July 25, 2022
Aloha Maui families and friends!
Our last full day in Maui was packed with our favorite activities! We woke up early and hopped in the van to drive to our morning activity. As usual, the ride was filled with all of our favorite songs. Paige, Clara and Penelope screamed to Taylor Swift’s All Too Well (the 10-minute version), and pretty soon the whole van was wide awake and ready for the day. We arrived at our outfitter and listened to a Hawaiian song before getting into canoes. The canoes were used hundreds of years ago to transport from island to island, and nowadays, many locals race in them. Bruce, Charlie, Alex, and Thomas quickly nailed down the paddling techniques and cruised ahead to the snorkel spot. When we got there, Clara and Holman immediately hopped into the water to find turtles. Simon held a sea urchin and Katherine swam down to get close to the reef. After snorkeling, we all lined up in our canoes to race back to shore. The girls’ boat (Katherine, Paige, Penelope, Clara, and Gigi) challenged MMG, Simon, Ford and Holman. They went head-to-head, but then out of nowhere, Thomas’ boat took the lead. We arrived at shore with sore arms, ready to relax on the beach for the rest of the day.
Later in the afternoon, we went to our favorite beach that we had discovered earlier in the week. Alex and Bruce sprinted into the waves to bodysurf, while MMG and Clara enjoyed a nice stroll along the water. We spent the afternoon laying on the beach, playing in the waves and sitting together chatting. It was hard to leave knowing it would be the last beach visit of the trip. For our final night together, we went out to pizza, and all squeezed into a booth made for six people. We shared plenty of laughs and tried our hardest to finish all of the pizza we ordered. After dinner we stopped for ice cream (of course!) and went on a joy ride in the van. Thomas’ aux covered all of the bases, and everyone sang their loudest. Charlie, Bruce, and Alex got out to perform a dance and a few of us started to tear up as we realized it was our last night together. We ended the night with a beautiful Moonup under the stars and then all had a sleepover. Although our hearts were heavy, we all feel so grateful to have spent the best two weeks together. It truly has been incredible!
Our final day together still included fun as we packed up camp and headed to the airport. We drove to Krispy Kreme, which quickly put a smile on everyone’s faces. Everyone helped to clean camp, and we took down our Enos and rolled up our sleeping bags. Ford and Alex got in a few soccer passes, and Paige and Penelope put on their new bracelets that they got in town. We then headed out to lunch together in town before the airport. We are very sad to leave one another, and Thomas and I feel so lucky to have met eleven amazing people and friends. We look forward to staying in touch with everyone as they begin their 9th and 10th grade years and hope that we can have a reunion in the future! Thank you for sharing your hilarious, thoughtful, respectful, and FUN sons and daughters with us. We will cherish these memories forever!
Thomas and MMG
July 25, 2022
We began the day with a pre-breakfast crazy creek and hammock time. Charlie and Bruce hung up seven Enos in one tree, and we all gathered in them to chat. Simon drew a beautiful nature scene in his hammock, and Gigi and Alex made us all laugh with their jokes. We then toasted bagels and made bacon for breakfast, enjoying our time together around the table. After a slower morning, we were antsy to hit the beach. We brought spike ball, volleyball, and football as well as lots of snacks!
In the afternoon, we drove up Haleakala to a zip lining course that overlooks the beautiful view down to the ocean. We split into two groups, and Thomas took the first group up to the course. MMG took the girls to a lookout while we waited to zip line, and Paige bought a few postcards to write letters to her friends from home. The girls then took on the zip lining course. Clara wore her GoPro on her helmet and took some awesome videos from above! After, the two groups met up for the drive back down the mountain to camp. Back at camp, some of the boys played basketball in preparation for the Olympics the next day. Alex was the announcer and commentator, and Ford worked on his layups. Once the team felt ready for the big match, we began cooking a delicious pasta bar dinner. We discussed the line ups for basketball, soccer and spike ball for the Olympics and felt confident in our chances of winning. After dinner, Gigi and Bruce led us in a moon up under the stars. The girls ended Moon Up with a skit that they had practiced all day. We shared lots of laughs—the best way to end the evening!
We got up early today for the group’s favorite activity yet: an incredible rafting and snorkeling tour! The guides served us warm cinnamon rolls as we cruised out into the ocean, and then set us up with snorkels and fins as we reached our first site. Holman loved the snorkeling and saw the most turtles out of anyone. He was always the first one in the water and the last one out as we visited all the different sites. We all had so much fun at “the elevator”, a spot in the water where swimmers can rise and fall with the tide without the current moving them. Bruce never wanted to leave! As lunch time approached, we enjoyed sandwiches and Hawaiian chips while the guides played our favorite tunes. We then returned to shore, excited for the Olympics that afternoon.
