July 24, 2021
Our time spent in Hawaii has been nothing short of one of the best experiences we could have ever been given! These past two weeks went by in the blink of an eye, but with this amazing group, time seemed to go by way too quickly. As we say our final goodbyes, we are comforted by the amazing memories these past two weeks have brought us!
To start another day under the Hawaiian sun, we kicked our day off with some breakfast burritos that left us ready for our day ahead! We headed to our next adventure of hiking the beautiful trail called Sleeping Giant! The hike was breathtaking and a little muddy, but dirt don’t hurt! We even made it a competition to see who could get the muddiest throughout our hike. Hewlett won this competition by a landslide with Cooper and Emma close behind! Once we got to the peak of our hike, we all sat around and ate our lunch while admiring the stunning view. Everyone brought so much positivity that radiated throughout our entire group! Once we got back to our campsite, Campbell was one of the leaders that guided the group into the ocean fully clothed after our muddy adventure! To end our already memorable day, our group split up into teams for a friendly competition of iron chef. Our leaders of the day, Lizzie and Catherine, served as our team captains and even created names for their teams. The team’s names were, “The Meal Makers,” and “The Best Cookers of Hawaii.” These two teams battled it out on our stoves to put all their new cooking skills to the test. Nicholas and Dylan were two of our judges who got to taste and evaluate everyone’s delicious cuisine. The two teams definitely tapped into their creative side while making their dinners, and both meals were absolutely delicious. Everyone killed it! With full stomachs, we all retired to our tents for the night in preparation for our last full day together!
Scrumptious eggs, sausage, and hash browns were prepared to begin our last day of surfing! Kent said this was the activity he was most excited for and he even rode a wave all the way to the shore! Colin and Camille shared a party wave together where they caught the same wave and surfed side by side! Mattox and Springer also had a party wave together! Our group was catching waves left and right! Kate was such a natural at surfing that she was able to catch three waves all by herself without the instructor’s help! With no surprise, our group absolutely crushed the gnarly waves. Harris had so much fun out in the ocean that he was the last one to come in from the water! After surfing, we headed to the beautiful town of Hanalei, known as the town where Bethany Hamilton grew up! We all walked around this fascinating town and soaked in all the beauty that Hawaii has to offer. We each got some fun new merchandise to commemorate our time in Hawaii. After all of our exploring, we headed to a local hot spot in town to eat our last dinner together! The group insisted on some yummy Mexican food, and we dined in at Pacos Tacos! We all got to enjoy some delicious burritos and tacos leaving us very full and happy! As we gathered around together for our final Moonup, we all shared what we most learned about ourselves. Emma even played her ukulele and the group sang a crowd favorite song, Riptide. We shared many laughs and memories as we gathered in a circle one last time.
Airport day was kicked off with some delicious pancakes at “Cocos famous pancake bar,” made by Colin! Toppings included a choice of white chocolate chips, macadamia nuts, peanut butter morsels, and chocolate chips! They were so delicious and got us ready for our final hours together. With full bellies, we headed to the beautiful town of Kapa’a where everyone roamed the streets and found some delicious restaurants and quaint shops. Inevitably, the time came for us to head to the airport and say our final goodbyes.
Thank you all so much for sharing all of these amazing people with us these past two weeks! Goodbyes are never easy, and this epic group makes them so much harder. The laughs we shared and the memories made will never be forgotten! We are looking forward to many more reunions with this life changing group in the future!
Mahalo and Aloha,
Cooper, Emma, Colin
July 21, 2021
Our adventures in Hawaii just keeps getting better and we are loving Kauai! On our first morning, we hopped into the van and headed to Poipu beach for our first day of surfing! With no surprise, our group crushed the gnarly waves! Nicholas was especially excited because it was his first time ever surfing! Lizzie got up on the first wave she ever surfed and was a natural on a surfboard! While we all cheered on our surfers, Mattox and Catherine also caught some waves while body surfing! Once again, Campbell showed off her swim team skills and paddled so fast on her surfboard that it made it hard for us to keep up! These girls can not get enough of the salt water and we love it! For lunch we enjoyed a local hot spot in town, Puka Dog, for some authentic Hawaiian hotdogs! This was a spot highly recommended by locals and to top off our delicious hotdogs, we also got freshly squeezed lemonade! After our fun day in the sun, we headed to a local ice cream shop because what better way is there to celebrate national ice cream day! As we headed back to our campsite, Hewlett and Camille bought up a football for the group to use while hanging out on the beach! Our group sat in a circle on the beach awaiting dinner and they were accompanied by a beautiful rainbow. It was a beautiful night to say the least. We finished our day with some chicken pesto pasta, which made Lizzie super excited because she expressed that pasta was her favorite food! Our dinner left us full, happy, and ready to hit our sleeping bags! As we start our first day of community service, our team is lucky to have Kate and Dylan as our leaders of the day! With these leaders and this awesome group, we know our next couple of days of community service are gonna rock!
