Trip Updates

Maui 3C • July 12-July 25, 2019

Service and Sun in Maui!

July 25, 2019

Aloha!

 

We started our second day of service bright and early. We rolled out of our tents to some much-needed cloud coverage- it has been so hot! We threw on our bathing suits and sunscreen and loaded up our van for service. We met Jade at a beach park, and we were given snorkel gear. It was time to survey and record turtles! The goal of our day was to spot turtles that were entangled in fishing line and to get them to MOC to get them rehabilitated. At our first snorkel spot, Zain spotted a sick turtle right off the bat! We found several other turtles basking on nearby rocks, but thankfully none of them were entangled. After we surveyed our first spot known as the fishpond, we drove to our second snorkel spot. We hopped back in the clear water and began surveying the area!! We found several turtles swimming around, but none of them were entangled. We took note of the size, age and type of turtles we saw. After all that swimming, we worked up an appetite for lunch. We set up our picnic lunch at a table in the beach park and chowed down. After lunch, we drove to a public pool- our group had been begging us for a quick break from the sand. Kiki, Rogers, Catherine W., Wynne and Jack played a couple intense pool games until it was time to head back to camp. Once we got home, we separated the group into two teams for tonight’s competition: iron chef! Iron chef is a cooking competition, and Evan, Eric and I are the judges. We encourage the kids to use our leftover food to create the best camp dishes. On top of the food at camp, we took the kids to Foodland to pick out some extra groceries for their dishes. Team 1 was Rex, Ren, Jack, Kiki, Catherine W., and they prepared fried rice tacos with a cream cheese salsa sauce. Don’t knock it before you try it- it was delicious! Team 2 was Zain, Hamilton, Catherine F., Wynne and Rogers. They made breakfast bagels with egg, cheese, and sausage. Delicious! For dessert, Team 1 made Oreo milkshakes, and Team 2 made muddy buddy Chex mix. It was a tough call, but we ended up giving the Iron Chef trophy to Team 1! After we scrubbed all of the pots and pans, we had a dance party to celebrate our hard work. We closed the night hooting and hollering throughout a hilarious Moonup. We can’t believe our last full day together is tomorrow, and we are soaking up every last minute together!

 

Good morning! Our day began similar to our other mornings- we had a breakfast spread and got ready for our busy day! It was time to start our third day of service with Jade and the MOC. We loaded up the van and met her at a harbor in Kahului. Because of this harbors positioning, it intercepts a ton of the trash that is loose in the Pacific. We were shocked at the poor shape the harbor was in, but it inspired us to pick up as much trash we could! We spent the morning collecting anything from micro plastic to bottle caps. Despite the sweltering heat, our group stayed hydrated and did a phenomenal job at keeping a positive attitude. By the end of our cleanup, we picked up hundreds of pieces of trash! We all worked up an appetite, so we headed to the MOC for a picnic lunch. We grabbed a couple souvenirs and got back to work! We headed to a beach and put on our snorkeling gear- it was time for another turtle survey! When we were in the water, Catherine W. did a great job helping our instructors differentiate between the gender and species of the turtles. After monitoring the turtles for a good bit, we headed back onto shore and said goodbye to Jade and the other MOC interns. We then drove to one of our favorite beaches and spent the afternoon jumping through waves and laughing with one another. We soaked up as much Maui sun as we could and drove to Goodwill to do a little thrift shopping. The kids bought the craziest outfits to wear to our banquet dinner- sequins, Hawaiian shirts and animal prints seemed to be the trend. We went to a restaurant named Charley’s for dinner. It is so crazy to think that that was our last dinner together! We laughed and laughed. After dinner, we headed to a public park that had a field and had a game of intense night kickball. We all had a blast together as usual. We closed our last night together with Moonup at the park. This group has been absolutely amazing- it is going to be so tough tomorrow saying goodbye to everyone.

 

Good morning! We started our final morning together cleaning camp. We washed dishes, cleaned out tents, washed the van and packed all of our things. We finished cleaning in record time, so we got to hit the beach one last time! We soaked in the sun for as long as we could. With heavy hearts, we headed back to camp to shower and grab the last of our things. We waved goodbye to our campsite and drove to the airport. These past two weeks have been absolutely amazing. We have had a blast getting to know everyone, and I can’t wait for all of us to cross paths again! MAU C is over and out.