At the Olympics, Alex, Holman, Gigi and Clara absolutely dominated in soccer. Simon won “Captains Coming” and Charlie also won a giant game of rock paper scissors. Ford was MVP during basketball, getting every pass and making almost every shot from the paint. Paige and Penelope met a friend from camp, and Clara and Katherine were so excited to see some of their friends from their Moondance last year. It was such a terrific night of sports, a BBQ and a big group moon up. Thomas surprised us by playing Wagon Wheel on the guitar and singing. What a big day of water fun, sports and meaningful moments with all of the Moondancers in Maui!
MMG And Thomas
Penelope: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have an amazing time with amazing people!!
Paige: Hey Mom and Dad! Thank you so much for sending me on this Moondance trip I’ve had the most fun that I’ve ever had in my life!
Clara: See you soon!!!
Katherine: Thank you for sending me here! Im having so much fun!
Gigi: Thank you so much for sending me to Maui!
Alex: Thank you mom and dad for sending me here Ive had a blast!
Holman: Miss y’all!
Simon: Thank you for sending me to Maui! Ive had a great time and made lots of friends!
Bruce: Thanks for sending me here and I appreciate all of the things that you do for me and I love you.
Charlie: I had a great time and I’ll see you in two days!
Ford: HI Mom and Dad! Thank you for sending me here it will be something I remember forever!
July 20, 2022
Aloha Maui friends + families,
Everyone slept in a little and woke up to the smell of chocolate chip pancakes! We took turns answering Charlie’s trivia questions using the hot pancakes as the prize. After a long breakfast with lots of laughs, we all headed to the field to play spike ball. Clara and Paige were the captains and each drafted competitive teams. The game was close, with Bruce kicking four home runs. Penelope and Ford had an amazing two-out play, getting Thomas out on his way home. After nine innings, Paige’s team was ahead by one taking the final win. We then gathered at the campsite to learn more about Hawaiian culture from a local and Moondance veteran leader. He taught us about the formation of the 133 islands that make up Maui, as well as the importance of preserving culture and nature while visiting. Gigi and Alex were quick to answer his questions, contributing to a lively and informative conversation. We ended up handing out snorkeling gear to use for the rest of the trip. In the afternoon we ventured to a local beach for snorkeling and games. Simon led us in a game of “ocean Simon says” which brought lots of laughs from the group. Paige led the girls in a game of star while the boys snorkeled in search of turtles. After a few hours outside, we headed back to camp. We closed out the day with a delicious homemade pizza dinner and moon up under the stars. Right as we were headed into our tents, Ford and Holman spotted a shooting star! Truly a magical day.
Today, we began our day early and hit Kamala Park for some epic wave riding. Katherine was leading the team once again in the water, catching wave after wave with no help needed. Thomas, Charlie and Bruce were shining shredders too as they took on some bigger waves further out into the deep. This was our final surf day of to trip so we knew we had to give it all we had. After drying the salt water off our dogs (toes), we had a full team volleyball rally where our goal was 50 hits in a row (we got 47). Ford’s height advantage was a key factor in the team’s success. Alex spearheaded some killer soccer touches as well with a motley crew. Just a lil footie with the fellaz. We then hit the road back toward home base with a much needed Oreo stop along the way. We ate a quick lunch and headed to Pono grown farms. Here, we learned about this incredible and sustainable place that grows vegetables eaten all over the island(restaurants, markets, etc…). After chasing chickens around for a solid 30 minutes, we all got to play many roles in growing these veggies. Gigi and Bruce gathered the mulch and dirt. Charlie and Alex spearheaded mixing the soil. Paige and Ford prepared the pots for the seeds. Finally, Clara, Katherine, Penelope, Holman, and Simon all placed the tiny plants in the prepared soil.
To our surprise, we wrapped up a solid day’s work and got to try out the Pono homemade slip n slide! It was so fun!! To wash off the dirt, we hopped in the recently made pond in the middle of the farm. We wrapped up the day with a very close basketball game and a delicious Mac N cheese bar dinner. Post dinner, we surprised the kids with a quick trip to town for some Gelato!
Arriving back at the campsite, we had a beautiful moonup laying on the basketball court under the stars led by Katherine and Ford. What an amazing place this is! So excited to start the back half of the trip, as we still have so much more fun planned.
