July 27, 2021
Hi everyone! Caroline here with our final trip update of the summer. We have had an action packed last 48 hours of the trip filled with lots of laughter and a few tears. We woke up early yesterday morning to catch our ferry back to the mainland. Our speedy group packed up camp so fast that we had plenty of time to explore Friday Harbor for the last time and buy some souvenirs to remind us of our awesome couple of days. Decked out in San Juan island gear, we loaded onto the ferry where Eleanor and Anna did their best to teach James how to make friendship bracelets. Sad to leave the island, Caroline, Jack, and Andy made their way out to the deck to soak up the last few views of the San Juans.
Once we landed on the mainland, we headed towards Seattle and our last campsite. Once we arrived at camp, we got down to business to clean our gear. Henry took a group to the car wash where they all laughed as they sprayed each other with water and scrubbed down the van. Mc and I held down the fort at camp and danced with the group as we cleaned the tents spotless. Hungry after our epic cleaning party, the group loaded into the van to head to our banquet dinner. Once in the van, we looked around and realized our outfits were not at all appropriate for our fancy Banquet dinner. In order to solve this dilemma, we made a dash for Goodwill so we could look fresh for our final meal together. With a time limit of only 15 minutes, I was excited to see what the group could pull together and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Quinn, Eleanor, Ruby, and Caroline rolled out of Goodwill dressed in the preppiest khaki shorts and colored shirts that the store had to offer. Andy and Huddy followed behind them strutting their stuff in two beautiful and colorful dresses. Last in the fashion show was Will, who was rocking a 70s themed outfit complete with round sunglasses and a flowery shirt. Feeling confident in our new fits, we made our way to a local burger joint for our Banquet feast. The group was delighted as we read the menu and saw the endless possibilities of milkshake flavors. After devouring our burgers and milkshakes, we headed back to camp for our final Moonup.
To open Moonup, MC, Henry, and I sang our favorite song of the summer as a sentimental start to our last Moonup of the summer. Our LODs, Jeidbo, Crawford, and Ruby then led us in a sentimental Moonup where we reflected on what our time together and our friendships mean to each other. I, for one, feel so fortunate to have been a part of this group the past two weeks, and I look forward to seeing how all of our friendships grow in the future! After our meaningful Moonup, we headed back to camp arm in arm and slept under the starry sky.
We woke up early this morning and headed to the airport with our eyes still puffy from the tears we shed the night before. As I sit in the airport and reflect on this trip, I cannot stop smiling. This group has laughed hard, loved deeply, and grown exponentially the past two weeks, and I am so lucky to have been a part of it. I cannot wait to cross paths with each and every one of them in the near future.
Signing off for the last time,
BCO B Team
July 26, 2021
Hey there folks!
Henry here with an update on a really special few days in the San Juan Islands as we move towards the end of our time together. Over the past few days, we have been graced with some of the trip’s most spectacular views, with both beautiful island shorelines and sunsets as well as experiences with orcas, sea lions, and so much amazing marine life. With this amazing scenery and nature as a wonderful backdrop, I have especially loved this section of our trip together as the group has fully embraced their adventurous spirit with a collective goal in mind to make the absolute most out of the remaining time together.
Our island adventure started when we departed Westport and made our way to the San Juans via the ferry from Anacortes. Wide eyed, the group took to the windows and railings of the ferry to take in the sights. As we slowly drifted away from the mainland, we were treated with a great view of Mount Baker, which stayed in view throughout our meandering trip through the lush green islands of the Puget Sound. The group was especially excited when the captain’s voice came over the ferry’s intercom to announce a family of Orcas was traveling alongside us. The group rushed over to the starboard side of the boat to watch the whales make their way past.
Once we reached our campsite on San Juan Island, we enjoyed a cookout alongside the lakes of the island. While others played group games and packed their dry bags for the following day’s paddle, Quinn and Hudson took charge of the cookout, grilling up some hot dogs and brats for the group to enjoy along with some watermelon. After we finished dinner and sufficiently soaked up the sun, we headed back to Friday Harbor to go whale watching! Although the group had seen a few orcas on the ferry already, they were all stoked for the opportunity to see new families of whales along with the rest of the amazing scenery and wildlife the San Juans have to offer. As we made our way through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Jeidbo, Will and Crawford were left in awe at the towering mountains of the Olympic Peninsula far across the water. Standing arm in arm, they took in the glacier-peaked mountains together, which made for an excellent photo opportunity. Once the boys realized their picture had been taken, they decided for the rest of the trip, they needed to have their photo taken arm in arm in front of every amazing background they could find. Needless to say, they have quite the collection now. Once we reached the midpoint of the strait, all of the sudden the wildlife started appearing all over. We passed a large rock just beside a small island that was packed with sea lions basking in the sun or vying for a high spot on the rock. Just further, we started spotting large dark dorsal fins and the exhale of several families of orca whales on all sides of the boat. At that point the boat stopped and we simply watched the majestic creatures pass while the sun set, illuminating Mount Baker to the east. Afterwards, we returned to camp for Moonup and a good night’s rest before returning to the water the next day to explore the islands by kayak.
