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Maui 6A • July 14-July 27, 2021

A Bittersweet Hawaiian Farewell

July 27, 2021

Aloha from the Kahului Airport!

To start, we want to say one last THANK YOU for sharing your kids with us for the past two weeks in Maui. This was an incredibly talented, funny, and entertaining group—and we are so thankful to have gotten to know them so well. We can confidently say that each of them enriched our lives and, together, they reminded us of the all that is beautiful in this world. They truly will be in our hearts forever and we can’t wait to continue to be a part of their lives.

We started the final section of our adventure surfing with the Maui Beach Boys one last time in Kihei! It was low tide and an overall pretty calm day, but we made the most of it as Dave used his Big Wave Dave magic to summon the most rideable waves the ocean had to offer. Anna and KS continued to master the art of surfing and spent the entire lesson chasing as many waves as they could and, per usual, Luke and Allison were constantly entertaining everyone with their jokes and stories in between the waves. After we got out of the water, we explored a local Farmer’s Market and headed to Secret Beach for a relaxing afternoon! Then we showered quickly back at camp, picked up pizza from our favorite spot in Wailuku, and headed up to the top of Haleakala for a sunset picnic. It was such a special moment for our group to watch one of the world’s prettiest sunsets together!

Yesterday, we woke up both excited and a little sad as we prepared to set off for our last full day together! We headed to Makena Beach Park where we met our awesome paddle boarding guides. They took us around the bay and allowed us to explore and chill at our own pace. Cate and Connally effortlessly moved around the water on her board while Harrison and Randy challenged Owen to some high speed races around the boats anchored near the coast. Meanwhile, David and Charlie spent their morning diving down to the bottom of the ocean and swimming up to surprise as many people in our group as possible (there were definitely a few good ones)!

After paddle boarding, we went to another beach for the afternoon then headed back to camp for one of the biggest events of the whole trip: the Iron Chef cook off. We split into two teams, and each group prepared their own dish for the judges—which were the three leaders. Allison impressed the judges with her homemade strawberry lemonade and Cate and KS showed off their sushi making skills to everyone. Camille led her team to victory with the delicious tortellini and garlic bread meal she prepared. Anna and Luke provided some much needed entertainment for the whole group while the dishes were being prepared. This consisted of song, dance, skits, you name it, and I’m sure it was performed by them. We all enjoyed this final dinner and time at the campsite together—and then had an awesome Moonup under the stars to end the day!

Today we woke up early, cleaned camp, and headed to a local restaurant for a final goodbye brunch. We soaked up being in each other’s presence for as long as possible, laughing and singing with each other all day until pulling into the airport this evening. It was a bittersweet moment as we said our final goodbyes, so sad to be going our separate ways yet so happy about the lifelong relationships we’ve made. Each and every one of us is ending this summer with some of the best memories and friendships we could imagine. It’s hard to believe this group has been together for only 14 days. Yet, while our days together have come to an end, we all know that the relationships we have made on this trip are just getting started.

Again, we want to thank you for sharing your wonderful kids with us. This group is a special one—and we know we will keep in such great touch in the future. Maui 6A forever! We love you guys!

Checking out one last time,

Owen, Maggie, and Mary Clarke


Farming Fun!

July 24, 2021

Aloha Maui 6A Families,

We are amazed at how quickly our trip has flown by! The past three days have been both exciting and educational. Working together on the farm (and on the beach) enabled us to have a lot of meaningful conversations with each other and has led to our group coming much closer together! We are absolutely in love with these kids.

We started the community service section of our trip with two days at Pono Grown Farm. Before farming, we were introduced to the concept of environmental stewardship and learned more about the history of Hawaiian culture. Evan, the owner and manager of the farm, engaged the kids by asking them various questions about their lives and different ways that they may have an impact on the preservation of our planet. Randy gave thoughtful answers to a number of Evan’s questions, Allison shared that she likes to conserve water by taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet while brushing her teeth, and then Cate perfectly pointed towards the direction of our campsite when Evan asked! It’s safe to say, he was thoroughly impressed with Maui 6A!

After Evan’s presentation, the group set out to work in the farm with members of the Pono staff. We learned how to properly weed the beds and prepare them for planting. Both KS and Camille were stars with the forks. After a full day of farm work, the group returned to camp to explore a hidden sunset spot on the property. Connally ran the show with her camera by directing hundreds of photos. We ended the night with homemade personal pizzas made special by David, also known as Head Chef “Big Wave Dave”. When we returned to Pono Grown the next day, we jumped right in to farming. We were split into groups and spent the day planting assorted vegetables such as lettuce, green beans, tomatoes, and carrots. Charlie used his vibrant energy to motivate his small group by telling some incredible jokes and riddles. We ended our time at Pono with the famous slip and slide. After a long day of work, Anna was the first one to hop on the slide to cool off. Although it took convincing at first, Harrison conquered the slide and showed us his sweet moves—jumping high into the air and landing halfway down the hill. After two long days of farming, the kids were ready for a good night’s sleep as they prepared to properly celebrate their leader’s birthday.

