July 26, 2022
Welcome back to our final trip update from the beautiful island of Maui! We all can not believe that our incredible two weeks together as a group have come to an end. It feels like yesterday everyone was just arriving at the airport. Over these past two weeks, our crew has grown so much over this short period of time. We’ve grown incredibly close and it definitely was hard saying our goodbyes tonight at the airport. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing kids with us and we’re so thankful that we had the chance to explore the island together!
After excelling as a team in our Maui Olympics the night before, the crew took some much needed rest at camp. When we woke up, everyone decided to whip up some yummy pancakes for breakfast which were super delicious! Kate and Lucy came up with a brilliant idea to use some of our m&m’s to put into the pancakes which inspired much of the group to do the same. After everyone was full from the delish breakfast, the group made a game-time decision to travel over to the beautiful Fleming Beach to spend some time playing in the sun. Cash amazed the group with his impressive bodysurfing skills in the ocean. So cool to watch! After drying off, the crew grew a little hungry for lunch so we all piled back into the van and headed back to camp to make some homemade chicken quesadillas made by our very own cook crew, William and Charles. We had a little leftover chicken so Wright whipped up some delicious crispy Hawaiian bbq chicken that melted in your mouth. So delicious!
After lunch, the gang jumped back into the van and headed out for our exotic underwater adventure in a real-life submarine! We all sat down on a boat that took us to a deep point in the ocean where we watched in amazement as the submarine submerged to the surface. Everyone climbed down the ladder to sit down and see all the amazing underwater wildlife that the ocean had to offer. We saw so many incredible species including numerous types of fish and starfish. Grey even pointed out a huge reef shark to the group during our tour of a sunken ship! After our tour ended and we traveled back to the town of Lahaina to walk around town and explore some of the local shops. The group decided to cool off from the sun by enjoying some Hawaiian shaved ice and ice cream. Sean and Crawford decided to try some of the local dole whip made by pineapple that was grown on the island while Mika and Lucy decided to try out some of the homegrown coffee ice cream. Both were delectable!
After shopping, the gang made a quick pit stop to Goodwill to grab some “spirited” outfits for our final dinner together! Helen and Kate sported matching green jerseys and fuzzy slippers which was definitely a spectacular sight to see! After everyone dressed up in their new clothes, the crew traveled back to Lahaina to enjoy some local cuisine at Paia Fish Market for our final banquet dinner together. Helen and Zoe enjoyed some spectacular fish tacos that were so delish! Walking back to the van after dinner the entire crew was filled with laughter and everyone jammed out to some music while heading back to camp (Firework by Katy Perry was a huge win with the crowd!). After a super memorable Moonup, the crew reflected on the once in a lifetime experiences everyone had on our trip and how close our entire group had become.
The next morning, the crew had a quick breakfast while packing up our camp at Maui prep before heading to the airport. After many hugs and goodbyes, everyone in the group exchanged phone numbers before boarding their flights to head home.
We all still can’t believe that our fabulous two weeks in Maui have already come to an end. We’ve had an amazing time with your kids and are so grateful that we were given the chance to get to know each of them personally. Everyone is such a positive force and we had an absolute blast hanging out with them this summer. We can not wait to see the amazing things that everyone will accomplish and we definitely want to keep in touch! We are so thankful that we had the chance to share such an incredible journey with your kiddos!
Signing off from Maui!
Annie, Philip and Read
July 24, 2022
We cannot wait to tell you all the incredible adventures our gang have enjoyed in beautiful Maui! All three of us still find it hard to believe that our crew only has two more days together on the island. We’ve all grown so close as a group and are so thankful that we have the opportunity to explore all the incredible things this spectacular location has to offer. Thanks for sharing your magnificent kiddos with us this summer!
On Thursday morning, our gang quickly sprang out of bed and excitedly grabbed a quick breakfast before piling into the van to head to Kihei for our surfing lesson with Maui Beach Boys! Everyone suited up in their rash guards and water boots before grabbing our boards and heading out to catch some gnarly waves! With this being our second time, our crew quickly picked up where we left off and absolutely crushed multiple sets of waves. Wright showed off his skills to the group as he completed multiple awesome 180 “switcheroos” on his board effortlessly. Kudos to him! After the crew caught their finale wave of the day into shore, everyone jumped back into the van to head back to camp to cook up some delicious lunch. William was our head chef in the kitchen for lunch and cooked up some scrumptious chicken quesadillas which everyone devoured. So delicious!
