June 24, 2022
Aloha Maui C families,
Holy smokes! It’s hard to believe our session has come to an end! Definitely a bittersweet feeling in the airport… sad to see everyone go their separate ways but smiling knowing the lifelong friendships we have formed here in Maui.
Since we last updated y’all, we have continued to be so busy having fun here! Yesterday morning we told the kids we were going to clean the van but surprised them instead with a visit to the Kahului Krispy Kreme. Who knew Hawaii had Krispy Kreme! Bryce and Wesley were able to snag two Krispy Kreme hats and wore them the rest of the day. Soon after, we departed for a long drive on Maui’s famed “Road to Hana”! The drive lived up to the expectations as we weaved our way through the green countryside admiring the plentiful waterfall and ocean views. Arianna and Mercer blessed our ears when they took over on aux for the ride. Finally, we arrived at the rappelling center. The scenery took our breath away as we gazed at the lush green fauna. Before long, we split into two groups and headed off into the canyon to rappel!
The course featured three major drops, two of which landed in the water next to beautiful waterfalls! Max really shined when he conquered his fear of heights in the second rappel. Bailey made us all laugh when she asked the guide to push her off the ledge (safely harnessed in, of course!). While we waited on the second group to finish, Tate made friends with and fed a friendly peacock named Richard. Tired and wet, we headed back to camp for our final dinner and Moonup together!
Brooke and Bryce headed our final cook crew and helped put together a tasty meal of chicken tacos. We then dove into our last Moonup, led by LODs Amalie and Zach. We were so sad to be ending our day together for the last time, but we shared some great laughs and conversation.
This morning we woke up bright and early to clean camp and get ready to leave 🙁 We then headed to go thrift shopping for goofy outfits for our banquet lunch! Ella Ross did a great job of dressing the gang up in funny attire. We then went over to some nearby food trucks to dig into a tasty lunch! In our last meal together, we reminisced on the great memories we formed together.
Wow! All the kids are gone, and we miss them so much already! Thank you so much for sharing your incredible children with us for 2 weeks – their growth was exceptional, and we can’t wait to see the amazing things they go on to do. We have already traded phone numbers and will stay in touch, but until then, happy trails!
Philip, Read, and Annie
June 20, 2022
Surprise!! Here are some thank you’s from the kiddos –
Wesley: Thank you for sending me here mom and dad!
Max: Thank you for sending me to Hawaii.
Bryce: Thank you so much for sending me on this wonderful experience!
Ella-Ross: Thank you so so much mom and dad for allowing me to experience this incredible trip. I love and miss you guys!
Zach: Thank you mom and dad for sending me on this incredible trip to see and do all of these new fun activities!
Mercer: A big thank you mom and dad for the amazing opportunity to go on this trip and try new things while meeting new people! Love you guys lots!
Tate: thank you so much mom and dad for sending me on this trip
Asa: Thank you so much mom and dad for sending me on this amazing trip
Arianna: Thank you mom and dad for sending me to Maui I’m having the best time ever can’t wait to see you guys Friday!! Love you guys!
Bailey: Hi guys, Thank you so much for allowing me to go to Maui it is so fun and I’m having a great time! Love and miss you guys so much
Brooke: Thank you guys so so much for allowing me to experience an amazing trip such as this one. Love y’all
Amalie: Hey mom and dad! Thank you so much for sending me on this amazing trip! I have made the best friends and am having so much fun! Can’t wait to see y’all soon!
June 19, 2022
Aloha Maui 1C families and friends!
How are we on our third trip update already?? Time is truly flying out here. We have been incredibly busy the past few days soaking in our time on this beautiful island. So much has happened and we can’t wait to share it with you!
On Thursday the crew enjoyed a leisurely morning catching up on some much-needed rest after an action packed few days. Ella-Ross had the great idea to switch things up and check out a local açai bowl shop for lunch. We made a short drive to the quaint seaside town of Paia and devoured smoothies, bowls, and other fruit snacks. It was the first time trying açai for both Asa and Tate, but they enjoyed every bite. What better place to try a new tropical food than Hawaii? With full bellies and smiles, we headed up Mt. Haleakala to zipline in the rainforest.
After a large elevation gain and drop in temperature (phew), we hopped in our harnesses and hiked into the rainforest. Our zipline guides educated us about the fascinating history of Maui’s rainforests and their current conservation and reforestation efforts. Max took charge of our group GoPro and captured some epic footage as we zoomed through the trees. We can’t wait to see it in a few weeks. Our fantastic LODs Bryce and Ella-Ross decided the best way to wrap up the day would be a picnic dinner at sunset on the beach. It was spectacular! All the kids followed Arianna’s lead and spontaneously hopped in the water as the sun sank behind the neighboring island of Molokai. What a day!
