June 24, 2022
Our final day in paradise felt so incredibly bittersweet as we soaked in our final moments and activities together. The windy conditions made our morning activity shift from paddle boarding to surfing but the group didn’t mind one bit. After mastering the technique last week, the kids were eager to get one more opportunity to put their surfing lessons to good use. With the better swell, we got lucky and had a morning of some of our biggest waves yet. We were so impressed by Everett’s improvement as he confidently caught numerous waves throughout the morning. Additionally, Ian and Slater challenged themselves with smaller boards, which are much harder to control.
After surfing, we headed back to camp to make lunch and tie-dye Moondance t-shirts. MG was over the moon at the chance to create a pink t-shirt. We then made our way to Goodwill to pick out silly outfits for the night’s final banquet. Lawton, Lyla, and Libby wasted no time in putting on a mini fashion show in the shoe aisle! Hal opted for a very sophisticated banquet look in his sport coat and trousers. After everyone’s shopping spree, we headed up the road for our final banquet dinner.
In Kihei, we headed to one of our favorite food truck spots, where the kids munched on some barbecue and Thai food, reflecting on some of our favorite memories throughout the trip. After a quick ice cream dessert, we packed into the van and started heading up Haleakala towards one of the best sunset spots on the island. Following a gorgeous sunset, Avery led the group in one last moon-up where we reflected on how this trip has impacted our lives.
Thursday morning, we were sad to have to pack up camp but squeezed in a few final fun moments. We made a big pancake breakfast and gave out paper plate awards. Olivia was awarded most likely to be an Olympian but could have also taken home the gold in cooking skills as she prepared delicious bacon for the group. We finished cleaning the campsite and then headed to one more food truck park where Lily got her long-awaited poke bowl. After one last yummy food stop, we headed to the airport and began saying our see you laters.
As sad as it was to see each sweet face disappear down the jet bridge, we can’t help but be so grateful for the time we had with this special group. We laughed until our bellies hurt, swam, ate snacks, explored the ocean, ate some more snacks, and formed bonds that will last a lifetime. Maui 1A will forever have a special place in our hearts.
All the love,
Sarah Paden, Kate, + Harry
June 22, 2022
The last few days have been a whirlwind of excitement and adventure for our sweet group. We kicked off Sunday with a boating snorkel tour that took us to the beautiful Molokini Crater. Slater found tons of sea turtles at one of our snorkeling spots! Ian was also a great first mate to our rafting captain. Our little water bugs explored to their heart’s content.
All of the excitement of exploring Maui’s beautiful waters wore the group out and we opted for a relaxed afternoon of eno-ing that quickly transitioned into and intense pick-up basketball game. Lily and Libby were awesome helpers in the kitchen and made us some amazing tacos!
Monday morning, we woke up teeming with excitement over our submarine tour. MG was very excited and kept the whole group laughing on the ferry ride out to the dive sight. While deep below the surface we got to see fish, sharks, and even a few eagle rays. Avery was amazed to see the sharks hanging out on the ocean floor! Lyla was a bit nervous at first, but ended up having a blast under the sea. After the tour we headed up to Fleming beach for a short hike that ended in a beautiful lookout complete with a full rainbow.
Tuesday was an early morning as we headed to Kenahi Beach to learn how to wind surf. We were so proud of the group as everyone successfully learned the basics of wind surfing. Hal took to it like a natural! The afternoon was filled with a fun field day style competition between all three Maui groups. Lawton and Everett dominated the soccer field while Olivia was a beast on the basketball court. Our team might not have taken home the gold, but we sure brought the entertainment and spirit!
We wrapped up the day with a big cookout and group moon-up that left us in disbelief that our time together is coming to an end. However, it brings us joy and comfort to see the bonds these kids have formed and the life-long memories that have been made.
All the Moondance love,
Sarah Paden + Kate + Harry
Our kids just wanted to share how grateful they are!
Lawton: Thank you for always being there for me and giving me the opportunity to go on Moondance
Lily: Thank you for the opportunity to go on Moondance! Love you guys!
Hal: I’m super thankful for this opportunity and especially since these kinds of adventures aren’t free! Love you!
Ian: Thank you for letting me go to Maui!
Everett: Thank you for the wonderful and amazing opportunity to go out and see a new part of the world with awesome people!
MG: Thank you for an amazing opportunity to go somewhere new and meet new people!
Olivia: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to go on this trip!
Libby: thank you for the opportunity to go to Hawaii to try new things and meet new people!
Avery: Thank you for letting me go on this trip, you are so slay!
Slater: Thank you for letting me experience Maui. It’s been awesome. See you guys soon!
Lyla: Thank you for the opportunity to go to Hawaii to try new things and meet new friends. See you soon!
June 19, 2022
Maui A is still going strong as we reach the midsection of our trip. The fun has been nonstop!
Day 5 consisted of surfing in the morning and helping out a close friend of Moondance on his farm! The group dominated the waves, once again, and even tried some yoga poses on the boards. Lawton managed to do a perfect headstand! Lyla and Avery also joined in on the fun and tandem surfed on the same board. Once we finished up our morning activities, we headed over to Pono Farms to help Evan and his crew. The group had tons of fun planting and learning about different vegetables in the garden. Evan, a close friend of Moondance and owner of Pono Farms, let the kids slide down his backyard water slide. We snapped tons of action shots and had a blast cooling off after some hard work!
