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Maui 3B • July 11-July 24, 2021

Aloha Means Goodbye

July 23, 2021

One final aloha from the 3B crew!

We’re writing this in a slight state of shock as we realize that our final trip is coming to end! The waterworks have begun, if you’re wondering. Before we get all sappy, we must recap our last few days together. On day 11, we awoke bright and early for perhaps our most intimidating activity yet— windsurfing! To everyone’s surprise, they picked it up quickly and ended up having a ball. Parker was off and away about 30 minutes in, and Nan was laughing and smiling the whole time. She’s a natural! At the end of the lesson as we were walking the sails back on the beach, Olivia zoomed past us sailing parallel to the shore! We’re proud to say that our instructors were impressed. For lunch, we hung out at the beach park and spied on the pros who arrived after the 11:00 amateur hour ended. Free entertainment! While some showed off their throwing skills as they tossed the football (Brooke), others lounged in the shady sand making headway on their book (Morgan)! For the afternoon, we made a stop at a beautiful black sand beach where the reading and tossing were continued. The water was the perfect temperature, and the little crabs everywhere made for lots of laughter. We arrived back at camp on the earlier side to change and prep for our night activity—a sunset pizza dinner at the top of Haleakala! We made the drive up just in time for a plethora of colors to span the sky. Honestly, it’s really hard to put into words how beautiful it was and for that reason, there were definitely a few happy tears as we watched it all descend. However, the group did take full advantage of the photo ops! Bo did a few handstands with the cotton candy sky as his background, and we can’t wait to see how those turn out! A sunset that gorgeous left us all a little speechless on the drive home.

Day 12 already?! Time does not exist in the world of Moondance. For the morning, the group put their paddle board skills to the test after a surprise Krispy Kreme breakfast. Are you as surprised as I am that there’s one on the island? Bibs dabbled in some paddle surfing, and Ellie’s sharp eye spotted a sea turtle! As a belated birthday present, Jake scored a hat from our outfitter so come lunchtime, everyone was in high spirits. Back at camp, we began the joyful process that is cleaning and with a group like this, even some scrubbing and sweeping can be a blast! Henry gave cleaning the van a valiant effort, while Harrison organized a lost and found for all of the belongings found below the seats. Once the camp looked squeaky clean, onto Goodwill we went to dig for some banquet attire. Now, if our banquet had been covered by Vogue, Baker would have been the headliner for the Best Dressed list. His polka dot AND striped suit received a round of applause from the group, and heads were turning when he entered the restaurant. However, it would be a crime to omit Janie’s sparkly blazer. Thanks to her, its reflection made the ceiling of our van look like a disco! The dinner was delicious and some chose to cap it off with rainbow shave ice.

Now on day 13, everything is starting to seem a little bittersweet. While none of the students will really miss their sleeping pads, it’s a given that all of them are going to miss each other once their flights depart. To say the very least, this group was a special one and us leaders are endlessly thankful for the laughs, tears, and homemade meals we shared together. We’re wishing the kids the safest of travels and just a heads up, each of them is coming back about three shades darker than when you dropped them off!

Much love,

Allison, Bibs, and Trey

 


Birthdays and Beach Hangs

July 21, 2021

Aloha again!

Lots has gone on since our last check in and we are quite excited to share it with y’all! Following our snorkeling escapade on day 3, our fourth day began with a kayaking and surfing combo thanks to our gracious outfitter (and former Moondance leader), Griff! As a matter of fact, he’s the reason we’re all on this trip—he designed it himself! In some ideal conditions weather-wise, we got a little arm workout in and saw some brightly colored fish. Ellie was lucky enough to spot an octopus! Harrison got the honor of sporting Griff’s GoPro and scored some sweet footage for their company website. His check is in the mail. That afternoon, we visited Pono Grown Farms to learn from another legend, Evan, a local farmer who’s also a published author. After hearing about the importance of environmental stewardship and permaculture, he put us to work planting some lettuce, chard, and weeding carrot beds. Nan and Janie kept morale way up and even made up a song entitled “The Bean Dance.” We recommend you ask them to perform it once they’re home. Once back at camp, we witnessed a lovely rainbow to cap off our day and slept well thanks to a delicious pasta dinner.