The next day we woke up bright and early and took to the beach for windsurfing lessons. Our guides were amped to tell us the conditions were perfect. Brooke and Zach stood out from the group as they raced through the water and mastered the tack and jibe maneuvers. Kudos to them! Our group unanimously agreed windsurfing was much tougher than regular surfing. After windsurfing, our squad went back to camp for lunch. We surprised the kids with their very own white Moondance shirts to tie dye. Bailey led the way and showed us all how’s it’s done. We’re still waiting for them to dry, but before long we will be representing Moondance in style! We then went back down to the coast for a few Spikeball matches on the beach. Wesley and Bryce have developed a fierce rivalry against Max and Asa that leaves us on the edge of our seats. For dinner, Mercer pitched in a hand to whip up our most delicious meal yet, stir fry with chicken and veggies. Mercer then helped finish the day by teaching us one of her old games from Camp Illahee. It was an instant hit. Thanks, Mercer!
Today, we engaged in one of our coolest actives yet… a submarine tour! Amalie was the only one who had been on a submarine before, so she helped the rest of us calm our nerves as we dropped up to 130(!!) feet below the surface. We saw sharks, puffer fish, starfish, octopus, and countless species of reef fish, just to name a few. After quickly grabbing ice cream at a local shop, we piled into the van and traveled to Kapalua Bay (sound familiar, golf fans?). LODs Wesley and Amalie elected to take a short trek across the rocky coastline to a breathtaking crag jutting off the coast, aptly named Dragons’ Teeth. We took a few photos and departed towards camp with our stomachs growling for dinner. Our cook crew whipped up a tasty meal of veggies, rice, and chicken, and we headed to bed excited for the adventures to come.
Your children continue to amaze us every day. It’s remarkable the growth many of them have made in just a week here. With every hour the group grows closer together. There is no doubt in our minds they are forming friendships here that will last a lifetime. We are so excited for our home stretch of the trip exploring Maui!
Catch y’all soon, but until then…
Philip, Annie, and Read
June 16, 2022
Aloha! Welcome back to our adventure!
Our group has had some amazing adventures these past couple of days! We’ve been having SUCH a fun time exploring Maui as a group and we are so excited that our group has grown so tight in such a short time period. We cannot wait to see more of the incredible sights and culture that this beautiful island has to offer.
The kids excitedly woke up early in anticipation for our surfing lesson! After a tasty breakfast of pancakes and fruit, the gang set off to Kihei to have a personalized surfing lesson by our very own instructors.
After learning and practicing our surfing skills on land, the group happily set off to the ocean with their boards to catch some gnarly waves! After testing the waters, everyone quickly became pros and even learned a few tricks. Zach was absolutely crushing the 180 jump and switch feet trick. The group finished out our session by catching one more wave before going into shore. Bailey was an absolute star by catching a beautiful wave that stretched so far that she reached the edge of the shore!
After catching some gnarly waves, we stopped by a local Hawaiian shaved ice stand for a delicious treat! Ella-Ross made an expert choice of mixing strawberry and pink-lemonade with a scoop of guava ice cream (such a tasty combo). The gang then went back to our campsite for some kickball and hacky sack before packing a quick dinner of sandwiches and snacks in order to hit the road and reach the summit of Mount Haleakala.
While on the way, the gang belted out a bunch of classic tunes! Tate loved singing along to Knee Deep by Zac Brown Band with the crew. When we reached the top of Mount Haleakala, the group was hit by a blast of windy cold air! Everyone was in awe looking at the view as we all looked down at the clouds above the gorgeous Pacific Ocean and other mountain ranges. The group, all dressed in sweatpants and sweatshirts, laughed and took pictures with each other while enjoying the incredible sights of Maui. We were so high up that we even saw neighboring islands including the Island of Hawaii! The group enjoyed the lasting moments of the sun while passing around peanut butter m&ms and taking some pics together.
Next day was an absolute blast! The group had an early morning start to arrive on time for our Redline Rafting snorkel tour with our guides Sean and Airy. While enjoying our cinnamon roll and fruit breakfast on the boat, the gang headed out to Molokini Crater to begin our snorkel adventure. We all quickly put on our goggles and fins to jump in and explore all the incredible underwater wildlife. Mercer and Wesley were the most adventurous and swam through multiple schools of exotic fish! After hopping back on the boat and heading over to La Perouse Bay, the gang went back out into the sea to go explore the incredible coral. During our discovery, Brooke found a ginormous eel that was hidden in a coral cave! On our last stop near Wailea, the group splashed in one more time to see multiple sea turtles. After exploring so many different types of wildlife, everyone piled back into the boat for a yummy lunch of sandwiches, chips, and cookies. When lunch finished, all the kids held tight as the boat zoomed through the sea back to our drop off location!
After a full morning of snorkeling, the kids went on a walk near the ocean led by our wonderful Leaders of the Day, Arianna and Max. In the middle of our hike, the kids were surprised with some delicious ice cream from a local shop! Asa enjoyed some yummy mint chocolate chip ice cream while going with the group to look at some local shops. We also practiced our Hawaiian word of the day, Mahalo Nui, which means “Big Thank You.” After piling in the car and heading back into camp, the kids listened to some guitar and even picked up a few songs! Amalie picked up the guitar super quick while learning how to play the song “Riptide!” The gang also enjoyed a fun game of kickball where Tate lead his team by pitching some incredible throws to the opposing team! Our trusty cook crew, Blake, Ella-Ross, and Bailey whipped up a tasty meal of chicken fried rice with sautéed fresh veggies.
