July 24, 2021
Wow! What an amazing couple of days we have had on this beautiful island! We kicked off our second week as a group with a morning spent at Kanaha Beach Park in Kahului. We worked with the Maui Ocean Center again and helped out with a trash cleanup across this white sand beach. To start, we split up into groups of three and learned about how to identify micro plastics and the harmful effects that they have on our aquatic ecosystems. We spent the morning traversing through this vast beach with our groups, digging for small yet harmful pieces of plastic hiding in the sand. In addition to plastic, we were able to find many other interesting objects such as a tire and a car seat! It was very eye opening for our whole group to see how this seemingly perfect beach was actually filled with micro trash. Hill and Frank were very interested in this activity and learned a lot about the local coral as sea turtles of Maui. Once we finished our cleanup, we worked together in our teams to sort and tally up each of our bags of trash we had collected. Lexi, Elizabeth, and Connor took home the gold medal for our group and collected a total of 500 pieces of trash! Feeling victorious and accomplished, we piled back into the van to head to some local food trucks for lunch. We all enjoyed a meal together filled with fish tacos and tasty shrimp! For the afternoon, we headed into the local surf town of Paia to hang out in the beach park. We filled the afternoon with many games and dips in the ocean. Webb and Jack impressed us all with their hacky sack skills and remained undefeated throughout the whole afternoon. Millie and Franny spent their afternoon enjoying a beautiful walk down this calm beach. For the remainder of the day, we all popped our heads into several local shops in the area in hopes of finding the perfect t shirt to take home! In the evening we enjoyed some quesadillas and a great Moonup before heading straight to bed to rest up for our busy day ahead!
The next morning, we had an early rise to head to Kihei for our second day of surfing. We all piled in the van, excited for another day on the water. Once we arrived, we quickly changed into rash guards and rushed to get our boards into the water as quickly as we could. Since it was our second day, we were all able to jump up much quicker and spent more time absolutely crushing these waves! Vivi and Robert definitely won the most improved award for our group as they quickly learned how to stand up and catch waves on their own. We all were blown away by the beautiful ocean and the many sea turtles that were swimming below us. After a few hours on the water, we all rode our final waves into shore together. For our next adventure, we travelled into Lahaina for our town day. We all enjoyed a meal at Captain Jacks Island Grill before heading out for our shopping day. We all loved getting to see the local jewelers and clothing stores and learning more about the Maui culture. After we all made several final purchases, we headed to the grocery store to gather materials for our sunset dinner. We headed to Wailea-Makena to visit the beautiful Big Beach for the evening. Adriana and Madison cheffed us up some delicious personal pizzas as we sat together and watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. It was a beautiful end to a phenomenal day!
After a nice late wake up and a delicious breakfast, we all hopped in the van and headed on our furthest journey yet to the rainforest. Once through the gorgeous roads and into the rainforest, we met our outfitters to gear up and hit the rocks to repel. Webb and Frank led the charge with the first group and without hesitation, flew down the side with ease. The second group was led by Connor and Lexi as they put on a show on the way down. Everyone crushed every route and next thing we knew we were looking back at the hundreds of feet we dominated. Once finished, we headed over to the famous Walmart to introduce the competition of the night, Iron Chef! Millie took the lead for the girls as they were swift with their hour of shopping while the guys took a different approach and Hill was running in circles looking for some salmon. The hour was up, and we headed back for the final showdown. The girls prepped their lovely dish of chicken alfredo while the girls got distracted trying to catch fish. The girls ran away with the victory, but the guys had a valiant effort.
It’s crazy to think we only have a few nights left with this amazing group. We have been taking in every moment and don’t want it to end. Here’s to the final days!
– Franny and Warren
July 21, 2021
Greetings Family and Friends!
