June 24, 2022
Aloha friends and family!
As our trip comes to a close, we feel so bittersweet to see the end of such a beautiful two weeks.
To celebrate such an incredible time spent in Maui, all the Moondance groups in Maui came together at our campsite to play against each other in various sports, which we’ve aptly named the Olympics! After a week of practicing our soccer, basketball, and spikeball skills at our campsite, our group absolutely crushed it in the Olympics. Prescott and John teamed up to play for the boys in spikeball, winning us two games with ease. Reese and Katie represented the girls for spikeball, and with Reese’s trick shots the game was a walk in the park! David and William led our team to two swift wins for basketball, ending in them cheering across the court with loud belly laughs! Clare and Wrenn cheered loudly on the sidelines for the soccer game, and when the time came, they put on their game faces to jump in and play. Sascha held up the most important role— team mascot!
Our group came in strong with wins in every single sport, winning us the Olympics Championship! We were so excited that our group took a victory joy ride playing our favorite songs. We ended the night with lots of smiles.
For our last full day, our group spent the morning learning from Griff, a Maui local and former Moondance employee, about the local culture and community. Our group was so engaged, and John and Wrenn answered every single question that Griff posed! Afterwards, we headed to our favorite beach, Kaanapali Beach, to catch some waves and lay out under the sun. To surprise our group, Cal, MMG, and Sky decided to take them to our favorite gelato shop one last time. We all walked around the beach giggling and eating our delicious gelato! After eating our ice cream, we headed to the local thrift store to pick out some wacky outfits for our final dinner together! William stunned the group in his bright blue shorts, and John got lots of laughs with his tie dye tank top. Then, we headed over the Paia Fish Market for an incredible, authentic dinner in our eye-catching outfits. Our group took to walking around Paia for some last laughs and memories shared. David and John got lots of chuckles from our group as they strutted in their new clothes. MG and Sascha shared some laughs with Sascha’s GoPro and Katie and Reese sat back to enjoy the fashion show!
After a night of great fun, we headed back to camp for our last Moonup. We all shared kind words about each other and reminisced on two weeks well spent. Our group then stayed up talking and sharing their favorite memories from our trip!
Written to you with happy tears in our eyes as the last plane takes off! Mahalo for an incredible two weeks in Maui.
Sky, MMG & Cal
June 22, 2022
On our ninth morning, we woke up to a delicious egg and sausage breakfast. This breakfast was a total hit. The group put on sunscreen and packed their bags for our most fun-filled day yet! Our first stop was an adventure on the outrigger canoe, a native Hawaiian mode of transportation with historical and cultural significance.
Our group was split into 3 outrigger canoes, and after a safety briefing we were all ready to head out to sea. Once we canoed out to the ocean, we put on snorkels and fins and explored the coral reefs. Our canoeing guide told us that the water was the clearest it has been in weeks! Our guides were experts with the marine life, and they even brought some animals up to the surface for us to see and hold.
Wrenn overcame his fear of the pencil urchins that our guide brought to the surface, and he even held one in his hand! Prescott was the bravest of the group and he held pencil urchins in both hands. David showed off some swimming skills and touched the sandy bottom of the ocean with his life jacket still on! He inspired Clare to try it out, and she was able to touch the bottom after a couple tries. River, MG, and Katie all floated on the surface to sunbathe and take a little break from snorkeling.
Once the group felt satisfied with this exploration of the sea, we had a canoe race to get back to shore! Sascha and Cal gave it their all on her team, and they made it back first. James, Sky, and Reese tried their hardest, and they came in a close second behind Sascha’s team. William, John, and MMG’s team decided to take the loss and have a calm, enjoyable paddle back into shore.
After our rafting, our group decided to head to Paia town for some delicious, authentic açaí bowls! We perused the different parts of the town while soaking up some sun, and David and Clare tried açaí for the first time! Our group absolutely loved Paia, and we even picked up some souvenirs for our families.
Once we got back to the van, we headed back to camp for some relaxing card games. The boys have come to love playing Crazy Eights, and they snacked and played all afternoon!
To end this perfect day, we piled into the van and headed up to Haleakala, Maui’s highest point, to watch the sunset. Everyone took turns taking pictures with the beautiful view, and we all felt so grateful in this moment that our group had come together so beautifully.
