And while we believe that new experiences can and should be found everywhere and everyday, we believe that the most impactful ones require getting outside of our comfort zones and away from our hometowns. In doing so, we put ourselves in new places and new situations that require us to fully engage in what’s going on around us. These are the environments and individuals that inspire us to live in the moment. This is Moondance.
At Moondance, adventure travel runs deep. Our working hours are often in an office, yet we yearn for dirt under our nails, the utter exhaustion of a summit attempt, or the restful collapse after a day under the sun. Adventure travel is not our product, rather a state of mind and lifestyle that we spawn in those willing to join us. Adventure travel is magic.
As a true adventure travel company, we scour the globe for incredible, transformative experiences. And since working with teenagers is our passion, we feel a great responsibility to help shape the future stewards of our planet. Sustainable travel practices, community service, and leave no trace ethics are common themes throughout the Moondance curriculum and we are proud to pass the torch to the future of conservation minded explorers.
Hayes Hitchens hails from Charlotte, NC. Hayes founded Moondance as a way to share outdoor adventures with young people. Many of his thirty years in organized camping were spent at Camp Deerhorn in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, a camp founded by his grandfather in 1930. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Hayes served The Lovett School in Atlanta for twelve years as the Dean of Students and the Director of Summer Programs. He has participated in outdoor programs with the North Carolina Outward Bound School, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC). Hayes looks forward to another summer spent traveling the continental US meeting Moondance students on their many adventures. He lives with his wife, Michael, and their daughter Hunter in Nashville, TN, where he coordinates all of Moondance Adventures.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackie Faustin graduated cum laude from Furman University, with a degree in both Economics and Communications Studies. During her time at Furman, Jackie was an active part of the campus community, serving as an Admissions Ambassador, the Vice President of the Student Activities Board, and a certified yoga instructor! Additionally, she gave her own Ted Talk on the benefits of social-emotional learning and mindfulness in education. Jackie grew up attending Camp Wayfarer and later worked there as a lead counselor for years. With Moondance, she led on The Olympics trip. Jackie continues her passion for the outdoors and transformative experiences through her work at HQ as the Director of Business Operations + Strategy.
Sandra Davis hails from Greensboro, NC and graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a degree in Public Policy and Social and Economic Justice. After graduation, Sandra led her first Moondance trip to Maui and was hooked. She is no stranger to adventure, having visited 26 countries, and her life long-goal is traveling to all 7 continents - she has only one left. Next adventure on the horizon: Machu Picchu (Spring '22). Sandra has also obtained her Girl Scout of America Gold Award and established an art program at a school that welcomes Syrian and South American refugees. Sandra combines her adventurous spirit and love for Moondance's service philosophy by working as our Director of Staffing.
Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Zoe Parker is a Midwesterner at heart, even as her family has recently relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee! Zoe led our Hawaiian Islands trip and has had a passion for Moondance ever since. A graduate of Furman University, Zoe majored in Sustainability Sciences and Sociology, focusing her studies on her passions of helping people and the planet. She continues to bring her skills from her previous work as a Walt Disney World Entertainment Cast Member, Scottish Parliament intern, and United Nations Millennium Fellow to serve the Moondance family as our Director of Admissions.
Edwin Hussey was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and attended the University of Arkansas where he studied Recreation Management. Edwin has had a strong interest in the outdoors from an early age having spent four summers with Moondance as a student. After his time with Moondance, Edwin went on to complete two courses with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) where he solidified his passion for transformative, outdoor experiences. Edwin's fascination with adventure and being outside continued while in college as he spent his summers between semesters working as a river guide on the Snake River in Wyoming. Additionally, Edwin is in the process of obtaining his pilot's license! Clearly, adventure is never far from his horizon. Edwin is stoked to keep creating the Moondance experience for others as the Director of International Operations.
