29 people in recent years, according to “Inside Edition,” which featured an article on Queen’s Bath after Yayun “Lucy” Cheng lost her life on Dec. 5, 2018.

“I’m still frothing over our first epic @northshoreedge_kcf adventure of the summer. We came and conquered QB. Can’t wait for all the other amazing adventures to come with these groms!! Each of them have brought so much blessing to my life,” Hill wrote on her Facebook page.

Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami’s Chief of Staff Sarah Blane responded on social media: “For the first time ever, I have no words. This is beyond comprehension.”

Joseph Wancyzk commented, “If the parents pay money to have people take these kids there and watch them on public lands the company needs permits, which I doubt they got from DLNR. There are other illegal camps on island that use public lands and private lands without permission for financial gain as well.”

Hill responded to the criticism.

“There have been many occasions where people have seen a post of mine and because of one photo, made awful assumptions of me, my team, and the work we are doing! Yesterday, I had a lady take a post I shared, repost it totally attacking me, the work I’m doing with the youth, and my grammar.

“How a post with kids having fun (out in nature, off technology, and drug free), with upwards of 10 plus adults in the water with them, could create such anger got to me! Normally I wouldn’t give an ounce of time to a person like this, but today I had to say something.

“What my pictures don’t show is me sitting by the hospital beds of kids brain dead due to drugs, or with a kid who narrowly escaped death due to self harm, you won’t see parents crying on my shoulder because they lost their child to suicide, nor pictures of our homeless kids getting a hot meal from us weekly, who’s parents are strung out on drugs. What you don’t see in my photos would cripple you if I posted them … it would break you to the core! The things I carry are burdens most turn a blind eye to.

“Kids will go to places us adults won’t approve of, they will go with or without us!! When we are present, those very kids are reminded their life has enough value that someone wants to spend time with them. They will ask hard questions while driving in the vans, and share about things they are facing, things hidden to the outward eye,” Hill said.

The County of Kauai responded to an email inquiry about the situation by stating that if the gate to Queen’s Bath is closed, any access to the area is considered trespassing, which could result in a citation.

Hill responded to The Garden Island with a prepared statement regarding the alleged trespassing incident with the youth group:

“We understand some people are critical of going to queens bath. We live here, and understand the dangers along with the right and wrong time to go down there. We checked ocean conditions, we did not enter through any locked gates, but through a friend’s property. We are always keeping safety as our first priority in everything we do, including being first aid/CPR certified. Our track record shows that to be true.

“We have an array of local kids from all walks of life, and our programs for many of them, get them involved in something bigger than themselves. These local kids have spent their lives enjoying the uniqueness of our island. These are familiar places the kids enjoy.

“These trips aren’t the only thing we offer at KCF. We do camps, retreats, youth group activities, peer to peer team building, and in addition to our sports center, we also collaborate with the Keala Foundation offering free CrossFit to Kauai’s youth.

“For 18 years, I have personally dedicated my life to the youth of Kauai. I Believe Kauai is facing one of the greatest drug epidemics of our time, and we are simply trying to offer students hope in the midst of hopelessness,” she wrote.

Rick Bundschuh, KCF pastor, said their understanding was, if ocean conditions are calm — and they were — it was OK to be at Queen’s Bath.

“We understand while there is gate, the gate is supposed to be open when conditions are safe,” he said. “From what we understand, we were totally legal.”

Bundschuh, a long-time surfer, said he knows Queen’s Bath can be dangerous in the winter, which is why they checked conditions beforehand and went on a calm summer day with plenty of adults to supervise.

He said the church works hard to have activities for children, and it’s a bit frustrating to have people working with young people being criticized for an ocean outing.

“The safety of our kids is our number one priority,” he said. “The last thing we want to do is an activity where someone gets hurt,” he said.

He was surprised there was a bit of an uproar over the visit to Queen’s Bath on social media. It went off as planned, everyone was safe and had fun. Bundschuh said he did not receive any calls voicing concerns.

“We never thought there was a problem until somebody blows it up on Facebook,” he said.

“My goodness,” he added. “What makes news on Kauai.”

22 Comments
  1. ruthann jones June 17, 2019 5:03 am Reply

    we all know that christians are exempt from the rules the rest of us are expected to follow!


    1. Rick Bundschuh June 17, 2019 3:00 pm Reply

      Here are the rules…just so ya know. Hawaii law, HRS statute 115-3, mandates public rights of way to the shoreline at “a distance at reasonable intervals taking into consideration the topography and physical characteristics of the land the public is desirous of reaching.”


