Trip Updates

Maui 2C • June 27-July 10, 2019

A Final Farewell from Maui!

July 10, 2019

Aloha! We started our day superrrr early- even before the sun rose! We rolled out of our sleeping bags in the dark and threw on bathing suits for today’s adventure: snorkeling at Molokini Crater! We met our guides Kelly and Jonathan at the boat ramp and hopped aboard.

We started our snorkeling tour in the mouth of the crater where we swam around hundreds and hundreds of fish. Some of the girls were more nervous than others, but we all spent a decent amount of time in the water before heading to our next spot. We boated to the back side of the crater where we were saw a super unique snorkel spot. Along the wall of the crater was vibrant coral that flourished with sea life, but off the wall was a drop off of 250 feet! All of the girls were initially intimidated by the “moana” (the deep blue), but that didn’t stop them from jumping in for a quick swim. Gigi, Proctor, Lila, Courtney and Sarah spent the most time at this spot because they were drawn to what is known as “the elevator.” This feature is about 10 yards wide. When a wave came in an area between the two cracks in the Crater, we were pulled up and down in the water. It is a weird feeling at first, but it is so fun once we got the hang of it!

We boated around some of the islands where our awesome guides provided us with some history. We stopped at a couple of other spots- one of which we normally do not get to go to! It had some of the most beautiful coral that any of us had seen. Our guides made a huuuge lunch spread for us- pasta salad, deli meat, cheese, and allll the toppings. After saying farewell to Jonathan and Kelly, we hopped in the van and made a quick stop at our favorite ice cream shop. It was the perfect finish to our morning activity.

The girls knew it was their last beach day, so we decided to drive back to their favorite beach on the island. Annie, Bella, Olivia and Grace were especially excited to go back to this beach. We spent the afternoon playing “over under” in the waves and listening to music on the beach. After working up an appetite, we left the beach and hit up a grocery store to pick up some food for dinner. We separated the girls into two teams and gave them each a budget. The teams had to plan and prepare dinner for the group, and the leaders were the judges! Let me just say, these girls blew it out of the water. One team prepared a grilled chicken dish with mozzarella, broccoli and pasta with a Nutella dessert. The other team prepared Mac and Cheese grilled cheese stuffed with avocado, cream cheese, and bacon with cookie sandwiches for dessert. The pasta dish ended up being the winner, but it was a close call! We wrapped up our awesome day with a deep Moonup under a blanket of stars.

We started our last full day with a slow and relaxing morning. Our activity for the day, water rappelling, started later in the day so we decided to make a huge breakfast buffet. We had pancakes, eggs, strawberries, pineapple, oatmeal and apples. The girls decided they wanted to get a head start on packing, so we all organized our duffles after breakfast. Before we knew it, it was time to head to our very last activity of the trip.

We started our final adventure by meeting our guides in a nearby parking lot. We had a brief safety talk and loaded up into their vans. We drove a good bit down Hana Hwy and into the area where we spent the afternoon. We were issued harnesses, life vests and helmets, and we were on our way! A brief hike deeper into the rain forest led us to our first rappel.

It was absolutely amazing how well the girls did with rappelling! It was the first time ever rappelling for a lot of them. Anna was nervous at first, but it ended up being her favorite activity! It is definitely a nerve wracking day, but they handled it so well. After conquering three different lines, we hiked back up the trail. The guides had wraps, pineapple and cookies ready for us once we finished the hike. We thanked our guides for the awesome adventure and drove back to camp. We had one last relaxing afternoon spent at the camp that we now know as home. We made the girls one of their favorite meals for their last supper: BBQ chicken quesadillas. We also surprised them with ice cream sandwiches for dessert. We spent the rest of the evening giggling and reflecting on how much fun we had over the past 2 weeks. Slowly but surely, the sun set and we were all sitting under a blanket of stars, and we had our final Moonup together. All of the girls slept outside together on their last night here in Maui. This trip has flown by!

