June 26, 2018
Aloha parents! The last three days have flown by and we cannot believe that our trip is over. Since our last update, we have gone stand up paddle boarding as well as snorkeling around the beautiful island of Molokini! Stand up paddle boarding was a blast, and all of the kids were able to get up and stay up the entire time! We had an exhilarating competition to see who could stay up the longest and Gabby was the champion! The water was unbelievably clear and we were able to spot some turtles swimming right along with us! We worked up a good appetite from paddle boarding and headed to Makena beach also known as big beach for a nice lunch picnic. Our leaders of the day, Alex and Gabby, picked a great hike on the Ohai trail near the north shore! Here Walker and Miller led the pack through a breathtakingly beautiful trail where there were many cool look out points! Elizabeth, Maggie and Celie definitely took advantage of this as we had endless photo shoots! After the hike we stopped by the Nakalele Blow Hole where we admired its beauty from afar. Afterwards, we went back to camp, had an incredible dinner made by the leaders of the day and we later surprised them with ice cream as dessert! The day ended with Moonup and we went to bed early to help prepare for our early wake up the next day.
On day 12 we went on a snorkel tour to Molokini Crater which is well known for its incredible visibility that often exceeds 180 feet!! This was hands down everyone’s favorite day! Rylie and Taylor were always the first ones to jump in the water and the last ones to get out as they had such a great time exploring the depths of the water! JP constantly kept everyone laughing and kept the spirits high when others got a little too cold! After this incredible tour, we headed to Goodwill to pick out some funky outfits for our final banquet dinner together! Charlie and Mary Holine definitely had the best and most creative outfits. The group voted on IHOP for dinner and we all had a lot of pancakes and a lot of laughs. We headed home with our bellies full and had our final moon up together. As we reflected on the last two weeks, we could not believe that it was coming to an end. We were all pretty sad heading to bed knowing that the next day would be our last spent together as a group. On day 13, we had a big breakfast and then packed up camp and headed to the airport where we had our final goodbyes.
As the trip leaders we cannot thank the parents enough for sending your kids on this trip. They are incredibly special and have made a lasting impression on each one of us. We feel confident that this trip was as incredible for them as it was for us and we wish your kids the best of luck in the years to come! Hope to see some familiar faces on Moondance trips in the future!!
Until next time,
Jack, Baird and Emma
June 23, 2018
Aloha parents! The past 3 days have been adventure filled and relaxing as we soaked up the beautiful Maui sunshine! We had an early morning start to go sea kayaking and snorkeling! Walker was the first one to spot a small group of white tip sharks hiding in a cave and the whole group was excited to see these cool creatures from a safe distance! It was a fun filled morning snorkeling and many go pro videos were taken. On our way in we had a group kayaking race where Miller and Walker took first place and Celie and Charlie took a close second! We ended up staying at Mackena beach to continue snorkeling as everyone was excited to adventure more. We then went to to a local açaí bowl shop to grab a delicious lunch! Afterwards we surprised the group with a town day in Lahaina! Here they were able to buy souvenirs and buy a gift or two for the parents! The leaders of the day, Celie and Taylor, created a wonderful dinner with fresh veggies in a chicken stir fry! It was definitely a hit!
The next day we had our second day of surfing! Although the waves weren’t as big as they were on our first day everyone was still eager to get out there! Gabby was a pro and mastered a 180 degree turn on the board! Meanwhile, Miller belly flopped off the board 26 times and Alex and walker tried many times to hop on to one another’s boards! By the end Rylie and Mary Holine were surfing like pros and catching their own waves without anyone’s help! In the afternoon we went on a hike which is part of the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve. This area has the youngest lava flows on Maui which made for an awesome hike! Our fearless leaders, JP and Mary Holine, lead us to a pristine lake at the end and then decided that it would be a great day to enjoy a shaved ice after our hike everyone loved this idea and it was a big hit!
On day 11, we woke up and went windsurfing on the north shore, although tricky at first the kids loved it and absolutely crushed it! Maggie’s awesome energy and positive attitude kept the group’s spirits high. Elizabeth never quit and ended up becoming a star windsurfer. After an exhausting morning of windsurfing we drove to Baby beach where we had a picnic and enjoyed exploring this incredible beach which many of them said was one of their favorites that we’ve been to! Overall, it was another unforgettable three days as our group has really turned into a family! We can’t believe we only have a few more days with each other and are definitely sad the end is coming near.
June 20, 2018
Aloha parents! We are super excited to tell y’all about our amazing trip. It’s been an incredible fun filled 3 days starting off with a quick trip to the beach where we got to watch surfers and kite boarders ride the huge waves. Rylie and Taylor spotted a huge sea turtle really close to the shore and the whole group was excited to see it. Gabby, MH, Maggie and Celie were excited to have some time on the beach to catch some rays. They also had the awesome idea of going up to the fruit stand and buying some yummy fresh fruit to go with their lunch. Alex got to buy some of his new favorite fruit bread and ate it all in one sitting. After the beach we all hopped in the van and headed to the first adventure activity… ZIP LINING!
JP was a little nervous in the beginning but it didn’t take long for him to be the first in line for each zip line. Everyone had a great time zipping through the Hawaiian rain forest. We got to see so many different trees and some beautiful water pools as we zipped above them. Everyone had a blast at the activity and had huge smiles on their face as we piled back into the van.
