July 8, 2021
Wow! We cannot believe it’s our last full day of our trip! We got to sleep in again this morning and then we headed along the famous road to Hana for an afternoon of waterfall rappelling. We split into two groups with Sandra and Jack leading Cole, Rupert, Ritchie, Kate, Tatum, and Layne while Georgia led Grayson, Mick, Thomas, Tanner, Caroline B, and ‘Line’. We had so much fun on a dry forty-meter cliff side followed by two seventy-meter waterfall jumps. Kate conquered her fear of heights fitting in with her speedy group. Cole and Ritchie explored a cave, while Thomas and Mick climbed across the river rocks. Thomas was amazing at rappelling and we were shocked to hear he was a first timer. He might have a career in waterfall rappelling in Maui! Following rappelling we checked out Ho’okipa beach where Tanner scouted out the many turtles sunbathing on the beach. We made pasta and roasted the last of our vegetables for dinner before challenging each other to some races around the campsite. Ritchie beat everyone he raced but ‘Line’ gave him a run for his money (or in our case his chocolate chip cookies). Jack beat Georgia and Sandra while Grayson beat out some of the girls. We ended the night with sparklers under the stars and one of our leaders of the day, Caroline B, asked in our nightly Moonup, “if you could give everyone one piece of advice what would it be”, ending our time together on a very thoughtful note
.…and cue the tears, our last day together has finally arrived. We spent time packing together and cleaning camp before heading to a cafe for our banquet meal. At three tables grouped together we enjoyed waffles, biscuits, fruit, eggs, and so much more. We shared our favorite memories from the trip and what our plans are for the rest of the summer. After brunch, loading up the van, and saying bye to camp for good we had a final ice cream stop before heading to the airport. Our first seven to leave were Tatum, Tanner, Caroline W, Layne, Mick, Rupert, Cole! Lots of hugs were shared (and some tears) before we then sent off Caroline B, Kate, and Grayson with Thomas and Ritchie getting to hang with us the longest outside the terminal. We will miss this group so much they are a special bunch and we are so thankful to have spent the past two weeks with them!
Georgia, Jack, Sandra
July 6, 2021
We had a slow start this morning with the opportunity to sleep in and grub on a big pancake breakfast. We headed to zip lining where we had the opportunity to do five lines with the final one being half a mile in length! Our first repeat leaders of the day to be selected, Kate and Cole, were some of the first to go down with everyone else racing each other to the bottom. As usual the boys kept everyone laughing in between lines. Afterwards we treated everyone to ice cream cones and then headed back to camp to make dinner! Everyone had seconds and thirds of mac and cheese before heading over to the spikeball net for our nightly tournament! Ritchie and Georgia beat Sandra and Mick, but later lost to Jack and Mick. The girls continued to work on their friendship bracelets and tried to fit as many as they could in two stacked enos. The group recognized that our trip is a little halfway over our nightly question was “what has been your favorite part of the trip?”, leading to a lot of laughs about our favorite memories so far!
We had the opportunity to get another morning surfing lesson in and everyone was thrilled to keep improving their skills! Tanner stood up on every wave and the other girls remarked that “she’s just one of those people that’s good at everything”! Tatum, Caroline B, and Kate worked on their suntans while Mick, Thomas, Grayson, and Cole worked hard to hand ten. We headed to the town of Paia for a relaxing afternoon on the beach and stopped into some stores. Almost everyone got a t-shirt, bathing suit, or hat! Tatum and ‘Line’ found some awesome matching bathing suits fitting the trend of the girls all having matching necklaces. We picked up some accessories for Fourth of July with our leaders of the day, Thomas and Tatum, leading the red, white, and blue shopping expedition. Rupert and Ritchie kept everyone laughing through the day as per usual, especially when we hit some traffic on the way back to camp. We can always count on them to keep spirits high! For dinner we did a “repeat meal” of everyone’s favorite meal so far: burrito bowls and our leaders of the day surprised the group with a tub of ice cream. We huddled together in our kitchen space while some light rain came down during our nightly meeting. The question for the evening was, “where do you feel the most at peace?”, and we as leaders must say we feel pretty at peace with this amazing group all snuggled together laughing through the drizzle!
We started another beautiful day on this island paradise with a paddle boarding lesson! We had a race and Grayson won, but Rupert came in a close second! Tatum and ‘Line’ tried to get some underwater selfies while others played their version of paddle board battleship. Thomas paddled with Ritchie on the front of his board and called themselves the “mother ship” leading to a lot of laughs. As we were getting out of the water a huge green sea turtle swam right under us! We had a relaxing lunch and some beach time before getting ready for our Fourth of July celebration! We filled up water coolers and Cole was very helpful in carrying those! With our star glasses, necklaces, and decked out in red, white, and blue, we welcomed the other Moondance groups here on Maui to our campsite. Caroline B and Kate ran into some friends from home while others mingled and played spikeball. Rupert had a great block during the football game and Grayson got creative with glow sticks. We hosted a cookout with fried chicken, mac and cheese, watermelon, and star spangled cupcakes! Mick and Tatum were our representatives for the watermelon contest but sadly we lost. We had a huge dance party with glow sticks (shoutout Layne for some great moves) and the distant sound of fireworks to close out our festivities. The national anthem was played and as usual we ended our night under the stars, this time with the timely question of “what is your favorite holiday and why?”.
