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Where are the Moondance students from?

Though Moondance has students come from around the world, we have a strong US following! In 2020, we had people hailing from 34 states and 6 foreign countries last summer alone. We love to connect people from such vast distances in search of experience and adventure.

What if I have no previous backpacking or camping experience?

You don’t necessarily need prior experience to go on a Moondance trip as we will teach you everything you need to know and be comfortable in a new setting. The challenge level of different trips varies, and we’re here to help you choose the trip that’s right for you. The only requirements for a successful Moondance adventure are positive attitudes, good physical condition, and the willingness to collaborate as a member of a small group.

Where do we sleep at night?

On our domestic trips you will set up single gender, three-person Mountain Hardwear tents every night on most trips; however, we will encourage you to take the opportunity to sleep beneath the stars. On our international trips, you will stay in local hostels, lodges, inns, mountain chalets/ refugios, and sometimes in tents outside.

What grade range should I look for?

We enroll students based on the current grade they are in for the Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 school year. For example, if you are in 8th grade for the 2020-2021 school year, you should look at trips listed for 8th graders.

Can I come with a friend?

Creating a community is perhaps the highlight for many on their Moondance trip. One of the greatest elements of a Moondance trip is meeting new people and being yourself in an entirely new group. We encourage you to partake in that valuable experience, and we love what happens when a group of strangers come together to form a team. That being said, sometimes participants come with a friend. In order to keep our focus on group dynamics, our policy is that no more than two friends can be in the same group together. We also limit our groups to allow no more than two students from the same school and three from the same hometown to travel in a group.

How big are the Moondance group sizes?

Moondance groups typically consist of 10 to 13 participants, with two to three leaders.

What if my first choice trip is "limited"?

If you see limited on our website this will mean a trip is full for a gender, hometown, or school. If the trip you apply for is full for any of those three reasons we will discuss other options with you.

What happens if my first choice trip is full?

Our trips fill on a rolling basis. If your first choice is full, we will enroll you in your second or third choice options listed in your application. Once a trip is full we will generate a waitlist. Our Admissions team will call as we process your application to discuss secondary trip options, should your first choice be unab If you would like to be placed on a waitlist please fill out the online application and we will give you a call to discuss wait list options.

Can I bring my cell phone?

One of the greatest parts of a Moondance trip is unplugging from the doldrums of your device. We encourage you to leave them behind if you can, but cell phones are permitted in transit in case of travel complications. Once you arrive on your trip, you will turn your cell phones into your leaders, who will hold them until the final day of your trip when they are returned to you in the airport. Phones detract from the experience we cultivate on a Moondance trip, and we strongly believe in the positive effects of digital detox. Moondance will not be responsible for lost, damaged or stolen electronic devices.

How much is the deposit?

The trip deposit is $1000 which is due at the time of application. This deposit will be applied to the total program cost (Balance due February 1st) and can be paid by Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. We only charge the deposit if we are enrolling you in the trip of your choice.

Does Moondance offer financial assistance?

On a case by case basis Moondance offers Financial Assistance to families. If you are interested in learning more about our Financial Assistance options, contact our admissions department,

Is airfare included in the cost of the trip?

Airfare to and from your Moondance program is not included in the cost of your trip due to the diversity of locations our students travel from. However, internal flights on Belize + Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador + Galapagos, Hawaiian Islands, Kenya + Zanzibar, Sardinia, South Africa, Spain + Morocco, and Thailand are covered in your tuition.

What kind of identification do I need to travel?

TSA does not require minors traveling domestically to fly with identification, however, if you are on an international program you will need to fly with a passport valid through SIX months after you return home. Certain programs will require further documentation such as, Visas or entry documents. You will be notified if your trip needs a Visa or other documentation after enrollment. If you have any questions about TSA requirements you can visit their website, here. If you have questions about obtaining a passport, please contact our office, or 800.832.5229 and we can assist you!

Does my child need to fly as an unaccompanied minor if they are under 14?

This depends on the airline you are flying. Each airline has its own policies on flying as an unaccompanied minor, and depending on which airline your child is flying, policies will differ. We suggest contacting your airline directly for up to date policies before you fly. Moondance will provide you with the leader’s contact information to function as the Unaccompanied Minor contact for the airline. Keep in mind, that almost all airlines do not allow unaccompanied minors to travel on the last flight of the day.

Can Moondance put me in touch with others who are flying from the same city?

We are happy to share flight details of other families on your trip from your hometown so you can book the same flight!

Can I find out who the other participants on my trip are before it begins?

We believe that the excitement and value in arriving with an open mind and a blank slate about your group members adds an irreplaceable component to our programs. Therefore, we don’t disclose student information in advance. We ask that you don’t call the office asking for this information.

Will students that live outside the US be able to sign up for a Moondance trip?

Yes, we always have a handful of families that live outside of the US on our trips. We recommend that you understand your country’s travel recommendations as well as the areas we travel before finalizing your trip enrollment.

Will I need special immunizations for my trip?

Moondance suggests families follow guidelines set by the CDC for vaccinations and immunizations. Depending on your trip, it is possible that you will need special immunizations. This can change from year to year, and we operate under the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control. For specific trips, we ask that you discuss immunizations and any pre-existing conditions with your family doctor or local travel clinic. Moondance will provide a detailed map of where the group will be traveling for you to take with you to the travel clinic. Please visit for more information.

Can you accommodate food allergies/dietary restrictions?

We will work our best with you and your family to find the correct trip for you based on your restrictions. Not all trips can accommodate all food allergy/ dietary restrictions so please call us if you have any questions!

How does Moondance select and train its leaders?

Moondance leadership positions are coveted as amazing leadership opportunities for dynamic, young college graduates. We receive a large number of applicants every year, with many returning leaders. After a rigorous selection process, we select only the top 25% of the potential leaders who apply. Those who are accepted through our written application and interview process are then required to attain a medical certification (either Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder) and attend an 11 day staff training . During this training our leaders immerse themselves in their trips, their students, and the policies and procedures of Moondance. Staff training is a chance for us to get to know each and every leader deeply, and make sure they are the best fit for their trips, and our mission.