 

Evan, Eric, and Sara


Maui Update

July 22, 2019

Aloha!

We began the morning with some yummy scrambled eggs and fruit. With full bellies, we jumped in the van and headed to windsurfing. As usual, we had a jam sesh on the way down the mountain. Once we made it to the beach, we met our guides and split up into groups. It was time to begin our lesson! I think we can all agree windsurfing takes some time getting used to. Everyone kept trying, and eventually, everyone mastered doing a “jibe” or turn! Catherine F. thoroughly enjoyed her time spent on the water- she killed it at wind surfing! Wynne kept going at it all morning, and her resiliency was remarkable! After our lesson finished, we thanked our guides and set up lunch. We ate at the beach park, and we all had our fair share of sandwiches and chips. After lunch, we went to a nearby beach. Catherine W. spent the majority of her time perfecting her swimming skills. She had so much fun! After we soaked up some sun, we headed back to camp to rest. Hamilton was specifically excited about this as he worked super hard all morning while windsurfing. While some played basketball and some chilled in the Enos, others helped prep dinner. Rex was especially excited to help cook a fan favorite: quesadillas. After dinner, we headed up the mountain for “Aloha Friday.” During the summers in Maui, a different town hosts a family-friendly street fair. There was live music, food trucks, and line dancing. The band absolutely loved the energy we brought. Jack, Catherine W., Kiki, Zain, and Rogers were invited up on the stage to dance! All that dancing made us hungry, so Rogers got some fried bread balls to share with the group. Yummy! After our night of fun out on the town, we danced our way back to the van and headed back to camp. We finished the day with Moonup led by Rex and Rogers. Today was definitely a highlight for a lot of the group- we are pumped for sea kayaking tomorrow!

The next morning, most of the group slept in. We woke them up with music to get them pumped for our exciting day! One by one, everyone left their tents and enjoyed a breakfast of cereal and fresh fruit. After that, they lathered themselves in sunscreen and got in the van. It was time to head to sea kayaking! Once we got to our meeting spot, we separated into teams of two. After a quick safety talk, we hit the water! Catherine W. and Kiki made a great team, and they didn’t have a hard time kayaking. Catherine F. challenged herself and volunteered to go in a solo kayak- she did a great job! Ren and Eric made the dream team as they cruised through the water with ease. We paddled for about a mile along the crystal-clear coast in our kayaks. Our guides! Garrett and Mikey, led us to a snorkeling spot that teemed with life. Turtles, fish and coral were everywhere! We spent about an hour at the snorkel spot soaking in the sun, swimming with the turtles and playing games. Rogers, Jack and Catherine W. all had a blast attempting different tricks of getting out of the kayaks. Just when our group started to get hungry, our awesome guides whipped out some fresh pineapple for us to munch on. It was the perfect energizer before our mile paddle back to shore. Just before we all started heading back, we all had a good laugh because Zain and Jack flipped their kayak. With all the gear accounted for, we headed back to shore. We thanked our guides and went to one of our favorite beaches to have our picnic lunch. After lunch, we made a quick Costco run to pick up some essentials for the group. We dropped the groceries off at camp and spent about an hour playing basketball and chilling in our Enos. There was still plenty of sunshine left in the day, so we went to a nearby beach. It was the same beach where we went windsurfing, so we had a ball watching all of the professionals windsurf and kite surf all afternoon. We swam and swam until it was about dinner time. We came back to camp and started prepping for our dinner of pasta and salad. The kids loved it, and we even had a chocolate mousse cake for dessert! We laughed and danced after Moonup for a while, and then we decided it was time for bed. What a full and fun day we had. We are stoked to start service tomorrow!

