July 24, 2021
Everyone was excited to wake up this morning for surfing lessons! After telling Riley she looks so much older now that SHE’S SIXTEEN we had a quick breakfast before headed to a beautiful beach park surrounded by a rocky coastline. We had an on land lesson before heading into the water with our boards. We are happy to report that everyone stood up on their surfboard and rode atleast one wave all the way in! Ada was our first to try out a 180 followed successfully by Ben, Tripp, and AC! Hill and Dillon rode a bunch of waves in tandem while the instructors took Liam a little further out to allow him to catch some of the even bigger waves! Riley was a natural! We were all smiles and practically had to drag the group out of the water by the end of our lesson. We grabbed lunch back at camp before driving over to the town of Lahaina to let the kids shop around for a couple hours together. Everyone got souvenirs and shirts, and Kayley and Tripp got their hair braided! We stopped by a beach park where the girls got in the water while the boys watched the surfers before we went back to camp for the evening. Libby and Ada helped cleanup while we made dinner, and Jane even came back for seconds!
We had an exciting night finally getting our ping pong tournament set up. A roster was made with everyone playing each other until we made it to the championship round. Libby was our game commentator (and heckler) and Kayley shockingly beat Tripp while Liam was the ultimately successful underdog in his match versus Dillon. The matches between Hill and Riley as well as AC and Laura were great to watch. After getting out Laura, Riley, Jane, and Kayley all read their books together. Our final game was between Liam and Ben with Ben taking the championship win! Our leaders of the day, Hill and Kayley, asked a deeper question during our nightly Moonup allowing a great amount of trust and openness as our time together winds down.
We slept in an extra hour this morning before heading to a beach park to windsurf! Funnily enough we actually worked at this beach for one of our community service days! Windsurfing lessons were definitely challenging but really rewarding. We, as well as our outfitters, were super impressed with Laura! She was an absolute natural and was even able to do a 360 with her sail! Riley and Liam also did a great job and were able to go out really far. Their instructor told them they should take lessons at home! Jane really took her time to listen and learn from her instructor and was able to ride the wind and waves steadily the whole time. Ben, who’s high and low of the day were both windsurfing, struggled with his board but persevered for the whole two hours with a smile! After our lesson we treated the kids to brunch at one of our favorite cafes.
There were lots of turtle and whale shaped pancakes as well as some omelets, grilled cheeses, and burgers! We then went to our favorite jump spot that we went to at the very beginning of our trip for one final leap off the cliff side. Hill and Ben jumped off together and did their very intricate handshake mid air. We had our final beach showers before heading home for delicious Hawaiian bread grilled cheese and tomato soup. Ada, Kayley, and Libby all complemented the grilled cheese and excitedly came back for seconds! After dinner we headed to the local park for some basketball (aka Tripp wanting us all to watch him shoot some hoops) and spikeball before our leaders of the day, AC and Dillon, led our final Moonup. They asked the question, “what have been some of your favorite memories from the trip” resulting in a lot of laughs and eventually some tears (from boys and girls) as we all talked about how impactful this trip has been for each of us. What a special group!
For our final day we woke up to delicious local bakery treats before we spent time around camp cleaning up and packing! We sang our favorite songs in the van together before treating the kids to lunch and ice cream and then we headed to the airport! There were lots of laughs and tearful goodbyes as we reminisced on our awesome two weeks together. Maui 3A will certainly be missed!!
