June 22, 2021
We write with heavy hearts as we say goodbye to twelve of our new favorite people! As we hold back tears, we remember our last few days together on the beautiful island of Kauai.
Everyone crushed the Na Pali coast on their kayaks while soaking up all of the breathtaking views! Everyone successfully made it the whole 17 miles, except for Cooper’s sunglasses that now have a new home at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Connor and Emma made sure to ride under every waterfall we came across to maximize their adventure and stay refreshed all at the same time! Sadie and Logan gave the group some good comic relief as we watched them flop out of their kayak at the start of our journey! Everyone’s spirits remained high, which kept the group’s energy in stride.
After everyone’s hard working day, we changed our alarm clocks to give us some extra rest and rewarded ourselves with some delicious avocado toast for breakfast the next morning. After our hardy breakfast, the group took control of the waves and showed off their surfing skills! We hit the north shore for the group’s first surf lessons and made us all feel like very proud parents! We had two especially star students, Gus and Doe, who crushed the waves! The group was ready for a good dinner after their day on Poipu beach and Emma treated the group to her famous quesadillas! Bibb said they might have been the most delicious quesadillas he had ever eaten and could not get enough! The group went into their second day of surfing with more confidence and put their new skills to the test! With no surprise, the group killed the waves once again. The waves were definitely more ferocious that day, but Kieran showed the ocean who was boss with his newly found expert surfing skills! To finish off the day, we visited the Kauai Juice Company. Sadie, Bennett, and Rogers were especially excited to try the local kombucha shop and went again the next day! They even found the second location while walking around the streets of Kapaa!
Sierra guided the group on their next adventure to a beautiful swimming hole called Queens Bath. Thanks Sierra for the awesome recommendation! Julian even managed to find a secret swimming hole away from the tourist during his exploration of the cool spot. The group loved soaking up the once in a lifetime views, while enjoying our last day together. Our last night was filled with so much love, laughter, and of course, some silly outfits! One of the funniest outfits was definitely Emmilyn who was sporting a wool Christmas sweater in the middle of June! We enjoyed some good food and ice cream as we headed back to camp for our final Moonup. The group decided to infiltrate our tent and we managed to squeeze 15 people into a four person tent! Being shoulder to shoulder with everyone was definitely toasty, but we have all never felt closer! We shared memories of our trip that will always remind us of the fun we had with friends that will last forever! Goodbyes are never easy, but this group makes them especially hard!
To the parents of these wonderful people we were able to spend these past few weeks with, mahalo for giving us the opportunity to meet and love them! They were all bright lights throughout the trip who each individually taught us something we will carry with us forever! The memories we made will never fade and neither will our love and appreciation we have for these amazing people! This trip of a lifetime would not have been possible without you all and we will never forget the fun times we shared!
Signing off for now,
Cooper, Emma, and Colin
June 18, 2021
Aloha from Kauai!
Guess what! We are scuba certified! Our time spent learning the ins and outs of diving was well worth it after we took our first breaths underwater in the clear blue ocean. While getting certified, we were joined by some beautiful dolphins that kept us company! Some of the group members were the lucky ones, as they were on the dive boat that had the amazing chance to snorkel with some pilot whales between our two dives.
Our last few days on the big island were amazing! We spent some time exploring the town of Kona, where Emmilyn led the group to some delicious snow cones. A couple of us enjoyed the most delicious pineapple soft serve that we never knew we needed! Bennett and Rogers also got matching triple t-shirts with Hawaii’s official state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa, on them to remember their time on the big island! Sadie and Logan found a good açaí joint where they enjoyed the best acai bowls around!
To commemorate our final night, we got the chance to learn the basics of Hawaiian hula from a local expert! Julian really wowed the group with his hula skills and even continued to dance with the instructor after the rest of us were finished! The entire group KILLED IT with their very unique dance moves!
Our first day in Kauai, we spent some time volunteering at the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The supervisor of the NTBG told us that with our help they completed work that would have taken their team two weeks to do alone! Doe and Sierra took charge of our group and kept everyone motivated and positive during our day of hard work! Kieran did a meticulous job at making sure the trees were perfectly weeded and gave them the attention they deserved!
That afternoon, the group spent some time hanging out on the beach. Body surfing and playing some competitive spike ball games were the highlights of their free time on the beach! Later that night, Cooper and Emma surprised the hardworking group with some local tacos to end the day and they were delicious! After spending a couple of nights at beach park camping, we have moved campsites to Annini Beach. We have fallen in love with this place we get to call home for a few more days. Our group is especially thankful for the plethora of trees to hang their hammocks on that are in close proximity to the beach!
To start off our second day of community service, we were able to taste some fresh coconut water! Kieran and Colin even opened their own coconut with their bare hands! We spent the morning picking up large palm fronds and loading them into trucks to clear them out of the garden. Bibb and Gus carried the team on their backs with their efforts and motivation to help. Connor also kept the group laughing and entertained throughout the day, keeping the positive energy within the group very high!