We got to sleep in this morning as the swell was so big our kayaking got cancelled! Thomas and Cole are our only remaining two sleeping outside and they’ve set their enos up under a small structure to keep them dry from the morning mist, and they are both always easy to wake up first thing! We used the cancelling for the opportunity to take the kids to the famous Nakalele blowhole instead! A small hike down revealed the beauty of the blowhole which was quite active today and afterwards we headed to our favorite beach. The waves were still pretty rough so we only took a quick dip to cool off before all hanging on the beach together! We returned to camp for lunch and Cole, Rupert, Ritchie, and Grayson requested grilled cheeses as Rupert thinks Georgia is a master of “cooking cheese”. We hungout at camp before collecting our warmer clothes and setting off on our trek to the Haleakala summit! We treated the kids to pizza at sunset on top of the volcano (Mick and Tatum were brave enough to try Poké bowls with us leaders). We snuggled into our sweatshirts and each other as we watched the sun fall below us into clouds. We sat in silence as we took in the beauty before us and peacefulness radiated from everyone. The sky faded from blue to pink to deep purple, and we started our drive home with one of our leaders of the day Layne guiding our nightly meeting before everyone drifted to sleep in the van.
Caroline B: Hey mom and gus!! Having the best time here and don’t want to leave!! Miss you- hope you had a great 4th!! btw: craving willys queso
Tatum: Aloha family! Miss you guys and can’t wait to see all of you! making so many friends and the weather has been so nice! Love you!
Caroline W: hey fam I miss y’all so much and I miss the dogs. Tell Angela I say hi and happy 4th
Tanner: Hey everyone happy 4th!! I’m having so much fun and I can’t wait to get home and tell y’all all about it!! Love and miss you!!
Layne: hey mom and dad! Im having so much fun in Maui. I miss y’all. happy 4th!!
Kate: Hi mom and dad, miss y’all so much. Can’t wait to see y’all when I get back and tell you all about it.
Grayson: Hey Mom, Dad and Salter! I can’t wait to see you, show and tell you about Maui, and hang out at the lake 😉 😉 Miss y’all, and I hope you had a great Fourth of July! Aloha!
Rupert: hello mother and father! I miss the dog! having a good time.
Mick: Hey! Miss ya! Loving Maui!
Cole: hello family! I miss you all a lot and can’t wait to see you soon. I have had a ton of fun and met a lot of new friends.
Thomas: hi mom, happy Fourth of July, having so much fun!
Ritchie: Alooooohaaaaa fam! Happy Fourth of July! Mahalo!
July 2, 2021
Greetings from our new home away from home!
We had an exciting morning at Marine Ocean Conservatory in central Maui where we had the incredible opportunity to work up close with sea turtles and coral rehabilitation. One of our leaders of the day Caroline B was able to give a flipper massage to a green sea turtle with damage from a fishing line while ‘Line’ (Caroline W) wiped iodine around the healing tissue! Our guide Tommy took to calling this turtle duo “Caroline squared”! We spent the rest of our time with the conservation time at a beach park collecting trash on the shoreline. We had a bit of a competition to see who could collect the most trash with Layne and Tatum being the winners. The lifeguards also gave us a shoutout over the loudspeaker! Later the boys spent a couple hours digging a hole in the sand (Grayson was also able to make a chair with a cup holder out of sand!), while the girls played in the waves. We stopped at a local fruit stand on our way back to camp for delicious fresh snacks and then we had a spikeball tournament all together as the sun set. Dinner was a delicious collection of vegetables, chicken, and pasta eaten on our picnic tables. Shoutout to our clean crew for the evening (Ritchie, Mick, Layne, Rupert) for helping wash dishes! Our other leader of the day, Cole, alongside Caroline, closed our day with the question “what is your dream vacation”? This group loves to stay up talking and laughing with each other under the stars, but we corralled them to their tents and hammocks to get some rest in before another exciting day!
We started off our day in a beautiful cove with windsurfing lessons during which every single kid was able to get up and sail to shore! We split up into teams and received personal instruction on steering, balance, and how to do some cool tricks. Tatum caught on immediately with Cole and Rupert following, and the three of them really set the bar high! One of our leaders of the day, Thomas, was able to catch a gust of wind sending him the farthest out into the water of the group and he was able to steer himself along the coastline. Following windsurfing we headed into Paia for some local food where some of the group had açaí bowls while others got poke bowls or pizza! We had a quick nap time on the beach before heading to Pono Grown Farm for our final afternoon of community service. Our other leader of the day, Tanner, led Mick, Grayson, and Ritchie in making soil from compositing and potting plants. Caroline B, Kate, Tatum, Layne, ‘Line, Rupert, Thomas, and Cole worked together to weed the pathways between plots of native vegetables. The owner of Pono Grown told Caroline B that she has “the best presence” and that he would love to hire her! We got a little muddy and shared a lot of laughs before heading back to our campsite. A delicious dinner, a game of spikeball, and some bracelet making prefaced our nightly meeting under the stars. We got a great insight into each other’s futures with the question “what are two major life goals you have and why?”. We are very impressed with everyone’s answers and so excited to see where their lives take them!
