June 21, 2023
Parents, friends, and family,
BCO 1C checking in with one last bittersweet update! We are so sad that our time together has come to an end, but we couldn’t be more grateful for the past two weeks and all the good times we got to share.
Day 11 of our trip was punctuated by a beautiful sea kayaking adventure in the Squamish Valley! We met our guides bright and early on the shore and enjoyed the entire morning on the water. Conditions were amazing, and we were able to paddle all the way to a waterfall and pull up some crab traps. Everyone showed their prowess over their single kayaks, and Frank even mastered a larger, more complicated kayak and impressed the guides with his skills! Caroline and Knox led the pack for the entirety of the kayaking adventure, taking in the views and getting a first look at all the sea lions in the water. Even when the wind picked up a little more at the end of the morning, everyone stayed strong out on the water and made it back to the harbor with plenty of energy and a positive attitude! Our outfitters added an amazing last touch to our expedition as we chilled in their hot tub for a couple minutes before lunch. Next, we explored the Squamish Adventure Center for souvenirs and keepsakes before a delicious Mac and cheese lunch and a nice, chill afternoon spent tie-dyeing t-shirts to take home!
The next day, our canyoning activity had us on the road nearly before the sun came up! It was a cold and rainy day, but no one shied away from the fun, and we absolutely crushed a brand-new activity! Coble schooled the rappelling down a waterfall, Gracie showed a valiant amount of toughness amid the cold conditions, and Cooper led the pack in excitement as we ziplined, rappelled, and trekked through waterfalls and rock faces. Our awesome guides made the experience so memorable through their enthusiasm and encouragement! After our long day canyoning, we headed back to camp for our iron chef competition! Cooks Lilla, Frank, Adah, and Connor took first place with a yummy breakfast for dinner creation, complete with English muffins, perfectly done hash browns, and bacon bits! The leaders were certainly impressed with their collaboration and their finished product. Day 12 concluded with a powerful Moonup led by LODs, Cooper and Ella where we discussed the things that get us through adversity.
Day 13, our final full day all together, started with a much-needed treat of sleeping in! The leaders concocted a feast of chocolate chip pancakes while the group created and rehearsed a skit for the leaders on their banquet night. Julia and Ella got especially animated during the rehearsals, hyping everyone up for the day to come! After breakfast, we set out on the road to drive back to Seattle. The drive was full of jams of all kinds, Teddy leading the pack for Yeat-related requests while Caroline spearheaded an effort for more Taylor Swift exposure in the van. While the drive was long, spirits were high as we all enjoyed simply getting to be together! After our arrival in Seattle, we enjoyed washing the van as a group and then headed to Goodwill to secure outfits for our banquet dinner. After we were dressed and ready, we headed to a local Mexican restaurant in all our fanfare and devoured meals of cheesy goodness. Our final Moonup was the perfect combination of funny and sentimental as we reflected on our favorite moments from the past two weeks and presented superlatives to each member of the group. The hype from the group carried throughout the night as we made a quick break to the airport in the middle of the night.
Day 14 has mostly been spent in the airport saying goodbyes and in tired reflection. It feels so surreal to be back in the same spot we started in two weeks ago with so many more memories, inside jokes, and shared experiences. What a gift it is to experience the magic of Moondance!
All of y’all’s kiddos are safely in the air and en route back home. We were so beyond sad to see them go, but we could not be more thankful for all the special times we shared over the past two weeks. We can’t wait for you all to hear about the parts we couldn’t get to in our few updates!
It means the world to us that you trust us with your children and desire for them to experience the magic of Moondance. It has truly been a pleasure, and we can’t wait to see all of them again!
All our love,
Brad, James, and Camille
June 18, 2023
What is up party rockers?! BCO C is back again with another trip update. Once again, we have been blown away by this group’s resilience and tolerance for adversity. The past few days have been jam packed, and we are so excited to share them with you!
Day 8 was a travel day for the group as we said goodbye to Vancouver Island and traversed to Squamish for our next activity section. Unfortunately, Coble and Brad did not feel super great, so they stayed back to rest up! We made our way back onto the ferry and got to enjoy the oceanfront view once again, and then we enjoyed a breathtaking drive from Vancouver to the quaint town of Squamish. The mountains and waterfalls made the hours in the van feel like mere minutes, and we even got to have some time up close and personal with a goose! No joke. When we arrived at our new campsite, much of the group enjoyed a well-deserved shower and we headed to dinner at a local barbecue restaurant! We had a ton of fun seeing downtown and enjoying a non-camp meal. LODs Cooper and Caroline led us in Moonup, and after our long day of travel, we were all ready to rest up for our next big activity section: whitewater rafting!