On our first morning of kayaking, after loading the boats and learning the basics of paddling and steering, we pushed off and started tracking the shoreline on our way to Jones Island. In this first section of our paddle, each team of two paddlers had to figure out how to move as efficiently as possible and keep each other entertained and motivated too. To do so, the group worked out that paddling in unison worked best and each individual boat figured out how to motivate each other differently. For some, singing on the water worked best. During the paddle, several boats belted out Taylor Swift’s “Our Song.” Although Andy was maybe not the biggest fan of the song at first, he started singing every word of the song as the group went along. For other boats, like Quinn and Ruby’s, the time to paddle made for a great opportunity to play games and get to know each other better. The two played 20 questions and made up one-word stories together before diving into questions about each other, like “what does your ideal day look like?” Meanwhile, other groups developed a natural rhythm of paddling. Eleanor and Jeidbo’s boat moved especially quickly as they began to compete to lead the pack. As we paddled along, I loved seeing the group bond over the fun and conversation, taking full advantage of the opportunity to get to know each other as individuals.
After a long day of paddling, eventually using the skills we developed to cross the channel to Jones Island, the group took the opportunity to chill out on the island and explore the trails and rocky beaches it had to offer. On one beach with a view of Mount Baker, we all sat together against a log of driftwood while a few skipped stones off into the water. After watching Jack and Will get seven or eight big skips, both leader and student Caroline decided they would join the action, but didn’t know how to skip the stones best. With Jack’s teaching, both were able to get several skips off. After a delicious dinner, we enjoyed more special time with the group, with the day’s LODs, Anna and James, leading us in a really special Moonup on the west side of the island. As we laughed and learned about each other together, we took in the spectacle of the setting sun just beyond the islands in the distance.
The following day, we got an early start, paddling efficiently and riding the fast current back to San Juan Island. After arriving and unpacking, we made camp and were treated to a relaxing day together. While some played spikeball together, the rest put up hammocks, making another hammock village just like we had done earlier in the trip. At one point, all fifteen of us were all up in the hammocks chatting and enjoying the afternoon. To finish off the lovely afternoon, Will, Crawford, and Jeidbo made their rendition of the Moes stack, and did so well that they began making plans to open a stack restaurant together.
After dinner, we settled down for a sentimental Moonup, realizing that we only had one left. For one of our questions, we discussed what we would miss most about the trip and what we are looking forward to most afterwards. Personally, I have loved being amongst a group that is so excited to adventure, so eager to learn, and so interested and invested in bringing the best out of each other. Although we still have time for more fun, celebration, and perhaps a few more tears together, it’s been a real pleasure to be a part of a group with such excitement for life. I can’t wait for the rest of the fun, the reflection, and to continue to be inspired by these amazing people both during and after the trip.
With so much gratitude,
Henry and the BCO B team
July 22, 2021
Aloha everybody! It’s MC with our update this time, and man am I excited to tell you all about the past couple of days we’ve had.
After saying our goodbyes to the Skagit river, we set our sails towards the coast and rode on to Westport. Everyone was quick to sing their favorite tunes and the ride flew by as it was propelled by the musical geniuses of Justin Bieber and Fergie. Crawford impressed everyone as he perfectly rapped along to Kanye where Andy introduced everyone to his love of Soultown. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Caroline and Quinn who were quick to share an Oreo and a laugh in between jam seshes. We set up camp in Westport and the LOD’s, James and Jeidbo, put their chef hats on and prepared some incredible black bean burgers for the whole group. After dinner, we walked down to the beach and got our first look at the beautiful Pacific Ocean. We held an incredible Moonup hosted by our LOD’s and talked about everything from our favorite hobbies to the times when we have felt the most defeated. It was really amazing hearing just how supportive and encouraging this group has become in such a short time. Henry shared that the beach feels like a breath of fresh air and a place where we can truly sit back and enjoy where we are. I think that sentiment really resonated with the group, especially Hudson. After Moonup, we all made a tunnel for Hudson to run through, and he just kept running until he hit the water. Everyone hooped and hollered as Hudson ,AKA “the fish”, faced the waves with more vigor and style than I have ever seen. Despite the cool ocean air, we all walked back to camp feeling warm and dreamed of the gorgeous sunset we had seen that night.
