Happy Camper for Sunday, January 19, 2020

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Keira Parker of Hanalei School (she was one of two fourth-grade students in the Kauai district spelling bee!) listens to words being pronounced Thursday at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Alfred might be camera shy, but the Sugar Skull in 3540 Warehouse in Lawai is not as a customer gets a morning fix Friday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Jean Souza of the Kauai Ocean Discovery center studies the reaction of Mason Pillos, who is engaged after hearing the chant of Ke Kumulipo Friday afternoon at the facility that opened last week at Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Mason Pillos, 5, gets hands-on with the “little mountains” on the Kauai topographic map that greets guests to the Kauai Ocean Discovery center at Kukui Grove Center.

“How do you look at the wind?” is just one of the questions 5-year-old Mason Pillos (he’s at the big school now) posed of Jean Souza (she’s got the first Sanctuary Ocean Count this Saturday!) after school Friday at the Kauai Ocean Discovery center (the Ocean Count volunteers got trained here, too) that opened last Saturday at Kukui Grove Center.

Mason was only one of the many (Jean says they’ve been averaging more than 100 guests daily since the center opened) who discovered the “little mountains and big mountain” (some visitors were getting an overview of Napali) while volunteer Lani Tamanaha-Broadbent greeted guests like Steve Soltysik (he’s got an ocean discovery exhibit going on through the end of the month at the Kauai Community College Learning Resource Center!) and his family.

Kudos to Brent Mizutani and his state Department of Education ohana (Jan TenBruggencate — try spelling that one without looking — has been pronouncing for at least 10 years!) on the Kauai district spelling bee. Congratulations to St. Theresa School for producing yet another top speller! And kudos to the schools (yes, Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i had spellers in this year’s field, too!) for producing one of the largest fields at the spelling bee that went past the two-hour mark. It was a good thing the bee took place on a night without a Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball game because Kauai High School junior varsity coach Alan Castle (congratulation on the 51-19 victory Friday night in Waimea) watched his son among the field of spellers.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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