The next morning, we headed out to meet our guides at the mouth of the river, where they gave us dry bags and wetsuits and briefed us on what the next two days of our adventure would look like. We all enjoyed our bus ride to the take-in point of the river, even though it was full of open containers of hot chocolate spilling all over our hands, and the hype in the group was palpable as we got ahold of our paddles and went over the rafting commands all together. Everyone was excited for our girls’ and boys’ boats, the girls especially taking a liking to their “ladyboat” as we absolutely crushed some rapids. We saw about 5 rapids in the early afternoon before stopping for more hot chocolate and Clif bars on a beautiful beach. We took lots of fun photos in front of a ginormous glacier and took some time to warm up before hitting the water again for 7 more amazing rapids! Everyone’s paddle teams stayed calm, cool, and collected as we navigated the waters and paddle high-fives could be heard all the way down the valley. In the evening, we reached our island campsite for the night where we all got set up and enjoyed appetizers (a near-forgotten luxury)! Little did we know a meal fit for kings was in store for the evening. We chowed down on steak, salmon, potatoes, Caesar salad, and garlic bread, and to top it all off, we practically inhaled the apple crumble and whipped cream our guides prepared for us. Our usual routine of Moonup was even more special as our guides joined the circle and participated in every part of it! LODs Knox and Lilla led us well and encouraged us as we prepared to finish up our second day of rafting. Stuffed and happy, we all turned in early for the night, eager to hit the river for another day of fun.
Day 10’s action started bright and early as our guides woke us up with a tried and true camping tradition: pot and pan alarms. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast of French toast with blueberries and whipped cream, bacon, yogurt, granola, cereal, and tons of fruit. Our bellies were full and spirits high as we packed our dry bags and prepped the boats for our last day on the water. Even some chilly rain couldn’t make a dent in the morale of the group, and we paddled on, sad to reach the take-out point but ready to tear up some lunch. After thanking our guides and unwinding from the river, we headed back into town where we enjoyed a delectable meal at a local burger food truck, complete with curly fries, onion rings, and even Mac and cheese bites! It was definitely one of our favorite local finds from the trip! After we were all full and ready to dive into more fun, we enjoyed our town day in Squamish, spent tasting locally-made chocolates, browsing local bookstores, and exploring vintage shops with truly one-of-a-kind finds. We met back up with our old friends, Brad and Coble, and they were feeling much better and were so ready to be back with the group. Everyone was so joyful when they were reunited. Simply being in Downtown Squamish was entertaining as we got to observe the peak hours of the farmers’ market and enjoy the variety of colorful murals across the buildings downtown. We capped off our town day the only right way – by getting ice cream! We all filled up on yummy goodness at a local gelato shop and headed to our new campsite soon thereafter. After so much activity the past couple of days, we are certainly a tired bunch, but we are so beyond stoked for the sea kayaking and canyoneering that awaits us in the final days of our adventure!
Also, by the time this trip update is posted, it will be a very special day: Fathers’ Day! From us leaders: we cannot thank you enough for trusting us with your most precious gifts, especially on a day like today! We wanted to show y’all some love, and we know your kiddos cannot wait to celebrate you. Until then, enjoy these messages from the kids who have the privilege of calling you dad!
Gracie~ hey dad!! Happy Father’s Day! I miss yall so much and wish I could be there with yall! I hope you have the best day you deserve it! Love y’all sooo much!
Julia- Hey dad!! Happy Father’s Day!!!! I miss you soooo much and I can’t wait to see you again and tell you so many stories! Have the best day. I hope you and mom are great and I love you both so much.
Coble- Hey dad! I hope you guys have the best day ever and I can’t wait to see you guys soon! I miss you soooo much, love you!!!
Cooper- Hey Dad! Happy Father’s Day! Hope it will be good. I hope mom and D are good. Miss y’all! I’m having a lot of fun. And I have some interesting stories to tell y’all. Love y’all!!!