After everyone’s hard work, we were able to have a tour of parts of the garden where we saw trees from Jurassic Park, a lotus pond, and a beautiful hike to a waterfall! We really enjoyed seeing some of the iconic film locations from Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean! We will miss all of the beauty that the NTBG had to offer, but we are looking forward to our kayaking day on Nepali Coast that is going to have some breathtaking views!
More updates to come from Kauai, but for now, here is a message from all of our travelers…
Sierra – Heyy!! I don’t want to go home 😉 this is so fun – HAPPY FATHERS DAY ILY!
Bennett – Hey guys! I miss you so much! I’m soaking up the sun in Hawaii because I’m padi certified… woot woot! Anyways see you soon and sending lots of hugs!
Rogers- hey mom. see u soon xoxo ????
Bibb- Hey mom and dad, I’m having an amazing time here in Hawaii! Scuba diving was an incredible experience and so far the service at the botanical gardens has been awesome. If y’all don’t get the postcard from me, happy Father’s Day to y’all! Love, Bibb
Kieran- Hey mom and dad, everything here is great and today I just worked at a botanical garden. I also got scuba certified! See you soon! Love, Kieran
Sadie- Hey!! I’m having so much fun in Hawaii but I miss you. See you next week! Love you!!
Connor- Hey Mom and Dad!!! I have had a lot of fun here and met a lot of new people. They love the cats and Safety Tim. Can’t wait to see y’all soon. Love y’all!!
Gus – Happy early Father’s Day!!! Love you Dad! Having fun! See y’all in a week love you!! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
Doe – Hi!!! I am having fun in Hawaii I am officially scuba certified still needing to get more tan tho???? I miss you all so much can’t wait to see everyone!! I love y’all ????
Logan: hey mommy and daddy, I’m having so much fun, and made so many new friends. I’ll see y’all in 3 weeks when I get back from California. Love y’all tell chloe happy 5th birthday from her FAVORITE brother. Muah muah ????????
Em- Hey Mommy and Daddy! I am having so much fun and I have made so many new friends! I miss y’all so much and I can’t wait to see everyone when I get back! By the way one of my leaders knows Tuggie and has met aunt B just wanted to let y’all know her name is Emma! I love y’all so much tell the boys I miss and love them too! I love y’all ????????… Also happy Fathers day Dad I love you so much and thank you for everything you have done for me I love you????
Julian: Love y’all. Can’t wait to talk to y’all soon. ❤️????????????????????????????
June 13, 2021
Aloha from the big island!! The group arrived safely with a rainbow to greet them at the airport. There were instant sparks flying between the group members as we celebrated our first night together with some Hawaiian pineapple pizza. We spent our first full day exploring our new home for the next few days and building on our new found friendships. While exploring the southern most point of the United States, we discovered the green sand beach with Sadie as our leader to show us the way. After our beautiful hike along the coast to the green sand beach, we decided to take a well deserved dip into the ocean for the first time together. While in the water, we were even joined by a few friendly sea turtles who swam right up to our feet! However, our adventure did not stop there. Later that afternoon, we got to spend some time on the Punalu’u black sand beach where Bibb and Kieran faced off in the final round of our group’s intense game of ninja. After our fun on the beaches and returning to camp, Doe and Emmilyn stepped up to take over preparing dinner for the group. Thank you girls for the delicious burrito bowls and spaghetti!
After another night under the beautiful Hawaiian stars, we kicked off our first day of scuba diving and working at the plastic beach. Gus treated the group with some fabulous scrambled eggs and we were ready for our day! We had the opportunity to experience first hand the impact of single use plastics on our oceans and beaches through visiting what’s known as the plastic beach. We spent some time picking up trash from the secluded beach only known by locals. It was very eye opening for all of us to see the damaging effects waste has on our planet and left us feeling inspired to do our part in protecting the only earth we have! We even had the chance to participate in a dance to celebrate international water day, which our leaders of the day, Sierra and Julian, later incorporated into our nightly Moonup, giving us all a good laugh!
We teamed up with some local dive masters to put everybody’s PADI eLearning to the test, and we all passed with flying colors. We are feeling both excited and well prepared to dive into the ocean for our open water dives over the next two days. Before starting our night snorkel, we stopped for some fresh local poke. Rogers stepped out of her comfort zone to find that she actually likes eating raw fish! We finished our third night off strong by getting up close and personal with some majestic manta rays during our nighttime snorkel. Logan was thrilled to see one of the rays come right up underneath him, close enough that he could have reached out and touched it (but don’t worry, we didn’t break that rule).
As we get excited to finish out scuba certification, we have chosen Bennett and Connor to be our fearless leaders of the day because of the leadership and expedition behavior they have shown and the encouragement we know they will provide for the group!
Signing off for now!
Emma, Cooper, and Colin
June 10, 2021
Hello Hawaiian Islands 1C Families!
The whole group arrived safely in Kona last night, 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