July 8, 2022
We are so sad that this is our last update with this amazing group. This has been an incredible trip with all these kids. We are sad to watch them go through security on their way out of Iceland. In our last few days together, we have soaked up what this beautiful country has left to offer through sea kayaking. After a day hike up to Iceland’s tallest waterfall, we drove up the coast to a small fishing town where we would start kayaking. Once on the water, Walker V showed off his rowing skills from back home and impressed everyone. Will gave him a run for his money however as the two competed in a short race through the open water. We kayaked out to an old shipwreck that has been abandoned on a beach for around 50 years now. We were able to climb aboard and go down into the old living quarters. Thomas and Walker B thought it was appropriate, and they were absolutely right, to recreate the iconic titanic picture on the front of the boat which made everyone laugh. From there, we kayaked up the coastline and into a fjord that was absolutely stunning. As the tide headed out to sea, we headed back to land. Being the tallest of the group, Will and Bradley were a huge help putting the kayaks back on the trailer as they had to reach up to the top shelf. We headed to our campsite for the night, which much to our delight had a soccer field next to it. After setting up camp, an intense game of World Cup began. Representing the country of Kuwait, Thomas and Sadie brought home the victory upsetting the experienced soccer skills of Lillian and Cora. For dinner, we had hot dogs and cookies which always makes us remember home. This was our last night in tents as we sleep in a hostel on the last night before the airport, and to celebrate the group decided to have a slumber party and all sleep together in our big kitchen tent. It was really fun to see the group enjoy one another as new best friends as conversation and laughter flowed throughout the night.
The next morning, Fox celebrated when we had Honey Nut Cheerios as a part of our breakfast instead of normal cheerios. I guess the minor details really do all add up! Due to poor weather, instead of getting back out onto the water for another sea kayaking venture, our guide gave us a wonderful walking tour of the fishing town we were staying in. The tour included an old church with crazy architecture, a true fishing harbor, and a lighthouse with an overlook. James and Walker B enjoyed looking at the old local fishing boats and talking about their own fishing experiences. We concluded our tour with a visit to the local bakery for lunch. After we finished our delicious delicacies, we got in the van for one last bus ride with Diddi back to capital city if Reykjavik. It was so fun to have one last time to sing along together to some group favorites. Once arrived in the city, before checking in to the hostel, we took some time to knock out some paperwork. The kids got a chance to fill out an evaluation of the trip, as well as write a letter to themselves. This is a really cool way to reflect on the trip and in the areas that they have grown. The letter will be a sent to them in about 6 months! After showering and settling into the hostel, we took to the town for some shopping and for our banquet dinner! MB and Ava rocked some matching “I Love Iceland” slippers and Lila stocked up on some last minute souvenir gifts. It was a great time exploring such a cool city. We ate dinner at a local restaurant where we enjoyed varying pasta dishes. After dinner, we headed back to the hostel for our final Moonup led by Thomas and Sadie. In this Moonup there was lots of laughter and reminiscing as well as reflection as the question of “What is an area in which you have grown on this trip and how are you going to continue to grow in this area after Moondance?” was asked. As a leader, it was so encouraging to hear the kids reflecting and to see them recognize the growth that we have been able to see play out over these two weeks. After Moonup, we called it a night as we had to leave for the airport at 6am the next morning.
All of your kids are now safely in the air leaving Iceland and we are so sad to see them go. Thank you for trusting us with them and for allowing us to spend time with them these past two weeks! As we said all this morning, this isn’t a goodbye, but a see you later!
Baker, Hailey, and Hannah
July 6, 2022
Hello again from Iceland!! We are well into the second half of our trip and this group continues to grow closer and have fun together! Since our last update we have been rafting, hiking, and exploring!
After trekking, we traveled to a new part of Iceland, but on the way we stopped at a beautiful waterfall with 360-degree viewing access. We all got sprayed by the waterfall, but it was such a beautiful and warm day that we were dry by the time we made it back to the van. We admired the view and blue skies while sipping hot chocolate and eating delicious donuts! Our next stop was a geothermal pool in Thjorsmork. Thomas, Will, Walker V, MB, and Ava spent the entire afternoon on the blue slide. Eventually, everyone caught into the fun and we took turns sliding down and running back up the stairs to do it again! Baker and I surprised the kids with ice cream after the pool, and even though we couldn’t understand the menu in Icelandic, everything tasted delicious! The day ended with an intense game of soccer. Shoutout team Suweee Mama (Hailey, MB, Bradley, Cora, Walker B., Sadie, Fox and Will) even though we lost, it was a great time! Our soccer stars, Lillian, Cora, and Thomas were able to shine and everyone participated in the fun, laughter, and competition.
