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British Columbia 2A • June 25-July 8, 2021

Iron Chef for the Win!

July 9, 2021

Hello All From The Seattle Airport,

You last heard from us during our final activity, White Water Wrafting on the Sauk River. After conquering the river, we rode to our lunch spot for the day and feasted on some delicious wraps, especially enjoyed by Jack! With our campsite only a few minutes away from our rafting location, we hopped into the car and sang all the way to our new home at Clear Creek State Park. Once under the canopy of trees, we unloaded the car, set up our tents, and set off to explore. Ali and Laura found a quaint creek just steps away from our camp ground and eagerly shared it with us, so we could all enjoy! Once settled, it was dinner time!

This evening was the ever entertaining “Iron Chef” cooking challenge, a time in which the students are broken up into two teams and given all the remaining food to create culinary masterpieces. This evening, the food was judged on three categories: Presentation, Taste, and Teamwork! With the teams divided and the ingredients dispersed, the two teams were off. We saw the groups’ wide range of culinary abilities, and it sure was amazing. There were numerous appearances from Walker, a member of team 2, who transformed himself into Cinni-Steph, sprinkling us judges during every meal course with just the right amount of cinnamon while hitting a fadeaway jump shot! Wilson, of team 1, kept us entertained and ever guessing with her graceful Ballet. Once the meals were fully prepared, team 1 presented us with saltine and bean dip appetizers, Grasta Pasta, and Wild blueberry and Nutella tortillas. Team two countered with a trisket apple and peanut butter appetizer, marinara sauce and cheese elbow pasta, and their very own “The Stuff” s’mores!

After eating to our fill, and after much deliberation, Team 1 was crowned the victors. The winning prize was selecting the donuts for our Airport Day breakfast, Henry was chosen as the donut delegate and accepted the position with glee. After a restful evening under the stars, we loaded into the van for one final road trip back to Seattle! Our team’s goal was to make this last time the best ever, and we sure did succeed. Our trip was filled with belted sing-alongs, breathtaking views of snow capped mountain landscapes, gas station snacks, huge smiles, and many many belly laughs. Upon our arrival to the Saltwater State Park, Tanner and James quickly set up Blingo ball for a quick pre-cleaning rally! The group made quick work of the duffle shuffle, and then we were off to clean the van!

The team decided to divide and conquer the cleaning tasks. Arden lead the charge of vacuuming the interior the van once we arrived at the car wash. Halle and Walker, being our final pair of LODs, took on the task of washing the outside of the van. It is worth noting that after extensive research at the car wash, the two were able to verify that Walker’s rain jacket is in fact waterproof! Our final stop for the day was Banquet, a time in which we share our last meal together and reminisce on the adventures we’d had together. We stopped by a local burger shop and had our fill of burgers, fries, and milkshakes! Ellie showed us all her adventurous side and was the sole diner to select the peach milkshake.

We concluded the evening with our final Moonup; here we shared for the last time what the group and our time together meant to each one of us. As a final token of our forever friendship, we distributed rope bracelets. As suggested so magnificently by Kathryn we tucked into our beds under a blanket of stars in the wee hours for the morning- what an incredible ending to an unforgettable adventure! Thank you all for letting us explore the great state of Washington with your amazing, kind hearted, and hilarious children. They taught us to laugh, to dream, and how to live in every single moment!

Signing off one final time with all our love,

Skyler, Thomas, and McKee


Greetings From The North Cascades Mountains!

July 6, 2021

Hello from The North Cascades Mountains!

 

Today we have just finished up white water rafting, and we had an absolute blast paddling and riding the rapids!

 

We last spoke to y’all after our incredible surfing adventures in Westport, WA. After surfing, we headed towards Leavenworth, WA, a quaint German-like town in the Wenatchee Park area. The town consists of historic European architecture and is lined with beautiful mountains. It was on these mountains that we experienced two days of rock climbing!

 

When we first arrived in Leavenworth, we took everyone to Heidleburger, a local burger spot in town. At this drive-in burger joint, we all munched on burgers, fries, and shakes, a much-needed treat after a long travel day from surfing. Henry especially enjoyed his Chocolate shake while Laura preferred her Vanilla. Regardless of shake preferences, everyone left with fully bellies and even fuller hearts! We arrived at our campsite that night and played Blingo Ball, Badminton, and Volleyball, enjoying the evening cool weather.

 

The next day, we met our climbing instructors for an early morning hike to the rock face. Despite the hike being in the wee hours of the morning, our group showed impeccable and contagious excitement for climbing on our way to the pitch. Our climbing guides even complimented their attitude and vigor for the activity!