The next morning, our LOD’s, Henry and Jack, whipped up one of our favorite breakfasts called the ‘Davis’- a delicious combination of caremelized fruit, peanut butter, and granola all wrapped up in a tortilla. These wraps were the perfect thing to get us prepared for the intense day of surfing ahead of us. We drove to meet our surf instructors and after getting suited up, we learned some surfing rituals. Eleanor got an in-depth experience as she danced around waving grass after accidentally stepping over a surfboard, correcting the juju before getting into the ocean. Crawford, Anna, Ruby, and Jeidbo joined leader Caroline and I in town for the first half of the day while the others took the morning surf shift. While exploring town, Anna and Ruby bought all the girls matching silly hats meanwhile Crawford and Jaidbo invested in matching “Gone Squatching” t-shirts. We decided to get in on the action too and before we knew it, we all had matching cut-off, sleeveless shirts. Meanwhile in the water, the group learned the basics quickly and took the waves by storm. Will gave Henry a real 3D experience as he closely surfed right by giving him a couple shakas as he went on his way. Andy did his classic lean dance move on the board and Caroline and Eleanor even caught the same wave- now that’s what I call a party wave! After a full morning of shopping and surfing, the groups switched spots and got ready for the afternoon. Henry took his group into town, and they set off to find the most ridiculous socks they could. Caroline and I’s surfing group was quick to pop up on the boards and never tired of cheering each other on. Jeidbo found a love for riding the board like a boogie board whereas Anna rode the board looking backwards! Crawford and Ruby always met me with big smiles as they confidently hopped off their boards at the end of a long ride. Once the afternoon was over, we met back with the rest of the group and exchanged stories of our time away. We then headed to dinner exhausted and hungry from our full day. Instead of making dinner, we decided to eat at a local BBQ spot in town for some well deserved grub. After dinner, we made our way to a gorgeous lookout spot that towered over the beach we had surfed earlier that day. There, Jack and Henry got to lead an unforgettable Moonup. We discussed desert island songs, recounted stories from the day, and talked about the events in our lives that will surely stay with us. We watched the sun set right over the ocean, and as the sun went down, it was hard to miss he closeness and love that radiated from each person. Back at camp, the boys stayed outside to silently stargaze while the girls played an epic game of ‘Bean Boozled’ with jellybeans. Apparently Quinn started off strong, but her luck was quick to change as she went on a streak of getting flavors such as stinky feet and rotten egg…gross. We all turned in early to prepare for another epic day of surfing the world class Westport waves.
This morning, we ate breakfast and packed up camp quickly in order to catch the early waves. The first group to surf included Will, Jeidbo, Crawford, Anna, Ruby, and James. Henry and I surfed alongside them while Caroline and the others played spikeball and other beach games near the shore. Hudson had a blast digging in the sand and taking the beach for all it has to offer. Jeidbo and I even got to surf right next to each other and laughed all the way to the shore. Anna and Ruby learned how to Olé on the board in order to travel quicker on the wave. James and Crawford showed their balancing skills and rode the waves into the shallows almost every time. Halfway through the day, we switched again for Eleanor, Caroline, Andy, Hudson, Quinn, and Jack to take to the waves. As I looked out into the water, I noticed that Quinn and Jack seemed much smaller than everyone else, and that’s because they were surfing all the way from the second break! Everyone really improved from the day before and showed some real style out there. Once we all reunited, one of the surf guides told us about the power of Ohana, which means family. As we drive to our last activity, I can’t help but reflect on Ohana. Over the course of this trip, the group has felt more and more like our very own, quirky family. I feel lucky to know each one of these kids, and I am proud to call them Ohana.
Aloha for now!
MC, Henry and Caroline
July 20, 2021
Good afternoon everyone! Caroline here! We have had an awesome two days on the Skagit river, and I cannot wait to tell y’all about everything!
Once we arrived at our beautiful campsite in the North Cascades, everyone headed straight to the showers to wash off two days of dirt from climbing. After a few moments of being clean, we decided it didn’t feel quite right and headed straight to the volleyball court for some intense competition. As we headed into the final point with the score board reading 23-24, James confidently stepped up to serve. Before the other team could react, the ball flew across the net and slammed to the ground, earning his team the win. After some celebration, the group settled down to eat some delicious barbecue chicken sandwiches prepared by the LODs, Eleanor and Hudson. With our bellies full, we began a meaningful Moonup and then headed to bed before a full day of rafting.
