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Hawaiian Islands 2 A • June 26-July 9, 2022

Kickin it in Kauai!

July 3, 2022

We have officially landed on Kauai and the group could not be happier! Such a beautiful island with so much to do, and we have an incredibly busy week lined up.

We spent our last day on the Big Island going on the Green Sands Beach hike which was incredible. A beachside trail leading to a crystal blue cove was the perfect ending to the 2-mile hike. Anson found some cool spots to cliff jump! He had sparked a desire to keep on cliff-jumping, one wasn’t enough! We decided to head back to the car and go to South Point- the Southernmost part of the United States or the “end of the world”. Everyone jumped off the side and made it safely back to shore! John even did some tricks off the side. Luckily Phoebe and Jordan got a souvenir T-shirt to prove to everyone back home that they made the big jump. After cliff jumping, we drove to a local deli and had some of the most delicious Hawaiian/ Asian fusion food. Shoutout to Zach for graciously sharing his Teriyaki chicken so we could all try it out! We promised John that we’d get some shaved ice so we made a quick pit stop in Hilo before heading out to Mauna Kea to watch the sunset.

Something that we learned on our last session is that Hawaii has various climate zones. So, when we went up the mountain last time in swimsuits and tank tops, we swiftly realized that we had made a mistake! But not again! This time we were prepared with blankets, pants, and sweatshirts, so the cooler weather wasn’t bad. Mary Louise got some rad pictures on her digital camera that we all can’t wait to get back after the session. Blythe and Hollyn got a little cold up there, so they led some of the group back to the van for some warmth and snacks! A group stayed behind and had a ukulele jam session. Ben gave his singalong rendition of “Ripped Pants” from SpongeBob and we’re currently working on another one of his requests from a Disney short. We love that our leader, Garrett can play the ukulele!

 

The group all rejoined at our viewing spot with high spirits, full bellies and big smiles. Colin was able to see a shooting star from the summit before heading down as LOD to make pizzas for everyone which was super amazing. The warm pizzas got everyone feeling full, warm and ready to hit the road back to camp! It was a late car ride, but lucky for everyone who stayed awake, they were able to have a once and a lifetime opportunity to hear Jake spit freestyle. It was epic. Give him a beat and he can go on forever. We hit the hay early as we had to get up at the crack of dawn for our flight to Kauai. Good thing the kids don’t have watches! We woke them up at 4 in the morning, but they will never know the difference! We got everyone’s stuff packed up, but most importantly, we couldn’t forget Ginny’s 10-pound bag of candy that we have made our mission to finish before the trip is over. We then made it safely to Kauai!

All of the kids wrote post cards on the plane ride over, so you should be expecting some mail after this long holiday weekend! After weather conditions shifted out itinerary and our sea-kayaking, the kids got right to making a new plan! These kids are so positive and optimistic, always looking for the bright side of every situation. We could put them in a sandbox, and they could still find a way to make it fun and enjoyable for several hours. We’re so fortunate to have this group for another week, and we can’t wait to see all that they do! Now a message from the kids….

 

Colin- what’s goin on mom and pops, I’m having a great time here with some awesome and hilarious people, we’ve done a ton of activities and I can’t wait to tell y’all all about it. We went to the southern most point of the United States and we cliff jumped off it, it was so sick! Anyways, we just got to Kauai and so far it’s been pretty awesome and I can’t wait to see y’all. P.S. happy birthday momma, I love you!

Jake – Hello mi familia, I’ve had a great time so far. We’ve done a lot of fun stuff. I can’t wait to tell y’all about it. So far cliff jumping has been my favorite. Can’t wait to see y’all again.

John – hello my family. Hawaii has been pretty awesome so far. The locals here are sick, and the waves have been good. My favorite part was definitely the cliff jumping, and the hike to the volcano was also really cool. At the top of the volcano there were some amazing stars, but it was also 30 degrees. Miss y’all and love y’all

Ben – How’s it going y’all. So far I’ve had a lot of fun on the islands of Hawaii. The counselors and the people I’ve met are super cool and we have made some great memories. I look forward to filling you in on everything that happened. I love y’all and I’ll see you soon.

