July 27, 2022
One final hello to our Moondance family!
After our travel day from Tofino and cowboy camping, we woke up bright and early to catch a ferry from Vancouver Island back to the mainland. During the ferry, we all took in the gorgeous views, and enjoyed the vast amenities aboard the boat: including shops, a restaurant, and even an arcade! Tommy and Palmer said they especially loved the freedom of being able to explore the ferry. Once we arrived back to the Canadian mainland, we headed south across the border. Before stopping, we surprised the students with donuts from Tim Horton’s—securing the final necessity from a trip to Canada! We sang car karaoke through the USA border and up to our next ferry terminal. We then took a gorgeous ferry to Friday Harbor, in the San Juan Islands! Despite being smaller, Tate and Lillian said they liked the San Juan ferry better for the beautiful views and comfy booths to journal and read in. Once we arrived to the San Juan Islands, we setup camp before announcing our dinner plans: an Iron Chef competition! The kids belly laughed throughout the whole experience, making food and competing against each other. Lillian, Tate, Meredith, Palmer, Annabelle, and Jackson made Al dente pasta with vodka sauce while Tommy, Mackenzie, Bryce, Kate C, Kate P, and Libby made chicken stir fry. Throughout the Iron Chef competition, there were belly laughs, frantic cooking, and impromptu flour fights. After dinner, the group had a great Moonup led by Annabelle and Lillian.
The next morning, the group woke up to a loaded oatmeal breakfast and began to pack their drybags for our overnight sea kayaking section! We drove to Roche Harbor, on the opposite side of the island, to meet our guides. While the guides loaded and prepared the boats and equipment for the trip, the students got to explore Roche Harbor. Roche was absolutely gorgeous—with beautiful yachts, speed boats, and fishing boats filling its harbor, hotels, shops, and gardens. Annabelle and Mackenzie discovered a mega yacht that was for sale in the harbor and the kids were able to explore it and it’s sister speed boat. Once we got into the kayaks and onto the water, the sunny and gorgeous weather remained. Bryce and Lillian, rocking the lovingly-described “ginger boat” absolutely killed the paddle, staying ahead of the pack in the heavy gear boat. The group maneuvered along the San Juan coast, taking in the stunning and peaceful scenery. We stopped for a fuel-packed lunch of gourmet sandwiches with tons of snacks before gearing up to cross the strait in our kayaks. The group pushed through challenging currents to crush the crossing and make it to our overnight camping spot on an island. As we set up camp, multiple deer (not being hunted on the island), grazed super close to the wide-eyed kids. Palmer, Tommy, and Tate led fun games of “Moto Moto” on the island as our guides prepared dinner. Dinner was delicious chicken burritos with the works over a fire started by the kids. Everyone pitched in and helped clean the dishes from dinner, especially Meredith, Lillian, Annabelle, and Mackenzie. After dinner, everyone enjoyed s’mores and laughs over the fire before having a great Moonup led by Annabelle and Lillian—including a question regarding the best advice you’ve ever received. The next morning, the group woke up earlier to catch favorable currents during the paddle back to Roche Harbor. Everyone enjoyed a quick loaded oatmeal breakfast before hopping back in their boats. Tommy and Davis led the way for a stunning crossing over the strait, and the “girl’s
boat” (Lizzy, Libby, Kate P) and Jackson and Bryce’s boat absolutely killed it. The water was so still and calm, kayaking felt like cutting through butter and the reflection on the water appeared as a mirror. Everyone paddled amazing throughout the day, doing the entire paddle of the first day in half the time and without stops! Along the way, the group saw multiple harbor seals, some of which were remarkably close to the kayaks. After getting out of the water, the group enjoyed delicious chicken Caesar wraps prepared for by the guides. We then waved goodbye to our great guides and headed to Friday Harbor. The students explored the town, checking out cute gift shops and purchasing shirts, posters, and souvenirs. After a mini town day, everyone boarded up on a San Juan Safari whale watching tour! During the sunset tour, Sierra surprised the group with local fish and chips for dinner. Along the whale watch tour, the group got close up looks at a Minke whale, sea lions, and bald eagle. Kate C and Tate brought back their adventures as “James Blonde,” seeking to root out and destroy any “criminals” or “terrorists” on the tour, and the boys did their best Borat and Australian impressions. The ride back to the campsite after the whale watch including a breathtaking sunset and sore lungs from belting sing-along songs in the car. Annabelle and Mackenzie climbed the leaders’ friendship ladders with superb back massages at camp. The group had so much fun they decided to cowboy camp again under the clear stars after another fantastic Moonup led by Mackenzie and Palmer. After Moonup, though, the surprises weren’t finished: everyone got to shower!