On our fifth day, we finally dipped our toes into a quintessential Hawaiian pastime—surfing! Luckily, every member of our group caught at least one wave, and Parker wowed us all with her natural talent on the longboard. Morgan even nailed the switch step right off the bat! Once we’d eaten and hydrated after our salty morning, we headed to Paia for a town day. After exploring the cute little knick knack and swimsuit shops, Janie came away with a bobble head and Henry with a fabulous tie dye tee. It’s safe to say that day 5 was jam packed which is much of the reason why, once we got back to camp, everyone passed out in their respective Enos. The smell of stir fry woke us all up though, and we ended on a pensive note thanks for our insightful Moonup discussion.

With day 6 came the start of the service portion of our trip! The Maui Ocean Center was kind enough to organize a beach cleanup effort for us to partake in, and our group took it by storm. Baker got to work, and some notable finds included a whole tire, a car seat cushion, and some barbed wire. The beautiful view of the Maui coastline made our job easy, as did the perfectly cool water to soak our feet in. At lunchtime, it was quite the honor to witness Parker eating her first bagel ever! We are all so happy she finally discovered them, and she is too. Once we had tallied and categorized our findings, the group was due for a reward. Cliff jumping it is! Dauntingly called Dragon’s Teeth, no one shied away from the edge and Brooke was kind enough to be my jumping buddy! Exhilarated from the adrenaline rush, we made it home for a quesadilla dinner that Jake helped orchestrate effortlessly.

This morning, we woke to oatmeal and cinnamon sugar apples to fuel us for service work with local legend, Ekolu! Co-owner of Maui Cultural Lands, he works to ensure that sacred portions of the island are preserved and employs the help of volunteers like us to do so. From weeding to learning about endemic plant species, we were privy to a wealth of new knowledge and fun facts. Olivia got to test out the effects of the noni fruit on a mosquito bite and found out that it’s a successful anti-itch remedy! After spending the front half of our day with Ekolu, we traveled to a local favorite, Slaughterhouse Beach, to relax and dabble in some rock climbing. Olivia chose to soak up the sun, while Bo, Trey, and I made some headway on our books. To no surprise, we all ended the afternoon covered in varying amounts of sand but rejuvenated by such a beautiful hideaway. Spotting another rainbow on the way back to camp didn’t hurt, nor did our delicious pasta for dinner!

Needless to say.. life is good on Maui! On day 8, we embarked on our last day of the trip’s service portion, and instead of weeding and landscape maintenance, we switched gears to cleaning of sorts. As we arrived at our morning location, we saw paint splatters all over a sacred rock face home to some ancient petroglyphs. What we came to realize, thanks to Ekolu’s explanation, is that someone had taken the liberty to play paintball with the rocks as their background. Our job then was to remove the paint as a team, in hopes that it would wash right off. With Harrison leading the pack (his height was quite the asset that day), we formed an assembly line from a nearby stream to the rocks, passing buckets to splash in between. Parker and Olivia both showcased their diligent scrubbing abilities, leaving no bit of paint visible to the naked eye. Once we finished, Ellie braved the cold stream to wash all of the buckets in, smiling the whole time! Afternoon brought a rewarding town day, and everyone made sure to snag some souvenirs for those missing them back home. Brooke scored a lovely vintage Maui tee that she can’t wait to sport in Atlanta, and Nan added to her steadily growing hat collection. The fun did not end there and to their surprise, we leaders told the group we were en route to a Maui Moondance-wide cookout at one of our other campsites on the island! Tacky Hawaiian attire galore, we all shared highlights of last week together and enjoyed some grilled hot dogs and Mac and cheese. To cap it off, we organized a cotillion-esque dance that debuted with a dramatic (think Homecoming court) procession. Bo, Ellie, and Nan were the grand finale and received a record amount of cheers as they walked the field.

Day 9 began with a lazy morning consisting of chocolate chip pancakes and a slight drizzle. To no one’s surprise, Janie nailed the pancake flip and thanks to her skill set, we were ready to go for our main event of the day— canyon rappelling! A short drive away via the Road to Hana (yes, you know the one), we pulled into the Garden of Eden (no joke) and arrived at our beautifully landscaped outfitter. With our helmets strapped and harnesses tightened, we began our three rappels in an enchanting rainforest. Baker zoomed down each of them, making it look quite easy and impressing our patient instructors. One of our guides, Deacon, even enlightened us all with his wealth of plant knowledge, stopping every now and then to tell us a fun story about an adjacent fern or vine. If you’re curious, Google shampoo guava! By the end, we were all invigorated by the views and cooling mist, and we headed home content.