The next day we hit the river! The best part was getting to jump into the river from the rocks above. This was everyone’s favorite, especially James who went as many times as he could. We warmed up with a trip to the hot tub and hot dogs fresh off the grill. Our campsite for the evening was a fun one, with a huge trampoline built into the ground. The whole group spent hours outside playing games, doing tricks, and hanging out. Walker B. showed off his flipping skills and Will, Baker and Hailey were able to do flips too! It was so much fun! We enjoyed a delicious pizza dinner and stayed up late having great conversations.
The next day was the 4th of July! Even though we were in a different country, we were still able to celebrate with festive accessories, music, and hamburgers for dinner! We spent the afternoon in a seaside hot tub! It was so cool! James, Thomas, and Walker B. led the way to the ocean for a polar plunge! We relaxed in the warm water, admired the beautiful views, and listened to music. It was a great day!
Today we hiked to see the highest waterfall in Iceland! Back at our campsite, the group has been enjoying all the animals! The kids have even named a few of the dogs and sheep. Lila is one of the dogs’ favorites and the group’s favorite dog, we named him “Old Timer,” rested his head on Lila’s feet during our Moonup last night! Walker V. had a photo shoot with the sheep and the whole group was so excited to pet them!
We are having a blast over here and cannot wait to tell you all about it (and show you some epic pictures)!
Until next time,
Baker and Hailey
Lillian: hi! thank you so much for letting me come to iceland! i’m having so much fun and can’t wait to tell you about it!
Cora: Hi!! I’m having an amazing time in iceland and i am so incredibly grateful to you for letting me have this opportunity. Love and miss you!!
Fox: Hi i’m having an amazing time in iceland! thank you so much for letting me go on this trip. I am happy to be able to see the things I have seen and Happy Birthday Mom.
Walker v: Hi i’m having a great time in iceland. Thank you so much for letting me be here and letting me go on this trip. i’m having so much fun and can’t wait to tell you all about it.
thomas: hey mom and dad in having an amazing time but my feet have a lot of blisters and cuts on my feet from the hiking, tomorrow we sea kayak and i’m scared because it’s gonna be really cold but i’m ready and can’t wait to see you.
Walker B:Hey mom and Dad we are having so much fun and i’m having a fun time looking at all the views on hikes and tomorrow we are going sea kayaking and i’m so excited.
will: waddup my bruddahs. Iceland be crazy out here. I got me a new gang and we be getting roudy out here on deez mountains. But seriously this trip is so fun and beautiful and i can’t wait to see y’all in 3 days.
Bradley: Hey!! This trip is so amazing. I’ve met so many great people and i’ve had so much fun. We’re going sea kayaking tomorrow which is so exciting and then i’ll be seeing y’all soon. I love y’all.
Ava: Hi! This trip has been amazing and i’ve met some of the best people ever!!! thank you so much for letting me come here and see and do all of this! also happy birthday chloe have fun being 19
mb: hey!!! the people in my group are so much fun and i’m having a great time! thank you so so much for letting me come on this trip and be able to experience and see all these new things. love y’all!
sadie: Thank you all so much for giving me this experience. it has been amazing- i’m stepping outside my comfort zone and having so much fun. the views here are awesome, and it’s warmed up a lot in the past few days. I love y’all so much, and even though i love Iceland, i can’t wait to see you and the dogs soon!!!
lila: hey! i’ve been having so much fun and it is so beautiful out here. i have a really sweet group and ive enjoyed meeting new people from all over. i’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and i think it’s been good for me. i can’t wait to see y’all and i miss you!
james: hey mom and dad! I’m having such an amazing time, it is so beautiful up here! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to do this! I’ve had so much fun and made so many great memories here but I am looking forward to seeing you guys and skipper in a few days!
July 2, 2022
Hello from beautiful, sunny Iceland! We woke up this morning to blue skies and sunshine! The past few days have been a blast, and we are so excited to share some of the highlights with all of you.
Before starting our trekking section, we were able to stop at a huge waterfall which Walker B. described as “so sick” and Bradley followed up with “it’s like Disney World for fish!” The next stop was the black sand beach where Fox, James and Walker B. turned into spider monkeys and climbed up the rocks and into the caves. After a day full of sight seeing, we began our trek in the afternoon. On our way to our home for the night, we had to cross a chilly river. The group handled their first river crossing like champs! Fox even said it was his favorite part of the trip so far! Once we were settled into the campsite, a few brave souls decided to venture down to a stream for a polar plunge! Walker B, Walker V, Will, Thomas, James, and Ava all jumped into the glacier run off while the rest of us cheered them on! By this time, all the girls were sporting French and Dutch braids courtesy of Cora and Lillian.