July 21, 2021
Happy to report everyone is adjusted to the time change making waking up in the morning much easier! We headed out a little early to kayak with a legendary Moondancer Griff (he’s been working for and now with Moondance since 1998)! We split into pairs (Laura and Tripp, Riley and Hill, Jane and Liam, Libby and Ben, Ada and Kayley, AC and Dillon) and paddled out into the the beautiful blue sea. We splashed each other and took breaks to learn about some geography of our surroundings before hopping off our kayaks to snorkel. We saw so many cool fish and swam around exploring the reefs right under our kayaks! Laura and Tripp were our fastest kayakers with Kayley and Ada bringing up the rear! We, as well as Griff, were super proud of them for paddling hard against a bigger swell and current due to wind! This group is always so positive and always smiling! Afterwards we hit some beach showers before returning to camp for lunch! We then explored one of our favorite fruit stands where Riley got a pineapple inspiring many others to grab one! Ada and Kayley bought some leis so AC and Libby decided they had to get some as well! We then traveled to the Nakele blowhole for some awesome coastline views. Liam sat as close as he could to admire the natural phenomena! We had an exciting night after a jam-packed day: a cookout and dance party with the other four Moondance groups here on Maui!!! We visited another groups camp site, ate pulled pork sandwiches, and danced to music at sunset while throwing around some glow in the dark balloons! Tripp pulled out some cool moves and Jane lined up some great jams. Riley, Laura, and Kayley really bonded over their shared music tastes! Our group is so social and convinced us to stay an hour later than everyone else because they were having so much fun dancing! Our leaders of the day, Riley and Ada, led a quick nightly meeting before our tired bunch headed right to bed!
We had an early morning, up by sunrise for a snorkel tour around the famous Molokini crater! Our outfitter gave us delicious cinnamon rolls and the boat took us out as the sun rose above the blue water. Everyone jumped in at our first spot where Ben and Hill saw an eel, and Kayley and Ada saw a rainbow fish. Libby and Jane saw a swordfish (they think)! We then headed to our second spot which is a reef that is only 20 ft below the surface but then drops off 300 ft into the open ocean. It is incredible! Here we discovered that Dillon is an awesome free diver! For our third spot we headed to “the elevator” – oof the only places in the world where the waves do not push you horizontally against the rocks but vertically up the side of the crater! All the kids got really close to the crater and were laughing and yelling as the water carried them upwards and then back down. At our fourth spot Liam spotted a baby turtle and Libby jumped in to swim! At our fifth and best spot Tripp saw 8 turtles!!!! Wow! The majority of the group got in and AC dove down to swim next to one of the signature Hawaiian green sea turtles. We enjoyed an early lunch on the boat and caught major air on the way back (Hill was brave enough to ride on the bounciest part of the boat and made the funniest faces when the captain did a donut with the boat)! We are happy to say this was our best conditions of the summer, super high visibility combined with warm water and a lot of smiles! For our afternoon activity we explored the town of Paia and then Makawao. Ada, Kayley, Laura, Jane, and Riley loved their colorful açaí bowls. Laura bought some cool stickers and Riley got a cute shirt! Liam bought a huge hat and Ben was excited about his 2 liter water bottle he got for $1. In Makawao we got the opportunity to get cookies from the well known, “Maui Cookie Lady”! We tried Kona Coffee, Strawberry Nutella, Salted Caramel, and Birthday Cake favors! Tripp got a huge lollipop and Jane got the hiccups leading to a lot of laughs. We headed back to camp for some spikeball and dinner before our leaders of the day, Ben and Libby, led our nightly meeting with Ben sharing a personal quote from his mom followed by Libby’s question of “if you had 24 hours left to live what would you do?”.
We woke the kids up with a surprise: Krispy Kreme donuts for Riley’s Sweet Sixteen!! Woo! We passed out party hats and she blew out candles while the group sang! Laura and Riley controlled the music on the way to our morning activity was stand up paddle boarding over at a beautiful cove. Our instructors were so great and we saw a rare amount turtles in the water. They got really close to us! AC was our fastest paddle boarder and did a bridge pose on the board while Libby also showed off her yoga skills. The boys asked if they could catch a few waves on their paddleboards and Ben was able to stand up for his first time surfing and ride the wave all the way in!! He was so excited and had the biggest smile for the rest of the day! We headed back to camp for lunch and to get what we needed for the rest of the day (warm clothes for our dinner at 12,000 elevation). We wrote postcards to home and Kayley got an extra to send to a friend! We headed to a new beach for a more relaxing afternoon where we ran into another group so naturally we challenged them to spike ball! Tripp swam in the water while Jane and Ada worked on their tans! We then picked up pizza and poke bowls for our summit sunset picnic. We had eight in the group get poke (including several first timers who made the effort to try local food which we appreciate)! We made the drive up to the Haleakala summit and watching the breathtaking sunset. Hill and Dillon looked great in their matching Moondance sweatshirts up there! We had incredibly clear skies and the colorful aftermath was captivating as we travelled back down. We have been so lucky with all of our activities and conditions! We all ate cupcakes as a final celebration for Riley’s birthday before heading home. Liam and Jane, our leaders of the day, led our nightly meeting and ended with the question, “where do you feel the most at peace?”, I think we can now all say above the clouds huddled together for warmth watching the Hawaiian sunset as a Moondance Ohana!
