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Maui 1B • June 12-June 25, 2019

So long for now, Maui!

June 25, 2019

Our last couple of days on this beautiful island were the best ones yet. We got up bright and early to go stand up paddle boarding with Aloha Kayaks. The weather was perfect and we were happy to be on the ocean in the sun. We paddled for a couple hours and swam around before coming back to shore. Afterwards we went out to eat at a nearby restaurant for our local food stop, and loaded up on burgers, salads, and fries galore! After filling up on yummy food, we returned to camp to get ready for our big sunset getaway!

On our way up to the Haleakala National Forest we picked up pizza for everyone and went on our merry way! The ride up was so scenic and breathtaking we could barely look away. We passed acres of farmland and drove through clouds on our way up to the top. When we got comfortable and settled on the Haleakala peek we ate pizza and watched the sunset 10,000 feet in the air. We could see the whole island from the top including the fourth largest observatory in the world. The view was incredible, and Kira said what we were all were thinking “I want to remember this view forever.” On the way back down, the view was just as astonishing as on the way up and we could see the whole island lit up from the small towns spread out across the coast. That night we reflected on the view and had a great Moonup sharing how the view made everyone feel.

The last day started out with most people’s favorite activity, The Redline Snorkel Tour. For this activity we got started early and headed for the small town of Makenna to meet our snorkel guides. Once we were debriefed on the safety protocol the real fun began as the boat ride out to our first destination was full of laughs and a great breakfast comprising of fruit and cinnamon rolls. Our first snorkel spot was in the center of Molokini, a beautiful crater about a mile of the coast. The scenery here was incredible as the nutrient rich water is home to many varieties of coral and an abundance of fish. Claiborne even was the first to spot a juvenile shark swimming around in the deeper water. Shortly after Myers and Brooke were joined in the shallower water by a friendly eel who was curious about all the snorkelers swimming around it. Following the center of the crater, we moved on to the backside of the island to a spot the locals call “the elevator.” The spot gained its name due to how the water moves up and down 8 feet rather than into the backside of the island. The depth in this area was almost 400 feet of clear blue water that allowed Gus and JP to spot another little shark (totally harmless) swimming deep below. Katie was the photographer for the day and caught pictures of this beautiful landscape with all of us in it. We went to two more spots to snorkel and at our last spot Kira decided to soak up the sun on the side of the boat. William ignited the group and got everyone jumping off the boat into the water! Will caught this funny moment with his GoPro, so we got to watch it over and over! Everyone shared a laugh and we then enjoyed a delicious lunch followed by a relaxing boat ride back to shore.

Since this was our last night in Maui we decided to head to Goodwill and pick out some stylish clothes for our banquet dinner! Rose and Greta loved looking at all the clothes and led the girls in picking out pj pants and collared shirts for their nightly attire. Molly rocked a men’s polo and pajama pants with some slippers. We headed back to camp, took a shower, and headed to a delicious Mexican dinner. We had chips and salsa galore and the kids loved showing off their outfits around town. William even brought two stuffed animals with him while Gus rocked his new nike air shoes. We left town with our hearts and bellies full and went back home to our beloved campsite. After our last Moonup, we surprised the kids with s’mores and a piñata! We all laughed until our stomachs hurt and enjoyed our last night all together.

We loved this group so much and are sad to see them go, but we will always look back on this time with the fondest of memories!

Service and Ziplining and Turtles, Oh My!

June 19, 2019

Aloha from Maui B!

We woke up bright and early from the sound of peacocks and knew it was time to start our day! We scrambled up some eggs and bacon, packed our bags and headed to the beach. JP led us in our sunscreen party and made sure that everyone was safe from the hot sun. At the beach we watched some surfers catch some huge waves as well as observed the sea turtles that were sun tanning on the shore. Our LOD`s led us in some beach side games of Mafia and birdy on a perch from these we had our first veggie off of the trip to settle the tie! Will and Gus had to act out the adjective wet cucumber which ended in a full out sprint to the ocean.

We ended our morning with a trip to a local fruit and veggie stand, and picked up some famous Maui pineapple to enjoy for breakfast. Our afternoon was sent at Pi`iholo Ranch Adventures on 5 different zip lines, the tallest being over 600 feet. Brooke and Greta conquered their fear of heights and handled the zip lines like pros! Kira was ecstatic about zip lining and said it was her favorite day thus far! After zip lining we headed back to camp and Myers led us in a water fight with the hose before enjoying some yummy quesadillas and heading to bed!

After catching up on some sleep we woke up excited for the day ahead! The kids were looking forward to our surfing lesson. They took to the water and after some tips from the guides, were up in the water in no time! Although the waves weren’t the giant Mavericks William and Gus were hoping for, they both had a great time surfing alongside the locals. Rose said her favorite part was riding the waves and seeing sea turtles swim by!