Frank- Hey dad! Happy Father’s Day! I miss you mom and Alice so much! And I am having so much fun out here and the trip has gone by so fast. But it has been so much fun! And I can’t wait to see y’all!
Tedro(Tettay)-Hola Father! I love u so so much and I hope that u have the best Father’s Day everrrrr. I am really upset that I cannot hang out with u on this special day, but I got a gift for u and I think u will like it a lot. I love u so muchhhhh. Tell mom and Libby I love them so much and I miss them tons. Love you guys!!!
Caroline- hey dad! Happy fathers dayyyyyy I am sad to miss Father’s Day but I know you and mom are having a fun and cool time in Israel! I am having an awesome time and meeting a lot of really nice and fun friends. I am learning a lot about camping and I know y’all are learning a lot too. I love you so much thanks for being I my DAD!
Adah- hey dadddd! Happy fathers dayyyy! I am so sad I have to miss it. I hope mom and gram get you some gifts! I miss you soooo much, and I can’t wait to see you soon! I love y’all so much and I can’t wait to see y’all again! y’all!
Lilla- Hi Dad happy Father’s Day!!! I love you so much and will always be so grateful to have you as my dad. I wish I could celebrate with you but I know you’ll have the best day at home! I can’t wait to show you your gift when I see you and tell you all of the fun stories that have happened, love y’all so much and can’t wait to see you!! Xoxo
Ella – Hi dad! Happy Fathers Day!! I miss you so much and wish I could be there with you. I hope you guys got to go to the race but if you didn’t, I hope you have a good time at home. I am having so much fun, and I can’t wait to see you soon. And for the rest of the family, I miss you too but your special day will come another time. Can’t wait to hear about what I missed and tell you all about my trip. Love y’all!!
Knox – Hey dad! Happy fathers day! I hope you’re having fun! Tell Kate and Leah and reed I said hello. I wish I could be there with you. I can’t wait to see you in a few days. Love you bye.
Connor: Hi dad, Happy Fathers Day! I wish I could be at home to celebrate with you, but I am having the best time ever here in Canada. I miss you and mom and Gretel and my sisters a lot but I’ve met some amazing friends here. Can’t wait to see you guys when I’m back in Charlotte.
That about does it for our trip updates here on BCO 1C! It’s been real, it’s been fun, and it sure has been real fun. We know y’all cannot wait to see your kiddos in a couple of days, and we can’t wait for y’all to hear all about our last few days of activities. It’s been such a blast!
Until next time,
Brad, James, and Camille
June 15, 2023
Ohhhh baby! You know us, you love us – it’s BCO C, back and better! Checking in to y’all today from Nanaimo, British Columbia, the port city of Vancouver Island. The last few days have been nothing short of spontaneous and exciting, and we have been so beyond impressed with this group’s positive attitude and adaptability no matter the circumstances.
Following our climbing section, our group made our way to Strathcona Park on Day 5 for a day hike. The drive was amazingly scenic, eliciting many an “ooh” and “look at that!” from all rows of the van. Between the beautiful views and the Taylor Swift-filled playlist, our drive in the morning set the tone for a thrilling day. When we arrived at the park, we were greeted by a crystal-clear lake surrounded by mountains and marveled on the beach as we ate our packed lunches. After eating, Adah and Cooper helped James suit up for our hike by designing a plethora of pen tattoos. Everyone certainly got a kick out of James’ new look! Finally, before setting out to loop the lake, Camille led the group in a hype circle on the beach and we scrambled up the sandy dunes and back into the forest. The shady path was awash with a kaleidoscope of beautiful greens, and everyone engaged in a variety of stimulating trail talks. As we stopped for a break on the trail, Brad thrilled the group by pulling a big bag of surprise snacks out of his day pack! A post-hike gas station stop revived the energy of the group as we headed to our new campsite in Campbell River. Ella and Lilla led a charge to make double decker “mega swings” out of enos for the group to enjoy, and they were a huge hit! Our big day concluded with a delicious jambalaya dinner curated by Ella, Gracie, and Julia and a really cool Moonup led by LODs Julia and Knox. We all shared about a time we overcame something difficult in our lives, and to see the group be so vulnerable with one another was super special.