The next morning, waking up cleaning and well rested, the group packed up and got ready to head to the ferry terminal in Friday Harbor. Everyone munched on bagels and various cream cheeses while we waited for the ferry. Some students journaled while others went into cute local coffee and souvenir shops. During the ferry ride back to the mainland, the kids all wrote their student evaluations, letters to themselves, and “20 Things I Want to Do.” The ride back to our first campsite was not only full circle and filled with beautiful views of the bay but also with more sing along karaoke songs including “Stick Season,” “Super Bass,” and “Traitor.” Back at our first campsite, everyone pitched in to pack up their bags, clean group gear, and check out tents for any damage. Once Lizzy got back from town with a clean van, the group loaded up for one of the best parts of the trip: the Goodwill run and Final Banquet! Some crazy outfits were bought, including Mackenzie’s “Adam Sandler” look, Tate’s “grandma” look, and Kate P “frat boy” look. The kids laughed and looked like goobers during a delicious dinner at a local Mexican dinner. After dinner, the group hurried across the street to get sunset pictures taken in front of the self-described “most improved motel!” The greatest car karaoke of the trip ensued after, with nearly everyone starting to lose their voice. Our final day finished with an emotionally-touching, love-filled Moonup led by Tommy and Libby. Each person got their own individual “nug jug” opened up—or compliments and memories received from all the other members of the group. Writing this from the airport, we miss everyone so much already. To parents: thank you so much for sharing such an amazing group with us for two weeks! To BCO 3B: we love and miss you guys so much, we had so much fun and made so many memories with you!
Signing off the last time for the summer,
Davis, Lizzy, Sierra
July 25, 2022
Hello from Tofino!
We got up and said good morning and goodbye to our Cumberland campsite with breakfast burritos! After an awesome breakfast we started our drive across Vancouver Island to the beautiful town of Tofino. We saw gorgeous views as we winded our way through mountains to the Pacific Coast. Once we got there, we went into town to check out the shops. After shopping, we headed back to our beachside campsite and set up tents to get ready to hit the beach! Tate and Lillian grabbed their new book, “Where the Crawdads Sing,” while Tommy, Palmer, Annabelle, Libby, Bryce, and Mackenzie set up spikeball. We all sat together on the beach and played games. Palmer, Tommy, Jackson, and Bryce found a cool view over some beach rocks, and we got to see an incredible view of the sunset over the water. Davis cooked up chili for dinner and we all ate before moonup on the beach. We had moonup right on the water facilitated by our fearless LOD’S Annabelle and Mackenzie. We talked about what had impacted our life the most within the past year and laughed about our what our one snack would be if we could only pick one. After moonup we said goodnight and got excited about surfing in the morning!