We woke up on our last morning all a little sad. We started our day with deep cleaning camp. It is not the most glamorous job, but these girls made the most of it! Anna, Emma and Ellie were hardworking and positive all day long. We put the speaker on and got to work- we even finished in record time. For breakfast we had a bagel bar. After breakfast, we went to the public showers! The girls were ecstatic to say the least. After we were all clean, we drove to Goodwill where the girls picked out ridiculous outfits to wear to our banquet. Sequins, cheetah print and 80’s prom dresses seemed to be the trend. We drove to our lunch spot where we all shared our final meal together. Afterwards, we ran a couple last minute errands before heading to the airport.

All of the girls are now safely in the air. We had an absolute blast with them to say the least. We wouldn’t have traded the past two weeks for the world! Each and every one of these girls brought something so special and so unique to the table. We will miss them deeply, and we hope that they have a great rest of their summers!

All the best,

Evan and Sara


Fourth of July in America's 50th State!

July 7, 2019

Aloha and happy belated Fourth of July! We began our celebration with a relaxing morning and a delicious breakfast. We had oatmeal and granola with allll the toppings. Of course we had to make it festive, so we had strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream so the girls could make their breakfast bowls look like the American flag. After devouring breakfast, we drove to a nearby beach where we spent the morning before heading to our afternoon activity. We swam and listened to music, and we even got to meet a pig named Snout that was taking a stroll down the beach with his owner.

 

Pretty soon thereafter, it was time to head back to camp. In the van ride back, Lila mentioned how she loved cookouts on the Fourth. Little did she know what Evan and I had planned- we surprised the girls with a cookout lunch! In true Fourth of July fashion, we had burgers, hotdogs, mac and cheese, potato chips, fruit and lemonade. Everyone was so excited and so appreciative. With full tummies, we loaded up our van for a quick drive to our afternoon activity: ziplining!

 

We met our guides Armand, Billy and Gabe and hit the lines! Over the course of the afternoon, we did 5 different lines. The first was what the guides called the “bunny slope” as we learned how to pick up speed, how to slow down and how to identify the guides’ hand motions. Olivia and Grace were nervous at first, but by the end of the day, they were both itching to hop on the next line. Each line got respectively longer (and higher!), and by the final line, we zipped for half a mile! We were in the air for a full minute- how cool! We turned in our harnesses and helmets and said “mahalo” to our awesome guides. We drove back to camp and filled up water bottles- we had another Fourth of July surprise for the girls.

 

We grabbed a few pizzas and hit the road for our drive into town. We took the girls to the biggest firework show on the island! We set up camp in a park right on the water and devoured pizza. There was a parade going on in the town, so they had a blast watching the festivities go on. Ellie, Emma and Anna had a blast watching the parade go on. The especially loved watching the people on stilts awkwardly walk down the road. Once it was dark, the fireworks began. It was truly spectacular. The girls sat in amazement as they watched the show for 15+ minutes. Once all the festivities finished, we loaded back up the van to head back to camp. We had glow sticks for the girls, and we had arguably our best jam session in the van while we sat in traffic. Gigi and Proctor were our DJs, and let me tell you- they absolutely killed it. These girls make everything fun! We finished the night with Moonup and hit our tents for a well-deserved night of sleep. We were so excited for surfing the next day!

 

We were greeted bright and early with yet another beautiful Maui morning! Since we had an early surf sesh, we grabbed bars and fruit and loaded up the van (after lathering on sunscreen, of course). We drove to the beach and met our surf instructors Viola, Jake and Roy. We perfected the skills we learned just a few days ago and surfed away. We spotted tons of turtles throughout the morning. Before we knew it, our time with our instructors was up. We said bye to our awesome guides and popped in the grocery store to grabs couple of lunch necessities. We made a biiiig lunch spread of fruit, deli meat and chips. For dessert, we took the girls into Pa’ia and got them gelato!

 

We spent the rest of our afternoon at a beautiful spot. We almost had the whole beach to ourselves! We spent hours in the water laughing and taking some waves into shore on our boogie boards. Bella was especially excited to use the boogie boards- she taught us all how to hit the waves at the perfect time. We all had a blast hanging out with one another at this new spot. After we all had enough time in the sun, we came back to camp and prepared dinner: pizza bagels with broccoli. The girls devoured them. We closed our day with another moonup under a beautiful blanket of stars. We all hit the tents to get a good night of sleep for windsurfing tomorrow!