Jordan- Hi Teddy and Dad! Hope you all are doing so well! I miss you guys tons. Dad how’s PE going haha 😉 Hawaii so far has been incredible. The most amazing thing so far has been the Manta snorkel. It was hands down the most incredible and surreal thing I have ever done. We also watched the sunset on a volcano it was so cool (and 30*!) I loved scuba diving and it was actually a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. My favorite park was when the divemaster, my leader and I went off to look for a shark. We didn’t find one but it was exciting anyway. We have also had so much good food! I love cooking and this morning I made breakfast burritos they were a big hit! I also set up my hammock at the new camp and woke up this morning and read a whole book. Love you both tons and please tell Susu and G-daddy hi for me!

Anson- Hey mom and dad. I have had an awesome time here so far. We have done many fun activities like scuba-diving and hiking. We also jumped off of the most southern point in the United States. We are also surfing and hiking again later in the week. I miss you and I’m excited to see you again. Love you

Hollyn – Hey Mom and Dad! I’m having so much fun in Hawaii. I have met some amazing people and I love my leaders. My favorite part of the trip so far was the Manta Ray snorkel. I saw a huge Manta Ray do a back flip right in front of me. Today is our first day in Kauai and I can’t wait to tell y’all about it. I love y’all and can’t wait to see you soon <3

Ginny- Aloha family. It is I, your favorite child. I am currently on the island of Kauai living it up. my favorite part of the trip so far has been the manta ray snorkel which I tell you about in my letter to you. Mom, you may need to get a new neck pillow as I have used yours to it’s max. Can you please make reservations at melting pot or nakatos on the 10th around 6? Thanks! I miss everyone a lot and am really excited to share everything about the trip when I get home. Love you guys and see you soon.

Blythe- ALOHA we are having a slay time in Hawaii and are otw to the beachhhh :))))) I’m loving all of the fruit and juices and açaí bowls, and I can’t wait to make some concoctions for y’all when I get home. I love all of my new friends and leaders. We are laughing constantly and loving the sun. I also love the leaders. They are all super kind and smiley. Don’t miss me too much!XoXo – B

Mary-Louise – heyyy mom and dad! we are having the best time in hawaii. we just got to kauai today. i am having a blast with everyone in my group. my favorite things so far have been scuba diving, cliff jumping, and the night snorkel with the manta rays. i hope you all are having a great time in sea island and charleston. mom, i am really hoping you did some shopping for me;)). i know bennett must be having trouble surviving his days without me. please let his know that i am irritated with him for losing one of the eno straps at school so it is currently unusable. i miss you guys lots(especially monkey). can’t wait to see you all and tell you so much more. love you<3

Phoebe – Aloha!!! We are having so much fun here, yesterday we went from the big island to Kauai. The group is so much fun. The other day I cliff jumped off of the southern most point of the US! It was about 50ft and probably the coolest thing I have ever done. I am officially scuba certified!! It was such a cool experience. The food has been great and I had the best shaved ice I have ever had. The airport took my sunscreen and I also lost all my toiletries, my bad. People are letting me share most things and I bought a toothbrush and toothpaste. I am so excited to see you guys in a couple days. Much love!!

Zachary – Hey y’alllll, I miss you guys so much, currently in Kauai headed out to the blowhole and then the beach. The first week was mainly the pool work with 2 shore and 2 boat dives. The last night of diving we did a killer Manta Ray snorkel and saw at least 10 rays that night. I can’t wait to see all of y’all; Mom, Dad, Cora, and the dogs. Love you and have a great 4th of July, just save some fireworks for when I’m back.

 

Talk soon!

Mary App, Garrett + Grace


Fun Days on the Islands!