We woke up early the next morning pumped to get on the river. After getting geared up, each boat began strategizing for our intense game of raft wars. Knowing the first half of the river was pretty calm, we had the opportunity to see how many members of other boats we could push into the water. From the first five minutes on the water, Jeidbo began pushing anyone he could into the water. Surprised by the freezing glacial water, most people scrambled as fast as they could back into the boat. Everyone except Hudson, nicknamed the fish, who loved being in the water and hung on to the side of boat as we drifted down the river. As the day winded down, Andy hopped into the guide seat to try his hand at raft guiding. Even the guides were impressed by his skills, so watch out for Andy the raft guide in a few years. While Andy led us down the river, the rest of us laid back to relax after hours of raft wars. Just as I was drifting off to sleep, Crawford and Will ambushed me and pushed me in as revenge for my pushing them earlier that day. We all ended the day on the river in laughter and headed back to camp. Once back at camp, our LODs, Jack and Quinn, began cooking a delicious Pad Thai. Although they were both skeptical of the meal at first, they were both pleasantly surprised by how good it was, and even said it was the best meal so far. While Jack and Quinn prepared dinner, Eleanor kept the group laughing as she braided the boy’s hair and took some killer pictures of their new hair dos. Exhausted from a day of nonstop laughter, we headed to bed quickly after Moonup to rest before another day of rafting.
We woke up to the smell of toast cooking on the griddle and chowed down on a delicious toast bar before heading back to the beautiful Skagit river. A little tired from the intense raft wars the day prior, the morning started out peacefully. Each boat played games like 20 questions or categories, and Caroline kept my boat laughing by sharing some of her embarrassing stories. After being energized by a delicious river lunch of sandwiches, chips, and Oreos, the group was ready to face the biggest rapids of the day: S bend. Feeling like pros after two days of rafting, Anna and Ruby hopped onto the front of the boat to “ride the bull” down the rapid. We ended our day on the river with some more raft wars, and then sang our hearts out in the van as we headed to camp to eat some delicious fajitas before another meaningful Moonup.
As we head to Westport to begin the surfing section of our trip, I have some time to reflect on our time together as a group. If I could describe this group in one word, it would be joyful. Every moment is filled with laughter and smiles, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend time with this group.
Caroline, Henry and Mary Claire
Caroline- Hi Mom, Dad, and Camilla! I am having the best time here- everyone is so so so nice!! I miss you guys and love y’all so much! Can’t wait for Bald Head see you soon❤️❤️
Quinn- Hey guys I’m having so much fun! Dad I cant wait to see you when I get back and I love you.????????️????????️????????️ Mom I miss you so much and I love you, give Mini and Nipper a hug. ????????????Happy birthday Greyson!????????????????????????
Andy- Hi mims, dad, and Reese! I’m having a great time and a lot of fun! Love you!
Hudson- Hey everybody This is the best trip I’ve ever been on, I have made lots of friends, and taken lots of pictures. Hope y’all are good say hi to birdie for me bye!
Jack- Hi everyone. This trip is better than I could ever of imagined. It is so beautiful and we have been having so much fun. Love you guys
James- Hey mom and dad! I am having so much fun! Tell Friday and Ginny I said hi!????????????♂️????????????️
Ruby- hi mom and dad! Tell Olivia and Peter and Mia and MaisieI say hi!! I’m having so much fun love y’all!????????
Eleanor- Hi Mom and Dad! Miss y’all but I’m having so much fun and I love the group. Tell the pups I said hi love you!❤️
Will- hi Kate, mom, and dad, love and miss y’all so much. I’m having so much fun I have the best people on my trip and the best leaders. Can’t wait to see you in a week.
Crawford- Hey mom, dad, and Lanier. I’m having so much fun with the best people and leaders. I’ve met so many great people. Can’t wait to see y’all. Tell Lanier I said hey. Hawks In 7????⚫️⚪️
John – Hey Mom, Dad, Thomas, Will ,Maggie, and Charlie. Hope he hasn’t been too mischievous. I’m having a lot of fun. I have the best Group and leaders. Can’t wait to see you! Love y’all ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Anna- Hi fam, I miss and love you guys. I’ve made so many friends and had so much fun. It’s been one of the best times I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to see you guys and make sure to tell all the animals I said hi. ❤️❤️
July 17, 2021
Hi there everyone!