Our group did not disappoint and absolutely crushed it at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens! Mattox and Dylan lead everyone in a game of coconut basketball to make every moment a fun one! Camille also made Colin a tie with some of the leaves from the palm fronds we were cleaning up! The NTBG was also a movie set for Jurassic Park and we got to explore some of the beautiful areas where some of the scenes were filmed! Harris said that Jurassic Park is one of his favorite movies and even recited some of the movie’s famous lines while we explored! After community service, we explored the town of Hanapepe, which is the town that the show, Lilo and Stitch, were based on! The town was very charming with some beautiful art galleries, awesome shops, and even a swinging bridge! Springer made sure to document her time on the swinging bridge on a GoPro to capture this amazing experience! When we got back to our campsite, our group was still full of energy, and Kent, Catherine, and some other members of our group played a game of football in the ocean! Emma also gave Kate one of her famous hair wraps with some colorful string! We finished our eventful day with a delicious meal of unstuffed peppers and Springer kept the chefs entertained with her elegant dance moves while we listened to some of the groups favorites tunes!
To kick off our final day of community service, we all indulged in some scrumptious avocado toast and we were off to the NTBG! Everyone’s positive attitudes were radiant and kept everyone’s energies high! Some of the volunteers we were working with even surprised us with some popsicles to thank us for all of our hard work! Campbell was such a positive motivator and diligent worker! They were a delicious and refreshing snack. After all of our gardening, we were given a tour around some of the most beautiful parts of the gardens. During our tour we were able to smell some of the allspice tree leaves and Hewlett could not get enough of this delightful smell! When we left the NTBG we hit up a local açaí restaurant and everyone indulged in a sweet treat! Although it was almost 5pm, Harris and Kent also rewarded themselves with a breakfast burrito! They did look very delicious! To finish our day full of delicious foods, we also made our own pizzas for dinner! Nicholas was one of the only people to embrace the Hawaiian pizza lifestyle and put some pineapple on his pizza! Camille also kept us all entertained with her singing voice while we all made our pizzas and it was like listening to an angel! It is safe to say our group has had a blast these last couple of days and are looking forward to all the good times to come during our last few days together!
Aloha for now!
July 18, 2021
We are happy to announce that everyone successfully completed their scuba diving certification and now have a new super power of breathing underwater! Proud is an understatement! As we start our new adventure on Kauai, we reminisce on our final days on the big island!
Everyone was in high spirits on their first morning of open water diving! As we immersed ourselves into a whole new world underwater, everyone mustered up the courage to get out of their comfort zone! Luckily, everyone was able to see some amazing wildlife from 40 feet below! At the start of our first dive, a manta ray swam right above Nicholas’s head! Everyone was shocked at how close this amazing creature came to them while diving! Dylan and Kent even had an underwater dance party and their dance moves did not disappoint! While everyone was back on the boat, Hewlett made every moment a memorable one and even named all 197 countries in the world and their capitals! It is safe to say that we were all pretty impressed.
After our adventures, the group enjoyed some sweet treats of sno cones and ice cream! Besides having the ability to be a natural at scuba diving, Harris also showed the group his awesome skill of being able to be a human flag pole on the basketball pole! We were all shocked by his super strength! Kate also led the group to a pool and ping pong party, where many games were played, and laughs were shared! To finish off our action-packed day, we made some Mediterranean bowls and everyone agreed it might be their favorite meal so far!
After a good night’s rest in our sleeping bags, we rose with the sun again to kick off our final day of scuba diving! With a bagel and cream cheese in our hands, we headed to the harbor! Our second day of scuba diving certainly did not disappoint! We learned various hand signals to use underwater to notify our buddies of any cool animals we might run into! Springer and Campbell even came up with a mermaid signal… just in case they ran into one! We saw a countless number of beautiful fish, including Hawaii’s state fish, the humahumanukanukaapuaa!