Suzanne Hollis graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Environmental Science Quantitative Energy Systems and a minor in Physics. During her four years at UNC, Suzanne pursued involvement in many ways including directing an annual science camp for young girls interested in STEM, leading outings for the Carolina Outing Club, and worked as a porter at the Morehead House. Additionally, she worked for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy to promote policy change in support of clean energy and clean equity and worked with the Sun Valley Institute to assess the area's food security and the food industry's environmental impact. As a student, Suzanne attended Moondance on our California Discovery, Cataract Canyon, South Africa, and Thailand trips. As a trip leader, she led Yellowstone in 2021, Kilimanjaro in 2022, and Big Wild in 2023. Suzanne started in HQ in 2023 and is thrilled to continue experiencing Moondance, this time as the Senior Director of Staffingsuzanne@moondanceadventures.com
Owen Roberts is from Athens, Georgia and recently graduated from Washington and Lee University where he majored in American History. While at W&L, Owen was a four-year member of the varsity football team and was named a Captain for his senior season. Off of the grid and outside the classroom, he took on an array of leadership roles including sitting on the Interfraternity Council and serving as a student volunteer for the Alumni Engagement Office. During his free time, Owen actively enjoyed the Shenandoah Valley and all of the outdoor adventures it had to offer! With Moondance, he led our Maui trip in 2021 and followed that up by leading Kilimanjaro in 2022. Owen now joins HQ as the Assistant Director of Staffing, where he will continue to help create impactful outdoor email@example.com
Meme Everette is from Birmingham, AL, and is a recent graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South where she studied psychology and humanities. At Sewanee, Meme worked with the Sewanee Outing Program leading various adventure trips through Sewanee's 13,000 acres. She also worked as a pre-orientation program leader, recruitment chair for her sorority, curator in the William Ralston Listening Library, and research assistant. After traveling solo for her first time in 2016, she has visited a dozen countries in Europe and is excited to explore other continents. Combining her love of the outdoors, travel, and sharing new experiences with others, Meme is thrilled to join Moondance HQ as the Assistant Director of Admissions.firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Brugh grew up in Richmond, VA, first experiencing Moondance as a student on Northern Lights. This trip fueled her love for adventure leading her to all her future endeavors including service in Cuba, a study exchange trip to China, studying abroad in Italy and more! She graduated from the University of South Carolina studying Retail Management and Marketing. At USC she worked for the University's Outdoor Recreation Department as Marketing Coordinator and Trip Leader. Eager for another Moondance summer she spent the summer after college leading our Pacific Northwest trip. Knowing she wanted to lead another summer, Anna went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina working for a retail store and volunteering with Jockey's Ridge State Park before coming back to lead the Slovenia trip. Loving the excitement of an adventure and sharing those moments with kids, Anna is thrilled to be joining HQ as Assistant Director of Domestic Operations.email@example.com
Native to Tennessee, Ben graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee, class of 2021,where he majored in International & Global Studies. With the Sewanee Outing Program, Ben spent his first spring break canoeing and camping on the Rio Grande between Texas and Mexico, his first border-crossing experience which inspired him to major in International and Global Studies. Complementing his major, as a Bonner Leader Ben partnered with local non-profits to pursue communal well being on the South Cumberland Plateau. Along with a passion for civic engagement, Ben loves to explore the wilderness and spent many hours climbing, caving, canoeing, and cycling on Sewanee’s domain. Catering to his passion for service and outdoor exploration, Ben is thrilled to join the Moondance family in the Operations firstname.lastname@example.org
Ash Williamson is a Chicagoland native who graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Communication Studies. Ash fell in love with the outdoors attending summer camp as a child, where she was both a camper and an activity coordinator. Her favorite activities are kayaking or tubing on the river and late night campfires, and she prefers hammock camping over a tent anyday! She also enjoys playing video games with her husband, snuggling with their two cats and their dog, or reading a great book. Ash serves the Moondance HQ Office as our Director of Finance.
Hollie is a dedicated wife and mom of two who enjoys spending time with her family. Hollie and her family share their home with their energetic boxer, Bailey, whom they love to take on walks together. As a family, Hollie and her loved ones enjoy spending their summers at the pool or lake with their close friends, creating lasting memories together. Hollie's children are her pride and joy, and she loves teaching them new things and watching them grow. She finds great fulfillment in being a hands-on mom and cherishes every moment spent with her family. We are thrilled to have her joining our Finance team!
Joe Spear, 23, is a Nashville Native and a recent graduate of Tulane University. At Tulane, Joe was on the premedical studies tract with a major in Economics and a minor in Chemistry. He was involved with Tulane Emergency Medical Services and the Hospital Corporation of America, and participated in a NOLS Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester where he received his Wilderness EMT and EMT certifications. He is currently in the process of applying to medical school and hopes to start in the next few years. Joe truly has an innate desire to help others, constantly putting others' needs before his own, and his students are no expectation. In the summer of 2021, Joe led our Northern Lights Trip and truly changed his students' lives. He did it again in 2022 as a leader on our Kilimanjaro Trip and for a third time in 2023 on Chamonix! We are excited for Joe to join us in the office and bring his passion for the outdoors, electric energy, and safety knowledge to Moondance. We are lucky to have him assisting our Staffing and Operations Team as we prepare for the summer!