July 18, 2021
We had another morning of community service this time working with a Marine Conservation team! We headed to a beach park with black sand and beautiful views to spend a few hours picking up “micro-trash”. We were proud of the kids for keeping each other motivated especially Ben, Jane, and Riley who went out of their way to collect extra trash. All the kids found a great spot in the shade to enjoy lunch together before we talked about the harm of single use plastics. Everyone went around and came up with one alternative to single use plastics that they could implement in their own lives! We were pretty tired from our morning so we relaxed at a beach near our campsite where we got to see two sea turtles swim out of the water to sunbathe right in front of us! Jane and AC got some great pics with the majestic turtles and everyone was careful to respect the turtles personal space. Back at camp we had a build your own ramen bar with Tripp excitedly at the front of the line for dinner. After a few rounds of spikeball, Ada and Kayley asked on behalf of the group if we could get a change of scenery and maybe a sweet post dinner snack. We treated the kids to “Kona Mudpie” ice cream from our local general store and had everyone bring their spoon and crazy creeks. We went to a nearby park and watched the sunset all sharing a carton of ice cream and laughing together. Kayley and Jane played volleyball with the soccer ball, Riley and Laura worked on bracelets, AC and Libby joined in on spikeball with Hill and Dillon, while Ada helped us judge a running race between Ben, Trip, and Leader Jack, and Liam dug into the ice cream carton which he described as his “high of the night” when sharing our highs and lows of the day. Our leaders of the day, Riley and Dillon, asked an awesome question during our nightly meeting: “what is your favorite trip you’ve ever been on and why”? Our hearts are so full and we are so happy to report that 3/4 of the kids said this is the best trip they’ve ever been on because of “the coolest people they’ve ever met”, “fun leaders”, “awesome activities”, and “new best friends”. We were only beat out by three family vacations to Italy (we appreciated their honesty)!
We woke up this morning to oatmeal, grits, muffins, and fruit to get fueled for our last day of community service! We headed to a new beach park with the ocean conservation group and spent a few hours collecting trash from the beach. We worked our way along the sandy shoreline admiring the bright blue water with mountains framing park on either side. We kept up motivation with a trash pickup contest which AC fought hard to win. All the kids enjoyed lunch at the picnic tables before completing our last activity of painting signs for the beach telling people to stay at least ten feet away from turtles (“honu” in Hawaiian). Our guides gave the award of “most unique” to Dillon, Hill, and Bens interesting interpretation of a painted turtle. “Best painting” award was given to Tripp and Liam who both surprised and impressed us all with their very well done and tasteful painting of a turtle shell in the shape of a heart on a black background. They wrote “LOVE HONU” underneath. Ada and Kayley made a cute painting of a turtle surrounded by polka dots. Laura and Riley creatively made the wood board look like sand as background for a beached turtle and shore team. Jane, AC, and Libby made everyone laugh with a catchy slogan with a square saying “ten feet” on it drawn around the turtle. Afterwards we headed to the Ho’okipa beach to unwind for the rest of the afternoon and to check out some turtles in person as well as some surfers. An intense spikeball tournament went on and Hill and Ben were crowned champions with the score of 13 and O for the day. Back at camp we made a delicious dinner and all hungout before our leaders of the day, Ben and Kayley, led us in our nightly meeting. Their question was, “what is a time in your life you would go back a relive?” leading to some very thoughtful answers and it was heartwarming to hear about some of the happiest moments in our kids lives!