Later that afternoon we ate lunch in the park and packed up to head to community service. We drove to Maui Cultural Lands and got right to work pulling out invasive plant species around water sources. Will had a patch cleared in no time and was lending a helping hand to everyone around him. Claiborne was having fun in the mud next to William and the two made amazing progress. Afterwards Molly and Katie helped plant native species that would hold the bank in place. We drove back to camp and used the hose to clean off before eating a wholesome dinner. Before going to bed we closed the day with a really meaningful Moonup, excited for the next days’ activities!

Today we woke up ready to go with scrumptious pancakes, thanks to our cook crew Molly and Rose. We went into town to do some shopping before going to rappel waterfalls. After getting picked up by our guides, we saw part of the scenic Hana highway on the way to the activity. When we arrived to the Garden of Eden, home to Rappel Maui, we were greeted by peacocks and ducks, oh my! The kids got geared up and we took on the waterfalls, with fearless JP and Greta leading the pack. Everyone got to jump in the water and swim around in the gorgeous water hole, a reward for their courage and strength. We left the site with our hearts full from our adventure and came home to eat delicious grilled cheese and soup!

The group is absolutely loving everything Maui has to offer and is moving grooving all over the island!

We can’t wait to share more of adventures soon!

Maui B


Service and Sunshine!

June 16, 2019

Aloha from Maui!

We successfully got our group together after a long day at the airport. Claiborne (or Bert for short) was our first student arrival and he made himself right at home at baggage claim. He loved being the only student and got right to work learning words in Hawaiian and reporting them to Stephanie. Later in the afternoon he was joined by other arrivals one by one. At first the kids sat awkwardly and in silence, but soon after the bonding and laughter started. By the time the last flight arrived, they were ohana (family)! Nick kept them stocked with snacks and corny jokes.

The first day of our community service was incredible! We drove up a long hill that gave way to a stunning view overlooking the island. As we piled out of the van, Katie’s eyes grew as she whispered ‘woah.’ She didn’t know whether to look at the view or the towering windmills above her. The group was fascinated with the aspect of clean energy and learned that the wind turbines above them produce 10 percent of the island’s power. Their jet lag diffused, and their minds clicked on to learn about invasive species and how they could help. Gus and Will paved the way, ripping through the weeds and always replying with a unwavering polite ‘yes ma’am’ or ‘yes sir.’ For lunch we hiked up to another amazing view overlooking the ocean.

Later that afternoon the group wrapped up their service and were itching to go to the beach. As soon as we had our sunscreen party and got our hats and towels we took off in that direction. The kids sprinted on to the beach and directly into the ocean. William and Brooke headed in first and soon enough everyone had joined in the splashing fun. This was all fun and games until John Porter (JP) discovered something unknown in the water, little did they know it was from the sea turtles! Myers, Brooke, William, and Molly encouraged everyone to explore the beach by walking down to one end. On our way, Kira spotted a sea turtle very close to shore and everyone’s faces lit up, a great ending to a great day.

On our second morning together we got ready for the day and had a yummy breakfast. We went on our merry way to meet Ekolu, our service guide and teacher, at his personal home. He was very excited to show the kids his beautiful backyard, a home he shares with a coral reef and surfers. He even prepared us a dish of bread fruit, made to dip in butter and cinnamon. Everyone had a blast snorkeling and identifying fish in the reef.

Our last day of community service was a great end to the week. Ekolu and his mom led us in traditional Hawaiian chant to bless the land before heading into a canyon near a dry river bed. We spent the day picking invasive species and learning about the Hawaiian history that led to the drought. We were in good hands with Rose because she was able to use her previous knowledge of rocks to help us identify different rocks on the river bed! We ended our day by eating some freshly picked papaya and sugar cane, courtesy of Ekolu. JP loved the sugar cane so much he decided to stash some in his water bottle for later! He was nice enough to share it with Scat and Claiborne back at camp later that afternoon. We thanked Maui Cultural Lands for three great days of service and bid farewell to our new friend Ekolu. Later that night we went to a park and played an intense game of red rover and cooked burgers (and veggie burgers) while watching the sunset. Myers used her cooking skills and showed everyone how to cut watermelon, while Kira helped Nick get the burgers ready for everyone. We had Moonup under the stars back at camp reflecting on our service experience led by Will and Greta. After a lot of laughs and silliness we finally got them to bed early to get ready for our upcoming adventures. We can’t wait to see what is in store for us!!!

P.S. Everyone wants to wish their Dads a Happy Father’s Day from Maui!!️

Safe Arrival in Maui!

June 13, 2019

Hello Maui Families,

We’ve heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Maui! We are so excited for this adventure to be on its way. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

-Moondance HQ


  • Brooke
  • Gus
  • John
  • Katelyn
  • William
  • Will
  • Rose
  • Myers
  • Molly
  • Kira
  • Greta