Until next time,
Thomas and MMG
Gigi: Hi mom and dad! Love you!! I know how to surf now.
Clara: hey mom and dad! Miss you, see you soon and love you!
Paige: hey mom and dad! Maui is so much fun! I learned how to surf. Tell char and grace I miss them.
Penelope: Hi!!! I’m having a blast in Maui and have been surfing it up. Love and miss you.
Katherine: hi mom and daddy! I’ve been wearing a lot of sunscreen and I saw a turtle!
Bruce: hi mom and dad and Keller! I’m having a great time in Maui. See you soon!,
Alex: Hey mom. I’m having a fantastic time! We’re at the best camp site and my favorite activity so far is bodysurfing
Holman: Miss y’all!
Ford: Hi mom and dad! Tell Granddad to get a surf board for the beach!
Charlie: I am having a steezy time down in the islands and I’ve been rocking the yucky sty. Ive been smacking the lip surfing.
Simon: I’ve been doing a lot of surfing and getting tan. Love and miss you!
Thomas: love you mom!
MMG: having the best time!
July 17, 2022
Aloha Maui families and friends!!
Our first full day in Maui brought lots of fun, sun and games! We woke up in our beautiful camp site and everyone emerged out of their tents to the smell of bacon. The first leaders of the day, Alex and Penelope, cooked up some eggs and toast as well. After a hearty breakfast, we packed up to head to windsurfing. Simon and Bruce raced ahead down the beach with their sails, quickly rigging up the boards and leading the way into the water. Everyone took turns learning the technique, and within an hour our entire group was windsurfing by themselves. Penelope and Paige wowed everyone with their tricks and Holman surfed so far out that he saw a turtle.
After we finished our windsurfing, we stayed on the beach to play volleyball and eat lunch. Then we hopped back in the ocean and laughed as Ford rode a wave while doing backstroke. Clara and Katherine took the volleyball into the ocean and rallied back and forth. To add to the sporting fun, we brought out the spike ball and everyone dove into a tournament. There definitely won’t be a shortage of sports with our group!
Back at camp we snacked on chips and salsa while Alex and Penelope helped prepare dinner. We made Mexican burrito bowls with all of the toppings… guacamole, sour cream, refried beans, shredded cheese and lots of chicken and rice.
Today we woke up early for our first morning of surfing! Before heading out we toasted bagels and Katherine cut oranges and apples for the entire group. On the way to the beach we blasted Moana hits and got amped for the day. The final tunes of the Beach Boys sent us off on a high note as we strapped up our booties and threw on our rash-guards. Our guides took us through some paddling techniques, and we were hitting the beach shortly after. Immediately after a couple of starter waves assisted by the guides, everyone was standing up on their own. There were multiple waves where we had 6+ students riding together! They were shredding!!
Gigi was the first to graduate from the instructors and showed everyone the ropes. Charlie immediately acted like a natural on every wave he caught. He also successfully caught a tandem wave with Thomas on the same board. It was sweet!! Charlie also successfully hopped on Alex’s board mid-wave and rode in together, which was insane! Every time we looked up, Bruce was on a wave. This was happening because he was an insanely fast paddler, and he couldn’t stop himself from catching all the waves. Every student was having the best time and was asking about surfing again within seconds of leaving.
After a quick beach shower, we all had a great time playing a group favorite “death hack.” It is a combination between Hackey sack and dodgeball…. Very fun. Katherine has proven to be the leader of the group at this game. We then hopped in the van and headed to Lahaina to go on an insanely sweet submarine tour. Charlie was the first to spot out a white tip reef shark which is rare to see on the tour. Alex led the way by asking the most questions to the guide. We watched fish as deep as 150 feet in the ocean!
We then headed back to camp and all the boys played an intense game of basketball. Ford played some key lockdown defense and led his team until the very end. Bruce had over 10 steals and Charlie had 12+ points. After, a fun game of “guess the celebrity” occurred and Clara had the funniest name of all.
We wrapped up the day with delicious Dinosaur chicken nuggets, salad and pasta mixed with lots of laughs!! Leaders of the day, Holman and Katherine, led a great Moonup that prompted some awesome conversation. There is so much more fun and sun to look forward to, and we know it is going to be such a blast. We are having such an incredible time and the kids are already become great friends! We love it here!!
A hui hou (until next time),
Thomas and Mary McKenzie
July 14, 2022
Hello Maui Families!
We heard from our leaders late yesterday evening 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!