Henry here with our first trip update of BCO 3B. Its early days still, but through our first section, we have had the most amazing time getting to know each other while adventuring through the mountains of central Washington and climbing it’s gorgeous cliffs. After everyone arrived at the airport, we set off for our first campsite, getting our first taste of the steep, jagged mountains and rocky cliffs during our trip through the mountain pass of the Cascades. When we arrived at camp, MC, Caroline, and I taught everyone how to set up tents while we all enjoyed pizza for dinner. Caroline felt so confident in her abilities, she did her demonstration with her eyes closed! After we finished dinner and fully set up camp, we settled down for Moonup and got an early night of sleep, with everyone excited to try their hand at climbing some of the rocks we had passed that day.
The following morning, we had a quick breakfast and made our way to Icicle Pass, where we would learn the basics and try our hand at climbing. While we started a bit slow, still a bit tired from a long day of travel the day prior, Crawford took the opportunity to energize the group, singing van tunes at the top of his lungs. By the time we arrived at our climbing spot, the entire van was singing along too, now rearing to start the climbs. When we started climbing, that energy and excitement was in full flow, with each route constantly occupied with eager climbers, belayers, and backup belayers. Among our most excited climbers was John, who by this point had been nicknamed “Jeidbo” by the group. With Crawford as his belayer, Jeidbo climbed the same route over and over, each time trying to go push himself to go a bit faster. Eleanor was also an eager climber throughout the day, but whenever she was not making her way up a route, she made sure to belay others, offering support on their way up. After everyone had given each route a try, we took the afternoon to cool off at the nearby Lake Wenatchee, and eventually made our way back to camp after some spikeball, frisbee games, and swimming in the lake. For dinner, our LODs Caroline and Andy cooked a delicious meal of tacos and street corn. While Andy worked on the chorizo and chicken for the tacos, Caroline made the street corn, taste testing as she went so she could get the perfect ratio of lime juice, taco seasoning, and cilantro. While enjoying the meal together, the group surprised James with s’mores flavored cupcakes, decorations, and his favorite candy, Mike and Ikes for his birthday. After the birthday celebrations, we moved into Moonup to close out the day. Andy and Caroline led us in the evening Moonup, opening with the group holding hands and doing the wave around the circle, and engaging the group with a really amazing question: “How does your perception of yourself compare to how people perceive you?” After the thoughtful Moonup, we got a well-deserved night of sleep, ready to push ourselves on the higher, more difficult climbs of the next day.
On our second day of climbing, we moved up the Icicle to a massive slab just by a clamshell shaped cave, which was complete with some near vertical rock faces and some long, deep cracks in the rock, which made for some difficult and spectacular climbs. Despite the clear jump in difficulty and the added height and wind in our new location, the group was just as excited to climb. When our guides showed us the most difficult route, Quinn jumped at the opportunity to give it a go and shot up to the top before we knew it. Once she returned to the ground, Jeidbo gave the same route a go too. Around three fourths of the way up, he reached the crux of the climb, a high overhanging ledge that requires the climber to perform a mantle move, where they reach behind their head, and pull themselves up onto the ledge like they are getting out a pool. While Jeidbo gave the mantle a go, everyone at the bottom encouraged him, yelling to “get out of the pool!” repeatedly until he finally made his way up. While the move proved difficulty for many in the group, almost everyone who gave it a go eventually made it to the top. Towards the end of the day, even after wearing himself out on all the other routes, Hudson got the confidence to give the difficult route a go and willed himself all the way to the top. When he returned to solid ground, he proudly wore the sweat and dirt that he picked up during the climb. During this second day, I was incredibly proud to see almost everyone continue to push themselves, facing their fears of heights and slips. James was a shining example of this improvement, starting the first day a bit hesitant about climbing, but had reached the top of each route on the second day. To finish the day, we returned to camp after our climbs and enjoyed some group games and a wonderful meal, cooked by the day’s LODs, Anna and Crawford. Anna and Crawford mastered the skill of chopping onions and bell peppers during the process, and Jack and Will engaged the group in some highly competitive games of spikeball. Meanwhile, Ruby helped set up the hammock village where the group hung out between spikeball games and eventually spent the night! After dinner, we enjoyed a relaxing Moonup before a couple more games of spikeball and a long night of sleep.
Today, we are making our way to North Cascades National Park for our first day on the rapids of its beautiful glacier-fed rivers. So far, I have loved seeing everyone on the trip push themselves to venture out of their comfort zone both on the rocks and within the group. Although we are only a few days in, the fun, laughter, and depth that the students are venturing to get to know each other has really impressed me and has made it clear they have an earnest desire to get to know each other as deeply as possible, and push each other to have the most adventure filled, fun trip possible. I can’t wait to see where this adventurous energy takes them on the river and for the rest of the trip!
July 14, 2021
Hello British Columbia Families!
The whole group has arrived safely in Seattle, and they are off on their adventure! 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 up to 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 shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!
– Moondance HQ