Field Notes

California 3B • July 17-July 30, 2018

A Final Farewell

July 30, 2018

CAL 3B reporting in for our final trip update! Wow, I cannot believe the words that I am writing. The memories created, and the friendships formed will, without a doubt, last a lifetime.

Our last three nights of this adventure were spent camping in the beautiful Half Moon Bay area. Notorious for its 25 feet towering Maverick waves that attracts only the most daring surfers, it seemed like a perfect spot to take in the Pacific Ocean and get our heads ready for surfing.

The following morning after arriving at Half Moon Bay, the group departed to the nearby city of Pacifica. We met our surfing instructors at the famous “Taco Bell Beach”, appropriately named after its on-shore Taco Bell. Our guides welcomed us with smiles, reggae music, and the wagging tails of their furry friends. With prior surfing experience, Grady and Harris popped up immediately and inspired the group by shredding their first waves. Ava, Bradlee, and Charlie quickly caught the bug for surfing and joined them on what the group called “party waves”. It was a blast! After an amazing day of surfing, laughter, and lots of falling we headed back to Half Moon Bay to beach it up right on our campsite and relish in the experience.

The time had come for our end of the trip tradition, the Iron Chef Challenge! The teams were decided, and the battle had begun! Matthew spearheaded the boys and manned the grill as they prepared barbecue bacon burgers with melted cheese. In the opposing kitchen, Gray led the girls as they roasted pineapples and chicken kebabs. In the end, both meals were delicious and the result of great team work! Everyone truly came out a winner and we were so proud to see the group take pride in their cooking and cleaning. We finished the evening with our LODs Grady and Caroline leading a truly sentimental Moonup right on the beach. It was a magical day!

Our last full day was full of heavy hearts as the realization that the cohesive, caring, and free-spirited family we had become was about to part ways. It was in this that our LODs, Emily and Jack, inspired the group to step up and make it our best day ever. Our surf lesson was nothing short of spectacular. With open beaches, perfect face waves, and big smiles the group ventured out farther than the previous day and paddled to catch the outer waves. Harris even pointed out a Sea Lion to the group, not more than 15 feet from the fleet of Moondance surfers balancing out at sea.

We concluded our surf lesson and then ventured across the road to the Pacifica Thrift Shop. It was time to shop for our Banquet outfits! The results were spectacular. We climbed in the van and headed out for pizza with Jack adorning a giant plastic helmet, Emily rocking a fuzzy turtle neck sweater, and Bradlee wearing a groovy tie dye t-shirt. After even more laughter and lots of pizza, the group returned to Half Moon Bay where we held our final Moonup and got things in order for airport day.

CAL 3B was a truly special family. We are all so proud of the way our group came together, rose to every occasion, and made everyone feel at home. It was such a treat to share this session with all these wonderful kids. Allie, Lucy, and I are beyond grateful for the opportunity to share this adventure with each and every student on this session. On behalf of us and Moondance we would like to thank you for sharing your kids with us these past two weeks. We have no doubt that your children are going to accomplish amazing things and we are eager to witness them continue to grow. I am so excited to see what opportunities lie ahead for us, because great things are without a doubt destined for all of us!

Cheers,

Brandon, Lucy, and Allie


California Vibes!

July 27, 2018

Hey everyone, CAL B here! Wow, what an amazing past few days we’ve had. Our time in Point Reyes began with full bellies from In-n-out followed by some yummy s’mores on our first night at camp! The next morning we had a southern specialty for breakfast, cheese grits and sausage. Caroline and Ava were delightfully surprised when they tried grits for the first time. After our feast, we hit the road to the sea shore! We went to the Point Reyes Sea Lion lookout where we were able to get some incredible views of the ocean on the edge of a cliff, which of course Grady loved! We then headed to the beach to hang out for the day, where we were greeted by some friendly horses and big waves. Gray showed no fear as she embraced the cold water and jumped into the ocean! Back at camp we had our very own Ultimate Frisbee competition, in which Matthew and Jack revealed their frisbee skills. After the boys took home the win, we started up dinner. Matthew was our “grill master” as he cooked the hamburgers and hotdogs, Bradlee cut the watermelon, and Caroline made Mac n cheese. What a feast! Harris and Ava were our LOD’s and led an amazing Moonup after dinner, and then all the guys decided to sleep outside for the night. Today we woke up early and hit the road to the city! We embraced the wind and fog as we walked across the one and only Golden Gate Bridge. We then made our way over to Sausalito, where we enjoyed lunch in the park followed by another game of ultimate frisbee, and then an icecream stop! We also stopped by the local sock shop, where Charlie got himself some funky socks to rock for the rest of the trip! We’re now on our way to our final destination, Half Moon Bay. We drove through the heart of San Francisco, where we were able to make a pit stop at the set of the tv show “Full House”, which Emily loved as she reminisced on her favorite childhood show! We cannot believe we are en route to our last stop, how has the time flown by so quickly?! Our group continues to grow closer in these final days, and we are excited to take on surfing tomorrow! Stay tuned!

