Trip Updates

Maui 1B • June 14-June 27, 2017

Final Farewell from Maui

June 28, 2017

Dear Maui 1B families, 

We cannot thank you enough for sending your kids to spend 2 amazing weeks with us on the beautiful island of Maui. Saying goodbye to all twelve kids was harder than expected, but we are confident that everyone will stay in touch and continue to inspire one another to be the best version of themselves. 

We spent Saturday morning paddle boarding at Makena Beach Park. The morning started with a partner paddle board race, which was the perfect way to get the groups spirits high. Sydney S and Lela stacked their boards and won the prize for best technique. After paddle boarding, the leaders decided that a surprise cookout and an afternoon at the beach would be the perfect end to this beautiful day. Madison and Bryn were the first ones in the water and everyone else quickly followed. While Gray and the cook crew grilled burgers and hotdogs, the group got to enjoy the sunset and catch up on reading and writing in their journals. Margaret made sure everyone brought their books with them so they could participate in group reading time, which became a daily activity. Kate kept everyone laughing with her dance moves and beautiful reenactment of her favorite song “Fast Car.” LT (Lawton) and Lela picked the perfect day to wear their Moondance gear and took some quality pictures with the breathtaking sunset. Our night ended with surprise s’mores and one of the most fun van rides yet. 

On Sunday, we had an early wake up call, but it quickly became one of the groups favorite days of the trip. We were jetted out on a boat and got to learn about all of the islands that surround Maui. We spent the morning snorkeling at Molokini Crater in the bluest waters we have ever seen. Maddie, Lil’ Syd and Claire showed off their cheer and gymnastics moves when they back flipped into the clear waters at our different snorkeling spots. Fincher and Drew were always the first ones in and got some awesome go-pro footage of the crater. Fincher dove so deep he got a handful of sand from the ocean floor. Although our last adventure together was bitter-sweet, it showed us as leaders how close our group has gotten over the past two weeks. 

Monday, we woke the group up with donuts from Krispy Kreme, the perfect way to get everyone up and moving. We spent the morning cleaning up camp and getting organized to return home. After a busy morning, we went to Flatbread Pizza Company and had an amazing last meal together. We shared our favorite memories from the trip and exchanged contact information so we can all stay in touch with one another. After our last meal as a group, we made our way to the Kahului airport. Saying goodbye to one another was hard, but we are confident that the friendships formed on our trip will last a lifetime.

We cannot thank you enough for allowing your children to spend the past 2 weeks with us in Maui. We had the trip of a lifetime and look forward to staying in touch with everyone and watching their friendships continue to grow. 

Aloha, 

Mallie, Gray and Joe


Blue Lagoons & Ice Cream Spoons

June 24, 2017

Aloha everyone, it’s Maui B checking in again! We sure have had an exciting past couple of days here in the windsurfing capital of the world!

First, we woke up to disappointing news learning that our sea kayaking trip had been canceled due to rough conditions. However, that didn’t stop our resilient crew! Our LOD’s, Drew and Lawton, helped rally our moods with laughter and games, which lifted everyone’s spirits! Then we made our way to Maui’s famous North Shore, where we hiked the Kapalua Coastal Trail. Here we found an incredible lagoon where we swam in crystal blue waters and cliff jumped off the rocky coast line! It was awesome watching everyone have fun, and it was especially cool witnessing Kate face her fear of heights! After a few hours of exhilarating jumps, we proceeded to head back to camp for lunch. During lunch, everyone learned that we would be doing our town day! After packing up our van, we headed towards the beautiful coastal town of Lahaina. Margaret and Maddie’s excitement for shopping was clearly contagious, because we hit the stores hard as soon as we got there. Claire, Madison, and Sydney R. all led the way to ice cream shops where we chowed down on gelato and shaved ice. Many t-shirts and souvenirs later, we hopped back into the van and headed to our new home at Maui Montessori!

The next morning we woke up and had a quick breakfast since we were eager to get to our windsurfing lesson. Lawton, Drew, Claire, and Fincher looked like pros as they cruised around on their boards through the Kahului Bay. Bryn did an excellent job of keeping everyone’s attitudes up despite the difficulties of learning a new water sport. Eventually, we all began to get the hang of it and the students began to turn into the instructors! After an exhausting, but fun, 3 hour lesson we rolled on into Jack in the Box for a surprise lunch. Burgers were tackled, milkshakes were crushed, and laughter continued to consume the entire group. Next we headed to the laundromat where we got to witness some of Kate, Sydney S. and Maddie’s cheer moves while waiting for our clothes to dry. Lela continued to make everyone laugh as she cracked jokes and did her infamous “red fish” voice. That night our cook crew prepared us a delicious spaghetti dinner, which we all chowed down before bed.