After finished their last bites, the gang traveled to Pono Grown Farms in Makawao for a lesson and activity with the farm’s owner, Evan. After an engaging talk with Evan on how he runs his farm, each person rolled up their sleeves and got to work helping with multiple tasks on the farm. The task ranged from planting carrot seeds in the soil to picking organic fruits from the farm’s trees. Crawford was super speedy at his task as he quickly brought back a massive, full bucket of fresh lemons to the group. After successfully finishing our task, we were rewarded by Evan with a super fun water slide that he set up for us! The crew wasted no time and immediately jumped headfirst on the slide. Lucy and Kate had a brilliant idea to start a massive train on the slide with multiple group members which gained so much extra speed when we went down! Everyone was a little bit muddy from speeding down the water slide, so we decided to rinse off at Evan’s watering hole on his farm. During our cannonball contest, Cash absolutely blew everyone out of the water when he jumped in and made the biggest splash.
After everyone dried off, the crew headed back to camp to cook a mouthwatering dinner of BBQ chicken, rice, and veggies! Grey took charge and helped cut and sauté some delicious carrots, bell peppers, and mushrooms. When dinner was served, everyone in the group immediately dug in and enjoyed an amazing meal while watching the sunset at camp. After a fun Moonup, our crew climbed into our sleeping bags to get ready for our next day of spectacular surf.
For our second day of surfing, the crew excelled their skills surfing and Zoe and Mika even learned how to tandem surf. After surfing we got some well-deserved shaved ice from local boys shaved ice. We headed back to camp for a delicious quesadilla lunch and Helen showed off her watermelon cutting skills. After spending some time regrouping after lunch, our crew set out to spend the late afternoon at Slaughterhouse beach to take lots of photos and catch the beautiful sunset. Cash again showed off his swimming skills and his love for the water when he swam from one side of the beach to the other! After the incredible sunset at the beach, we went back to camp and cook up a delicious Mac and cheese and chicken, followed up with a terrific Moonup under the stars.
Today, we woke up early to go on a canoeing adventure in Wailea. We met up with our guide Kevin and heard a quick history lesson about Hawaii. We then hopped in the water and took off up and down the coastline. After paddling for a bit, we anchored our canoes and snorkeled. The marine life was stunning as always. Our guides showed us lots of hidden creatures, and Sean was brave enough to hold a live sea urchin in his hand. We then continued and engaged in a race back to the shore! Charles led his team as the “5”, or furthest back in the boat, to a victory.
After canoeing, we headed back to camp in preparation for the Moondance Olympics. The other two Moondance groups on Maui came over to our campsite for an afternoon of games and fun. We finished up the night by grilling burgers and hotdogs and doing Moonup with the whole 45-person group. It was a blast!
Hard to believe we only have two more sleeps together, but I know we will soak in every minute. Talk to you soon!
Annie, Philip, and Read
July 21, 2022
Maui 3C fams,
Welcome back to our adventure! How are we on our third update already?? Time is flying by and we have been soaking up every minute here in Maui. The group has done so much since we last touched base and we can’t wait to tell you about it.
Yesterday, we caught a little extra rest and celebrated with a yummy pancake breakfast at camp. Wright had the fantastic idea of building Mickey Mouse shaped M&M pancakes to make them a little extra special. It was the perfect breakfast to get us fueled up for the day of rappelling ahead. We faced a long drive to the rappelling center on Maui’s South Side, but thankfully our LODs Kate and William kept everyone excited and motivated with games and music as we traversed the Maui rainforest. Once we arrived at rappelling, we saw a few friendly peacocks milling around the parking lot! Helen gave one of them the nickname “Richard”, and oddly enough, it immediately stuck. We then took off for rappelling. After warming up with the “bunny hill”, we jumped in for a rappel down a waterfall! It was daunting, but Mika did a great job of leading by example and showing no fear as she sped down the rockface. Our group finished off with another waterfall descent before leaving the rainforest grinning ear to ear.
After rappelling, we stopped for a quick dip at Baldwin Beach to break up the drive home. For dinner, we whipped a tasty classic — spaghetti and meatballs. The group was exhausted so we headed to dined early in preparation for an early morning snorkel tour.
Today, we rose before the sun and loaded up the van in the dark in anticipation for our snorkel tour of Molokini Crater. We got to watch the sun rise over the neighboring island of Lanai as we drove down the coast towards the boat launch in Makena. After meeting our guides, we dusted some cinnamon rolls on the ride out to the the famed Molokini Crater. Crawford brought the energy and took on the waves from the front seat of the boat while belting the words to every song at the top of his lungs. Our morale was higher than ever! The water at the crater was the clearest any of us had ever seen — it felt like snorkeling in Windex! At our first dive spot, Sean keenly spotted a four foot long moray eel AND w white tip reef shark. We were pumped to have seen two rare species at just the first sight. We then ventured around to the backside of the Crater and experienced what the guides called the “elevator” — a phenomenon where the waves rapidly lift you up and down. Zoe was the first to give it a try and noted that it felt like a natural roller coaster. Grey also showcase her moves by doing backflip after backflip off the side of our raft.