We got up to a beautiful sunny day with loaded oatmeal for breakfast. After eating, we headed straight to paddle boarding on Mackenzie Beach! Kate P, Kate C, Meredith, and Tate all got tangled in the kelp forest. We played and pushed each other off our boards. We even did headstands! Lillian was the first up and held hers for at least 5 seconds. We were lucky enough to be visiting Tofino as a swell was hitting the shore, so to close we paddle surfed back to the beach! After we cleaned up and took wetsuits off, we ate a sandwich lunch back at our campsite at the beach. Shortly after we headed to Cox Bay to surf the huge waves! Everyone stood up on their boards and they had a blast. We had a day full of wave jumping, wipeouts, and body surfs. Once we finished Palmer, Tommy, Kate P, and Tate said surfing was now their favorite activity. After an awesome day of surf, we kept the fun going with a local food stop! The kids chowed down on burgers and barbecue and got to check out some cool surf shops. We got another gelato treat too! Then, we took our full belly’s home and chilled out on the beach for a second before a sand fight broke out. Tate, Palmer, Mackenzie, Kate P, as Annabelle brawled it out on the beach and it was quite literally the funniest thing ever. After a shower, we closed the night with moonup by our campsite led by fearless LOD’s Tate and Meredith.
The next morning, we got up a little on the early side and ate bagels for breakfast. We got on our wetsuits and hopped into the van for another day of paddle boarding and surfing! The kids had the time of their laugh on our last day in the water. We caught some waves and bodysurfed all morning! Meredith, Bryce, and Tate started to look like real pros, catching nearly every wave! After the morning of surfing, we ripped off our wetsuits and had hummus wraps with snacks galore. We rested in a cute General store coffee shop before getting ready in We played all sorts of games such as paddle board freeze tag and explored the surrounding natural environment—seeing starfish and crabs. Jackson was cruising on his paddle board and Meredith, Annabelle and Davis made a mega board. Everyone laughed as they raced and pushed each other off their boards. After paddle boarding, the group changed into warm comfy clothes, and we headed on a road trip back down Vancouver Island. We had some amazing karaoke along the way, jamming to songs such as “Shallows,” “Starships,” “Party in the USA,” and “Stick Season.” The kids said the road trip was one of their favorite memories! After we arrived at our final campsite, the group decided to all cowboy camp under the clear skies and fall asleep to the gorgeous stars.
BCO B parents: Huge thank you from our kids and us to you! We are having such an amazing time together traveling and making memories!
To Be Continued!
Sierra, Lizzy, Davis
July 22, 2022
Here to update from British Columbia! We started our adventure on the ferry to Vancouver island with muffins for breakfast. Kate C and Tate acted like spies the whole way and now we call them the James blondes. The kids had a great time playing on the ferry and then got back in the van to drive to our campsite. We had a scenic drive through Cumberland. Once we got there, we unpacked and got our swimsuits on. Mackenzie and Annabelle were our first brave kids to jump in the cold water. We all ended up getting in and swimming out to the logs and saw who could stay on them the longest. After a fun time in the water, we all sat at the beach. Tommy, Palmer, Davis, and Bryce played a spike ball tournament. Davis says he and Bryce won, but Palmer and Tommy disagree. We all sat around on the beach and talked for a long time and shared lots of laughs before we got ready for dinner. It was burritos and Kate P, Kate C, Meredith, and Lillian were so excited because they guessed it! Tommy helped Davis prepare food and the rest of us continued talking and singing along to music while we cooked on the beach. We had a rock skipping competition, too. Sierra and Tate got into a water fight and Tate got pushed all the way in. Once dinner was ready, we ate all together. We got into a rainy moonup led by our fearless LODs Libby and Palmer. We had a goofy time and we all couldn’t stop laughing. After closing our silly moonup, we all got ready for bed and got ready for our first day of rock climbing!