June 30, 2022

Session 2 is officially underway, and we are moving full steam ahead! Today is our final day of scuba training, so we’ll be doing our open water dives to round up our certifications. We can’t wait to have our scuba pro Zachary point out his favorite marine creatures! Our students have gotten nothing but praise from the scuba instructors here in Kona. They are engaged, excited, high energy, and of course, Jake is always cracking jokes even when everyone is exhausted which makes it entertaining for us all.

 

In between scuba days, we’ve been hitting the beach, going on hikes, eating some good food, playing the ukulele, and settling into our roles at the campsite. Jordan is a fantastic cook and an even better leader. She is constantly asking how she can help and making sure everyone is settled and satisfied with their meals before she even starts eating her creations. She even offered to cook dinner every night if people didn’t want to, what a queen. Dinner on our first real camping night- stuffed bell peppers! Yum! Let me just tell y’all, this group can EAT. Our boys can go through an entire Costco pack of Cliff bars in less than a day. One of them even had 6 in one sitting which I honestly don’t know if that’s alarming or impressive, but regardless, we love to see it!

 

Our days are long and very fun, but they can also be super tiring so it’s great that they’re fueling themselves! That just means we have to work on our grocery shopping hauls as leaders, think we might have to learn a thing or two from the Duggars LOL. On the second day, all of the boys, led by a persistent Anson, insisted on going to get boogie boards to shred the gnar as the waves have been insane here! Perfect conditions. We used our extra mile budget to get some boogie boards for them all, and we had to go to a few beaches to find the best and safest waves, but we settled on Kua Bay. The girls got some sun, and the boys explored the beach. A much-needed break after a day of scuba!

 

After that, a quick Walmart run and then we were off to the campsite to make dinner/ hang out under the tent. Something about Hawaii this time of year is that the centipedes are OUT TO PLAY. Luckily, these aren’t venomous, but tent #3 had an interesting wakeup call on night 2! Hollyn and Phoebe were champs and have truly braved the wilderness this trip, always keeping high spirits even though it seems the centipedes really love them! We cleared the tent and sealed the zipper in with some duct tape so there’d be no room for anything to come in…a fantastic idea from our very own, Ginny. After that experience, Ben decided to show the centipedes who was boss of the camp. He had a close encounter with another one- man vs centipede. But at the end of the day, man prevailed! Sweet victory.

 

The following day the boys took off with boogie boards on our campsite’s beachside access. John took the liberty of surfing the waves with the locals, even showed them a few tricks! After everyone got cleaned up, we had the best chicken quesadillas with guac, cheffed up by our amazing leaders of the day, Mary Louise and John. During dinner Zachary gave us just a few of his many fun facts that always keep us thinking and asking questions. Great conversation starters for sure.

 

Another day in Kona brought another day of scuba but not without some free time to roam the village and to continue the hunt for the best eats in town. We had a harbor dinner before our nightly excursion- Colin’s first poke bowl that turned out not to be an actual poke bowl! Last night was our manta ray snorkel which was surreal. On the ride to our snorkel spot Jake and Anson took a quick nap on the boat before diving into the water! We had two mantas below our surfboards do a perfectly choreographed flip within inches of us. One of them came out of nowhere probably a few centimeters from Colin’s face and caught him off guard so badly he almost dropped his Go Pro. Good news is we have footage to prove it! The best part of the whole night was the hot showers, one thing Blythe couldn’t wait for.

 

The boat ride back was relaxing and beautiful with the island lights in the distance leading us back to the harbor, and after a quick moon up we concluded another perfect day on the big island. Awoken with pancakes and a much-needed sleep in morning, the kids are ready to attack the day! Currently writing this on our diving boat, we’ll let you all know how it goes on the next update, TTYL!!!

 

Best,

Garrett, Mary App, + Grace


Kickin it in Kona!

June 27, 2022

Hello Hawaiian Islands 2A Families!

We just heard from our leaders late last night that the group has landed safely in Kona. 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!

-Moondance HQ


Students

  • Anson
  • Ben
  • Blythe
  • Colin
  • Ginny
  • Hollyn
  • Jake
  • John
  • Jordan
  • Mary-Louise
  • Phoebe
  • Zachary

Staff