The following day, we headed back out to Kanaha Beach where we continued our windsurfing. Day 2 was even better than the first day as everyone began to master the skills that we learned on the first day. A major shout out goes to Claire and Sydney R. for demolishing everyone else in the race of all races! After our race, the wind really began to pick up creating perfect conditions for us to show off our new moves and tricks that we’d just learned (shouts to Drew and Fincher for their 360’s). Later in the day, we traveled along the Road to Hana in search of a “watering hole.” We pulled up to Twin Falls where we hung out in the water until Margaret’s adventurous side got the best of her and we all began jumping off the rocks into the cold, deep pools. Following the cliff jumping we headed back to our home for, wait for it, TACOS AND BURRITOS!!

It’s been a wild few days, but the bonds that are continuing to form throughout this trip have been unparalleled. We’ll continue to hold down the fort here in Maui, but we want everyone to know that we miss those back home! Until next time, Aloha from your friends livin’ it up in Hawaii!


Surfing Maui's Endless Swells

June 22, 2017

Aloha y’all, Maui B checking in! Previously on the Moondance Trip Update series, we saw the muddiest of mud fights, green turtles larger than the majority of our students, and good vibes of unprecedented levels. On today’s episode, this motley crew of teens took on extreme water sports of all shapes and sizes. That’s right folks, we threw in the work gloves for surfboards and rappelling harnesses. 
 
First up was an early, early, (did I mention early?), morning start on Monday. After a breakfast of fresh Hawaiian fruit, off we went to conquer the Big Kahuna. Equipped with boards of every shape and size, we paddled out for an unbelievable surf sesh. When I tell you that everybody knocked this activity out of the water, I mean it. On their very first wave, Claire and Sydney S. popped up like they had grown up on the island. Lawton’s prowess on the water could have nearly gotten him a Quiksilver sponsorship, and Sydney R. landed the crafty 2-on-1-board trick with ease. Margaret and Fincher were catching waves without any help by the end. There were small waves, big waves, party waves, and epic wipeout waves. By the end of our lesson, everybody was successfully worn out. However, the day was far from over. Cook Crew (Aka, Chefs Sydney S, Kate, Drew, and Margaret) whipped up some rad quesadillas for everyone to fuel up they’re systems, and then it was off to the Lahaina Pali Trail for a sweltering hike on the volcano. It was long, it was hard, and it was worth it. The breathtaking view was well-worth it, not to mention well-deserved. We came back home in time to whip up some homemade pizzas and then call it a night. 
 
Next up, an even earlier morning start for rappelling!! Everyone strapped in to tackle 3 gnarly cliffs, the biggest one almost 60 feet tall down a waterfall. Major kudos to a Kate Williams for taking the cliffs head-on and impressing all of us. Lela and Fincher had the best slips on the route, while Maddie, Madison, and Bryn flawlessly scaled down the mountain sides. After our canyon adventures, it was time to retire back to camp and enjoy breakfast for dinner! 
 
It’s been a long couple of days, but I can happily report we have made every minute count. We have laughed harder, smiled stronger, and slept deeper than any of us can remember. Before we go though, here’s a couple shoutouts from your boys and girls. 
 
 
Claire- hi mom and dad, this is Claire. I’m having a fun time. I went surfing yesterday and it was a lot of fun. XOXO Claire
 
Kate- hey mom and dad, I miss y’all a bunch. Hope everything’s going alright in Smalbany. Tell Macy I said Aloha!
 
Fincher- Aloha family. I’m having a great time in Maui. Can’t wait to tell y’all about it. PS I’m going to want Yummi Express when I get home. 
 
Sydney S- hey family, I miss you guys so much. I hope Madison has so much fun climbing Killy. Be sure to tell Madison to bring a camera. Tell Tank I miss him. I love you 143. 
 
Sydney R- hi family, I miss you all so much. I’m having a great time, see y’all soon! Love, Sydney 
 
Madison- Aloha I miss you guys so much. See you soon. Love you. Love, Madison. 
 
Drew- Hey Mom and Dad, I am having lots of fun, and I love you very much.
 
Lawton- Hey Mom and Dad, can’t wait to see you guys and the dogs and I’m having a lot of fun with the activities. Love you.
 
Maddie- Happy late Father’s Day dad! I’m having a great time! Love y’all
 
Lela- Hey mom and dad, I’m having lots of fun and can’t wait to tell y’all all about it!
 
Bryn- Hey Mom and Dad, I’m having a lot of fun. Can’t wait to see you all and the dogs! Love you!
 