We started our first day of service with a variety of cereals and fresh fruit. We packed our daypacks and loaded up the van. It was time to head to the Maui Ocean Center! We jammed to some throwbacks, and before we knew it, we were at MOC. We met one of the MOC interns at the gate, and she gave us a brief tour. We got back in the van and drove to our first service project: a beach cleanup! We separated into teams of 2 or 3 and grabbed buckets and gloves- it was time to get to work! We picked up all kinds of trash. After we collected hundreds of pieces of trash, we drove back to MOC for lunch. We strolled around the aquarium and checked out the gift shop before it was time to get back to work. For the afternoon, we measured pieces of fishing lines and calculated the entire length of the lines. MOC uses the numbers we compute for their overall data collection project- how cool! With fishing line measured, we said bye and began our afternoon adventure. We drove to one of our favorite beaches and spent a couple hours soaking in the sun. We jumped off rocks, jumped through waves and dug sand castles. With a day as full and tiring as this one, we decided to have a big ole cookout for dinner. Cheeseburgers and hotdogs with all the fixins hit the spot! We finished our day with Moonup under a clear sky. Everyone is excited for our second day of service tomorrow! Here’s what they’re saying about the trip so far:

Catherine W.: hello parents, I am having a #blast on this trip so far. I have decided to stay here and never come home. Tell dogs I say hi. HI HADLEY MISS U! Snorkeling was lit and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Catherine F.: hi family, I’m having so much fun and I’m so sad there is only a few more days. I’ll see y’all soon.

Ren: Hi mom, dad, Jake, and Grayson thank you so much for making this trip possible I’m having the best 2 weeks of my life. Miss you guys see you soon.

Hamilton: Hi family, I’m having so much fun on this trip and I can’t believe it’s almost over. I miss you guys so much and I can’t wait to see you in a few days.

Jack: Hey Family, this trip has been so much fun and I can not believe it’s almost over. Miss you all and I’ll see you soon.

Kiki: Hi family! I’m having so much fun on this trip in Maui, but I can’t wait to see guys when I get back. I’m sad this trip is almost over because it’s so fun, but I’ll see y’all soon and tell you all about it!

Rogers: Hey fam I’m having so much fun!! See you soon!

Wynne: hey mom and dad, I’m having the best time of my life can’t wait to see y’all.

Zain: Hi people I live with I’m having fun In Maui thank you for letting me go it’s been so fun. Im excited to come home but also sad to leave.

Rex: Hi mom and dad, I’m having so much fun on this trip and I can’t believe it’s almost over and I can’t wait to see you.


Surf's Up!

July 19, 2019

Aloha! Our beautiful and sunny morning began with a relaxing jam session in the enos followed by a delicious breakfast: oatmeal topped with cinnamon, honey, peanut butter, and Nutella. The pineapple and mangos we had came from a fruit stand we passed on our way home, and they were a hit! I think Jack and Kiki found their new favorite go-to breakfast. After packing our backpacks, we hit the road for a fun morning of surfing!

We were so excited to get on the water that we even arrived early to our surfing lesson! We had just enough time to play an intense game of kickball. Our competitive bunch built up a sweat which made them appreciate the refreshing ocean even more. Our wonderful surfing instructors Alex, Jake and Todd got us geared up, gave us a quick lesson of the surfing basics on land and then had us in the water in no time! The waves were perfect, and everyone was up on their boards in no time! For two hours, Rex and Rogers were catching every wave that they could. Zain consistently paddled hard to catch some of the biggest ones! After a tiring two hours, we rinsed off and decided to eat lunch. We found a table under a tree overlooking the waves we had just surfed, and we enjoyed a scrumptious packed lunch. Our much-needed lunch after a long morning on the water hit the spot!

After finishing lunch, we hit the road again. It was a long but beautiful drive to an even more beautiful destination! The jam session with the massive cliffs on our left made the drive worth it. We arrived at Whaler’s Village where we were able to walk around and explore the different shops and stores. Ren and Hamilton were able to find and purchase their new favorite shoes. Catherine W., Catherine F., Kiki, Rogers and Wynne were able to find a pair of goggles. With some souvenirs in our backpacks, bathing suits on, and newly purchased goggles in hand, we hit the beach! The beach sits right in front of Whaler’s Village, so it was just a quick walk. The kids had an absolute blast. They loved exploring the marine life that swam right under the massive black volcanic rock cliffs, and they loved catching the big waves that brought us all the way up to shore. We may have gotten a bit sandy, but we had so much fun!