Wow! These past few days have been amazing and to think we are at the halfway point is unreal. Since we last wrote, we have been all over the island, starting with surfing in Kihei. We arrived to meet our superstar guides early and got set up with our boards. Hill and Frank were leading the charge the moment we hopped in the water and found some crazy waves. The entire group were absolute studs the entire morning and all found themselves popping up on waves over and over again. Vivi definitely held the record for most waves caught for the day and it seemed like she was never in the water. In the end, the coolest part of surfing might’ve just been the countless turtles we got to see swimming besides us all morning. After our successful time out on the waters, we made our way to Black Rock Beach in Lahaina for some huge waves and cliff jumping. Webb found himself getting pummeled by the waves every set and continued to run back in without any fear. After a quick stop in the town for some sweet clothing finds, we headed back to camp to close out the night with an old fashion sunset cookout.
The next morning allowed for some much needed sleep and some delicious eggs and bacon prepared by the fabulous Leader of the Days (LODs), Jack and Madison. We piled in the van and headed towards Waiehu for what was to be a gorgeous hike. After a car ride filled with Friday by Rebecca Black thanks to Robert, we arrived at the trailhead and all hopped out. Out of nowhere, the rain began and we hopped right back in. While we debated on the future of the hike, Adriana took it to herself to lead a dance party in the rain without any hesitation. After a long thorough process, we decided to make our way to Paia to enjoy some acai bowls and dance on the beach. Once the dancing concluded, we took part in a few rounds of a highly competitive match of death sack. Connor and Jack showed off their foot skills as they continued to take out everyone with ease. Once finished at the beach, we had to prepare for our recently received invitation to a prom with the other Moondance groups. Goodwill had all the essentials for a successful prom and that was where we headed. Millie found herself a stunning orange dress for a whopping seven dollars while Frank rocked a fabulous light blue summer dress to match. The night was filled with games and music as we watched the sunset that never gets old on our special island.
The following day we woke up at an early hour to prepare for a morning filled with windsurfing. Millie and Robert cooked us up some delicious breakfast before we all piled into the van to head to Kahalui. Once we arrived at the beautiful cove, we quickly split into groups of three to learn the basics of this challenging activity. We all grabbed our boards and headed into the water with a positive mindset and a desire to conquer this activity! Lexi and Elizabeth impressed us all from the start with their immediate talent and ability to stand up on the board. After many faceplants and trials, our whole group was finally able to successfully stand up on their boards and ride a wave into the shore. It was definitely the most challenging activity our group has done thus far but still very rewarding and left us all feeling very accomplished with our newly acquired skills. After our morning in the ocean, we travelled to the popular town of Lahaina for a local lunch stop and an exciting afternoon adventure! We stopped at a delicious pizza spot in town to enjoy some local cuisine and a sit down lunch together. We all stuffed our bellies with as many pieces as we could and shared many laughs about our favorite moments on the trip thus far! The next stop on our daily adventure was at the Lahaina harbor where we would travel down to the ocean floor on a submarine tour! Everyone was absolutely thrilled about this activity and eager to submerge 100 feet down into the ocean. We took a short ferry ride out to the middle of the ocean and watched the ginormous white submarine arise from the ocean floor. We all filed into the vessel and prepared for our descent into the underwater world below us. We were amazed to be greeted by several white tip sharks and manta rays at the floor of the ocean! While underwater, we also traveled to several different beautiful reefs and shipwrecks at 130 feet deep! We all took some time to appreciate the incredible colors and wildlife that would only be seen this deep in the ocean. After our tour was completed, we headed back to the surface of the ocean and boarded the ferry to take us back to shore. As we journeyed back to Lahaina, we were all still in shock at the unforgettable experience we had just had and knew it would be something we would never forget. We headed back to camp and prepared a delicious meal of Pad Thai for us all to enjoy. We all devoured this meal and reminiscenced on the amazing day we had just shared together as a group!
Now came time for day two of service and we headed to the beaches of Waiehu. Once at the beaches, we met with our service crew from the Maui Ocean Center. There they taught us all about the micro trash that was scattered all over the beaches. We broke into three teams and patrolled the sand in search of the colorful pieces of plastic. Finding these plastics were tough, but once we got the hang of it we started the competition. Lexi and Elizabeth carried their squad by finding themselves a full toy truck in the bushes. Hill and Adriana on the other hand, had started to have an eye for the micro trash and collected over a hundred pieces for their team. Jack brought in the big points after carrying a car seat across the entire beach. Once we finished bagging all the trash, we hopped on over to our stomping groups of Paia to play a little hoops and enjoy the beach and some shopping. Robert and Jack locked the court down as they couldn’t miss from deep. After a long and fun day in Paia, we returned to camp for some delicious quesadillas and a gorgeous sunset to wrap up the amazing day.