    2. Kauai Resident June 19, 2019 10:36 am Reply

      To Mz. Goody-Goody Rule-follower, Perhaps you might stop casting nasty aspersions and follow the “Golden Rule”.


  2. Concierge11 June 17, 2019 5:59 am Reply

    I for one am getting tired of losing access to areas on the island. I took my kids to Queens bath every summer and always enjoyed it. WHY are the gates closed in the first place? My understanding of the “gate” was that it was to be closed during high surf/winter months. The gate isn’t working, drive by any time of day and you will see hundreds of tourists climbing around it. They don’t CARE that we are trying to save their lives, they WANT go no matter what. You should see the attitude I get when as a concierge I tell them I can’t give them directions. They do what they want-so open the gate and let the rest of us who understand the conditions go enjoy. Good job Sarah Hill, I support your choice to go!


  3. Kauaidoug June 17, 2019 7:29 am Reply

    Unbelievable. What about when these kids go back with their friends and they are not as careful or conditions not as good. Poor judgement to say the least of the leaders of these group who demonstrated don’t pay attention to signs, disregard safety warnings. What were these “Leaders” thinking? It’s not like there are other places to go swimming.


  4. pointfisha June 17, 2019 8:35 am Reply

    “IF parents paid money… ” For real, Wancyzk??? Trying to make a church youth trip to the beach out as paid commercial tour? What a stretch – next time, wonder IF they flew in by jet-packs and need a permit from the FAA.

    What, there wasn’t enough people there to help if something went wrong??

    Guess no one told the local church youth group that QB is only “safe” for paying members of the Princeville Community Homeowners Association and their kids… oh, and for the maybe 2 fishermen that the PCHA will generously grant permits to park during office hours.

    Just a lot of empty stink so the PCHA can make QB a private piece of coastline.

    If anyone should be able to go to QB, supervised, non-profit local youth help groups in safe season conditions should.


  5. Mel June 17, 2019 9:05 am Reply

    Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami’s Chief of Staff Sarah Blane responded on social media: “For the first time ever, I have no words. This is beyond comprehension.”

    And the mayors office responds by saying when the gate is closed, you will be sited for trespassing?

    What a joke.

    The mayors office has also told us that the right of way to QB will never go away. Therefore, it is illegal for them to site anyone for trespassing.

    The mayor’s office is also well aware of the daily situation at QB and for an official that represents the county to respond by saying “this is beyond comprehension,” is offensive. Numerous members of this community have tried time and time again to get answers to the situation here at QB. The mayors office is very aware what is happening here.

    Can the county answer the simple question, “if there is a gate at QB, when will it open?” The last time the gate opened was mid November of 2018.

    And if the gate at QB is going to remain closed, then why does the county continue to accommodate this trail by allowing people to park there when it is closed?”

    The chastising of this poor group on social media is ridiculously unwarranted as QB continues to see 700 daily visits despite a closed gate.

    Inquiring residents continue to wonder…. what is happening at QB?


  6. dawg2000 June 17, 2019 9:12 am Reply

    Pastor Rick’s comment at the end pretty much sums it up. Perhaps a better story would be to investigate why the county has failed to open the gate, forcing locals who want to have some good clean fun on our public shorelines to either trespass or get permission from private landowners. Or better yet question the legitimacy of keeping the public out of public lands at all.


  7. Shannon June 17, 2019 10:25 am Reply

    You might believe it was safe and maybe you are a good judge about it. But when you are responsible for kids, you are supposed to be teaching them to respect the law, not how to try to get around it for your personal gratifications.

    Plus if you weren’t that good of a judge and you endangered the kids? There’s not a good excuse for that, I can just hear it later, we thought it was safe. Plus then you endangered other people if they had to rescue someone. This is a place people have died.

    And then let’s go do something that is bordering on being illegal that we know by the huge group of people there, someone will post it and now my great organization is under fire with all the funding repercussions that can happen from that. How smart was that?


    1. Thomas Brooks June 18, 2019 6:24 am Reply

      I think people who make all these comments about QB have never been to QB. It is a fun, beautiful place and as safe as any beach or area on the island AT THE RIGHT TIME, just like Hanalei, Ke’e and many beaches on this island. Good for KCF taking the kids someplace fun and helping them grow, not stunting their development.


      1. evelyn harris June 19, 2019 8:29 pm Reply

        WRONG


      2. Arien June 21, 2019 2:48 am Reply

        The ocean is UNPREDICTABLE at ANYTIME, even the “right conditions.” And yes, I’ve been to QB.