Banks Church is from Dothan, Alabama and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Master of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Alabama. During school, Banks was able to discover her love for graphic design, branding, marketing, communications and advertising. She also discovered her desire for travel when she studied in Innsbruck, Austria and traveled across Europe in the summer of 2019. Banks has had many more travel experiences that have shown her the importance of understanding and respecting various cultures and the connection between different peoples. Banks is thrilled to be the newest Brand Director and hopes to expand her horizons through experiencing Moondance.
Briggs McElwee is from Statesville, NC and recently graduated from the University of North Carolina with a major in business administration and minors in both entrepreneurship and music in May of 2023.Briggs is a two-year leader for Moondance leading trips in both Iceland in 2022 and Kilimanjaro in 2023.While at UNC, he spent his time diving into the local music scene playing shows and honing his songwriting skills as well! He loves spending time in the Blue Ridge mountains and heading out west for the occasional ski trip. Briggs joins HQ as a staffing coordinator and can't wait to bring in some amazing talent to help deliver awesome Moondance experiences for all our students!
Sarah Collier hails from Memphis, Tennessee and is a two-time Moondance alum! Her experiences on the beaches of Fiji in 2016 and then on Mount Kilimanjaro in 2019 made a huge impact on her life. Sarah is a recent graduate of the University of Alabama where she majored in Marketing and was involved with a number of clubs and organizations like the Be the Match Campaign, Cryptocurrency Club, and the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She decided to live in Florence, Italy two summers ago to study abroad and immerse herself in European culture and then chose to lead Maui this summer.
Cleo Smith is a recent graduate from Sewanee: The University of the South with a degree in Religious Studies and hails from Littleton, Colorado. Cleo grew up with outdoor adventures as a part of her education while attending Colorado Academy and picked up massive passion and skill for adventure. Cleo played varsity lacrosse at Sewanee for her four years at school and served as the captain of the team her senior season. Additionally, she was elected President of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, served on the Senior Leadership Board, acted as an Arcadian Ambassador, and gave campus tours through the University. After leading the Chamonix trip during the 2023 summer Cleo is thrilled to be joining HQ as Admissions Coordinator.
Hannah Wilson is from Ariton, Alabama and a recent graduate of Auburn University where she studied Communication. Hannah spent a summer studying abroad in Greece and another as an International Intern for LeadAbroad in South Africa. She is no stranger to adventure with two Table Mountain hikes and three bungee jumps under her belt. She is thrilled to connect others to their own life-changing experiences as she joins our Admissions Team.
Ella Slade is from St. Simons Island, Georgia and is a recent graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South where she studied International and Global Studies. While she spent the majority of the year in school, Ella spent her summers at Camp Wayfarer as a camp counselor and kayaking instructor. During her four years at Sewanee, she was the Station Manager at the Sewanee Radio Station as well as being the Intramural League Chair and a New Member Educator for her sorority. In addition, she was involved with the Sewanee Outing Program, participating in several of their offered trips, one including a nine-day canoeing trip on the Rio Grande. After graduating, Ella moved across the country, spending a year in Montana working in a fly shop as a fly-casting instructor. Combining her love for outdoor activity and searching for new experiences, Ella is thrilled to join Moondance HQ as the Assistant Director of Domestic Operations.
First times stay with you forever, and our Discovery trips will give you an unforgettable introduction to outdoor adventure. For those with an appetite for the wild, or those who have never slept beneath the stars, these multi-sport adventures will introduce you to a lifetime of exploration.
From the golden coast, to the purple mountains majesty, expand your homeland on one of our Classic Trips. These expeditions are designed to show you vast beauty and adventure. Multi-sport trips take you climbing, rafting, backpacking, paddling and discovering the most stunning wildernesses in the land of the free.
Leadership trips are crafted to hone your expedition skills in the most rugged, challenging and beautiful terrain we offer. One part wilderness immersion, one part leadership curriculum, these adventures are designed for those looking to increase their skills in the wild and in the world. Bring out your most confident and competent self on one of our Leadership trips.
There are spaces available for both genders for the upcoming season.
We are full for girls, but we have select spots for a boy.
We are full for boys, but we have select spots for a girl.
This trip is currently full and we are accepting students on a waitlist through enrollment request submissions. You may be enrolled in a trip and on another trip’s waitlist. There is no financial obligation to be placed on a waitlist, and you can be on as many waitlists as you would like.Enroll