Field Notes

Maui 1A • June 14-June 27, 2017

Final Aloha

June 27, 2017

Dear Maui 1A families, 

The first flight out of Kahului just took off for Dallas, and we are all trying to hold back tears. Your kids have made the most amazing, positive impact on the lives of all three of us! Will, Lilly, and I (Virginia) are so lucky to have the spent the past two weeks with your kind, inspiring, and adventurous children. 

On Sunday, we spent the morning paddle boarding at Makena Beach Park. The water was the bluest it has been all week and the kids could not have been more thrilled! Paddle boarding was the perfect activity to end our whirl wind two weeks; we were able to glide through the water without any strong currents or huge waves. However, we did manage to compete in a race or two to see who had the best skills. Hayden took the prize for first place, but Grace came in a close second! Luke spotted a three-foot shark near his board but not all of us were fast enough to see its fin poke out of the water. After paddle boarding, we made a group decision to spend our last afternoon on the beach and soak it all in one last time! Lillie Sweet, Taylor, and Jackie joined Lilly and I for some sun bathing while Grace and Elizabeth body surfed the waves for hours. Mallory, Barrett, and Landry taught each other card games on the beach before diving into the water as well. For dinner last night Will grilled hamburgers on the beach with all the fix’ins. Fred and Drew tackled about four hamburgers each while the rest of us watched in amazement. We finished the night with an amazing Moonup full of laughter and sentiment as we reminisced about our last 2 weeks together. 

This morning we awoke bright and early and cleaned the tents, van, and our kitchen gear making sure these students paid it forward to our future 2nd session students. After a very busy day we spent our last meal together at Flatbread Pizza Company. We all shared our favorite memories talking about our short and long-term goals and how we were spending the rest of the summer as we exchanged phone numbers and email addresses.

Lilly, Will, and I cannot thank you all enough for sharing your precious kids with us for the past two weeks. We had an amazing time here in Maui, and I hope that they all have a wonderful rest of their summer and that they don’t forget to “live in the moment.” Please know they can reach out to us at anytime if they ever need anything moving forward. 

Stay wild, 

Will, Lilly, and Virginia


Turtle Games!

June 25, 2017

As Saturday comes to a close, we have now completed three days of service work with Hawaii Wildlife Fund. On Thursday morning, we snorkeled at the marine reserve in Lahaina. Lillie Sweet and Elizabeth got to hold an octopus, and Landry, Barrett, and Grace held a sea cucumber! Our outfitters taught us the importance of conservation and how we can make a positive impact on the ocean both in Maui and back at home. On Thursday afternoon we went to Kahana beach to meet Uncle Oliver, a Hawaiian native who invited us to his home on Friday to do serve and learn more about how to conserve the environment on his beautiful property. Uncle Oliver lives in the valley on several lush acres of greenery and fresh water streams. Taylor, Jackie, and Drew helped purify Uncle’s pond all morning. They were covered head to toe in dirt as result of their hard work! We made sure to get a picture of them before everyone jumped in the stream for a mud fight. Fred and Hayden helped Will worked to restore a stone wall that was built in the 1500s while Mallory and Luke shoveled to create a base for a new water reservoir in one of Uncle’s organic gardens. When we left Uncle Oliver’s, we headed to a beach near our campsite for a picnic dinner. We had so much fun eating dinner while watching the sun set over the ocean. We made sure to body surf the waves before we left the beach park! Last night, Moondance treated all the kids to cookie sandwiches at their favorite ice cream shop, Banyan’s Treats, in Lahaina. Today, we completed our last day of work with Hawaii Wildlife Fund. We spent the morning searching for and counting Hawksbill sea turtles at a nearby beach park, then we played “turtle games” before lunch. We traveled to Ho’okipa Lookout this afternoon to watch the turtles crawl up onto the beach for the night. While there, we spoke with the conservationists about predators and debris that inhibit baby sea turtles from maturing. Tonight, we ate dinner on the beach again before heading back to camp. Everyone is excited to make the most of these last two days in Maui! We’ve had an amazing trip thus far and can’t wait to share more about our adventures!

  • Virginia, Lilly and Will

Rappelling, Surfing and Acai Oh My!