Our day 6 started bright and early as we packed up camp and headed to the ferry dock! After a short ferry ride to Quadra Island, we met out outfitters for sea kayaking at the harbor of Quadra Island Kayaks. Despite some strong winds, the group was able to conquer the waves and enjoy some time on the water on a beautiful private beach! Knox and Teddy shared a kayak and had a particularly funny time splashing each other and commandeering their boat. The group brought the kayaks in around lunchtime, and we had a magnificent time with a wildlife scavenger hunt on the rocky beach! Plenty of crabs were out and about for us to look at and pick up, and oysters even lined the shore. It was too warm to eat them on the beach this time of year, but our outfitters told us all about their experiences eating oysters right out of the sand! Our guides made us a delicious lunch of quinoa salad complete with homemade hummus and Oreos. There is truly nothing like enjoying a yummy meal on the beach! Soon after lunchtime, we headed to our new campsite back on Vancouver Island. Caroline led a charge for some of the group to sleep in their hammocks instead of the tent, yielding a quadruple eno stack that everyone made ample use of! Our day concluded with a comforting meal of burgers headed up by Knox, Coble, and Cooper and an awesome Moonup led by LODs Teddy and Gracie.
Day 7 of our trip was a very special day for everyone – it was Connor’s 13th birthday! Brad left early to get donuts while James and Camille woke up everyone else at camp, and we went to town on silently decorating camp with streamers, balloons, and banners. Gracie really completed our work by making a path out of streamers from the tent to the picnic table filled with breakfast and treats! Frank Asomehow managed to keep Connor in their tent until we were done, and we had a fantastic time surprising him with the decorations, donuts, and a card from everyone! After our morning festivities, we popped across the street to Elk Falls Provincial Park for a day hike to the epic waterfall! After some hiking, we reached an open watering hole where most of the group indulged in a timeless Moondance tradition: a polar plunge! A wonderful time was had by all as we swam, sunbathed (or “lizarded” as we like to say), and marveled at the falls from some awesome suspension bridges. We capped off the evening of Connor’s 13th with a fantastic surprise: a sunset whale watching tour with Ocean Ecoventures! Everyone had so much fun seeing both orca and humpback whales, as well as some adorable sea lions! Coble took some great photos on her camera and showcased her impeccable Moana impression off the side of the boat, and Julia kept everyone upbeat on the water through some lively round-robin conversation. It was a beautiful day to be on the water!
We cannot believe we are already halfway through our adventure together. More to come later as we head to Squamish tomorrow! Until then, some shoutouts to home:
Caroline: Hey mom and dad! I am having a great time,I love y’all so much, hope y’all are having fun in Israel. We are about to go whale watching!!
Lilla: Hi Mom and Dad! Moondance has been so much fun and I hope y’all are having a great time at home!! We’re going to Squamish next, love you guys so much!
Ella: Hi Mom and Dad, I am having such a great time at Moondance!! I’ll see y’all soon, love you guys so much! (Also Mom please don’t forget to bring my makeup and skincare for the tournament thank you)
Teddy: Hey Mom and Dad! I miss you guys so much. How’s Tokyo, Suki, and Libby? I love you guys a ton and I am having so much fun. We have been rock climbing and it was so much fun! I also went kayaking with Knox and we almost flipped it over a billion times. Love you guys a ton!
Cooper: Hey mom and dad! Miss y’all so much and Dillon! Everyone is awesome and really cool. Our leaders are so fun! How was Easton in my bed? Haha! The trip has been really cool and there is a lot of cool views! Love y’all!
Connor: Hi mom and dad, I’m having an amazing time! My birthday has been amazing and I’m glad I’m celebrating with the friends I’ve made in British Columbia. Miss y’all and I can’t wait to see you.
Knox: Hello mom and dad, I’m having an awesome time! We went rock climbing. Love y’all.
Adah: Hey mom and dad! I miss y’all so much! This has been so fun and I love everyone in our group. Can’t wait to see you in a week! Love y’all!
Gracie: Hey mom and dad! Im having so much fun and I have made so many friends! I miss y’all and can’t wait to see you! I have so many stories and rock climbing was awesome! I love y’all so much!
Julia: Hey mom and dad! I miss y’all so much! I hope Brazil has been a blast. I am having an awesome time at Moondance and have made so many more friends. I can’t wait to see Gaby again and hear all about ling ling. Love you so much!