Our second day of trekking was the most challenging, but Baker and I are so proud of how the group faced the 13 miles of trekking and unexpected weather! Sadie kept the spirits high by sharing on of her favorite sayings, “we can do hard things!” She has continued to share this with the group when things are difficult and we are all so appreciative of her wise words and positive attitude. After a long day trekking over snow covered mountains, we were greeted by our favorite Icelandic dog, Hekla and a warm hut! We all dried off and warmed up and even we’re lucky enough to hear Lila sing and play the guitar! We enjoyed soup in front of the heater and all slept so well in the bunk room upstairs! It was just what we all needed!
The next three days were full of trekking, trail songs, and long evenings in our big blue tent! Each trek was led by our amazing Icelandic guide, Diddi! Most of the the time you could find Thomas and Ava running ahead full of energy and excitement! The best part of our third day of trekking was a snow slide! At first we thought Diddi had slipped down the hill, but it was actually the start to a huge snow hill that we all slid down smiling and laughing!
Once we arrived at our campsites each afternoon, we would sit around the table in the warm cooking tent listening to music. The evening hours were filled with singing, guitar playing, and lots of bracelet making, shout-out MB! We are all in awe of the amazing views, and Baker and I are in awe of all of your awesome kids! This group has bonded so much over the past week and we are having so much fun!
Time is flying by, and we can’t wait for the rest of the trip!
-Hailey and Baker
Here are a few words from our crew:
Bradley: hey Maggie! Iceland is really cool. I love it and I’m having so much fun.
MB: hey! Iceland is great and I’m having so much fun! I’m doing great.
Ava: hi it’s super fun and the people are great. Hi Ethan! Have fun in Canada!
Walker V: hi it’s awesome here and everyone is great. I miss you.
Will: I bet y’all are so jealous rn
Sadie: iceland is so great!!! But the people are even better I love you both! I miss you too!
Cora: Hi! Iceland is amazing,thank you so much for letting me come! Love you, Hi Alison!!
Lillian: hi! Having tons of fun! Miss y’all!
Thomas: very fun, love the food but my feet r cold
Fox: it’s a lot of fun. Love and miss you guys. I hiked about 40 miles.
Walker B: I’m having a fun time. Miss you guys.
Lila: I’m having a really good time! It’s very beautiful and all of the people here are very nice!
James: I’m having such an amazing time! I can’t wait to see you when I get home! Give Skipper some hugs for me!!
June 27, 2022
Hello from Iceland!!!
We are all so excited to be here! Our journey began at JFK where this group quickly went from strangers to friends! Sadie was the first to arrive at the airport and was immediately the best helper as she helped Hailey welcome all of our new friends. The group showed their team work early on as Walker V. and Will led many members of our group as they built a Lego pirate ship! Everyone was able to get a little bit of shut eye on the plane ride over to Reykjavik! It was a breeze to get through airport in Reykjavik and we finally got to be one completed group when we met up with Baker and Ava, who had arrived just an hour earlier from Colorado! And just like that, we were off on our first adventure, The Lava Cave!! Walker B. and James were our spider monkeys as they climbed up and around the cave to explore ahead of the group! Thomas and Baker were able to warm up after the cave by sipping on some yummy hot chocolate, the first of many for this trip! The girls all lined up to see who was the tallest and Bradley took the cake on this one, even though Lila and Sadie were close seconds.
From there, we headed straight to the blue lagoon which was a hit for the whole group!! Baker, Walker V., Will and the girls played two truths in a lie in the cave sauna and Walker V. was able to stay in the sauna the longest! Fox and Sarah were the first ones to get an Icelandic souvenir at the Blue Lagoon gift shop! We can’t wait to see what souvenirs everyone else picks to bring back home! We had PB&Js for lunch and Thomas was so helpful in packing up lunch, he even cleaned up the jelly that I accidentally kept dripping everywhere.
At the hostel, Mary Brooks revealed all of the friendship bracelet string she brought for the group! A crowd pleaser! Everyone is so excited to make bracelets for themselves and each other throughout the trip. We had our first Moonup of the trip. Moonup is a special tradition on Moondance trips where the group gathers each evening to reflect on the experiences of the day, get to know each other better through both thought provoking and silly questions and look forward to the journeys that the next day will bring. Thomas and Ava were named our first LODs (leader of the day) and we can’t wait to watch them lead our crew through the day ahead of us.
We are in our comfy van and headed on our trekking section in the highlands of Iceland. Cora is braiding Lillian’s hair and has a long line of other customers waiting to get their French braids for days of trekking ahead.
We are so excited to continue this trip with such an awesome group of kids! Thank you for sharing them with us for these two weeks!
Best, Baker and Hailey
June 26, 2022
Hello Iceland 2B Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Iceland. 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!