Trip Finder

Trip Updates

Big Wild 1.5A • June 12-June 25, 2023

Final Goodbye from Wyoming!

June 25, 2023

Dear parents and guardians,

As our incredible Big Wild trip draws to a close, we find ourselves reflecting on the wonderful memories we’ve created together. It’s with both joy and a touch of sadness that we share this final trip update with you. Our journey has been filled with laughter, adventure, and a strong sense of camaraderie. We hope that your children will regale you with stories of their unforgettable experiences. After completing our thrilling rafting section on the Salmon River in Idaho, we made our way back to our first campsite, nestled in the picturesque Gros Venture outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The nostalgia set in as we unpacked our gear, realizing that our time together was coming to an end.

Back in Jackson Hole, we decided to venture into town for some well-deserved souvenir shopping. Bailey had us all smiling with his choice of a cowboy hat, which made him look like the fearless Indiana Jones of our group. Sanders, on the other hand, had a stroke of brilliance, suggesting that we coordinate in neon outfits for our banquet dinner. The sight of our vibrant group surely turned heads and made lasting memories.

For our last dinner together, we chose Pica’s Taqueria, a delightful restaurant where Mason’s appetite was legendary. He eagerly devoured everyone’s leftover rice and beans, leaving no plate unemptied. It was a fitting farewell to our shared meals and the bond we formed over shared experiences.


During our touching Moonup ceremony, Sander, Lucy, Phoebe, and Asher brought us to tears of laughter with a hilariously crafted story that opened our Nug Jug—the cherished vessel of gratitude shoutouts. Each student’s unique contributions and presence were acknowledged and celebrated, forging lasting memories of our time together.

But let us not forget each and every one of our amazing students who have contributed to this journey. Sander, your infectious enthusiasm and unwavering positivity brightened every day. Sanders, your quick wit and clever one-liners kept us all entertained. Bailey, your sense of adventure and willingness to try new things inspired us all. Mason, your voracious appetite and ability to bring laughter to any situation will forever be remembered. Abby, your kindness and compassion for others touched our hearts. Phoebe, your creativity and artistic spirit brought beauty to our surroundings. Jack, your fearless spirit and willingness to tackle challenges head-on made us all proud. John-William, we’ll never forget your anticipation of savoring a juicy steak upon your return home, and we hope it’s everything you’ve imagined.

Lucy, your infectious laughter and positive energy were a constant source of joy for the group. Quinley, your resilience and determination in the face of obstacles were truly inspiring. And Asher, your laid-back attitude and ability to find joy in the simplest of moments made this trip all the more memorable. As we bid our final goodbyes, we want to express how deeply we will miss each and every one of your children. They have left an indelible mark on our hearts, and we feel honored to have been part of their journey. We hope that the experiences they’ve had during this trip will continue to shape their lives, fostering a love for adventure and personal growth. Thank you for entrusting your children to us and allowing them to be a part of this incredible adventure. We wish you all a fantastic summer filled with joy, laughter, and many more wild adventures.

With warmest regards,

Elle and Sam

Raging Rapids in the Big Wild!!

June 25, 2023

We continued our Idaho travels to the lush Ponderosa State Park in McCall. On our way to the park, we stopped at a DIY car wash where we all worked together to clean up the van from our road trip. Jack offered to suit up in rain gear to pressure wash the U-Haul and he made us all laugh from the inside of the van at his professionalism. Right as we made it to our new campsite, the sky turned grey, and rain began to roll in. The girls got to work and helped Sam and me set up the tents in an impressive under ten minutes! The rain quickly turned to light hail after we made it under the cover of our tents, but it didn’t stop prankster Bailey from running around and messing with the other tent groups. He always makes sure to keep the group entertained! We had a chill dinner of chicken and ramen, carefully prepared by Jack and Asher, with important executive oversight from Mason, who also filled the group in on the best amusement parks and roller coasters in everyone’s hometowns!


The next morning, we had an early wake-up to head to Riggins, ID to meet with our rafting guides. Once we got to our boat put in ramp, we had a little time waiting on some ramp space to clear up. The sun shined down on us, and everyone took the time to bask in it as Quinley told the group to soak it all in and save it for later just in case we caught rain later. Little did we know we would have a rafting trip full of sun!


On our first day on the lower Salmon River, we suited up in life jackets and learned all about river safety and white water paddling technique. We divided into two boats lead by our leaders of the day, Bailey and Lucy, while our gear boat (that weighs over 3000 pounds!) followed behind us. That night we made camp on a beautiful sand beach and ate delicious grilled cheeseburgers. Our rafting guides joined us for Moonup under the stars and we all laughed together every time John-William would find a way to insert the answer “Popeyes fried chicken” into every question asked.


On day two, we were surprised by bouncing rapids that brought out laughs and shouts from everyone. Abby and Phoebe showed off their skills down the rapids before settling down in a patch of flat water. From then on, both rafts approached every rapid by following Sander’s lead and barking like rabid dawgs to remind Mother Nature of the true meaning of resilience and determination.