  8. CommonSenseish June 17, 2019 12:09 pm Reply

    Who care’s if the conditions were perfect that day? Who cares what CPR certs you have… That was an extremely large amount of kids to keep an eye on in a WELL KNOWN and DISCUSSED dangerous place. CPR can’t save someone if you can’t get to them. Very irresponsible and lacked any thinking. Luckily nothing happened to any of those kids. There are so many safe beaches on this island, why that one? I’m usually up for bending rules, but Queens Bath is definitely somewhere that is just talked about too much these days. I’d be hesitant to bring one kid let alone a bus full.


  9. Imua44 June 17, 2019 2:00 pm Reply

    Good for Pastor Rick- let the kids have fun. Shame on the County for trying to deny access. It looks like Mayor Kawakami is lost. He is stopping access. As a kid, he went everywhere. Why can’t today’s kids? Shame on the County q


  10. Concierge11 June 17, 2019 3:16 pm Reply

    With all due respect to the nay sayers, people have died in MANY places around the island. Have you even BEEN to Queens Bath? Is there a difference between Hanalei Bay in 30 foot surf vs. 1 foot surf? Of course there is. A visitor just drowned at Polihale. Shall we put a play pen around the entire island to save us all? And as far as “obeying the law and setting an example” again WHY ARE THE GATES STILL CLOSED?????? And why should the tourists have all the fun going down the trail? The gate was not supposed to be closed year round. And danger is subjective, a strong athletic person who has grown up around the ocean is far better than someone who grew up in pools and lakes with no ocean knowledge.
    Maybe they should just stay home and play on laptops. They’ll be safe then.


  11. WHO CAREZ June 17, 2019 8:11 pm Reply

    IF CAN CAN!?! WHO FRIKIN CAREZ?! LET UM GO!


  12. Debra Kekaualua June 17, 2019 8:44 pm Reply

    All foreigners as well as religious sects complicit with the JUDICIAROpoliticomilitarovoter U.S.citizens including but not limited to corruption, collusion, murder, money laundering Budd fraud back 125+years to current ‘Kealoha stolen mailbox, Judge Seabright’ or fake Gov Igenoring password, ‘incoming missile not a drill’! Missile NOT an oops either, missile out from Vandenberg AFB Cali, intercepted via PMRF Kauai. In this case Hill is outa line; however this kind of activity is typical of the planned americanization for the privileged, especially Z and Andratdemall. COK got the middle finger from this christian group. Evil vs Pono HawaiianKingdom.org


  13. Cheryl Swanson June 17, 2019 10:09 pm Reply

    The real story here is how much KCF is doing to help youth on this island. Hopefully, Sarah Hill’s thoughtful response will be paid attention to and remembered—we have major problems with drug abuse and suicide and these youth workers are on the front lines. Thank God for them. So far as Ms. Blane’s off-the-cuff response, she needs to remember not to judge a book by the chapter you happened to walk in on.


  14. Amused June 18, 2019 5:42 am Reply

    it is totally inappropriate and disrespectful to take a large group of kids to a place like that, with no restroom or other facilities. And instead of acknowledging they were wrong and set a bad example, the “leaders” get all defensive. They made a bad choice and should be cited for trespassing and commercial use of public resources.


  15. Casual Observer June 18, 2019 12:57 pm Reply

    “We had the time of our lives,” said Hill. “As an evangelical, I know that laws don’t apply to us. While others have died horribly, God is on our side. Now that this story is published, I’m sure that thousands of tourists will follow our example and break the law, because it’s SO awesome! Next year, I’m taking the kids to the Big Island so that they can try lava surfing in the caldera!”


  16. Debra Kekaualua June 20, 2019 9:54 am Reply

    “Evangelical…laws do not apply to us” REALLY? This is the exact same kind of kukai that only privileged peoples Like Z, AndRATe, newbies, transplants, hippy and severely mentally disturbed, brainwashed, as well as disrespectful monied hui o crackerheaded invasion of the super evilians that roost where they were never supposed to be. Yet Corrupted stolen mailbox uses these kinds of stories to deter the new reality for all of them. If Dahilig and Kawakami cannot place a “moratorium” as earlier discussed in council chambers, scayed to make mention, then our bid to continue “claiming” what is rightfully ours and dismiss the rest of these dummies in our hood.


    1. Arien June 21, 2019 2:51 am Reply

      Kukae


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