 

Gooood morning! We started our day with an oatmeal and granola spread before hitting the beach for windsurfing. Once we got to the beach, we separated into groups of 3 and got assigned an instructor. Before we knew it, we had our sails in the wind and were cruising around the cove. Courtney was a natural as she managed to master the “jibe” maneuver from the very beginning! Sarah was beaming throughout the entire lesson as she steadily sailed around the cove. Annie impressed us all, and she even mastered sailing tandem. All of the girls are so athletic! We wrapped up our windsurfing lesson feeling super accomplished. After hours on the water, we all worked up an appetite, so we had a picnic lunch at the beach park.

 

After lunch, we headed back to the boogie boarding beach spot- the girls couldn’t get enough! We played soccer and jumped through the waves for hours. Once we got enough sun for the day, we headed back to camp to have some much-needed R&R. We spent the late afternoon swinging in our enos, journaling, reading and preparing dinner. We had a Mediterranean spread for dinner- I’m talking chicken, rice, fresh veggies, pita and hummus. Mmmm mmmm! We closed our night with another moonup under a clear sky. We hit the tents earlier than usual- we have an early day tomorrow snorkeling at Molokini Crater!

Evan + Sara


Non Stop Hawaiian Adventures!

July 4, 2019

Aloha!

Our day began bright and early. Before we devoured our breakfast, an assortment of toasted bagels and fruit, we all sat in a circle telling stories of home and making friendship bracelets. With full bellies, we hit the road for our first adventure of the day.

We arrived at a trailhead with big smiles and tons of excitement. We hiked along the coastline until we met our final destination: a river that flowed into the ocean! We all celebrated and whipped out the GoPros to take some jaw-dropping shots. After the quick photo-op, the girls wanted to continue the adventure upstream. Courtney led our girl gang along the river side until we found a super cool swimming hole. We hung out and played games for a couple hours in our new favorite spot. Once our tummies started rumbling, we made our way back down the trailhead to our van so we could get lunch.

We surprised our girls with a special treat for lunch: a local food stop in the cute town of Pa’ia! The girls were so excited and SO appreciative. We took our time eating lunch since we were exhausted from our packed morning. Afterwards, we window shopped around the quaint town. It didn’t take long until we were all itching to get back in the water. We drove 5 minutes down the road to another beautiful beach. We soaked up the last bit of sunshine jumping through waves and giggling on the sand.

We wrapped up our day with a hearty supper of chicken with avocado and mac and cheese. We laughed and laughed until the stars came up, and then we did Moonup. What a GREAT day we had!

The next day began with none other than peanut butter, Nutella, and caramelized apple breakfast burritos! We lathered on sunscreen and hit the beach for our very first surf lesson. We were warmly welcomed and given a land lesson by our awesome instructors Rory, Ashley and Zena. Before we knew it, we were in the water catching some waves! The conditions were perfect, and all the girls did so well. Once Lila and Gigi perfected their skills, they got creative and decided to ride a few waves on the same board!

Sarah, one of our LODs, impressed us all. She was so consistent and caught nearly every wave! After a couple hours in the water, it was time to say farewell to our guides and grub on our packed lunch. After lunch, we took a much-needed break from the water and got ready for our afternoon of service!

We met our guides Jody, Cassandra and Taylor at their headquarters and followed them to the nearby wildlife refuge where we spent the afternoon. We took a walk down the boardwalk at the refuge, and our guides educated us on the endangered bird species in the area. With that background, we got to work! We put on gloves and picked up shovels and started digging the invasive species out of the area. Anna, Ellie and Emma worked so hard all afternoon, and Annie was their biggest cheerleader. The girls worked so hard on removing a superrrr deep root of an invasive tree species. They were successful! The girls brought the root back to camp as their trophy for all of their hard work. It was so fun seeing these girls working together and having such great attitudes.