Frances, and I are amazed at how spectacular this group is and are blown away at how every day beats the one before. We can’t wait to start the second week and we all are taking in every moment in this special place.
July 17, 2021
Aloha from Maui 6B! We have had an amazing start to our adventure here in Maui and have loved getting to bond with our group. After a long day at the airport, we headed back to our campsite to enjoy our first meal together under the beautiful island stars. We ate some delicious local pizza and learned how to set up our tents before our first Moonup together. Hill and Vivi were chosen as our first Leaders of the Day (LODs) for their positive attitude during a long airport day. After a quick Moonup, we headed to bed to rest up for our first full day!
The next morning, our group was up before the sun rose over the mountains and we were ready to begin our first day in Maui! After Hill and Vivi cooked us some amazing pancakes and sausage, we piled into the van to head to D.T Fleming Beach to enjoy some exhilarating cliff jumping. Adriana and Connor led our group in this activity and were the first to jump. We were all impressed by their bravery and quickly followed them into the crystal-clear water. While swimming, we all stumbled across a few sea turtles swimming right next to us! It was an amazing surprise and a thrilling start to our adventure on the island. After cliff jumping, we headed to a local beach park to enjoy some lunch. Warren, Webb, and Hill enjoyed a great game of frisbee while the rest of us ate our lunch by the ocean. For the afternoon, we headed to Slaughterhouse beach on the west coast of the island. Upon our arrival to this beautiful beach, we were greeted by a massive sea turtle sun-bathing in the sand. We were all mesmerized as we watched him slowly walk right in front of us. Lexi, Elizabeth, Robert, and Jack all enjoyed themselves with an exhilarating game of hacky sack while the rest of us advanced our body surfing skills in some massive waves. For the rest of the afternoon, we all sat out under the sun to enjoy some quality conversations and continued to get to know each other. After the beach, we headed into Lahaina to enjoy a sweet treat at the world famous Ululani’s shaved ice. It was delicious and definitely well-deserved after a long day in the sun! Once we arrived back to camp, Hill and Vivi impressed us all with a great chicken quesadilla dinner and some watermelon! That night we enjoyed a great Moonup and shared many laughs about our exciting first day together.
This morning, we head an early wake up to prepare to a full day or service at Pono Grown Farms. With Connor and Adriana’s lead, we cooked up some amazing oatmeal and bacon for the group. We then piled into the van to head off to the farm with positive attitudes and full bellies! We headed to Makawao to help the farmers with their weekly harvest day. Harvest day on the farm is extra exciting as we get to pick and package all of the fruits and vegetables for their farmers market the following day. We all split into groups and helped prepare different vegetables to be sold. Adriana, Webb, and Charlotte focused on cleaning cucumbers. Hill, Robert, and Jack put their skills to use why clearing unnecessary weeds from the plants. Millie, Lexi, and Elizabeth showed off their planting abilities by growing some baby lettuce and fennel to be harvested later.
Throughout the day, we all learned lots about the agriculture in Maui and how important it is to the island. For lunch, we gathered under some banana trees and enjoyed great sandwiches, fruit, and chips. To conclude our day of hard work we headed up the hill to a great water slide! We all raced down on boogie board and screamed with laughter. It was great to be able to relax and cool off after our long day of hard work. Once we said our goodbyes to the beautiful farm, we headed back to camp to meet our final member of our group, Frank, who arrived this evening! We all got to know him while we enjoyed some chicken pasta and cantaloupe prepared by Adriana, Connor, and Madison. After our fulfilling day, we enjoyed our first Moonup with all 14 of us and gazed up at the beautiful Maui stars. We have had a great first few days and are so excited to continue to get to know and have fun with this great group of kids!
July 15, 2021
Hello Maui 6B 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!