This morning the kids woke up early, prepared a perfectly cooked Mickey Mouse pancake, and brought it to Maggie (the BDAY girl) for a special breakfast in bed, or in this case hammock, for her birthday. It was a great start to a memorable last day of community service. We worked with Carson, a supervisor from the Marine Ocean Center, and picked up trash and microplastic from the Kanaha Beach Park. The kids were split up into groups and scoured the beach for as many pieces of plastic and trash they could find. Luke was the most dedicated throughout and won a slushie for picking up the most pieces of trash in the group! As our community service section came to a close, we were finally able to turn all of our energy back to celebrating Maggie’s birthday! We surprised Maggie and the kids with a trip to the Maui Adventure Sports Park for an old-fashioned round of mini golf. Even the leaders became competitive as Mary Clarke took the win over Owen and Maggie. After mini golf, we headed into Lahaina for a dinner at the famous “Pa’ia Fish Market”! We concluded the festivities with cake, music, and a sunset dance session at the Olowalu Wharf. It was such a special day and we loved celebrating Maggie together!It’s hard to believe this trip is coming to a close. We are so proud of each and every one of them! We’re looking forward to soaking up every last moment we have together in Maui.

Until next time,

Mary Clarke, Owen, and Maggie


From the Mountains to the Sea! We Do it All!

July 21, 2021

Aloha again!

We have been SO busy exploring the beautiful island of Maui since our last update! From the incredible coral reefs underneath of the Molokini Crater to the breathtaking views at the top of the Pali Trail, we have been enjoying everything this place has to offer over the last four days. Our adventures have brought us extremely close together and it is hard to believe we all met just one week ago!

We started this section of our trip with an early wakeup call for our morning snorkeling tour of the Molokini Crater. Right when we hit the water, the kids all knew the early start was going to be well worth it as Allison exclaimed, “this is the best snorkeling I’ve ever done in my life!” We saw an incredible array of marine life as we made our way around the reef—and then we all got to experience the thrill of the ‘Elevator’ at the back of the crater. David, Randy, and Charlie even got to meet the famous Barry the Barracuda at our third stop! As great as our snorkeling experience was, I think everyone’s favorite part of the morning was the spontaneous dance party that broke out as Captain Tim was whipping the zodiac boat around the open ocean! What an incredible moment it was for us leaders to see all of those beautiful smiles.

The next morning, we all enjoyed a much-deserved moment to sleep in, fueled up with a big breakfast, and headed over the Pali Trail for a long morning hike! I think everyone was a little nervous as they looked up towards the top of the mountain, but our Maui 6A family absolutely killed it! Anna, Cate, and Allison led the group up the mountain with ease while Luke’s great conversation topics and positive energy kept the team in high spirits throughout. The views at the top were simply incredible and everyone was so happy they powered through the difficult trek! After we safely made our way back down, we headed into Lahaina for town day. As we arrived and parked the van for the afternoon, we told the group our surprise for the evening: tacky prom with the other Moondance groups on Maui! Camille and Connally were certainly the best dressed at the event as they sported some beautiful authentic Hawaiian dresses (which they had found earlier that day). We all danced our hearts away underneath the stars!

Yesterday, we woke up and headed to Kihei for our first day of surfing for the trip! All of our kids were great in the water and looked like pros by the end. Charlie’s natural ability was incredibly impressive, and KS soaked up every second in the surf as she showcased her athleticism! After we finished surfing, we headed across the island to DT Fleming’s Beach Park for some cliff jumping. We were so proud of everyone for pushing their comfort zone and jumping into the ocean from above! The highlight of this adventure was definitely the awesome jumping form from Randy and Cate!

Today, we tried our hand at windsurfing at the Kanaha Beach Park in Kahului! This difficult activity was the perfect challenge for our group. No matter how many times they might fail, everyone kept hopping back up on their boards and trying again and again (and with huge smiles on their faces)! Harrison, however, was in complete control of his sail throughout the morning and never even let let his hair get wet! We all had such a great time getting to watch each other try this brand-new sport. After lunch, we spent the afternoon swimming at the beach, playing games, and exploring the town of Pa’ia. David and Randy dominated on the basketball court while the girls enjoyed a little bit more shopping time!

The first week of our adventure has been amazing, and we can’t wait to see what the last has in store for this group. These kids are all incredible and we are so thankful to have them with us here in paradise!

Below are some messages from your awesome kids!

Until next time,

Owen, Mary Clarke, and Maggie

 

Charlie- Hey Charlie here! I love you mom and dad. I am having a blast and I made a lot of new friends. Miss you guys!!!

Connally- Hey fam!! I’m having so much fun!! I miss y’all so much! Hope y’all are having a blast in park city!