After a couple hours of pulling weeds, we headed back to camp. We surprised the girls with sugar cookies when we got back! We spent the remainder of the afternoon laughing in our Enos and telling stories. For dinner, we munched on delicious stir fry. We had a deep Moonup and finished the night under a beautiful blanket of stars. It’s hard to believe we have finished day 6!

Aloha! What a GREATTT day we had. We filled up on oatmeal and fruit before hitting the road for an incredible morning. We drove to one of Maui’s highest-acclaimed beaches and excitedly hopped in the beautiful water. We spent hours jamming to music on the beach and (safely) jumping off rocks into the water. Olivia, Grace and Annie couldn’t get enough of the water! Before we even left the beach, they were begging to come back another day. Right by the beach, there are a bunch of souvenir stores, so we let the girls shop around for a bit. After they shopped till they dropped, we loaded back up the van to head back to camp. Of course we had to stop on the way home to pick up some Fourth of July decorations. Once we got back to camp, Evan and I quickly whipped up some chicken quesadillas. The girls devoured them, and we instructed them to throw on some layers and load up the van for yet another adventure.

After a drive of switchbacks and an elevation gain of about 8,000 ft, we reached the tallest point on Maui: Haleakalā! We walked to the tippy-top of the mountain and snapped a few photos. After the photo-op, we decided to put the cameras away and embrace the moment we were in. We were overlooking a field of clouds with the sun slowly starting to set right in front of us. It was truly mesmerizing. None of the girls had seen the sun set above the clouds before. Proctor was especially blown away by the moment and described it as “10,000 feet of pure happiness.” We decided to have Moonup on the summit since the scenery was so incredible. Our LODs Bella and Gigi led us in a powerful discussion as we took in the last little bit of sunshine. We left the summit Haleakalā with nothing but smiles on our faces!

Evan and Sara


Aloha from Maui!!!

July 1, 2019

Almost everyone has safely arrived here in Maui, and we are absolutely thrilled to have this awesome group of girls for the next two weeks.

 

Our day began around noon with the arrival of Anna, Ellie, Sarah and Courtney. Over the course of the afternoon, the rest of the girls joined them. I could tell from the very start that we have such a great group. These girls all have such great attitudes, and I am so excited to see how we all grow and challenge each other these next couple of weeks. Once our last crew of girls arrived, we all piled in the van. We had our first jam sesh to none other than Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. These girls are so much fun!

 

We picked up pizza for dinner on the way to camp. Once we got to camp, everyone took off exploring our new home sweet home. They are so adventurous! Once everyone peaked around our campsite, we devoured our cheese and pepperoni pizzas. Mmmmm mmmmm! We closed our first night together with a little Moondance tradition called Moonup. Moonup is a time for us to all come together as a group every night and get to know one another better. Once we finished Moonup, everyone headed to their tents for a much-needed night of rest. We have a big day of community service tomorrow!

 

By the smiles on everyone’s faces, I think it’s safe to say we have a super enthusiastic group. Evan and I feel so lucky to spend the next two weeks with your girls!

 

Our day began bright and early with the smell of toasted bagels and of course the sound of the nearby peacocks. We packed our lunch and our daypacks, and we hit the road for our first day of community service! We met our guide, Ekolu, and hiked down to our worksite. We all grabbed various tools to begin uprooting the invasive weeds in the area. Ekolu was so impressed with everyone- we cleared out the weeds in record time! Emma and Grace kept a positive attitude throughout the whole day. After a brief educational lesson from Ekolu, we loaded back up the van to head to the airport. It was time to pick up the last member of our girl gang: Proctor!

 

With all of MAU 2C accounted for, we hit the beach! We munched on sandwiches for lunch at a picnic table then hit the sand. The girls were shocked when they had their first glimpse of a sea turtle! It didn’t take long for them to start to lose count of how many turtles they had seen- they were everywhere. After a few dips in the beautiful water, we decided to head back to camp. On the way in, we stopped in Pa’ia to purchase a few souvenirs. We had a relaxing late afternoon filled with giggles in Enos and great conversations.

