Be Adventurous! / Be Curious! / Science / Travel

Lava Flow: Watching the World Be Born

Lava flow

Lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii

There are lots of reasons to visit the Big Island of Hawaii, but for us, no adventure was so anticipated or rewarding as our coastline hike to see lava flowing into the ocean, to see the planet being born. It was a key reason for choosing to visit this island over the others for our vacation in November, and we’d have done it whether there’d been badge tasks in it for me or not.

But there were. 🙂


Tasks for “Rocks Rock” and “Science in Everyday Life” call upon scouts to look for and discuss evidence of how the earth has been impacted by major geological forces like volcanoes. Scouts are asked to go on a geology walk to observe changes to the planets surface as a result of water, wind–and time.

One task for the “Hiker” badge offers a list of great places to hike across the world and asks scouts to learn about one possible hike. The Haleakala Crater hike (Maui) makes this list, but this volcano is no longer active; I’m going to make the case to the Virtual Troop Leaders that our hike to see lava flowing into the ocean and our time in Volcanoes National Park is a more-than-equal substitute.

Lava rocks, Volcano

Lava rocks from Hawaii

This adventure also gave me the chance to meet another requirement for the “Rocks Rock” badge which is to start a rock collection. We saw no signs or indications that collecting rocks was prohibited or discouraged anywhere on the island, and perhaps that’s because there’s no shortage of them.

I’ve wanted to put this post together for weeks, but I find it incredibly hard to write about; language seems insufficient. This is one of those times with pictures can speak a whole lot louder than words…

If you’re ready to plan your trip, visit the website for Volcanoes National Park for more information. There’s also some great National Geographic video of how Loihi — Hawaii’s newest island, still underwater — is being born.

And a final thought, cause what the hell…




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