Coble: HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY ANDERSON!! I miss y’all so much but I am having a great time! This week has gone by so fast, and I LOVED Rock climbing so much. Even better, one of our leaders, Camille, is a SWIFTIE! I can’t wait to see y’all next week, and tell Cookie I say hi!!!!
Frank: Hey mom and dad and Alice I miss y’all so much! I am having so much fun!!!!
It is super cool in British Columbia and the mountains are ginormous, and the scenery is awesome. It is definitely one of the best places that have ever been to! I miss y’all and will see y’all later. ( tell Alice I brought some maple syrup from here for me and her)
With both razzle and dazzle,
Brad, James, and Camille
June 12, 2023
Helloooo from the beautiful Western North Coast from your favorite Canadian Adventurers!!!
We have been having a BALL these last few days as a group and the students are getting along swimmingly.
Our adventure started when all of our students arrived at the Seattle airport! At first they were a bit overwhelmed but as the day went on you could see the group quickly coming together! While we waited for other flights to arrive we played an intense game of “mafia” where it was clear leader Brad was the most targeted player, and the kids really seemed to enjoy it. Lilla was our first student to arrive and she was an absolute trooper! As we sat, she was excited to chat with everyone and did not complain once, really setting the tone for our group dynamics as everyone trickled in. Cooper led the group in a stretch circle before we took our big first ride to Bay View State Park. Along the way, we played telephone, riddles, and “the name game” as we jammed to a variety of artists including Taylor Swift, the Red hot Chili Peppers, and SZA. After enjoying a delicious Pizza dinner the group headed down to the water to a gorgeous Moonup location. As the kids answered what they’re hoping to get out of this trip, we watched the sunset over the bay, adding a great exclamation to our first day.
As we woke up the next morning we ate a hearty breakfast of oatmeal as we packed up our camp and made our way toward the Canadian Border! The group did fantastic as we crossed the border with no problems whatsoever and the group was excited for what lay ahead. While on our ferry ride to the vast land of Vancouver Island, a group of students saw a pod of orcas! Though this day had many hours of travel involved, the group remained resilient and began to learn more about each other. We concluded the day with a delicious burrito bar curated by Frank, Cooper, and Lilla.
The next morning we awoke to our first day of activity. Rock Climbing! We had breakfast sandwiches cheffed up with the help of Caroline, Coble, and Knox and we headed out to meet our outfitter, Island Alpine Guides. The morning rain was merely an obstacle on our way to ultimate stoke as all the students enjoyed a day full of climbing and rappelling. Caroline and Connor proved themselves to be natural climbers as they smashed the first few walls. Frank was a pro when it came to rappelling, making it look easy! The day ended with a big pot of chicken pasta and a Moonup on the beach of Comox Lake. Coble took point on an absolutely stellar cook crew, going all out with the spices on the chicken. We may have a future Michelin-star restaurant owner on our hands!
Day 2 of climbing was a clear skied sunny day full of fun, thrill, and connection! After some toasted bagels and yogurt, the group met up with Island Alpine Guides yet again as we set to climb Devil’s Ladder, a steep face overlooking Comox Lake. Before the ladder we went on a face where the students could test what they learned yesterday and then crushed it! Knox took his hand at climbing for the first time and looked like a pro up there. Teddy showed great resilience as he persisted on a part of the face that was stumping him, and only the guides telling him to take a break could deter him. After stopping for a quick water fill stop we headed up to the Devil’s Ladder to enjoy a nice view with our lunch. During our rest time, Ella and Gracie put on quite a show and serenaded the group with their own Taylor Swift Eras Tour. Their energy definitely gave us the second wind we needed for a full afternoon of climbing! Next, it was time for the big part of the day – the students were set to rappel over 300 feet and then afterward rock climb up the same path, all over a beautiful lake with boats full of supportive onlookers. Adah was the first one down and the first one up over the cliff face, encouraging everyone else in the group and showing those rocks who was boss. Julia went shortly after her, and as she made her way back up the mountain we had a great time celebrating her conquering her fears and stepping out of her comfort zone. The views were stunning and the group did amazing – it was truly a memorable experience for all. We are thrilled about our next activities. The group’s morale remains sky high as we venture deeper into our Moondance journey!
Til next time!
June 8, 2023
Hello British Columbia Families!
We heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Seattle with all of their luggage! 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!