 

Everyone learned how to belay their friends on the wall, and then our group took off! TannerEllie, and Jack managed to traverse every route within our two-day climbing adventure. Henry and Halle managed to conquer their fear of heights by trying multiple, treacherous routes on both days of climbing! We climbed both days in the beautiful Icicle Pass, a stretch of road outside of Leavenworth lined by the Wenatchee River and by beautiful mountains. Ali especially enjoyed the views from our climb, exploring the rocky, gorgeous mountains that surrounded the base of our climbs. Arden tried two of the hardest routes, impressing us all with her perseverance to get up the wall. Wilson also impressed us with her proficient climbing skills as she managed to complete all the most difficult routes.

 

On the second day of climbing, we had the opportunity to celebrate the Fourth of July, which we did in full Moondance fashion. We woke up with bagels, cream-cheese, strawberries, and blueberries, a patriotic breakfast! Halle, Ellie, Wilson and Arden dressed up in full patriotic garb. Henry, Tanner, and Jack enjoyed waving personal American flags. Their expressive outfits gave us all the energy to climb that morning! On the drive to the climb, we belted “Party in the U.S.A.” Our climbing guides were both impressed and humored by our enthused outfits and attitudes! After a full day of climbing, we took off towards the North Cascades mountains by driving on the beautiful Highway 20 in Washington. On this highway, we stopped to look out over the beautiful mountains twice, and one time, we even played in the mountain snow! Walker showed us all up with his sharp snowball aim. In fact, after a few minutes of tossing snowballs, we found ourselves in an all-out snowball war. Tanner and Ellie fought with the most intensity; there were many belly laughs that followed this battle! That night, we made Sloppy Joe’s as our Independence Day dinner, and we finished the night around a cozy campfire, where Wilson added campfire color that turned our fire red and blue!

 

The next day we slept in before attacking our first day of rafting. The Skagit river was a good introduction to our rafting experience; with only one large rapid, we spent the majority of the day playing “battleship” on the rafts. Battleship consists of each raft trying to pull the other rafts’ members out of the boat (The Viking Team was indeed the champions of this war). The one rapid on the Skagit was at high water, making it much more intense than usual! James showed incredible ability rafting and had a contagious positive attitude all day! After our first day of rafting, we retired back to a campsite in the mountains. After making campsite Pad Thai for dinner, Henry and Arden started a noodle fight! Noodles were tossed left and right, and our entire group left covered with wet, sticky noodles by the end of this adventure. We dipped in the nearby river to wash up, and then Laura made us some cinnamon tortillas for a star-lot dessert. We were so thankful for these delicious treats!

 

The second day of rafting, on the Sauk River, was full of rapids; the entire three-hour trip is rapid after rapid, excitement followed by more excitement! Kathryn showed great leadership on the Viking team, ensuring that we all paddled together and on best. She got us through those rapids! Halle, Tanner, and Jack all “road the bull” of the raft, meaning that they sat on the front edge of the rapid only holding onto the boat with one hand! Tanner impressed us all as he rode the bull through a ginormous rapid, The Waterslide!

 

It was been an incredible few days with these students, and we cannot believe that our trip is coming to a close. We have exciting adventures planned for these last few days, and yet we are also saddened that our group’s shared time is coming to a close. We are constantly impressed by this group: their maturity, growth, closeness, and joy. Thank you so much for sharing them with us all!

 

Thankfully,

 

Thomas, McKee, and Skyler


Surfing and Sunsets in Westport!

July 2, 2021

Hello all from Westport, Washington!

 

We began our second activity section of the trip at Twin Harbor State Park to surf the magnificent Pacific Ocean. We began our evening at Twin Harbor with some tasty teriyaki chicken sandwiches with grilled pineapple rings, made by Laura, Ellie, and Kathryn. They were delicious! We then headed to the beach in order to do Moonup under the stars. We woke up the following day and cooked up some breakfast burritos, which did not stand a chance.

 

After breakfast we hopped into the van and headed to our first day of surfing! Because of the size of our group, we split up into two sections for the first day of surfing. The first group joined our surf guides Sean, Amanda, JuJu, and Andres for a fantastic first morning of surfing. The other group headed to the marina of Westport, where we munched on some barbecue and nachos and shopped at little shops along the wharf. We also stopped by the tallest lighthouse in the state of Washington, which was fascinating! Lucky enough for us, the lighthouse was to light up for its anniversary that night. It was such a fun morning!

 

After a few hours, the groups swapped places and everyone got some board time. Walker blew everyone’s minds when he stood up on the board on his first try! He continued to ride nearly every wave that he attempted. Meanwhile on the wharf, Halle’s dreams finally came true when she found a supplier of fresh oysters. We then returned to the campsite, where Jack taught the group how to play Mao, a silent but incredibly fun card game. We played until it was time for dinner, which was personal pizzas! It was delicious! Following dinner, we all piled into the van for a bumpin’ ride to our Moonup location, which was in sight of the lighthouse casting it’s massive ray into the night’s sky. The next day we woke up and headed to our second day of surfing. Because we had already run through all of the surfing instructions, the whole group was able to participate at the same time. The whole group was surfing like champs! Our guides were thoroughly impressed. Wilson, as usual, kindly asked our guides if they would like to join us for dinner that night. Because they liked our group so much, they had no hesitation saying yes.