Lizzie and Mattox were some of the lucky ones that even got to see a turtle swim by them, and Camille was the first of the group to get her certification! When we got back to the dock, we were surprised with some delicious pizza! A perfect way to end a perfect morning out at sea! When we got back to our campsite, we got ready for our hula dancing lesson! Our instructor said we might have been some of the best dance groups he has seen this summer! Our groups are some natural hula dancers. We were even accompanied by the other Moondance group that was on the Big Island with us! After lots of practice, our two groups had a dance off to see which team hula danced the best. Although a winner was never declared, we are confident we were the obvious winners!
It is almost impossible to believe that a week has already gone by, but time sure runs fast with this memorable group! After eating some pancakes, eggs, and sausage, we headed to the airport to begin our new adventure! To pass the time while flying, Catherine and Cooper made up a gnarly handshake on the plane that they are very proud of! We were welcomed to our new campsite on the beach with some of Emma’s famous grilled cheese sandwiches that left us all full and happy! As we watched the sun set over the ocean right from our tents, we all had a feeling this island was going to bring so many new and amazing adventures. We can’t wait!
Now a word from your new certified scuba divers!
Kent- hey mom and dad! I’m scuba certified! I never want to leave!!! I love my leaders so much!! Love you!
Catherine – hey guys – I’m having an awesome time in Hawaii and legit am not leaving! I am missing you guys + the dogs ! Tell Presley and Brady I say hi ????????
Mattox- hey everyone! I am having an absolute blast in Hawaii and I am officially scuba certified and about to learn to surf! I also love my leaders! Thank you so much again for this experience! Hope Char and Matthew are having fun at camp! Miss and love you all so much
Lizzie- hey mommy, I’m having a blast in Hawaii! I have met the best group of people and have met some of my lifetime best friends! Thank you for sending me on this trip! Im finally scuba certified and about to learn to surf! I love everyone tell beck beck and poppy and strobe and Louise I say hello!!! Also Ethan! Miss everyone ????????????????❤️
Campbell- hey guys. I’m having a great time in Hawaii and just got scuba certified and just got to Kauai today. And love the ppl and leaders. Thanks for sending me. Miss y’all!
Camille- hey guys!!! I am having the absolute best time of my entire life!! I have the best group and have met my long time best friends, my leaders are AMAZING and so so awesome!! I never want to leave it is so beautiful here and I just can’t express how amazing of a time I’m having. I hope you guys are doing well, miss you guys more than anything and can’t wait to see y’all so soon!! Soo much love to y’all!! Oh I am also Scuba certified so I’m now the coolest in the fam:) love y’all
PS all eardrums are intact!
Kate-Hey fam!! Words cannot describe how much fun I’m having here!! I have the absolute best group and the most amazing and funny leaders!! I love it here and I have seen so many cool things!! I never want to leave Hawaii!! We should DEFINITELY come here for a fam vacation!! I got scuba certified and saw so many cool things underwater!! Like a sea turtle and manta ray!! Now when we go on the boat I can go scuba diving with RJ???? I miss y’all so much!! Hope y’all are well!! Can’t wait to tell you all about my trip when I see y’all!! Love y’all and I got your letter????????Tell everyone I miss them!! Love y’all! Hang loose????
Springer- Hey fam:)) I am having a blast in Hawaii!!! I have made so many new friends and I absolutely love my group and my leaders are the best!! I just became scuba certified and I loved it so much!! It is so pretty here. I never want to come home we should move here ! Love and miss y’all so much !!
Dylan- Hey mom and dad, I’m having so much fun out here! My group is so fun and filled with great people. I love it out here in Kauai and hope we come back here sometime soon. My leaders are awesome and so funny. I’m now a certified scuba diver and had such an amazing experience with the Aquatic Life Divers. I miss you guys a lot and can’t wait to see you. Love you guys.