On our way out of Idaho, we jammed out to some classics. Bailey led us through classics like Don’t Stop Believing Led and Sanders added licks of Tyler Childers in tribute to her older brother. As we head closer to the end of our time together, we want to thank Idaho for providing such a beautiful backdrop for our bonding adventures.



Elle and Sam

Welcome to Idaho!

June 20, 2023

Hi Big Wild families and Happy late Father’s Day from our crew!

Before we headed off to the Wind River Range for the backpacking portion of our trip, we were able to learn the ropes of fly fishing on drift boats with some amazing guides on the Green River in Wyoming. Quinley and Lucy each snagged three fish, our guide kept calling them naturals and we might even see a new hobby in their futures! After fishing, we made it to our new campsite as the sun was setting. Although the rain started to come down, Sanders kept the energy high by leading card games in her tent and Jack was incredibly helpful by springing into action, filling up water bottles and running back to the van for last minute supplies. Despite the inclement weather, everyone’s spirits were soaring high! Lucy and John-William led an exciting Moonup under the stars, featuring an elaborate skit to open up our daily gratitude shoutouts. The next morning, we headed to Pinedale for a warm shower and some swimming at the deluxe community center. That afternoon our guide took us on a hike up to a stunning view that served as the perfect backdrop for another scenic Moonup. On our way back to camp, our savvy navigator Bailey took the lead on an alternate route through Buffalo wallows from the past. The following morning, we left our Rocky Mountain reservations and made our way into Idaho. Between Mason’s knowledge of the natural wonders of our new favorite state, and Sander making sure the van was aware we were in a land of many potatoes, there was much stimulating conversation in our car ride. During the sleepy period of our road trip, our intelligent Abby brought out her sleep mask and pillow to get in a cozy car nap. This evening, we made it to an exciting new campsite near Mountain House, Idaho that has gorgeous sand dunes and showers! Phoebe perfectly described the sky during sunset when she pointed out the cotton candy clouds. After a yummy dinner of walking tacos, Asher roasted his s’mores to golden brown perfection. The group was off to bed for a good night’s sleep before we knew it!

Off to raft!

Elle & Sam


Here are some shoutout’s from your kiddos:

Hey guys!!! Love and miss y’all! So excited to see you soon! – Lucy

Hi guys! Miss you so much! We’re going rafting tomorrow! – Abby

Hi mom and dad! Miss you guys so much! Love you! – Phoebe

I hope you get my postcard! Miss you and love you! Tell Courtney that I said to have fun in Italy! – Quinley

Can’t wait to see y’all! Love y’all! Bye! – Sanders

Pet the dogs for me! I’m having so much fun! Love you! – Sander

Everything litty, I love when it’s hot. I miss you guys! – Bailey

Can’t wait to see you guys! Hope y’all are enjoying camp too. – Jack

I miss y’all! – John-William

What’s up fam? Miss y’all and love y’all! – Asher

Hey guys! I love you and miss you! You too Minnie! – Mason

Rock Climbing and Rodeoing!

June 15, 2023

Hello BGW family and friends!

It’s hard to believe we all met just three days ago! The group’s energy was high as we set up camp at our first site, especially with Mason effortlessly leading the way through our tent set up. Our arrival day introductions were quick as we stayed up to have Moonup with our last arrival Jack, who was delayed by airline difficulties but showed up with a smile nonetheless! These quick introductions have quickly become comfortable friendships. Since arrival day, our group has embarked on two days of climbing school in the beautiful Grand Teton National Park. On our first day out there, Asher was our first brave volunteer to repel down the slick slab of rock that overlooked the stunning Jenny Lake. Elizabeth also exuded self-confidence when she crushed the rappelling routes and remained cool as a cucumber. Phoebe, always a step ahead, helped the guides put up gear before anyone could take off their shoes. Her quick thinking allowed the group to get back to the campsite quickly and descend upon a hearty serving of fajita bowls and laughs, courtesy of our quiet comedian John-William (a.k.a. J-Dub).

On our second day of climbing, the guides challenged us with some tough climbing routes, which were still wet with the morning’s rain, but Quinley pulled out her old competitive rock-climbing skills and made each one look like child’s play. Empowered by Sanders’ strong quote to the start the day, an initially tepid Bailey was assertive in conquering the difficult routes and ended the day having overcome his previous fear of heights! When we set up our grill station to have a cookout before the rodeo, Sander stepped in, excited to chef it up and carefully season our burgers to perfection. Even after a tiring two days, the girls rolled up to the rodeo looking shower-like fresh, thanks to Lucy’s impressive braiding skills. Abby, now a Jackson Hole Rodeo pro, helped us find great seats and bring the energy to the fan sing-alongs. We are so excited to fish and embark on our backpacking journey! Talk to you soon!



Elle & Sam


Arrived Safely in Jackson Hole!

June 12, 2023

Hello Big Wild Families!

We heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Jackson! They are going to set up camp and return to the airport to welcome Jack this evening with open arms. 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!

-Moondance HQ


  • Elizabeth
  • Lucy
  • Bailey
  • Asher
  • Sander
  • John-William
  • Jack
  • Abby
  • Mason
  • Phoebe
  • Quinley
  • Sanders