After an unbelievable morning on the water, we headed back to camp for a little rest before heading to go cliff jumping at Kaanapali Beach! Cash stole the show when he lapped the jump over and over again. I lost count at about 7 leaps! The cliff jump was an incredible experience for all. To cap off a highlight day for us, we cheffed up some BBQ chicken sliders and veggies. Lucy and Charles headed the operation and proved a great help in the kitchen once again. I have faith you all will have some hands eager to help in the kitchen when your kiddos return home.
That’s all for now! Can’t believe we are quickly approaching our home stretch, but we’re having a blast every minute. Stay tuned for one more update.
-Philip, Read, and Annie
July 19, 2022
Aloha again! Welcome back to our incredible Maui adventure!
We can’t believe we’re already six days into our amazing trip! Our group has already grown closer than ever and it’s hard to believe that just a few days earlier we were all meeting each other for the first time.
On Saturday morning, we packed a lunch and headed towards Ho’okipa Beach Park. Maui is currently experiencing an unseasonably massive swell, so we took the opportunity to visit one of the island’s renowned surf spots to watch the locals tear it up. Once there, we explored a beautiful rocky overlook spot. Wright even found a super cool cave in the rock formation where sea turtles hang out. Speaking of which, we saw over 30 sea turtles sunbathing on the beach. It was an awesome midday adventure to set the tone for the rest of the day! Before heading to ziplining, we parked the van at a beautiful pull off halfway up Mt. Haleakala. It was a great opportunity to soak in panoramic views of Maui and the surrounding islands. While enjoying the view, the boys had the idea to race down the grassy hillside. Crawford impressed us with his wheels as he dusted the rest of the group!
Finally, we embarked on our afternoon adventure of ziplining. Kate set the tone for the group and showed no fear as she leaped off each platform. The whole crew had an amazing time speeding through the canopies and taking in the breathtaking fauna. Our guides also shared plenty of knowledge with us about Maui’s forests and their conservation efforts. After ziplining, we trekked back to camp for dinner. Even though it was late and we were all tired, Helen stepped up and spearheaded dinner crew for everyone. She whipped up a delicious meal of pesto chicken pasta and we all scarfed it down in record time. With another incredible day in the books, we did a quick Moonup and headed to bed.
The next day, the kids got up super early in anticipation for another day exploring the island. In the morning, we headed North towards Kapalua Bay to check out a new area of coastline. With the help of our trustworthy LODs Sean and Mika, we stumbled upon a hidden gem in Onolea Beach. The pair guided us down a rocky path as we were shocked to be almost the only people in the beautiful beach cove. We took advantage of our good fortune and wasted no time swimming and bodysurfing in the picturesque clear waters. We almost had to drag the kids out of the water when it was time for lunch because they were having so much fun! We then ate a tasty lunch of mac n cheese. After lunch, we all took part in an impromptu sports showdown on our campsite’s field. William led the way in touch football as quarterback. He led his team to a resounding victory before we transitioned to soccer, where Zoe zigged and zagged around nearly every defender en route to countless goals. After the games, we took the evening to explore the historic town of Lahaina Harbor. We surprised the kids with a visit to a local shaved ice shop, which put a smile on everyone’s face. For dinner, we devoured a taco bar. It was an awesome way to cap off our weekend and first few days together!
This morning, we woke up bright and early and departed towards Kanaha Beach for our windsurfing lesson. We were thrilled to hear from our guides that the conditions were prime. Cash picked up on the complicated maneuvers in record time, and before long was zipping up and down the coastline. Lucy also mastered the tack and jibe maneuvers and looked like a pro by the end! To celebrate our great success on the water, we hit up the nearby Krispy Kreme for some donuts. Who knew Maui had Krispy Kreme?! After a yummy lunch at camp, we headed to Kapalua Bay once again for a hike to Dragons Tooth. The views proved absolutely spectacular and we took many photos on the black lava rocks. Charles then had the idea to take a plunge into a nearby tidal pool! It was a spontaneous move as we were dressed in our hiking gear, but we all felt so refreshed from the natural pool. For dinner, we made handheld personal pizzas courtesy of our very own Grey! She killed it, as we all scarfed down the pizzas after a long day of adventures.
It’s been a phenomenal couple of days and it’s hard to believe we’ve reached our trip’s halfway point. We can’t wait for what week 2 holds and stay tuned for the rest of the adventure.
Philip, Read, and Annie
Plus, here are some shoutouts from the kids!