After a full day of activities, we headed back to the campsite for a delicious Mediterranean dinner. We finished our day with Moonup and hit the tents for a good night’s sleep.

We woke up before the sun even rose for our snorkeling adventure! We put on bathing suits and sunscreen and hit the road for our day out on the water. We wasted no time and immediately got into the boat after we met our awesome guides Sean and Kelly. We spent hours and hours snorkeling around different spots of Molokini Crater. Catherine, Jack and Rogers had their GoPros and got awesome footage of the marine life! We swam and swam until we couldn’t swim anymore. Wynne absolutely loved spending the whole morning in the water. Between snorkel spots, Sean told us everything we possibly needed to know about the Hawaiian Islands. From the history to the wildlife, he knew it all! We all told Kelly and Sean “mahalo,” or thank you, when our adventure came to a close. We had a sandwich-bar picnic with pasta salad for lunch, and we surprised the group with an ice cream stop for a post-lunch dessert! They were so excited and appreciative.

After ice cream, we decided to hit up a nearby beach for a couple hours. We spent the afternoon dipping in and out of the waves and playing soccer. I think it’s safe to say we wore them out! After a full morning snorkeling and an afternoon on the beach, the group was wiped. We decided to head back to camp for some down time. We hung out in our enos and played card games until it was time to cook dinner. Hamilton was a huge help making buffalo Mac-and-cheese and garlic bread for the crew. With full bellies, we headed back down the mountain to a nearby beach to watch the sunset. It was picture perfect. We closed our busy day with Moonup and a hilarious game of mafia narrated by Eric. We have had a blast so far, and we couldn’t wait to perfect our surfing skills tomorrow for our second lesson!

 

We had a chill morning, complete with eno time and breakfast burritos. With day packs backed, we loaded up the van and headed down to the beach for our second surfing lesson. We had Ashley and Rory as our guides, and they were awesome at making sure all of us caught some good ones! After a couple of hours in the water, we all worked up an appetite. Instead of our usual sandwich-bar style picnic lunch, we surprised the kids by taking them out to eat! We went to a local poke place that also served teriyaki chicken, the best ahi burgers around and shaved ice. Yummy! After lunch we walked around town for a bit and bought a couple of souvenirs. Zain was super excited about the Maui T-shirt he bought! After we got to know the town a little bit, we headed back to camp for a four-square tournament. Let me just tell you, we have a verrrrry competitive group! We had an absolute blast. We threw together pizza bagels for an early dinner and got back in the van for another adventure. We drove to the top of the mountain we are camping on, Haleakalā, and watched the sunset. It was a bit chilly and windy, but nothing could stop us from enjoying the view. It was everyone’s first time seeing the sunset from above the clouds- how neat! We soaked it all in and were truly living in the moment. Once the sun set, we got back in the van and made the trip back down the mountain. Once again, we closed the night with Moonup under a blanket of stars. What a great day!

Talk soon!

Eric, Sara and Evan


Adventure Begins in Maui!

July 16, 2019

Aloha!!!

All of the kiddos have finally! landed safe in Maui, and they are all pumped to get our two-week adventure started! Ren and Catherine F. were the first two to arrive. They were such troopers waiting for the rest of the crew to land! Once the last plane of the day landed, we all grabbed our duffels and hopped into our van. It was time to go to our home sweet home for the next couple of weeks! Catherine W., Wynne and Rogers brought the fun as they requested some great tunes on the way to our campsite. 

Once we got to camp, we taught the kids how to set up tents. They had them up in record time! We finished setting up camp and rewarded ourselves with pizza for dinner. Mmmm mmmm! We wrapped up our first night in paradise with our very first Moonup. Moonup is a time where we come together as a group at the end of the day and get to know each other better. We played some ice breakers and hit the tents- it was a looong travel day! We are so pumped for our first activity of the trip tomorrow: ziplining!