After zip lining we had a little surprise for the kids. We took them to a cool picnic spot with a great view of the sunset and had one of the leaders go pick up some pizza to surprise the kids for dinner. We all got to enjoy our dinner by the water watching the sunset on the beautiful island of Maui. Walker and Charlie especially enjoyed our surprise and are very excited to go again.
The next day was one of the crowd favorites: surf lessons were a huge success. All the kids stood up and were really getting the hang of it. Walker and Charlie did an awesome job and were catching their own waves; it was so exciting to watch. After surfing we had a sandwich picnic by the ocean then headed to an amazing hiking spot. We hiked around 8 miles to an amazing view. Miller and walker basically ran the whole thing.
The next day Miller and Elizabeth were pro rappellers, they conquered their fears and absolutely loved going down the waterfalls. It was so amazing to see the smiles on the kids’ faces as they jumped into the refreshing pools of water at the end of each waterfall. After finishing rappelling the guides made us some tasty sandwiches, pineapples and cookies that we all loved. Next we headed to beach where we played ocean games, threw the frisbee and jumped into some huge waves! It was a perfect three days and we are super stoked for another great day of Maui fun filled activities as we head off to kayak and snorkel!
June 18, 2018
Aloha! We are all having an amazing time here on the beautiful island of Maui! We have spent the past three days working with an incredible nonprofit organization called Imua Family Services who provide therapy for disabled children. We were able to spend the first two days at Camp Imua and met so many new people and learned a lot about this amazing organization and the impact it has on the local community. Taylor and Rylie loved playing basketball with one of the campers named Ariana, who then demanded to be left alone and eat lunch at a table with just her, JP, Charlie and some of the older boys at the camp! We were lucky enough to experience an authentic Hawaiian luau and the kids loved trying new foods and being immersed in this beautiful cultural experience. The third day of service we were given a tour of the official Imua service building and the kids learned a lot about how each child’s disability effects their family life and how much this service helps them. It was a very unique experience that gave everyone a whole new perspective on the trip.After each day of service, we found a little beach adventure to take the students on. The first day, we went swimming at a cool little spot where the water was super clear and the group loved finally being able to swim around! Alex and Miller took it upon themselves to find a good rock to jump into the water from and it didn’t take long for everyone else to join in! On the ride home Celie was singing her heart out to some high school musical!After the second day of service, we all drove to Baby Beach where we continued to cool off in the water and play a big group soccer game on the beach. The boys beat the girls in a close match but Maggie and Mary Holine were showing off their awesome soccer skills! JP and Elizabeth were great LOD’s and had great energy and positive attitudes the whole day.The third day’s adventure was a group favorite! We drove to a fruit stand and everyone grabbed a refreshing snack. After, we drove to a new beach that had some pretty high rocks to jump off of into the water. The kids loved it and spent hours jumping. Gabby and Walker were pros at jumping and led the group the whole day and were perfect LODs! We are having a great time and we will be in touch soon. In the meantime, here are some shout ours from the students:
Rylie- Hey Mom, Dad, Shea! I saw a GINORMOUS. Sea turtle and jumped off this huge rock today. Love Rylie
Hey Momma P Mickey, we finished community service today. I really enjoyed it. We are showering a lot less then I thought (I stink) we are zip lining tomorrow! I love you so much and miss you! Tell baby I love her. Love MH
Hey Daddy and Marcie, I love you guys so much and miss you so much! We have finished community service and are zip lining tomorrow! I have had so much fun! Tell blue hi for me! XOXO Love MH
Hi Mom and Dad, camp is so much fun. The other kids are so nice and the leaders are really funny. I cannot believe myself when I say I miss the dogs (mainly cause I don’t) I miss y’all and I will be home soon. Love Celie
Dear Mom and Dad, I miss you guys so much but I’m having the best time ever! I’ve made so many so many new friends and it is awesome! I’ll see you guys soon and I love you! Also, happy Father’s Day and birthday Dad! Love Maggie
Hey Mom and Dad and Jwoot David! So far, this trip has been amazing. We have jumped off of a cliff and done a lot of swimming. Hope you have fun golfing and happy Father’s Day dad I love y’all. Love Elizabeth
Hey mom and dad and Liam, I am having lots of fun. I just finished jumping off a 60 ft cliff and seeing a giant sea turtle right on shore. I have been sleeping in a tree in my hammock next to Rylie! Love y’all! Love Taylor
Hello, I jumped off a cliff and it was awesome. My counselors are pretty cool and so are the campers. Tell Lollie I miss her. Love miller
I jumped off a huge cliff 3 times and I loved it, and lost my GoPro but someone found it and saw a cool turtle and I love my new parents, I hope the lake is fun! Love Gabby
Happy Father’s Day, the counselors are lit and I don’t want to come back, but I miss you. Love Alex
Hey mom and dad, it has been really fun so far, I jumped off a cliff and I am sleeping in my Eno. I love you, Charlie
Mom I have two new moms! Dad happy Father’s Day, don’t worry you haven’t been replaced yet. I love you so much! WalkerHappy Father’s Day dad! Hope it’s a great one. Missing all y’all especially Izzy. Tell mom, Megan and Keller I said what’s good. Btw Keller go listen to bigger. I love you, see you later. Love JP
June 14, 2018
Hello Maui Families!
We have heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Maui! We are so excited to hear about their upcoming adventures. Stay tuned for more!