We were so excited to wake up the group for our morning of surf lessons! We suited up in rashguards and booties, and hit the surf with our boards and hilarious instructors. Our two naturals in the water Tatum and Rupert were quick to stand up, with Tanner also catching almost every wave! Layne was able to go farther out with one of our guides to catch some bigger waves, while Caroline B and Kate also got a personal lesson closer to the shore! We headed to Iao Valley State park after surfing for a small hike and quick dip in the swimming hole! All the kids got into the cold water and were climbing around on the rocks and splashing each other. The view was incredible as we took in the sacred valley once only accessible by Hawaiian royalty and used as a burial site far up on the cliff sides. We stopped at our favorite local fruit stand before again heading to the groups favorite beach/rock jumping spot near camp: Dragon Tooth! All kids jumped off the rocks again and chilled on the beach before returning to camp for showers in the hose and dinner! Our leaders of the day, Grayson and Tatum, ended our night by asking the group “what is something you’re looking forward to in your future?”, allowing us to again gain insight into each others passions and desires.
Halfway through our trip! Wow, time is flying! We woke up before the sun today to head out to the famous Molokini crater to snorkel in order to beat the crowds and get the best visibility. For it being such an early morning the energy was high and the group was excited to explore the crater. At our first spot Thomas led the pack in snorkeling and Kate was lucky enough to see an eel. At our second spot we saw needlefish and bluespine unicorn tangs! At our third stop the whole group got in and experienced the “elevator effect” on the backside of the crater, where the water crashes vertically! At our fourth stop we were lucky enough to see three turtles and Tanner dove down to get some great pictures. After snorkeling we headed into Lahaina for lunch and town day. The girls got matching bracelets while the boys ate waterside. Ritchie and Mick had the “best mango passion fruit smoothies ever” that “tasted like Hawaii”. We had family style dinner with some grilled cheese and tomato soup which Tatum described as her favorite meal! We ended our night with a great moonup question of “if you could go back and change one thing in your past, what would it be and why?”, continuing to prove to us how special and close this group is! Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow!
Till next time! Georgia, Sandra, Jack 🙂
June 28, 2021
Aloha from island paradise!
After a restful night after a long day of travel we started on a high note by making a positive impact on the local community! Our two leaders of the day Mick and Caroline W (“Line”), also our two alums, keep up morale as the group dutifully removed invasive species from the Honokowai River Valley, a sacred spot filled with heavy vegetation. It was a hot and sunny day, but the group worked super hard and never failed to smile and joke along the way! Mick, Line, Tatum, and Rupert were working hard to remove plants practically the size of them while Ritchie and Thomas took care of another nearby space until there were none left! After a good couple hours of dedicated work, we returned to camp for lunch and a spike-ball tournament…Mick has proven to be quite the spike ball aficionado! Afterwards we headed to another beautiful beach for a fun day of playing in the sand and checking out the beautiful view. After a long fun day we returned to camp to watch the sunset, and cook some tasty chicken quesadillas! Grayson arrived and brought his stellar positive attitude!
For our second morning on the island the group was a bit more tired but a nice breakfast and some hype up music got them on track for the day! We headed towards the shore for an informative lesson on surrounding islands, Hawaiian culture, native fish, and ecological impacts from our favorite guide Ekolu! We were able to snorkel at his family home at the cove where a lot of the kids were able to spot the state fish the “humuhumunukunukuapuaa!” We headed back to camp for lunch before going to a state park for the afternoon. There is an amazing collection of rocks located here called “Dragon Teeth”, here the lava from the West Maui Volcano poured into the ocean, and wind and waves cooled it into a formation that resembles great black Dragon teeth! We had a great little hike to the rocks where one of our leaders of the day, Rupert, was the first to jump into the deep blue water! Cole followed – as always with a big smile on his face! Our other leader of the day, Kate, overcame her fear and leapt off the rock with Caroline B., with everyone cheering her non Tanner was also a bit nervous but with the group behind her encouraging her she was also able to leap off! We swam around and played (and saw a sea turtle) before heading back to camp for the night. The sunset was beautiful and the girls took the opportunity to get some great group photos. We spent a lot of time hanging out and swapping stories, with Layne keeping us entertained with her GoPro “vlogs”! We are so impressed with how quickly this group is bonding and opening up to each other especially with the question of the night being “what is the biggest challenge you have ever overcome?”. After Moonup a lot of laughs were shared under the light of the stars before the group drifted off to bed!
We can’t wait to update you again, Georgia, Sandra, and Jack 🙂
June 26, 2021
Hello Maui 2A Families!
The group arrived safely in Kahului last night, and they are off on their adventure! One more student is arriving late tonight and they are all excited to greet her! 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!