Our next day was spent learning the history of Maui as well as helping our friend Ekolu with Maui Cultural Lands. The group got to hear many stories from Ekolu about Hawaiian culture and native species. The kids were awesome and were happy to dive right into their work. Everett kept everyone laughing as we pulled invasive plants from a trail and cleared a path! Back at camp, Ian whipped up some amazing mac n cheese and was an awesome helper in the kitchen. We closed out our day by surprising everyone with some yummy Hawaiian ice at a local store in Paia!
On our seventh day, we headed over to Wailea for our outrigger canoeing lesson. Lily was quick to jump into the water and even got to hold an octopus whom the group named “Douglas”. We ended our lesson with a canoe race in which Lawton, Ian, Lily, and Lyla were victorious! The group headed back to camp for a great game of basketball. Hal was a forced to be reckoned with and had 4 baskets! The gang ended the day with a delicious meal of burrito bowls with the help of Olivia and MG.
Today we had our zip lining section. We had a much-needed late start, followed by some delicious chocolate chip pancakes and bacon. Libby was the first to go down the zip line and was absolutely fearless! The group really enjoyed our hilarious guides and swapped some funny stories in the parking lot afterwards. We then surprised the group again with a local food stop at Paia Fish Market for dinner! Slater accompanied Sarah Paden and Harry for some moonup music. We really enjoyed hearing his take on “River” by Leon Bridges!
We have had a blast getting to know your kids! Below are some shoutouts from the kiddos…
Lyla: Hey I miss y’all so much! Happy Father’s Day and happy birthday a boo boo! I’m having so much fun and I have a great group. See you soon! Have fun in Cabo! Tell Elle I love her!
Everett: Happy Father’s Day! Miss you, love you, and I’m having so much fun! Tell Dr. Farrell and Mr. Rose I say hi and miss them. A lot.
Ian: I miss y’all a lot! Hope Turks and Caicos was fun!
Lawton: Hey! I love and miss y’all. I’m having the best time ever. Happy Father’s Day! Tell MJ and Rand I love them. Thank you for letting me come on Moondance. Hug Chewy and Moose for me! See you soon!
Lily: Love you! I’m having so much fun! Happy Father’s Day!
MG: Aloha! Happy Father’s Day I hope you have a great day. I’ll be thinking of you. I miss you guys so much but I’m having a lot of fun. I’m making so many friends! My favorite activity was snorkeling from the first day and I’m looking forward to windsurfing. Tell Cooper I miss him!
Libby: Aloha! Happy Father’s Day dad and happy birthday Will! I miss and love you guys so much. I’m having a blast and making lots of friends. Give Bella a hug for me. Can’t wait to see you soon!
Avery: hi mom and dad! I miss you so much. Happy Father’s Day dad, you’re the best dad ever! Mom, can you text Cate happy late birthday? Love you!
Slater: happy Father’s Day dad! I miss you guys. Give Digsby a big hug. I hope he’s doing okay. I hope the girls are doing good too. See y’all in a few days!
Hal: I miss you guys. Happy Father’s Day! I hope Buddy is staying nice and plump. I hope Petey’s breath still smells bad. The activities have been so much fun! Love, Hal
Olivia: Hey! Happy Father’s Day dad! I’m having so much fun. Love and miss you all. Hope New York is good!
Kate + SP + Harry
June 15, 2022
Aloha, families and friends!!!
Greetings from Maui! Spirits are high as we wind down our third full day here in beautiful Hawaii.
Our group started off strong on airport day, with Slater jumping in and serenading us in baggage claim with Harry’s travel guitar. He graciously took several requests and even played a few originals. We were blown away! Once our last plane touched down, our group then headed to our campsite for a feast of yummy pizza and salad.
After a good night’s sleep, we were up and at it for our first day! Our Leaders of the Day (LODs) Libby and Everett prepped the group with an awesome morning huddle. We then piled into the vans and jammed out to Taylor Swift, Led Zeppelin, Mt Joy, and many other artists on our way to sea kayaking and snorkeling. Our girl MG jumped right in despite it being her first time! She was practically a natural. Lyla snapped some amazing pictures of the green sea turtles that came to say hello. The group even got to see an octopus and several sea urchins! We finished off the day with an amazing game of football on the beach, in which Olivia was an incredible MVP.
Our next day was packed to the brim with fun. We started with rainforest canyon rappelling followed by exploring the Garden of Eden in the afternoon. Everett really stepped up to the plate with rappelling despite some hesitation. He absolutely crushed it, and we couldn’t be prouder! Hal was also amazing and scaled those waterfalls like a spider monkey. Our LODs Lawton and Ian then guided us around the Garden of Eden. We were amazed by the sprawling banana trees and many peacocks that roamed the garden. Avery made sure to snap a couple photos of their beautiful feathers! We closed out the day with taco night courtesy of Sarah Paden and our LODs, and a guitar jam session.
The next day was nothing short of amazing. We started our morning with surfing! The kids were all so stoked to get right into the water. Lily showed us her gracefulness as she glided along the waves on her surfboard. All the while, she was encouraging others to get up there! Libby and Lawton also did an amazing job of cruising the waves like pros. We then took a mid-day snooze on the beach after surfing, which was much needed. The group killed it, even the guides noted how fearless they were! After our snack and nap session we headed towards the Nakalele Blowhole. Our car ride was made complete by Ian serenading us to Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”. The kids had an absolute blast cheering every time water came through the blow hole! We ended our day with another visit to the beach and some water games.
All in all, we have had a successful first few days. Harry, Sarah Paden, and I are ecstatic for the rest of our session. This group is truly special, and we are in awe of how close they have gotten this early in the trip!
Mahalo (thank you) parents, and we’ll talk to you soon!
All the moondance love,
Kate + SP + Harry
June 12, 2022
Hello Maui Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Maui. 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!