All the best,
Sky, Cal, Mary McKenzie
June 19, 2022
For our seventh morning, we woke up early to drive to our surfing activity. The group was so excited to spend some time learning to surf the waves. Katie, MG, and Reese combined their skills and they all got on the surfboard together! Wrenn and River absolutely shredded the waves, and they took turns surfing all the way into the shore. Prescott took a turn with Katie’s GoPro and he got some action shots of himself on the board, and he even did a handstand on the surfboard! Twice! Clare and Sascha wanted to try surfing on the same board, and they shared lots of belly laughs in the process. David spent lots of time perfecting his craft, and by the end he was able to do a trick! After some gnarly waves, William, John, James, and David came to sit with Sky and capture some cool pictures of the other campers.
After a fun filled morning of surfing, our group headed back to the campsite for a fulfilling lunch and a game of kickball. The competition was heated, and after five innings we took a break from the hot sun with a surprise trip to a local ice cream shop!
The ice cream did just the trick to cool down our group, and we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon beach hopping! We checked out Slaughterhouse Beach for some snorkeling in the clear sea. Then, we went to Black Rock cliffs for some cliff jumping! This was our favorite day so far!
For our eighth day, we spent a second morning mastering our surfboarding craft. The surfing guides noticed great improvement in our group, and the whole group was able to stand up and ride the waves! River got so good at surfing that she was posing for pictures on the board, and Katie, River, and Reese kept up their streak of surfing on the same board. Clare greatly improved her surfing skills, and she was able to surf with ease today! Wrenn and Prescott continued to show an innate talent for surfing, and John spent some time posing for the GoPro pictures as he carved the waves from break to shore.
After a great morning of surfing, our group headed back to camp for a quick lunch, and we got back in the van for our service activity! We spent an afternoon at Pono Grown farm mulching avocado plants, and after some hard work we were rewarded with some fun on the farm’s slip-n-slide!
After our service work, the group decided to pick up some string for friendship bracelets, and we spent the rest of the afternoon making bracelets for each other! We closed the day with Katie’s delicious guacamole and chips and some Mexican burrito bowls. Moonup under the stars was beautiful as ever.
Cal, Sky, & Mary McKenzie
And now… some thank-you’s from our crew:
Prescott- Thank you Mom and Dad for sending me on Moondance. I’m having such a fun time. Dad, I hope you have a great Father’s Day!
David- Thanks Mom and Dad! I’m having the best time! Happy Father’s Day!
Clare- Thank you Mom and Dad so much for letting me come here. Dad, have a great Father’s Day! Can’t wait to see y’all!
John- Mom and Jim, thank you for letting me go on Moondance! I did a hang ten while surfing yesterday! Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
William- Thanks Mom and Dad for sending me here! I’m having lots of fun. Happy Father’s Day Dad!
Sascha- Thank you Mom and Dad for sending me on Moondance! I’ll see you soon! Happy Father’s Day!
James- Thank you Mom and Dad for helping me prepare for Moondance! Happy Father’s Day! Thank you grandma for sending me on this trip.
Wrenn- Thank you Mom and Dad for sending me on Moondance! I’m having a great time!
Reese- Thanks Mom and Dad for sending me on Moondance! I’m having so much fun.
Katie- Thanks Mom and Dad for sending me here!
MG- Thank you for letting me come here, Mom and Dad!
River- Thank you for sending me on Moondance, Mom and Dad! Tell Scarlet I say hi!
MMG- Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Mom, my chaco tan is in full force.
Sky- Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Hope you’re catching a bunch of fish right now! Missing you, Mom. Espero que estén pasándolo buenísimo en el Monasterio de Piedra.
Cal- Dad, do you want to golf July 6 at 10am? Let me know.
June 17, 2022
Aloha Maui 1B friends and families! We have had some jam-packed past few days and are so excited to share it with you!
For a super surprise on our fifth morning, we took our campers to a farmers’ market for breakfast! We came back to our campsite with lots of mangoes, smoothies, and banana bread. Prescott was so excited to eat his watermelon while David chowed down on some rosemary bread. Wrenn tried out an authentic Hawaiian smoothie and Sascha had some delicious, fresh mango. Then, we all hopped in the car and jammed out to some country music on the way to the beach! Clare kept her streak of best song recommendations and she led the chorus to some of her favorite tunes. We packed lunch in our bags and spent a beautiful morning snorkeling and looking at different corals at the beach.