June 22, 2017

The past three days have been amazing on Maui! On Monday and Tuesday morning, we went windsurfing on Kahana beach. Windsurfing was challenging, but Luke and Drew were able to conquer the trade winds and sail through the swell! On Monday afternoon, we hiked to a beautiful waterfall near Paia called Twin Falls. Fred, Hayden, and Grace showed off their courage by climbing to the top of the cliff and jumping into the water hole below. In fact, Hayden was the first to jump! After Twin Falls, we took a trip to Paia Bowls, an organic smoothie and acai bowl shop in a small surfer town. We all treated ourselves to tasty fruit bowls and smoothies before heading to a popular surfing beach lookout. We spent the rest of the afternoon observing sea turtles sunbathe and watching surfers rip huge waves.

Monday night, the leaders treated the kids to breakfast for dinner. The kids loved chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes! After another morning of windsurfing on Tuesday, we spent our afternoon in Lahaina for a day in town. Lillie Sweet and Taylor purchased some festive Hawaiian shirts, and Jackie and Elizabeth showed our group the most delicious ice cream shop. For dinner, all the kids requested Mexican cuisine so we ate at a small Mexican restaurant in town. Needless to say, we were well fed by the time we rolled out of Lahaina.

This morning, we woke up at the crack of dawn for an adventurous morning of rappelling down waterfalls. Landry, Barrett, and Mallory impressed the outfitters when they rappelled without any difficulty. At the end of our rappelling tour, the outfitters told us that we were the most talented group he’d seen since he first started working three years ago. We all enjoyed lunch today at a lookout spot near Hana Highway, which was the most beautiful landscape we have seen thus far. Currently we are in the van headed to our second campground, Maui Preparatory Academy. Once we reach our next destination, we plan on settling into our new campsite and then hitting the beach before dinner time. Everyone is healthy and having fun!

-Virginia, Will and Lilly

Shoutouts:

Drew: What’s up my fam? I miss y’all.

Luke: Hey. See y’all soon. Having a great time.

Hayden: Hi guys I really miss you guys. I can’t wait to see you all again, but overall, I am having a great time. We haven’t done any of the service yet but it seems fun. Love you.

Lillie Sweet: aloha kitty, dad, and Mack!! Having a blast and miss y’all so much! See you soon! Love you:))

Taylor: Hey y’all!!!!! I miss y’all so much and can’t wait to see you very soon!! I hope y’all don’t miss me too much haha;) Love y’all<3 !!!!

Grace: Hey guys! Miss y’all so much and can’t wait to see you when I get home. Happy late Father’s Day! I’m having so much fun here. See you soon.

Landry: Aloha y’all!!!! I am having a blast trying new things and spending time with my new friends. As much as I love it here I can’t wait to be home:) Love you guys so much & see you soon!!! (Btw I absolutely LOVE surfing)

Fred: Hi, I miss you guys.

Mallory: Hello!!! I’m having sooo much fun in Maui!! Dad the snorkeling is so pretty you would love it here!!! I had a reallllyyyyy good acai bowl the other day :)) I miss y’all all so so much!! Happy Father’s Day I love u all!!

Barrett: Hi mom dad and YOGIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 🙂 I’m having so much fun in Maui so far and I have met soooo many new friends. Surfing has by far been my favorite activity. The girls are already planning the reunion and it’s gonna be at our house so get ready!!! Happy Father’s Day daddy!!!! <3 tell yogi I miss her the most.

Elizabeth: Hey mom and dad! I’m having a great time with all my new friends in Maui! I can’t wait to see y’all. Happy late Father’s Day dad! Tell Sophie, belle, and mouse i said hey:)

Jackie: Hey mom and dad I’m having so much fun in Maui! I’ve met a lot of new friends and I’ve done some pretty cool things here! I can’t wait to tell y’all all my funny stories and to see y’all. Give Miley and Harley a big hug for me and I’ll see y’all soon!


Surfing, Hiking, and Snorkeling, OH MY!

