There is something different about the air on the first day of a Moondance trip. Everyone is a little nervous, everyone feels weird without their phone in hand, and everyone is anxious to see what this Moondance thing is really all about. Trust me, I have been there multiple times, and every student is feeling the same way.
On my first Moondance trip in the summer of 2013, I remember getting off the plane and I was drawn to a group of people wearing Chaco’s and holding Nalgene’s. I walked up to them, took a deep breath to fake some confidence. I introduced myself, quickly realizing that they were, in fact, a group of kids traveling with their church. I was mortified, I’ll admit, but at least I had a story to break the ice when I finally found my actual Moondance group.
When I found my leader and told her what happened, she gave me a hug that made me glad that I wasn’t with that church group next to the baggage claim. Throughout my trip, I knew that even if I embarrassed myself as much as I did on the very first day, there would be people, like my leader, to laugh it off with me. I learned how to take a step out of my comfort zone, which was hard to say the least. Moondance taught me that having the right people in your corner can make all of the difference.
On the last day of the trip, my leaders handed my friends and me a sheet called “20 Things You’d Like To Do In Your Lifetime,” which is sent to your house months after the trip is over. Looking back at what I wrote, I realize that I didn’t want to be a Moondance leader just for the fun of it. I wanted to emulate the undeniable ability to connect and foster genuine relationships, a quality that every one of my leaders holds. I haven’t met Justin Bieber yet, but I am ecstatic to say that I will be joining the Moondance staff of leaders this summer.
– Molly Eddings, Moondance Leader ’21