We got up bright and early, ate yogurt parfaits for breakfast, and got clothes on to meet our outfitters out in the parking lot. They led us up a beautiful green trail to the rock wall. Tommy, Palmer, Jackson, and Tate were a huge help in carrying rope. Once we got there, the kids learned how to stay safe climbing and how to belay each other. All our kids finished a wall and we had lots of them conquer their fear of heights! For lunch, we had hummus pita wraps with cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots and it was a huge hit. After, we continued climbing and our outfitters set up another challenge: the rappel. Almost all of our fearless kids did the rappel and we were so proud of them. Then we packed up our gear and headed back to our campsite. We surprised the kids with an ice cream reward for their hard work rock climbing. Then, we headed back for more fun times at the beach. We played spike ball, swam, and chilled until it was time to make dinner. We had burgers! Tommy was in the kitchen again with Davis and we had an amazing cookout. Bryce and Tommy set us up a fire in a provided fire pit and we sat around and watched the sunset before moonup. We talked about how we wanted to be remembered during moonup facilitated by LOD’s Kate C and Jackson to close another awesome day. Then, we said goodnight and headed to bed to get ready for another day of rock climbing.
We woke up to an oatmeal breakfast and met our outfitters back in the parking lot. We had a hike to our next rappel and rock wall. The kids had high spirits for another challenging day of climbing. We started deep in the Canadian coastal rainforest and did a practice rappel and climbed higher level walls than the day before. After, we hiked a bit more to our scenic spot over lake Cumberland to eat a sandwich lunch. We chatted and got ready to rappel and climb the devil’s ladder. A 100ft wall over Cumberland lake. Mackenzie was our first one down and after we had almost everyone complete the challenge again! It was a crazy climb and we all felt so accomplished. After our long and eventful day of climbing, we started a pita pizza dinner and hung out by the water again. After dinner, we circled up for our final moonup in Cumberland and expressed how proud we were of our accomplishments rock climbing with questions facilitated by our LODs Kate P and Tommy. We surprised the kids again with showers and I wish I could send the reaction over the update. There were squeals involved. After showers, we all said goodnight and got pumped for our new adventure to Tofino!
Signing off for now with lots of love!
Sierra, Lizzy and Davis
Hey fam!! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to come on this trip, I am having a blast! Love y’all so so much and can’t wait to see you soon -Kate P
Hello mom and dad! I am having so much fun so thank you for letting me go on this Moondance. I miss you all and will see you soon. – Kate C
Hey family, I hope you are okay having a great time just like me. I love you guys and can’t wait to see you. Say hi to Lina for me! -Palmer
Wassup fam!!, I bet it’s boring without me there at home. I’m having a great time and say hello to maybelle and Mac. Thank you for letting me go on this trip!
If Luke sees this hello – Tommy
hey fam u prob miss me so much and it’s ok I will be home soon so tell woots that I miss him. Jamo and helldeen see u soon and Ian u are missin out hekka, steph don’t worry I’m missing you taking pictures of everything thank you so much for making this trip happen for me! Love you! – Annabelle O’Neil
Hey fam! Miss you so much! Say hi to jazzy for me. I bet it is very difficult to live without your favorite child for 2 weeks. Thank you for sending me on this trip! Love you! – Mackenzie
Hey mom and Knox! I am having so much fun in BC it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been and I am so happy I’m here! Every single day I’ve had so much fun we’ve gone rafting and rock climbing so far and I’ve been so happy! I honestly don’t want to go home. Btw if you could add thirty to my green light that’d be great thanks!-Love Bryce
Hey family! I miss y’all, but I am having an amazing time! I am learning so much about myself and about God’s world. Rock climbing has been my favorite because it tested my faith in God and it pushed me outside my comfort zone. I have been sleeping great and the food has been really good. I hope everything is going amazing in Nashville. I have been praying that y’all are doing okay without me(lol). I can’t wait to see y’all. I love y’all sooo much! – Lillian
Hey mom and dad! I miss y’all but i am having the most fun time and have meet the best people. Tell Leah and straeten I say hey and that i miss them. I can’t wait to tell y’all about it all and to see y’all! I also want to thank y’all for giving me the opportunity to go on this trip and experience new things. Love you all so much and see you in a week! – mere