June 19, 2017

Happy Fathers Day to all the wonderful dads that allowed us to spend the day with your children! Yesterday morning we headed to Kakema beach park for our first surfing lesson. Frederick, Drew, and Elizabeth stood up on their first wave! Mallory and Barrett acted as though they were Hawaiian natives as they glided through the waves with confidence and poise. Lillie Sweet and Hayden grilled us some delicious turkey and cheese sandwiches for lunch before the group headed to the West Maui Mountains for an afternoon hike. Grace and Luke led the group up the mountain, challenging us with a brisk pace. Jackie and Taylor maintained a positive group morale throughout the uphill hike by giving encouragement and reminders to stay hydrated. At the top of the mountain, we were rewarded with an all-star view of Haleakala and the Pacific Ocean. We all treated ourselves to fruit snacks before we made the descent back down to the van. Last night, Landry whipped up tasty stir fry made with rice, chicken, and broccoli. Today, we had an early wake up call for an amazing morning of snorkeling and swimming at Molokini Crater. We cruised on a boat around Maui and its surrounding islands before we dove in with the sea turtles. This afternoon, we relaxed and hung out at Baldwin Beach Park. Everyone had a chance to shower before we made it back to our campsite for dinner. The cook crew really showed off their skills tonight with an excellent meal of chicken, quinoa, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, and onions. Our group is continuing to grow closer as a family. As each day progresses, new friendships deepen and more unforgettable memories are made. Everyone is healthy and having fun!


Maui Wow-ee!

June 17, 2017

Here in Maui we are off to a great start!

After a long flight, we finally arrived in this tropical paradise. Hayden was thrilled to show Will his awesome workout plan for the summer while Fred helped load everyone’s bags into the van. We got settled in at the Maui Montessori school with some delicious pizza. After dinner, Taylor and Jackie offered their tent for us gather in for Moonup, and we all shared our goals for the next two weeks. Everyone got a new Moondance T-shirt to sport, and then we dispersed into our giant tents and fell fast asleep. Day two came quickly and our bodies woke us up at 5 am because of the time change. Barrett and Drew were our first leaders of the day (LODs), and they cooked us delicious pancakes and bacon. Mallory and Elizabeth headed the gluten free pancakes and they turned out great! After everyone was full and ready to go, we packed our day packs to embark on our zip lining adventure. As we zipped through the jungle our time in the air seemed too short. For the grand finale we were driven up a hill where we found ourselves standing at the top of a zip line that was half a mile long! Lillie Sweet needed a big push! After our excursion, we were exhausted and went back to camp to have a nice dinner of pasta and chicken.

On the third day, we woke up at 5 am again! Purposefully though this time to meet our kayaking outfitters on time. Our LODs, Grace and Luke, kept the time and distributed our bagel breakfast. We arrived at the beach and the Aloha Kayak outfitters pushed us out to sea. Clad with our water bottles, hats, and snorkel gear we paddled through the crystal blue waters. The outfitter linked our boats up with rope and we slipped into our masks and fins and dove through the shallow waters. We got to see huge green sea turtles and colorful corals. It was beautiful! After an exhausting swim, we climbed back onto the boats and basked in the sun while learning about all of the surrounding islands. Landry was super interested in the history and pining for more answers to her questions. Reaching the shore, we gathered our belongings and rinsed off the salt from our bodies. You will never guess what happened next… we hit the beach! Arriving at the beach we spread out our picnic and ate sandwiches while we watched the huge waves roll over the shore. Some kids laid on the beach while others took their snorkel gear and explored the reefs some more. Leaving the beach, we stopped at a food truck and enjoyed some well-deserved shaved ice. We had a lovely afternoon and everyone is loving soaking up this Maui sun! Settling into camp we washed off the salt (again) and began cooking veggie quesadillas. I don’t think the kids have been so excited to snuggle into their sleeping bags ready to start the next day full of adventure. 

Until next time- Will Klingbeil, Virginia Wilson, and Lilly Bell 


Island Time!

June 15, 2017

Hello Maui families,

We wanted to let you know that all students have arrived safely in Maui and the trip is underway. The group will be gearing up for their first activity in just a few hours! Stay tuned for updates!

-Moondance Administrative Team 


Students

  • Grace
  • Barrett
  • Jackie
  • Hayden
  • Elizabeth
  • Landry
  • Luke
  • Mallory
  • Lillie Sweet
  • Taylor
  • Drew
  • Frederick

Staff