-Allie, Lucy and Brandon

 

Here’s some shoutouts from the kids!

 

What’s up everyone, I’m having a blast! We are headed to half moon bay. Can’t wait to see y’all! -Harris

Hey guys, I’m having so much fun! Heading to half moon bay right now. See ya soon! -Charlie

Hey family! Moondance is so fun and I don’t want to leave. We are in Half Moon Bay to surf! Love y’all -Caroline

Hello, I’m having a blast! We are surfing tomorrow and I’m really excited. Can’t wait to see y’all soon! -Grady

Hello, i love this trip! Miss you guys can’t wait to see you! -Matthew

Hey! Currently on our way to Half Moon Bay where we will surf!! Can’t wait to see y’all and tell you about all of our adventures! Love, Gray

What’s up mom and dad, having a great time! Everything has been going great. About to go surfing for two days! Love you guys. -Jack

Hey everyone! We’re heading to half moon bay to surf! I’m having so much fun! Love you, see you soon! -Bradlee

Hey guys! I’m having so much fun. We’re currently on the way to Half Moon Bay. I can’t wait to go surfing! I love you guys so much, and I’ll see you soon! Love, Emily

Hello parents! Pretty awesome right now. Just arrived at Half moon bay and I’m so excited to surf tomorrow! Can’t wait to see y’all! -Ava


Rocks rock!

July 26, 2018

Wow! Where has the time gone. It seems like just yesterday we were playing name games at the airport and now we are at our second to last campsite. Our time spent in Yosemite was filled with lots of laughing, singing and pushing ourselves to try new things. We kicked our adventures in Yosemite off with a hike up to Dog Lake. Matthew and Jack led the way to the top where we enjoyed our delicious chicken salad sandwiches at the lake. After our decent down the mountain we decided we deserved a nice ice cream treat for all of our hard work! The rest of our afternoon was full of a group mediation and lots of eno swinging as Matthew, Jack, and Gray helped prepare our pasta dinner. We went to sleep eager to kick off our first day of rock climbing! We met our climbing guides Paul and Mark and they led us to our first climb in Yosemite, Puppy Dome. After Paul and Mark briefed us on the safety procedures and climbing basics the kids were ready to start climbing! Grady and Caroline were naturals as they attempted and successfully climbed all four climbs set up. The Yosemite Mountaineering School also set up a rappelling line for us and Charlie showed no fear as he was the first one to head down the cliff showing us his rappelling skills! In between climbs Bradlee was our group entertainment showing the group different card tricks and card games.  We spent the rest of our day after climbing swimming and hanging out on the beach where Harris fearlessly plunged into the water with the rest of the group close behind! The group once again went to sleep eager to continue climbing. We woke up for the second day of climbing ready to conquer Daft Dome! Ava started the day off strong being the first one to make it up the most challenging climb! Emily made sure the spirits were kept high during climbing as she rocked her mini sunglasses giving everyone a good laugh. Climbing was a group favorite as the kids really enjoyed challenging themselves and trying new things. I think they were amazed at their abilities to conquer the lines set up for them! Our time in Yosemite was something truly amazing and we are very fortunate to have been able to share those experiences together. On our final morning in Yosemite we shared a pancake, hash brown and bacon breakfast together before we packed up camp and hit the road to Point Reyes! We took a break from our jam sessions and singing and surprised the group with a trip to the famous In & Out, winning our groups stamp of approval! After a day full of driving we finally made it to Point Reyes eager to continue our adventure together. Thank you for sharing your precious children with us, they are some very special humans. We cannot wait to share the many more memories we create!!

 

Talk to ya soon!

 

Lucy, Allie & Brandon


Rafting Rocks!