The next day, we arose sleepily for an early morning spent in the waves. Except, wait, there’s something else very special about this day… Oh yeah, it’s JAKE’S BIRTHDAY! A sweet 16 in Hawaii doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Well, we omitted the fact that while in Lahaina two days prior, the kids pulled a together a lovely gift basket for the birthday king himself and surprised him with it this morning. Cinnamon rolls and muffins for breakfast weren’t a bad addition either. We were then onto our second surfing lesson of the trip and it’s safe to say that our group wowed the instructors with how quickly they were mastering the sport. Anytime we looked up, it was either Harrison or Jake riding a wave into shore. Despite the cut on her knee, Morgan’s smile didn’t waver the whole day and everyone (literally) applauded her great attitude when she had to dip out of surfing early. For the afternoon, we visited a local beach and took in the lovely coastline. Once we had enough sand covering all of our bodies, we headed into Paia for a delicious shave ice stop. It’s always fun to see what color flavors everyone ends up with! Back to camp we went for dinner and some birthday surprises. To say that everyone was in on surprising Jake would be an understatement. Specifically, Henry was in charge of distracting him at the Enos so the girls could make the necessary decorations before his arrival. Once he did walk in, it was confetti galore, a loud “Happy Birthday” sing along, and two candles lit atop a rainbow sponge cake. The M&M’s spread across the table added some nice pops of color too. Our night ended with a piñata and an entertaining Moonup topic about the best gifts one had ever given and received.

Can’t wait to share more!

 

Aloha,

Allison, Bibs, and Trey

 


Paradise Welcomes this Group with Open Arms!

July 14, 2021

Aloha friends and fam!

We’re coming to you live on day 3 but before we dive into how today started and ended, it’s worth letting you know how we spent days 1 and 2 of course! Airport day is always a flurry of activity, and ours began with the highly anticipated arrival of our first 2 students—Nan and Bo! They came in hot with much to chat about, we’re so excited to share paradise with these two over the next two weeks! Next came a large portion of our group on the inbound Dallas flight and before long, the whole squad was assembled. A pizza dinner abated everyone’s travel induced hunger and soon, we were off to our campsite for the trip located in Makawao! Our first Moonup ended the night with an outline of how they’re structured and what was in store for the next day.

With Nan and Jake as the trip’s first LOD’s (Leaders of the Day), we were up and running on a breakfast of oatmeal and eggs to fuel us for our first activity—a scenic hike! Considered by many to be the most beautiful one on the island, our hike got underway with Bibs and Morgan at the helm. As Ellie told us all about her love for horseback riding, time flew and we reached the fog-shrouded peak in record time (at least, we’d like to think so). On the way down, Parker cracked us up with her circuitous way of descending and Henry and Baker ended eager to find out what fun was coming up next. To everyone’s surprise, it was authentic Hawaiian shave ice! Olivia wowed us all with her order combo of guava, passion fruit (or lilikoi, as it’s known here), and mango. In the thick of some sugar highs, we arrived to our zip lining outfitters more than ready to conquer the course. Over the course of our 5 zips, the group experienced the incredible views of ancient swimming pools and lush valleys. In the spirit of good natured fun, Janie raced all of her zipping partners and won! Back at camp, our first cook crew embarked on making that night’s dinner, tacos! Brooke’s spirited and curious attitude made the process lots of fun and we all went to sleep with full, content bellies.

Day 2!! Our earliest wake up call on the trip, we woke to lots of roosters and a quick departure from camp. For what activity, you ask? SNORKELING IN MOLOKINI! Sorry, didn’t mean to raise my voice; it’s just such a fun way to spend one’s morning!! The kids agree and by 8am, we were witnessing eels and parrotfish float past our chic snorkel masks. Harrison and Brooke both got some awesome underwater shots via GoPros and the breakfast and lunch that our guides provided was delicious. Our last stop of the morning was a “turtle car wash,” where we all saw turtles getting cleaned by fish who snack on the algae stuck to their shells. Basically, it was like watching the show “Planet Earth” in real life. A stop at the local farmer’s market came next, and every single kid returned to the van in brand new matching Hawaiian shirts. For a chill afternoon, we visited a nearby beach and everyone wasted no time to swim in the sun warmed water. Greek Mediterranean bowls were a hit for dinner and left us plenty nourished to take on day 3!


Safe Arrival in Maui!

July 12, 2021

Hello Maui 3B 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!


Students

  • Bo
  • Brooke
  • Ellie
  • Harrison
  • Henry
  • Jake
  • Janie
  • Morgan
  • Nan
  • Olivia
  • Parker
  • Baker Daniel

Staff