Hola! I’m missing y’all loads but I’m also meeting some really amazing people on my trip. I really enjoy my all of my guides and I am having too much fun in BC!!! Tell Mia and Jane Anne I said hi and give ginger a big kiss from me! I can’t wait to get back on the lake, especially because our last campsite was on a lake. We just got back from rock climbing on Vancouver Island and just arrived at our campground in Tofino and i can’t wait to surf! P.S. GoHenry doesn’t work in Canada… -Libbo
Hey family it’s Tate I’m really missing y’all but I will say I’m have one of the best times out here I also wanted to say thank you for letting me go on this trip and getting me to the places that I need to be to make it here. I now y’all are missing me and I’m missing y’all and I can’t wait to see you again. – Tate
Hey mom. Hey dad. I miss you guys but, man, I am having so much fun! I am excited to see you guys, and thank you so much for this trip. I actually made friends! But, in all seriousness, i love you guys and miss you and can’t wait to see you in five days. – Jackson
July 16, 2022
And were off!! British Columbia 3B started strong in the Seattle airport playing card games and getting to know each other. After we pick up all 12 members of our team, we headed off to our first campsite in beautiful Washington. There, we taught how to set up tents with Palmer and Tommy’s help and let the kids set up their own. They killed it! We played capture the flag against BCO A and a fun game of ships and sailors. After running around, we got pizza for dinner! We ate around the picnic table and talked about what we were looking forward to on our trip to Squamish the next day! We got into a LNT talk when cleaning up trash from dinner and the kids all did a great job listening and cleaning. After dinner we got our crazy creeks and headed down to the beach for our first Moonup. It was a wonderful time of talking about the magic of Moondance and why were all here. We picked the first LOD’s Lillian and Bryce and got excited for what’s to come. The sunset was incredible and we even got to see the super moon before getting to bed!
In the morning, we set up a birthday pancake breakfast celebration for sweet Lillian’s 15th! The kids munched on the chocolate chip pancakes and we got the U-haul ready to travel into Canada. We had a fun car ride with tons of singalongs. We got to our rafting destination and ate a sandwich lunch to fuel up for our big white water raft journey down the Squamish river. The kids were all stoked. We loaded up on the bus and got to see insane views of the mountains heading to our start location. Our LOD’s Lillian and Bryce drafted their rafts and we learned safety then we were on the river! The waves were crazy! Mackenzie, Tate, Kate P, Jackson, Meredith, and Lillian all jumped in the chilly water at the devils elbow on the first raft and so did Tommy, Bryce, Annabel, Libby, Kate C, and Palmer on the second raft! We hit some major rapids and although we had some nervous kids, they all conquered their fears. Tate and Kate P stood on the front of our raft and tried to balance while one side paddled forward and one back but both fell off. It was a funny time and we had a great laugh. After a day of paddle high fives and cold water splashes, we made it to our very own private island for the night! We got a delicious steak and salmon dinner and brownies for dessert prepared by our outfitters and it was amazing. After, we all sat around the fire and listened to the river while we joked around and talked for awhile before staring moonup. Moonup was led by our fearless LOD’s Lillian and Bryce and they facilitated our conversation of what animal we’d all be and what we are hoping to get out of this experience. We shared laughs and then headed to bed.
The next morning, we woke up to a egg, bacon, yogurt, granola, and fruit breakfast. A
We packed up our things and rafted back. For lunch, we had a sandwich bar then got in the van to head to our next campsite. We set up tents then got the kids back in the van for a scenic surprise! We took them to the famous Brandywine falls and it was a WOW moment. After hanging out at the falls we kept the adventure going to another Canadian waterfall then to an incredible lookout. We could see snowcapped mountains and a river below. After the road trip, we got back to camp to cook dinner: pasta! We had moonup with some cookies led by LOD’s Tate and Meredith. After moonup, we got ready for bed and excited about our ferry adventure to Vancouver island happening in the morning! We’re pumped for what’s to come!
Signing off for now from Canada!
Sierra, Davis, and Lizzy
July 13, 2022
Hello British Columbia Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Seattle. The trip is off to a great start and headed to their first campsite, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventures.
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!