Once we finished up at the beach, we headed to Skyline Adventures to do some zip-lining! John overcame his fear of heights and hopped right off the platform. We had some photographers in our group snapping pictures—Katie took some exciting GoPro footage in the air and MG brought her digital camera along for the ride. In the van ride home from our adventure, William got the group started on our new favorite game. Once we got home, our leaders of the day James and Reese helped us prepare an excellent Mexican-style dinner and River and Sky danced along to some themed songs. For our sixth day, we headed to our rappelling activity! During the van ride, we jammed out to some country music and sang along to Taylor Swift. Rappelling was a fan favorite and many of us conquered our fears as we climbed down waterfalls and jumped into the lakes down below.
We’ll check back in soon, but for now the waves are calling us!
<3 Mary McKenzie, Cal & Sky
Shoutouts from the kiddos:
River- Love you and miss you! Please get wellbred kale salad when I get home! Happy father’s day Dad!
John- Aloha Mom, Dad, Melissa, and Jim. I’m having a great time, I don’t want to leave! Can’t wait to see y’all. Aloha!
Clare- Happy Father’s day! Please get me Cane’s for when I get home. Miss you and love you! Tell Maggie she’s the best.
Wrenn- Happy Father’s day! I can’t wait to see everyone when I get home. I’m having a wonderful time!
Sascha- Hey mom and dad, miss you loads. Happy Father’s day Dad, sorry I can’t give you a gift! Make sure to get Mcdonalds for when I get home. I miss Jackie!
Reese- Hi Mom and Dad! I miss you and love you. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Give Pepper and Frank a hug from me!
Katie- I love and miss y’all! Happy Father’s Day, Dad. This is so much fun! James- there are people from Tennessee on my trip!
MG- I love and miss y’all! Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I’m having so much fun, I saw a turtle!
David- I miss and love you all! I can’t wait to see you, John. I’m having the best time!
Prescott- Hi everyone! I miss you all. Give Rosie a hug for me, please! Can I have Chick-fil-a at the airport? Thanks!
James- Hi everyone! Hope you’re having fun on your trip. Give the dogs all my love!
William- Hi family! I’m having so much fun, I love my group and my counselors. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Can’t wait to see y’all soon. Say hi to Scout!
June 14, 2022
Aloha from Maui! For our first activity, our group took on a conservation activity with Kipuka Olowalu, where we focused on improving the Olowalu Cultural Reserve.
David, Prescott, and William were incredibly helpful carrying out the heavy heaps of weeds on a tarp, while Clare clipped the trees with the help of our leader Cal! Sascha was a great help with the weed clippers, leaving us with all of the garden rejuvenated in just over an hour!
After a great morning learning about Hawaiian culture and working in the garden, we took to a beautiful stream to cool off and learn some Hawaiian words. River and MG dipped their toes in the clear water, while John found a nice rock to soak up the sun.
Once we left Kipuka Olowalu, we headed to a beach for some ice cream and a dip in the clear blue sea. Wrenn was sure to remind the group about sunscreen, which led to a group sunscreen party! William took a turn snapping some pictures on the GoPro with the help of his leader Sky. Once Katie and Reese caught up with the group, the girls all sat at the seashore to chat and soak up the rays.
We ended the day with some soccer and spike ball at our campsite as our group settled in and got comfortable!
For our second day, we woke up with some birthday music for Katie’s birthday! We had a morning celebration for her, then grabbed our sunscreen and got on the road. We met up with Hawaiian Sailboarding Techniques Maui for some windsurfing and fun in the sun. David danced his heart away in the van ride after we played his favorite song, and Clare belted out some Taylor Swift. After an informative safety discussion, we went walking to a small cove to practice windsurfing before taking on the bigger waves. John was a natural, and he quickly learned how to balance control and power. River and Reese took turns practicing their “jives” with our instruction PJ, and they soon became professionals on the board! Wrenn and Sascha were the stars of some great GoPro videos, cheering on their group. Prescott was a natural, and he got out to some bigger waves and showed off his skills. MG and William learned how to windsurf with the GoPro on their life jackets and took turns getting some action-packed footage for the trip.
After our activity, we headed to the beach to eat our lunch and soak up the sun. Our group then came back to camp to play basketball, volleyball, and soccer. We ended the day by blowing out the candles on Katie’s cake and singing her happy birthday! We’re really looking forward to our next few days of activities and cannot wait for our last student James to arrive, so stay tuned!
June 13, 2022
Hello Maui Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Maui, minus one student who will be joining the group tomorrow! 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!