Cate- Hey mom and dad and Clare!! It’s Cate and I’m having so much fun in Maui!! I have had so much fun doing all the activities and we’re going to be doing service the next 3 days. Miss y’all and expect a postcard from me in the next few days!!

Anna- Hey family!!! It’s anna and I am having so much fun! I miss y’all and am excited to share all the things we have done! I loved snorkeling, shopping in the town, and much more ????I love you guys and hope you are doing well! ❤️❤️❤️

Luke- hey fam. What’s good! I am having so much fun! I have so many good friends. I miss you guys so much! Snorkeling was dope. My counselors are dope too. Love you lots. See you in 5 days????????????????????????????????

Randy- Hi fam. I’m having fun in Hawaii surfing and doing all sorts of activities. I’ve made some good friends along the way including a core group of guys named Charlie, Dave, and Harrison. I miss y’all and I’m excited to see y’all again and tell you all about the trip. ????????

KS- hi family!!! I miss you guys so much I’m having a great time everything is so fun and amazing here I met so many new good friends we’re doing so many fun activities. I’m having a great time I miss you guys I can’t wait to tell you all about it!!???????????????? love you ????????????????????????????????????????

Allison- hey y’all I’m having so much fun and I’ve made a lot of new friends. I have a really good group. I love my counselors and the food is good it’s so dusty here I love y’all and miss y’all????

David- Aloha family! I am having a lot of fun in Hawaii and am doing a lot of cool things. Miss you guys!

Camille- Hi mom, dad, emily, and Stephen. I’m having fun in Hawaii and I hope y’all are too! See you soon????

Harrison- Hey mom and dad! I’m having a great time. It is really cool here and everyone is so nice. My favorite activity has been snorkeling at the Molokini crater. Tell Alexia I say hi.


Fun in the Sun and Sea!

July 17, 2021

Aloha families!

 

First off, we want to thank you all for sharing your wonderful kids with us for our adventures in Maui. We have already had so much fun together—and the trip is just beginning!

 

We started our journey by meeting everyone at the beautiful Kahului airport. Luke arrived first and was full of smiles and energy as he continued to welcome the rest of the gang. After everyone got here, we headed back to our beachside campsite, our home for the rest of the trip. Charlie and Randolph quickly threw on their swimsuits and were in the waves before some of us were even out of the van. We have been making the most of beachside living!

 

On our first day of Maui adventures, we started strong with a full day of rappelling down some incredible waterfalls in the rainforest off of the famous Road to Hana. David took on this challenge with confidence and ease, as he was the first to volunteer to rappel down the middle of our last waterfall. We loved learning to rappel and getting to swim around in the beautiful freshwater pools! After we finished rappelling, we drove back down the Road to Hana to our campsite and made fajitas for dinner! Camille and Cate were the head chefs for the night and whipped us up a delicious Mexican meal.

 

On day two we hit the water for our first beach adventure: sea kayaking! Anna and Harrison were our leaders of the day and were a power duo on the tandem kayaks—leading our gang to our snorkeling spot. Here, we all hopped in the water for some snorkeling, and were lucky enough to see multiple Hawaiian green sea turtles! Charlie even spotted some white tip reef sharks hanging out under a ledge, and Allison was the first one down there to capture some great footage of them! We loved being out on the water for the first time and seeing so much cool marine wildlife.

 

After a morning of sea kayaking, we headed to Baby Beach for some beach adventures. On the way there, KS impressed the rest of the group with her abilities to rap every word to a few Drake songs. It’s no surprise that we have now started calling her by her last name, Drake! After arriving to the beach, the boys headed to swim in the waves, while the girls found a calmer, protected cove area to swim around in. We had so much fun exploring the beaches of Maui for the first time!

 

Back at camp, some of us went for another afternoon swim while cook crew started working on our dinner for the night! Harrison and Owen led the grill team while Maggie and Connally helped with the watermelon and Mac n cheese. By the time our cookout was prepared, the moon had come out—which made for a lovely dinner under the stars!

 

We are having so much fun with this group, and we can’t believe how quickly they’ve come together! After seeing how awesome these past two days have been, we can’t imagine how great this next week will be. Thank you again for sharing your kids with us! The adventures have just begun…

 

Until next time!

 

Mary Clarke, Maggie, and Owen


Safe Arrival in Maui!

July 15, 2021

Hello Maui 6A Families!

We are thrilled to report in that the whole group, except one student arriving tomorrow, arrived safely in Maui last night. They enjoyed a night of well-deserved rest together at their campsite and are going to hit the ground running this morning! We have heard from our leaders this morning that the trip is off to a great start and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure. They are most excited to meet their last group member tomorrow!

Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips, but we post 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 follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!

-Moondance HQ


Students

  • Allison
  • Anna
  • Cate
  • Charlie
  • Connally
  • David
  • Harrison
  • KS
  • Luke
  • Randolph
  • Camille

Staff