While eating our dinner together, Bryce pointed out a nearby peacock that was resting right beside our tent! The crew then headed outside to play Spikeball and swing on the nearby swing set. After a quick Moonup, everyone headed to bed to get some rest for our exciting day of ziplining!
So stoked about the growth this crew has made already and what the rest of our trip holds. Stay tuned for our next update, but until then, surfs up!
-Philip, Read, and Annie
Max – Hey, I’m having an amazing time, love you both
Bryce – Hey mom and dad, I’m having a great time out here.
Wesley – Hey dad, I already managed to lose a water bottle but I’m still having fun and am staying hydrated
Asa – miss you guys and love you both
Tate- hey miss you guys love you tell Alice i said I miss her and I love monkeys
Mercer – hey guys, love and miss you so much! Tell Parker pineapple love it here can’t wait to see you but sad to leave
Ella-Ross- Hey guys! I miss and love you guys! I am having so much fun and I love my group! Can’t wait to tell you guys all about it!
Zach – Hey mom and dad! I’m having so much fun! I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
Brooke – Hey guys! I’m having such a good time with the best people. Love and miss you all so much. See you soon!
Arianna – Hey mom and dad! I’m having the best time and I made such good friends, best camp ever!! love and miss you can’t wait to see you next week
Bailey – Hey guys! I miss y’all so much and I am having the best time, can’t wait to see you guys!!
Amalie – Hi mom and dad! This trip has been so much fun so far, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! Tell everyone I say hi! Love y’all
June 14, 2022
Aloha Maui C families!
Our first few days together have been nothing short of an absolute blast! It’s hard to believe this crew has only been together for a couple of days… from sea kayaking and snorkeling to learning about Hawaiian culture and history, this group has already been SO busy having fun. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing kiddos with us. We love them already and can’t wait to watch them grow!
The group impressed us right away with their high spirits in the airport despite an exhausting travel day. Asa led the way by showcasing his hacky sack talents as we waited at baggage claim for all our new friendly faces. Despite having no musical experience, Tate picked up the ukulele and learned “Riptide” by Vance Joy in no time. Finally, we celebrated the arrival of (most) of our group with a pizza dinner and settled into our beautiful campsite. We then held our first Moonup and headed to bed in preparation for a big day ahead! Moonup is a nightly tradition here at Moondance where we reflect on the amazing day we had, get to know each other better, practice leadership skills, and plan for the day ahead.
We began our first full day together bright and early with a delicious breakfast cooked at camp. We then piled into the van and headed to our first activity on Maui, an outrigger canoe! Our guide, Kevin, met us at a local beach and soon enough we were in the water. We paddled along the beach for a bit while the guides taught us about the history of Hawaii. We found a super cool reef shelf to anchor the canoes by and hopped in! Bryce jumped in first and spotted a massive sea turtle swimming close to our group. We also eyed a beautiful octopus. Amalie got inked by the octopus, but kept her spirits high and laughed it off. It was a great moment for the group to share a laugh and bond. After snorkeling, we quickly swung by the airport and picked up two new smiling faces, Ella-Ross and Mercer. The two didn’t skip a beat and filled right in to our afternoon activity, visiting Ho’okipa Beach, which is renowned for the amount of sea turtles who live there! We spotted over 40 Hawaiian green sea turtles sunbathing on the beach. In fact, we thought they were rocks at first because there were so many!
Music is a huge component of Moondance, so we are all very grateful that Arianna blessed our ears all day long on aux in the van. Her music taste has kept the group’s energy through the roof! So far Rihanna and Adele are the fan favorites.
We got back to camp just as the sun was setting over the West Maui mountains, lighting the whole sky up orange and pink. It was so beautiful. As it got dark, Brooke jumped into the drivers seat spearheading dinner crew. She helped the rest of us whip up some tasty chicken fajitas. The boys made us all laugh when they topped off their fajitas with Hot Cheetos (good idea, Tate and Wesley!). Our second Moonup brought the group closer together and we headed to bed ready for an amazing morning of sea kayaking ahead.
Today was a super special day because we got to sea kayak with veteran Moondance leader and 20-year Maui resident, Griff Dempsey. Griff took us on a paddling tour along the coast of Wailea and pointed out so many cool exotic species. Max grabbed all of our attention when he dove down and pointed out a rare Moray Eel! After kayaking, the leaders of the day, Tate and Bailey, worked together to find the beautiful Baby Beach to eat our lunch and relax at! When we got back to camp, Max showed off his amazing sports skills when the group played a friendly game of kickball! Asa made us all laugh when he volunteered to have his hair braided by some of the girls in the group. Our squad finished our day with some delicious pesto pasta made by our very own chefs, Wesley and Amalie!
We are having such an amazing time together and we CANNOT wait to round out our group when Zach joins us tomorrow! We take to the beach bright and early for a surfing lesson with a local guide. Everyone is pumped!
We’re beyond stoked for what the next few weeks have in store! We have an astounding group and know they are going to have the best time. It’s remarkable how close they are getting already. Stay posted!
Philip, Read, and Annie
June 13, 2022
Hello Maui Families!
We 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!