Harris- Hi Mom and Dad! Hawaii is all it’s cracked up to be and more! Kauai is absolutely insane, with cliffs that don’t even look real and it’s probably the greenest place I’ve ever seen. Kona is a grungy, sun-scorched beach town that I absolutely love. My group is awesome; I’ve made a bunch of new friends from all over and my leaders are super fun. I miss y’all’s (all the southern talk has rubbed off on me a bit) and can’t wait to share about my adventures when I get back! Love you guys
Hewlett – Hey Mom, Dad, and Ives! Hawaii is amazing and I’m having so much fun so far. Me and Kent have gotten to be super good friends with a ton of new people and I have enjoyed getting to know people from Atlanta and from all over the rest of the US. Getting scuba certified was super cool and I’m super pumped for surfing and sea kayaking this week. Ives— I hope Alaska was amazing see you when you get back from LA. Love y’all so much! – Hew
Nick-Hi Mom! Hawaii has been amazing. I have truly had the time of my life. It’s been quite an experience, the people here have been great and I’m surprised how well things have gone. I look forward to seeing you soon.
July 15, 2021
Aloha from the Big Island!
We are overjoyed that everyone made it to this beautiful island safely! Although we are in the first stages of getting to know each other, we know this group is going to be something special. Our first full day together was quite the adventure! We kicked off the morning with some celebratory pancakes with bananas and M&Ms. Lizzie was the first to step up and start flipping pancakes, proving that she is in fact a pancake master! A gallon of strawberry guava juice and delicious pancakes later, we were ready to begin our first adventure in Hawaii.
When we hopped in the car, our first Leaders of the Day, Dylan and Mattox, got the group excited with their energetic music to get the group psyched for the trip ahead of us! We made our way to the Kelaha Kai, or Kona Coast, state park for a beautiful walk to the beach through vast lava rock! The surroundings were so beautiful that Campbell even said it felt like we were on Mars! When we made it to the beach, Harris was the first to grab his snorkeling gear and hop in the clear blue water. We were all close behind and soon enough we found ourselves swimming with a beautiful sea turtle that swam right up to us! What an incredible welcome to the island! However our adventure did not end there, as we later found ourselves on the black sand beach, a spot that we did not want to leave! After many spike ball games played by Nicholas, Kent, Colin, and Hewlett, we headed back to our amazing campsite. Our leaders of the day helped us whip up some delicious burrito bowls that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. With full stomachs, we all hit our tents to ensure a good night’s rest before our first day of scuba diving lessons in the morning!
To start off our first day of scuba learning, we enjoyed a special Moondance breakfast that includes some delicious sautéed cinnamon apples. We split up our group in half, and some started their adventures underwater while the other group did some more exploring of Kona and hit the beach! While venturing around the town of Kona, Nicholas had his first açaí bowl ever and he loved it! Lizzie, Catherine, and Springer got some new rainbow sandals that they wore out of the store. The scuba group put their e-learning to the test and it is safe to say that they absolutely CRUSHED IT! During the swim test that is administered before our diving lesson, Campbell showed us what a talented swimmer she is and left us in her bubbles!
When the scuba lesson ended, our group was finally reunited! We felt whole again as we walked the streets of Kona together, checking out different local shops. Mattox was lucky enough and got to eat some locally grown fresh papaya! She also shared with the rest of the group and it was delicious! Catherine and Camille also got a fresh papaya and even gave it a name! We now refer to their papaya as baby Pip! After a long day of exploring, some of the group tried some fresh poke from the island! Kent even said it might be the best poke he’s ever had and we would have to agree as well!
After dinner we were off on our next adventure to a night manta ray snorkel! As we rode on the boat out to our snorkeling spot, we all were amazed at the breathtaking sunset. The manta rays were so gnarly and came up so close to us! We all agreed it might have been the coolest experience we have ever had! When we all got back on the boat from the epic night snorkel we just had, everyone was blown away by how awesome the manta rays were. Kate and Hewlett performed some shag dancing for us on our boat ride home and led us in the “manta-raina!” With such an action packed day, everyone was ready to hit their tents for bed.
We started our next morning with some ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches on English muffins and they were delicious! The next courageous group made breathing under water look easy and everyone is now feeling very confident for their first open water dive in the ocean! Half of our group also explored a beach at Kaloko National Park! Kate tried an açaí bowl for the first time and she said it definitely won’t be her last! We finished our night with some pasta with sauce that Camille helped make. No wonder it was so delicious! Springer and Harris were chosen as our LODs and they are going to fearlessly lead us into our first dive in the ocean tomorrow!
Aloha for now!
July 12, 2021
Hello Hawaiian Islands 3C Families!
The 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!