 

After we finished our last day of surfing, we drove into the town of Hoquiam, Washington in order to get some ice cream. It was so much fun! We returned to our campsite where we played more cards and set up our spike ball set. James and Tanner dominated everyone in our round robin, which surprised no one. It will be hard to find fair competition for those two. After some chilling out at the campsite, we prepared for dinner with our guests. Arden, Ali, and Henry cooked up some delicious Fajitas as the rest of the group taught our guests how to play our signature game, “Death Hackysack”. We then held Moonup on the beach with our guests.

 

Arden, Ellie, Wilson, and Thomas all lived up to their promise of polar plunging in the Pacific, which was very cold. Meanwhile, Ali and Walker dug a massive hole. The moonup was fantastic, and really showed how close of a bond our group already has. We then got ready for our travel day the next day to our next section of rock climbing! The whole group is so excited, as are us leaders!

 

This group is incredible. They have shown mass amounts of strength, leadership, and maturity along with their keen senses of humor. We can not express how thankful we are for a group like the one we have right now. We are so thrilled for the rest of our trip!

 

From the Beach,

McKee, Skyler, and Thomas


Island Time!

June 29, 2021

Hello Everyone! Welcome To Washington!

After everyone arrived to the airport, we set off to our first campsite of the trip. We feasted on pizza for dinner, and after all were full, we learned how to set up tents and prepare for the evening. Our campsite was nestled beneath beautiful pine trees that seemed to touch the sky while being only steps away from the beach. Thomas introduced the group to the polar plunge pact, an agreement between he and the students to jump into every body of water that we come across. Everyone was ecstatic about the challenge, and we quickly rushed down to the water. The Polar Plunge warriors for the first night were Arden, Wilson, Laura, Ellie, Ali, Halle, Jack, Henry, Walker, Tanner, and James. Kathryn wanted them to test the waters first ????

Our first Moonup was filled with explanations of what our B+ superpowers would be if given the opportunity and why we come to Moondance. It was an awesome time of learning about each other and forming friendships. At the end of the night, we tucked into our tents excited about our first activity.

Day 2 began with breakfast burritos prepared by our very first cook crew consisting of Jack, Laura, Ellie, and Kathryn. After breakfast, we set off to meet our Ferry to the San Juan Islands where we would begin the group’s first activity of Sea Kayaking! The ferry ride was filled with photos, GoPro Videos, and laughs that will last a lifetime! After landing on the San Juan Islands we quickly set up camp, ate a fabulous dinner of stuffed peppers, and raced off to our whale watching tour. We were so incredibly shocked to find a Humpback whale and followed her throughout the duration of the tour. Halle was adamant about capturing pictures of the massive creature at every opportunity. At night’s end, we turned into our tents for the night eager to get out on the water the next day!

On day 3 we finally set off in our vessels to explore the islands from a new perspective. After gliding through our 15-mile paddle, we reached our home for the evening, the remote, yet beautiful, Jones Island. The team made quick work of unpacking the boats and setting up camp. With all our work done, we were able to play a thrilling game of capture the flag, our teams being divided by our love of Motts or Welches Gummies. Team Motts were crowned the champions, as we all know they are the superior gummie! Dinner was a delicious meal of pesto pasta, and there was not a hungry stomach among us! A special feature of Jones Island is the perfect cliff jumping area; our polar plungers who took on the challenge this evening were none other than the fearless Arden, Halle, Ellie, Wilson, James, and Tanner! After plunging, we rushed to the south side of the island to catch a breathtaking sunset. We concluded an amazing day with Moonup & S’mores around a wood lit fire under a blanket of stars bright enough to light the night.

The next day, we set off on the water making the travel back to where we had begun our sea kayaking adventure, the historic town of Roshe Harbor. The team breezed through the paddle, and we arrived back on land for lunch and ice cream. We arrived back at camp around mid-afternoon and spent the remainder of the day swimming and playing volleyball. It truly has been an incredible and unforgettable four days!

We are so incredibly excited to have this amazing group of students with us for our trip! And we so greatly appreciate you all giving us the opportunity to meet and experience the great state of Washington with your kids.

 

Until Next Time,

Skyler, McKee, and Thomas


All Have Arrived!

June 25, 2021

Hello British Columbia 2A Families!

The whole group arrived safely in Seattle, and they are headed to their first campsite! We have heard from our leaders that the trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure. Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting at least three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks. This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shoutout mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what were up to this summer!!

-Moondance HQ


Students

  • Kathryn
  • Ali
  • Arden
  • Ellie
  • Halle
  • Henry
  • Jack
  • James
  • Laura
  • Tanner
  • Walker
  • Wilson

Staff