The next day began just like any awesome day should: with eggs, bacon and toast. Wynne did a wonderful job preparing the cheesy eggs- they were gone within minutes. Later that morning, our wonderful island program director, Griff, came and gave the kids a Hawaiian history lesson. It was wonderful to watch them be so intrigued and engaged. After applying some sunscreen, we headed for the beach! As soon as our feet hit the sand, Catherine W. and Kiki headed straight for the water with GoPros in hand. They dove in the warm Maui water and just started swimming for the waves. The rest of the group soon followed suit, and within seconds, we were all laughing in the surf. 

Our adventure junkies Zain, Ren and Hamilton decided to take a walk on the beach. As we walked, we discovered giant sea turtles! These gentle giants soon captured the attention of our entire group, and they inspired everyone to keep on exploring! Catherine W., Rogers and Kiki swam out to a nearby point and watched the nearby surfers ride waves. After more swimming and laughing, we loaded up the van and headed back to camp for lunch. 

After lunch we had our first activity: ziplining! We met our guides and were all admittedly excited and nervous. Zain was a little more nervous than the rest, but I can honestly say by the end of the day, he had conquered his fear. We were all so proud of him! All of us had a wonderful time, and the afternoon was filled with loud screams of both fear and excitement. As ziplining came to a close, we were all exhausted. Once we got back to camp, we were greeted by a wonderful burst of energy with the last arrival of our group: Jack! We were all so excited to meet him, and he immediately meshed with the rest of the group. For dinner, we dined on pesto chicken pasta with optional sun-dried tomato’s cooked by Rex! We then had a quick Moonup and returned to our tents for some much-needed rest. 

Good morning! Today we had a much-needed relaxing morning, and the kids slept in. When we woke them up, we alerted them of the good news- pancakes were on the menu for breakfast! It was so fun to watch all of the kids work together to make a deliciousssss pancake bar. Once we all fueled up, we hit a beautiful nearby beach. We swam and swam for hours and enjoyed each other’s company during a nice beach stroll. Before we knew it, it was time for water rappelling!

Our guides gave us wraps, pineapple and cookies for lunch before giving us a quick safety talk. We geared up and hit our first rappel! We started with a dry rappel to get the basics down. We finished the afternoon with 2 waterfall rappels. Zain was nervous, but he conquered his fears and did great on the rappels! We thanked our guides and snapped a few group photos before heading back to camp for an afternoon of games. We played basketball and four square until it was getting close to dinner time. Rex helped with our dinner of fajitas topped with chips, guac and salsa. Yummy! We finished our busy day the only way we know how with a handful of peanut m&ms, Moonup and stargazing. We are all so pumped for our stand-up paddle board adventure tomorrow!

We started our day with a spread of fresh fruit and bagels. We stuffed ourselves and loaded up the van: it was time to begin our day! We drove to a trailhead and began our adventure. We hiked and laughed until we ended up at a spot where a river feeds into the ocean! We hiked upstream until we found a refreshing and chilly swimming hole. We spent a couple of hours jumping into the freshwater. We hiked downstream and back to the van where we had a picnic lunch. We filled up on sandwiches and chips before heading to our next stop. We drove to a spot that had super cool black rocks. The kids loved jumping off the rocks into the (verrryyy deep) crystal-clear water. We even spotted the biggest turtle any of us had ever seen! We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying each other’s company chilling out in the rocks and listening to music. We headed back to camp and started preparing our delicious dinner of chicken quesadillas with rice, salsa and guac. Hamilton was so helpful and a fantastic chef! We closed our packed day with Moonup and mafia under a full moon. We can’t wait for surfing tomorrow!

Mahalo,

Evan, Sara and Eric


Safe Arrival in Maui!

July 13, 2019

Aloha Maui Families!

We heard from our Leaders late last night, that all students scheduled to arrive in Maui on 7/12 have safely joined the group! Evan, Sara and Eric cannot wait to pick up their final student this afternoon. The trip is off to a great start, and we’re excited to hear more stories from their adventures. Stay tuned!

  • Moondance HQ

Students

  • Catherine
  • Catherine
  • Hamilton
  • Jack
  • Kiki
  • Ren
  • Rex
  • Rogers
  • Zain
  • Wynne

Staff