July 22, 2018

On the road again! The group is off to Yosemite Valley after enjoying a wonderful two days white water rafting the American River. The first morning at Camp Lotus we awoke to warm delicious pancakes with blueberries and chocolate chips, strawberries, and bacon. LODs for the day, Grady and Caroline rallied the group and made sure everyone applied sunscreen, had full water bottles, and was ready for the task of the day! Gray led the group in a morning workout full of planks, pushups, and stretching.

We enjoyed a morning of class II rapids, stopping for lunch at a shaded property along the river. After a delicious lunch prepared by our wonderful guides, Harris and Jack cooled off in a soaking shower of the extra water courtesy of our guide Rowan. After lunch we tackled more advanced class III level rapids. Although more difficult, the group worked so well together as a team and smashed every rapid we encountered! Along the way, Rowan stopped and showed the group a giant patch of wild black berries that grew along the river. The group was apprehensive to try one, but Ava went right for one and popped a handful of ripe berries in! Once she did, everyone else followed suit and went crazy for them. Charlie and Emily then got the great idea to smash the berries and give ourselves war paint! Our faces colored red with the juice of fresh blackberries, we returned to the river and killed it!

When the group got back to camp we went for a quick swim in the river as our guides prepared us a delicious feast of chicken, brisket, and pesto pasta with salad.

After Dinner, the group lent a hand and cleaned the kitchen as thanks for the wonderful meal.

The following day, we woke up early and took down camp. We were so ahead of schedule thanks to the motivation of our LODs, Matthew and Bradlee. After a delicious breakfast prepared by our guides, we bused to a new section of the river, ready to tackle the river yet again!

Once on the river, we tore through some of the harder class III’s. Meat grinder was a group favorite with its big splashes and waves! After an afternoon of rafting we hit the road for Yosemite! We are all so excited to see what the future holds for this group, and ready to tackle new challenges! Thank you for sharing your awesome kiddos with us this summer. We can’t wait to share more stories from our adventures.


Fun and Games on Lake Tahoe

July 19, 2018

Hello all from California B!

Our trip has been off to a great start so far starting with a road trip to Lake Tahoe, where our great adventure began! Our first campsite definitely exceeded our expectations as we were able to see the lake right from our tents – what a view! Our first leaders of the day (LOD’s), Emily and Jack set the tone for our first full day as we went paddle boarding. This first activity was a hit, especially when we decided to have a race on our paddleboards, in which Grady took home the win! After paddle boarding we ate a quick lunch and went for a hike at Maggie’s Peak. Gray led the group as she trekked up the mountain with high spirits! Once we reached the top, we decided to hang out for a while and take in the views, while also playing some group games. One of our favorite games called Psychiatrist was a hit, in which Charlie and Ava really enjoyed as they tried to figure out the puzzle. After hiking we headed back to camp for a yummy bbq chicken and mashed potatoes dinner, made by our very own cook crew, Bradlee, Ava and Caroline! This morning we started off our day by kayaking in Emerald Bay, where we were able to learn about all the ins and outs of Lake Tahoe, and even hike to one of the lakes only islands, with a small castle on top! After lunch, we had a race back in our kayaks, in which Harris and Grady won, with Matthew and Jack close behind. We’re now en route to the American River, where we will embark on our next adventure, white water rafting! The spirits are high here for California B and we are so excited to hit the rapids! Talk to ya soon!

-Allie, Lucy and Brandon

The kids have some shoutouts to give!

Hey everyone I am having the best time! Love you! Miss you -Bradlee

Hey guys! I hope everything is going great in Colorado! Cali is great. Love and miss you! Love, Emily

Hi – you can cancel my flight back because I’m having so much fun! Love and miss y’all so much -Caroline

Hey! Miss y’all so much but I’m having the best time of my life and I never want it to end! Love y’all! -Ava

Hi mom and dad, I’ve been having a great time on this awesome trip. Love you guys! -Harris

Hey mom and dad! Having a fun time in Cali! Miss you guys -Charlie

Hey mom and dad, Cali is sick. I’m having a great time! -Grady

Hi family, this has been great! I miss you guys! -Matthew

Bonjour from Cali!! Hope everything is going well at home. Having an amazing time! -Gray

Hey mom and dad, having a great time! Miss y’all so much! -Jack


All is Well in the Golden State

July 17, 2018

Hello Families!

We heard from our leaders and the trip is off to a “golden” start! Stay tuned for more updates from the leaders over the next few days.

  • Moondance HQ

Students

  • Emily
  • Bradlee
  • Ava
  • Jack
  • Charlie
  • Gray
  • Grady
  • Harris
  • Caroline
  • Matthew

Staff