The group had a little time to sleep in this morning so we took the opportunity to make pancakes! Jane was our professional pancake flipper and we threw some chocolate chips in for our sweet tooth’s! We then ventured along the famous highway to Hana for an exciting day of waterfall rappelling! We got to do two forty foot waterfalls and one seventh foot waterfall into a gorgeous fresh water pool! Libby continued to impress us by facing her fears and was swift to move down, and while AC was hesitant at first she was able to laugh her whole way down. Tripp moved like a professional (and also recited his Boy Scout chants for us)! Dillon made it down the fastest in practically under thirty seconds! Afterwards we did a small beach hike to a cove with a unique lagoon to swim in. Hill and Ben continued to dominate in spike ball while Laura caught up on her book and Riley took a nap on the beach. Back at camp we made a delicious pasta dinner and Libby helped cook the noodles before her and Hill, our leaders of the day, did dishes together. Liam led a great discussion at dinner sharing some of his knowledge about history and wars. We went to a local park to get some of our post-dinner energy out before crawling into our tents for another night of sleep under the stars!
We had an exciting morning doing some work around our campsite after another pancake breakfast! Dillon, Tripp, and Ben shoveled soil while Liam and AC clipped basil leaves. Laura, Libby, and Ada collected cucumbers; and Riley, Jane, and Hill helped replant kale. We talked about conspiracy theories, space, ocean discoveries, and history to pass the time before we got the special opportunity to use the homemade slip’n’slide behind the farm! We had the best time running and sliding down on boogie boards into a mud puddle! Everyone got so dirty but had the biggest smiles, we were laughing and cheering each other on for almost an hour before we headed back down for lunch. For the first part of our afternoon we took the kids to one of our favorite places on the island: Iao Valley. The views are incredible and the kids loved the swimming hole! Tripp was the first to jump in followed by the rest of the group and we had a lot of fun splashing around. Laura’s high of the day was the small hike to the swimming hole! For the second half of our afternoon we went to one of our favorite beaches (mainly because the kids like to use the showers there)! We ran into another Moondance group and our boys initiated a basketball game against the other group. Libby and AC subbed into the game while Laura and Riley checked out the beach. Ada made friends with some of the other groups girls on the sidelines, and Jane and Kayley washed off some of the dirt from our earlier small hike out of the valley! For dinner Liam tried soem new foods! We then headed to our favorite local park for basketball and spikeball of course. Hill and Ben specially requested we let everyone know they’re won 24 games and lost 2. Liam and Dillon would like everyone to know they are the ones that won those 2 games. Our leaders of the day, Laura and Jane led our nightly meeting with a Mother Theresa quote and a great question about where everyone would live in the world if they had to live somewhere else!
Laura- Hey guys! I’m having so much fun in Maui! We have done so much cool stuff like zip lining, waterfall repelling, and a little bit of hiking too and we’re just halfway through! Ivy I hope tennis camp was fun! Tell Gigi I miss her! Miss you so much! Love you!
Riley- hi mom and dad and Abby, I miss y’all so much! I’m doing so much fun stuff that I can’t wait to tell you about. Also, I am wearing lots of sunscreen so I won’t get burnt. The food is good. I miss rascal. Love you!!! <3
Jane- Hi mom and dad! Miss y’all so much and can’t wait to see you when I get home! Having the best time, love you!
Kayley- hi mom and dad!!! im having so much fun in hawaii!! i miss you guys so much and can’t wait to see y’all at home. dad u da ????‼️‼️love yall besties❤️❤️
Ada- hi mom and dad! Having the best time here and getting along with everyone. I miss y’all so much and can’t wait to see y’all. Tell everyone I love them even Winnie, see y’all soon❤️❤️❤️
AC- Hey y’all I am having the most fun ever! I have 14 new best friends❤️❤️❤️ I don’t wanna come home but I can’t wait to see y’all!!! Thanks for letting me go on this trip❤️❤️❤️
Libby- Hey mom and dad! I miss you guys so much!! I can’t wait to see y’all but I never want to leave here. Everyone here is so cool and we get along super well. Tell Barkley I miss him!
Tripp- hey fam, I’m having an awesome time. Everyone in my group is dope. We have been having a few Nc vs Atl spike ball, Nc won! George, I heard that the suns r selling the finals????. Super stoked to see y’all and chill in the Hyatt. I’m super excited to surf and wind surf. Maui is so beautiful and awesome. It’s crazy meeting all these people and them becoming some of my best friends. Twins, keep the fun up in Rockmont! Also Georgia knows Sara and Sandra knows Lizzy, Sara, and knows of Daniel. Hope y’all r having fun in G town. Much love????