Margaret- hola fam! Having lots of fun and have meet some great friends!! Miss and love y’all! #finche201
 
 
Until next time, aloha. 
-Gray, Mallie & Joe

Service with Sea Turtles!

June 19, 2017

Maui continues to amaze us with its natural beauty! We have spent the last three days working with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund learning about the diverse marine life in Maui and devoting our service to the environment. We now have a better understanding of the threats these beautiful creatures face and have vowed to continue to protect and serve the environment. We snorkeled above coral reefs where we conducted research on green sea turtles and hawksbill sea turtles. We were also lucky enough to work with Uncle Oliver who opened up his home to us and allowed us to assist with traditional taro farm and fish pond restoration activities. This was an incredible experience and allowed us to gain a better understanding of the local Hawaiian culture. Working in his fields was long and hard work, but incredibly rewarding to see the finished product. After an impromptu mud fight that left everyone muddy-brown from head to toe, we finished the day off with an incredibly refreshing swim in Uncle Oliver’s river.

 

Over the past 3 days, our group has broken out of their comfort zones and formed bonds that will last a lifetime. Lela has become the “class clown.” She keeps everyone laughing with her sense of humor and sly jokes. Claire overcame her fears and held a frog, a fish, a spider (on a leaf), and participated in a mud fight. Margaret’s positive attitude radiates at all times and keeps the group’s morale high, even after long days. Sydney S’s laugh is contagious and keeps us all laughing. Maddie’s selfless acts have encouraged us all to put others before ourselves. Fincher’s stories have kept us all intrigued and have made us laugh so hard we can’t breathe. Sydney R. earned herself the nickname “sar” because she is one of the most sarcastic people we’ve ever met, and we love it. Drew’s leadership skills made him a role model Leader of the Day. Bryn’s constant words of encouragement have had such a positive impact on our group. Kate’s dance moves and sense of humor have made long rides in the van fun and unforgettable. Madison had no problem getting down and dirty in the fields, being one of the first to get plastered in mud while she built up the field dam. Even when times are tough and the gang is exhausted, Lawton’s contagious smile keeps us all excited for more adventures to come.

 

Everybody has had phenomenal attitudes and good vibes all around. The morale could not be higher, the attitudes any better, and the laughs any harder. With the Hawaiian Wildlife Fund days in the rear-view mirror, we’re setting out to a beautiful Maui sunrise in search for the perfect wave.


Zip-lining Their Way through Maui

June 16, 2017

Wow, Maui is everything we expected it to be, and more. The group has been absolutely incredible. If you saw them interacting together, you’d think they had been friends for life. Our trip started with a long day of traveling, and thankfully, the first night ended with cheese and pepperoni pizza, a huge hit. We have enjoyed lunch on the beach with fresh fruit from a local farmer’s stand, zip-lined half a mile with a view of the Pacific Ocean, and enjoyed each night as a group under the stars. Today, we start our service work with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund. Everyone is most excited about working with sea turtles and giving their service to others. Here are some shout-outs! 

Bryn- I miss you, Mom and Dad! We went zip lining today and it was awesome. I’m having so much fun. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Fincher- I’m having a great time. Have a great Father’s Day, Pop. Don’t forget your video.

Drew- Hey Mom and Dad – love you lots! Xoxo. Ps. Happy Father’s Day! 

Sydney Sellers- Hey Mom and Dad, I’m having so much fun here and I love it. Can’t wait to see you when I get back. 143

Margaret- I’m having so much fun in Maui and I’m meeting so many friends. We went zip lining today! Love Marg. Happy Father’s Day Dad

Kate- Hey Mom and Dad, I love you lots. Tell Matt and Macy I said hey. Have a good day and happy Father’s Day

Claire- Hi Mom and Dad, I’m having such a fun time. I hope you enjoy the 2 weeks of not having to buy me clothes haha! Xoxo, Claire 

Maddie- Hey Mom and Dad, I love y’all so much and miss y’all. I’m having such a fun time!

Madison- Hi I hope y’all are having fun in Vail. I’m having so much fun here. Happy Father’s Day, dad. I miss you and Morgan. Love you! From Madison 

Lela- Happy early Father’s Day, dad. I’m having fun and have already met so many friends. I love y’all! Love, Lela. 

Lawton- I’m having fun at Moondance! I can’t wait to see you guys. Happy Father’s Day, dad

Sydney Rose- Hi Mom and Dad I’m having so much fun. We went zip lining today and went to the beach and had a picnic. I love y’all


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

  • Bryn
  • Fincher
  • Madison
  • Lela
  • Margaret
  • Maddie
  • Drew
  • Sydney
  • Sydney
  • Lawton
  • Kate

Staff