Cash: having a good time, love y’all, see you in a while crocodile
Wright: Having an amazing time in Maui, love you,
Crawford: Hello, please tell Claire I’m sorry I didn’t leave her a voicemail my bad. I’m actually good at kite surfing. Love y’all and I miss y’all
Charles: hello I am having a great time doing great activities I miss y’all and I love y’all and I will see you soon.
Mika: hi family im having fun in Maui and trying new activities. I miss you and can’t wait to see you.
Helen: Hi Family!! I’m having tons of fun! Love and miss y’all
William: Hey mom and dad! How’s Bermuda? I hope y’all are having fun! Love you
Lucy: Hey Mom, dad, and Jane! I’m having an amazing time in Maui, it’s beautiful here! Give Roxy a hug for me, love and miss y’all!!
Zoe: Hello Molten fam I am absofruitly doing good missing y’all missing the swell love y’all very much.
Grey: hi family I miss y’all and goose and I’m having a lot of fun in Maui doing super fun activities. Love yall!
Sean- I miss Dunkin and cherio And I’m trying lots of new things Excited to to tell y’all what we have been doing.
Kate: hi mom and dad I am having such a fun time in Maui! I miss y’all
July 17, 2022
Aloha Maui 3C families!
Greetings from Maui! We are so pumped to finally meet your kids and begin our adventure on the island. It’s already proved to be such a great group and we are so excited for what our trip holds. Thank you for sharing your amazing children with us!
After everyone safely arrived at the airport, we devoured a pizza dinner and traveled to our beautiful campsite to get settled. Exhausted from a long travel day, we enjoyed our first Moonup together and headed to bed early in preparation for a big day of surfing ahead.
On Thursday morning we enjoyed a quick breakfast of cereal and fruit and piled in the van for our first full day together. Upon arrival in Kihei, our guides Keoki and Ricky were thrilled to share with us that Maui is experiencing a swell, bringing us larger than usual waves to shred! Our group was up to the challenge, and quickly picked up on everything the guides taught them. Zoe stood out from the get-go and showed her advanced maneuvers. She showed all of us how to go “down the line” and looked like a true local out there. William also impressed as he caught countless waves despite it being his first time surfing. William also made us laugh by mastering the art of the graceful dismount to avoid the rocky bottom.
After surfing, we headed back to camp as hungry as ever. Fortunately, Crawford stepped up and cheffed up chicken and cheese quesadillas for the whole crew. A natural in the kitchen, he’s also been gaining interest from the crew for his legendary homemade Buffalo sauce. We’re hoping to try it later this week. After lunch, we loaded back into the van and headed to Fleming Beach for a fun afternoon in the sun. We got to enjoy the great waves once more, and all the kids stayed in the water for close to two hours straight bodysurfing. Wright led the group and masterfully selected which waves were perfect for everyone to ride in. It was a sight to behold! We then celebrated our first full day together by grilling out burgers and hotdogs. Our first LODs (Leaders of the Day) Cash and Helen did an amazing job leading us through our second Moonup together. They are some true natural leaders!
On Friday morning we awoke bright and early in anticipation for the conservation section of our trip. We met up with our friend Ekolu, who operates Maui Cultural Lands, a nonprofit with the goal of restoring Maui’s natural rainforests. Ekolu taught us all about the history of Maui’s ecosystems and the dramatic effect invasive species have had on the region. We then got to work helping Ekolu uproot invasive grasses from the Olowalu Canyon to allow for native plants to grow back. Lucy led the way and showed no hesitation getting her hands dirty. Bravo! The group followed her example and successfully removed a large section of invasive plants from the forest. The kids agreed it was a great feeling to leave the island just a little better than we found it. After conservation, we headed to the beach for a picnic lunch! Hot and sweaty from the activity, we all hopped in the water to cool off. It was incredibly refreshing. Mika and Sean spotted a baby sea turtle swimming in the water right next to our group. It was such a great sight, and we could see it perfectly through the crystal clear water.
After the beach, our LODs Helen and Crawford elected to go on an afternoon adventure to Nakelele Blowhole. After Kate took the lead and guided us down the windy trail, we finally arrived at the famous sight. We had an amazing time taking in the views of the water spraying up through the rocks and the sea cliffs all around us. It was like a geyser created by the ocean.
That night, we headed back to camp for a tasty dinner of stir fry. Charles and Grey ambitiously hopped into the kitchen to try their hand at cooking. The pair did a wonderful job and we all scarfed down the delicious dinner. Finally, we enjoyed a great Moonup together and headed to bed excited for the next day’s adventures.
Thanks so much for staying in the loop on our journey! Stay tuned for the next update.
Philip, Annie, and Reid
July 15, 2022
Aloha Maui Families!
We heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Maui and have finished their conservation activity today. 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!