Ben- Hey family I’m missing you a ton. I’m hoping you guys are having a great time. I am having an amazing time!!! Padre, I HAVE NOT SLIPPED ON A ROCK. Hill and I are 24-1 in spikeball and we are going pro. To Meile, I love and miss you so much! How are your volleyball camps going? Have you played with any college teams again? I think about you all the time!!
Dillon- hey mom and dad, I miss you and having a great time. See y’all next week. Love you.
Hill – Hey mom and dad. I’m having an amazing time in Maui! We’ve done so many fun things and I wish we could stay longer. Tell Alexis I say hi and that I miss her! Love y’all and can’t wait to see y’all soon!
Liam- Hey Mom and Dad. I having the best time!!!! see you soon.
July 14, 2021
Aloha! We are so excited to have this awesome group with us in Maui. Almost all of them were up with the sun this morning due to jetlag, and we had our five boys instantly start rotating in a spike ball tournament while our seven girls started on friendship bracelets. They then traded places with some of the girls joining in on the spikeball actions. Jane and Libby were the first to jump in, while some of the boys tried to figure out how to weave string into designs, especially Hill and Tripp! For our first full day we started off on an exciting zip line tour over a rainforest near our campsite! We did five lines with the final one being half a mile long. We were really proud of our group for taking the initiative to mix up partners every time and we loved seeing everyone race. Ben was proud to beat Dillon, and Libby beat Hill after facing her fear of heights! We headed back to camp for lunch before getting an orientation to the farm we’re staying on. We got the chance to get our hands dirty for a few hours splitting into three groups to plant tomato plants, harvest cucumbers, and remove weeds from plant beds. Laura and Riley were so helpful with the tomato plants! Our group spotted a ping pong table and Liam suggest we have a tournament later in the week. All were in high spirits and kept each other laughing. After grabbing a quick snack, we took them to the beach and everyone jumped right into the ocean! Ben and Dillon initiated a game of four square, and we got the chance to rinse off in the beach showers! Jane, Liam, and Hill jumped into the competition! Back at camp we made dinner and ate family style in a circle together.
After only one day we are happy to say this group is bonding extremely quickly and constantly talking with each other, with AC remarking how excited she was that they all were “already becoming best friends so soon”! Our leaders of the day, Ada and Liam, led us in our nightly meeting called Moonup with a great quote and the question of “what are you most afraid of?”, resulting in some silly and serious answers allowing us to get to know each other more!
Everyone is adjusting to the time change and slept in a little later today than yesterday! We headed to the sacred Honokawai valley to work with our much-admired guide Ekolu. Our leaders of the day, Tripp and AC, led us into the valley and really pulled the weight of the group by removing a large portion of invasive species and carrying gear. Ben was also instrumental in clearing a section of the path! We got pretty sweaty and stopped for a water break during which we learned about the state tree and medicinal plants. After our service we headed to a local beach park where we got to jump off some beautiful rock formations. Ada and Kayley hiked up together and all the boys jumped together inspiring everyone else to join them in the deep, clear blue water. We were proud of Libby again for facing her fear of heights, with her braveness in leaping off one of the higher rocks being the encouragement Laura, Kayley, and Riley needed to follow! Hill led the charge with all of the kids climbing back up together so they could jump off all twelve of them yelling “Moondance!!!!” which was so awesome to see! Catching our breath we took time to take in the beautiful of the “Dragon Tooth” rocks before heading down to the beach! All the kids got in the water together and swam around. Ada and Ben joined us on the beach first being diligent with their sunscreen application followed by Laura and Riley. When everyone was done splashing in the warm water we rinsed off and headed back to camp. Jane narrated some of our Moondance gopro “vlogs”. Liam kept us all laughing throughout the day and after dinner, many rounds of spikeball, and hair braiding (for the boys by the girls), we ended the day together with our nightly meeting. On par with a day in which many were scared to take the first jump into the water, AC and Tripp asked, “what is a fear you are hoping to conquer on this trip?”. They also shared a great Winston Churchill quote with the group: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
We are excited to check back in soon, meanwhile we are continuing to adventure and explore this beautiful island!
Maui 3A team
July 12, 2021
Hello Maui 3A Families!
The group arrived safely in Kahului 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!