MOLOAA — More than 100 girls took over Retro Farms in Moloaa on Saturday during the fifth annual Pink Pineapple Project, put on by Retro Farms and the Zonta Club of Hanalei.
It’s an annual event that aims to empower girls and inspire them toward bright futures. Every year there’s a theme, and this year’s was “Powerful.”
Mary Ellen Pearlman, owner of the nonprofit Retro Farms, heads up the project, and said the focus was on individual skills and capabilities — powers — that each girl could use in life.
Past themes have included concepts of kindness and bravery, all woven throughout games, crafts, garden projects and other activities.
The 2019 program included a “makana station” where girls created a craft to gift; a mini canvas painting station: a game-playing station followed by a pineapple-planting station, and finally the nutritious cooking station on the coastal observation deck overlooking Moloaa Bay.
Interspersed between the activities, the girls were treated to frequent visits to the homemade pineapple-upside-down-cakes and fresh-fruit-smoothie stations.
“It is a snapshot of time in the lives of our Kauai girls where we can intersperse positive messages with enjoyable activities to help contribute to a more resilient and empowered mindset,” Pearlman said in a press release.
Retro Farms was established in 2010 specifically to provide a place for Kauai’s youth to form a connection to farming and agriculture, as well as a place for empowerment workshops.
The 14-acre farm is home to fruit orchards including mango and pineapple,a hardwood forest area, coffee and garden plants. Kids learn about sustainable agriculture at Retro Farms, and about native plants, as well as concepts like erosion control.
School and youth groups visit Retro Farms throughout the year for field trips and workshops.
The Pink Pineapple Project is unique in that it’s focused on girls.
Pearlman says surveys indicate that 96% to 98% of the girls who attend gain something positive from their participation, whether it’s loving a particular activity, making a new friend or realizing a new strength.
The Pink Pineapple Project takes about 50 volunteers to host 100 girls. Those volunteers come from the Hanalei Canoe Club, National Honor Society girls, Girls Scout moms and junior counselors.
Pearlman said the 2019 Pink Pineapple Project ended on a very “sweet note” on Saturday as the girls climbed into the bus and headed home.
“The last piece of pineapple upside down cake was carefully carried onto the shuttle bus to be brought home for a mom,” Pearlman said.
Source: The Garden Island