Their parents are some of the most wealthy people on the planet. They have become accustomed to living a lavish lifestyle, and a handful of businesses want to make sure it stays that way. They are the children attending this year’s Young Elite Program (YEP). Until the release of internal documents by VeilWatch last month, little information about the week-long camp for the super-rich had been made public. Rumors about lavish parties, workshops on staying rich, and even trips into space have circulated for years, but were unverifiable until now. While the documents haven’t revealed much about entitled kids orbiting the Earth, the have revealed one thing. The hosts of the annual camp believe strongly that these children are the future of Hawaiian wealth and business. In fact, they’re betting on it.
Sponsored by organizations like the Kokua Wellness Center, The First Hawaii National Bank, and brokerage firm Pacific Investments, YEP is designed to teach these privileged youth how to stay on top when their parents pass them the baton. Part “how to stay rich” tutorial, and part networking camp, the event has always held a “conflicted” place in the hearts of many living on Maui.
Thanks to large corporations like: Veilcorp, Vereserum, SSHAM and even Manimal headquartering in Lahaina, a global shift of wealth has pushed Western Maui into the spotlight. In an era of ultra-affluence, many companies are trying to cultivate the next generation of clients, and solidify already existing relationships. While the idea of a summer camp to teach rich kids how to stay rich seems, at the very least, to be in bad taste to many Hawaiians, Kokua spokesperson Yvonne Masters says it’s just “a reflection of reality.”
“One of the biggest differences between ultra-rich families and your average Hawaiian household, is one of tone and expectation. Your average family passes down the same limiting narratives, and beliefs about money, generation to generation. This story keeps families locked into financial mediocrity for years. The elite, on the other hand, teach their children that it’s not only OK to want to be rich, it’s vital to achieving their goals, and living a truly fulfillig life. They teach them to see the world objectively, not through the lens of wishful thinking. YEP is a great resource for these kids to help them maintain their family’s wealth, and reach their full potential.”
When asked about revelations that each child has their own beach house, and a full-time staff while attending YEP, Masters says, “We meet the children at the level of comfort they have come to expect. You have to appreciate that most of our attendees are constantly surrounded by help to attend to their needs. These kids get Nuuskin treatments, and a whole new dermal layer, when they get acne. They have garages full of cars, and access to exclusive cutting-edge ceremplant software. We believe the perks we provide are a good reminder of what they deserve, and what they need to strive to preserve.”
However, if you ask the general public about what they think about YEP, you hear a very different story. Many native Hawaiians in particular, have strong negative feelings about the program, which have only been fueled by the recent VeilWatch document dump. The watchdog group’s founder Tim Durney claims the program is, “disgusting and completely counter to the Hawaiian spirit.” Instead of a program designed to help tomorrow’s potential leaders, Durney calls YEP “an institutional fattening of the overindulged and entitled.”
“It all started with Veilcorp money and influence transforming Maui into what it is now. We’re talking about kids who think it’s alright to buy new clothes when theirs get dirty, and new cars when they’re tired of the color. We’ve long know that the children of the upper echelon at Veilcorp are used to round-the-clock security teams, access to personal submarines, and emergency veils installed in their homes, but we now know it’s nothing compared to what these YEP kids get during the event. They have individual personal chefs, valets, stylists, and something called “personal brand specialists.” Purified glacial water is veiled in for them to shower with. We’re talking about kids who are learning they can do, and get anything they want. They have the actual voice actors brought in so they can partially read their lines, while the kids skip ahead playing their video games. The message YEP is giving these kids is clear. You are better than everyone else. You can do what you want without regard to your fellow man, and you don’t need to change if you can change the world around you. I’m not sure what part of the aloha spirit that represents. I hate to think what will happen to these kids if they had to live through some sort of life altering event.”