 

Anna and Lila were our Leaders of the Day, also known as LODs, so they helped prepare dinner. Chicken fajitas with chips, salsa, and avocado were on the menu! We all stuffed ourselves to our hearts content, and we closed the night with a warm-hearted Moonup. Today was absolutely incredible, and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us!

 

Today began with another beautiful Maui morning! We whipped up a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, pineapple and apples. We packed our daypacks and hit the road for our second day of service. Today we worked with the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute (MOC). We began our packed day with a beach clean up! We split up into teams of 2 and hit the beach. After a couple of hours collecting debris, we headed off for a lunch break. With full bellies, we were given a tour of the community from our awesome guides Jade and John. We did a walk through of the shark tunnel- so cool! John and Jade taught us a lot about the various aquatic creatures and told us which we would likely see on our snorkeling adventure later on in the session.

 

After the tour, we got back to work. These girls are so hardworking- they finished all the tasks our service partner had for us at an incredible speed. We said “Mahalo! A hui hou,” or “Thank you! Until we meet again” to Jade and packed the van for our afternoon activity.

 

We drove to another beach with an incredible view. After our busy morning of service, it was a blast to have a relaxing afternoon. Olivia applied what we learned about cleaning up debris off the beaches, and picked up a few pieces at the beach. We even found some rocks to jump off of! Don’t worry, the water was veryyy deep and totally safe. Anna was a liiittle nervous, but everyone eventually conquered their fear of jumping in. It was so awesome to see. Gigi was the first one in and the last one out- she loves the water! We jammed and jumped until we couldn’t any more, and we hopped back in the van for the drive back to camp. We had such a great time on our drive back- we belted our the lyrics to just about every Taylor Swift song on Spotify. Annie and Bella kept the group entertained with their song suggestions. Once we retired T-Swift, we switched to Justin Bieber. Courtney impressed us all as she seemed to know every word to every Justin song!

 

Once we got back to camp, we started cooking up a delicious meal of pasta with marinara, chicken and veggies. We surprised the girls after dinner with Peanut M&Ms for all of their hard work- that’s the least we could do. These girls are so awesome, and we are so excited to see how they continue to form such special friendships over the next week and half!

 

Today we had our third and final day of community service. We started our day with a spread of granola, oatmeal and fresh fruit. Yummy! We drove to a beach in Kahului for a beach cleanup. All of that hard work resulted in a hungry group of girls, so we went to another beach for our lunch break. The ocean was calling their names after they filled up on sandwiches, so they took a quick dip before we headed back to meet Jade for the second half of service.

 

We drove to yet another beach to do a turtle transect! Jade explained to us how to identify different turtle species, how to tell the gender and how to tell how old the turtles are. How cool! With all of that new information fresh in our brains, we hopped in the water to scout out turtles and record the data. The girls had a blast!

 

We told Jade goodbye and “mahalo,” or thank you, and drove to McKenna Beach for the afternoon. McKenna is known for its huge waves, and we saw just that. The waves were so massive that no one on the beach was allowed to swim! We had a blast watching each wave crash into shore, and we laughed and laughed after several hilarious games of “what are the odds.” Each and every one of these girls is so much fun to be around.

 

To celebrate all of our hard work after our packed day, we decided to make a feast for dinner. We made scrambled eggs, bacon, chocolate chip pancakes, and grits! Grace had never had grits before, but she was blown away by them. Deeeelicious! We closed out our night with Moonup. The sound of light rain hitting the tents put all of the girls right to sleep. They need a good nights sleep for the fun activities we have planned for tomorrow!

Until next time,

Evan and Sara


Safe Arrival in Maui!

June 28, 2019

Hello Maui 2C families!

We are happy to announce the safe arrival of the Maui 2C group to Hawaii! We can’t wait to hear about their next adventures.

 

  • Moondance HQ

Students

  • Anna Stuart
  • Annie
  • Bella
  • Courtney
  • Ellie
  • Emma
  • Gigi
  • Grace
  • Lila
  • Olivia
  • Sarah
  • Proctor

Staff