Pacific Quest

(808) 937-5806


Boys and Girls

Call admissions department for current tuition.

60 Days could vary by individual student needs

The structure and lifestyle of a working farm is simple, accessible and reflects a normal school or work schedule. We believe that this normal working day is the best way in which to reinforce routine and provide a solid foundation for growth.

Each day we engage each student physically, mentally and emotionally. The various farm and camp roles provide a majority of the structure for our participants. As they move through each role, they experience leadership, teamwork, decision-making, problem solving, successes, failures and everything else that comes with living and working on a farm and in a family.

Horticulture, health and nutrition, Hawaiian culture and history, earth and physical sciences, communication and problem-solving skills, and more are all integrated into the program and provide a solid foundation for success.

The program is divided in to two basic phases: Personal Responsibility (Kuleana) and Family (Ohana).

Pacific Quest operates year round and serves co-ed adolescents, ages 13-18. Our average length of stay is 60 days; however, sometimes a stay is shorter or longer depending on the individual needs of your family.

We take pride in the work we do and the relationships we build including our network of referring professionals. We carefully select our participants based on these referrals, a consultation with parents, our application, psycho-educational testing when appropriate, and other information to ensure their appropriateness.

As a family, and as resources for your family, we are available 24 hours a day for any emergency or contingency. We encourage you to call us and ask detailed questions to see if we may be appropriate.

Participants are met directly off their flights by PQ staff at the Kona (KOA) or Hilo (ITO) airports.

Students appropriate for Pacific Quest often display:

Adoption Issues
Computer/Gaming Addiction
Family Conflict
Learning Differences/Social Differences
Lack of Self/ Esteem/Confidence
Grief & Loss
Academic Underachievement
Negative Peer Groups
Experimentation with Drugs/Alcohol
Students who are not appropriate for Pacific Quest:
Students who are experiencing psychosis, are violent outside of their home, or refuse to engage in the medical recommendations of their treatment team are not appropriate for Pacific Quest. Students with Conduct Disorder or high levels of aggression, who are detoxing or have a major unmedicated mental illness are also not appropriate candidates for admission.

Our Rites of Passages model contains three phases: Severance from the past, the Threshold experience (personal solo), and the Incorporation of these experiences and perspectives in to everyday life.

Severance begins as they reflect on their past actions and beliefs and take responsibility for those choices. Participants write their life story and begin to live in the present by developing new perspectives and skills. Eventually, they form Intents, statements of who they are and who they would like to become as they prepare for solo.

The 2-3 day solo marks their severance from the past and represents their Threshold experience. Many lessons are reinforced and new ones are learned during this intense and rewarding process. Upon completion, with their new Intent, they take own new (and old) responsibilities. The Solo experience truly becomes an important reference point for years to come.

While the Solo experience itself is impactful, it is important to put it in context of a normal life filled with daily responsibilities. The Incorporation phase helps participants build resilience and generalize experiences while preparing them for the transitions ahead.

Pacific Quest therapists facilitate and integrate our program to fit each participant’s needs, capabilities and motivations. They are the treatment team leader and meet regularly with field staff and supervisors to facilitate the everyday implementation of the Personal Development Plan.

All therapists have backgrounds in wilderness therapy and are Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) in the State of Hawaii. They have all come from the “Mainland” and were hired for their clinical skills as well as their relationship and communication skills.

Pacific Quest is the perfect environment in which to blend therapy and experiential education. Therapists can work, walk or sit with students in a productive atmosphere that lends itself to reflection, awareness, communication and change. The gardening and camp life provide numerous daily opportunities to put words and ideas into action. Therapists also teach basic life skills such as communication, problem solving and expression skills.

Participants receive a minimum of two individual sessions and two group sessions per week.

Hawaii was chosen as our location for its safe climate and its inspiring nature. Most of our participants arrive emotionally uncomfortable; we do not need to create excess stress and fear through the environment or the weather. We respect our participants by allowing them to feel the anger, guilt, sadness, or confusion that they have created, in the past, for themselves. We believe that everyone should begin with a safe and static environment in order to focus on their feelings and struggles. In that spirit, Hawaii also offers many experiences on a diverse and closely interconnected island.

Pacific Quest operates on an 8-acre certified organic farm and a 3-acre retreat both located on the Southern side of the Big Island of Hawaii known as the Ka’u region, home to the first Hawaiian settlers thousands of years ago. Ka’u is the largest and least populated region of Hawaii incorporating Mauna Loa, Kilauea and miles and miles of coastland. Sugar cane dominated from the late 19th century until the end of the 20th century, and the Pahala Plantation was one of the last to close in 1996 leaving Ka’u quiet and isolated, perfect for our retreat. One of the few modern legacies left is the Ka’ Community Hospital (about 12 miles from PQ), a comfort just in case there are any medical concerns.

We visit many public and private places throughout the island for our solos and a variety of day trips, which include beaches, botanical gardens, Hawaii Volcano National Park, and community service projects.

The mission of Pacific Quest is to provide individualized, sustainable, personal development within a safe, structured, experiential and natural environment in a culture of unconditional support and personal responsibility.

ur unique model and approach, the incredible location and our small size allows us to compile the most experienced and gifted staff. We strive to maintain a positive professional culture and a sustainable work environment. All staff are required to submit to criminal history checks and pre-employment/random drug screens.

We have separated our staff by the offices where they are based: Hilo, Pahala and San Francisco.

Pacific Quest

Wilderness Programs

(808) 937-5806

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