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Croatia 3A • July 9-July 22, 2023

Our Final Goodbyes in Croatia!

July 22, 2023

Hello everyone! It’s only been two days since we last updated, but so much has happened. Two days ago, we had the most amazing beach day as we went to a great sandy beach and spent the whole day basking in the warm sun. Brantley hit up the local beach restaurant for a frozen milkshake, and Bradley got on the “moonicorn” floaty to reach deeper waters for some chill relaxation time. Lexi and AP snorkeled around to see what they could find while Connor spotted a starfish and brought it over for the whole group to see! We all held it and it crawled around in our hands, it was the craziest feeling. The boys played a game called “tips” for hours, and eventually turned into a highly competitive match (Case got second place 8 times in a row, Henry won 6 times in a row). Maggie, Hobby, and Helen were eager to soak up the rays while we still had time. The beach was fantastic, but after lots of fun in the sun, we decided to head out. We had a great final dinner of quesadillas that Maggie cheffed up, and we chowed down on the left over snacks. Lucy’s gluten free alternative ended up being a hit amongst the girls and she shared the corn crackers freely! We packed up our stuff, hung out and stargazed a bit, then hit the hay in preparation for an early morning departure.

Yesterday, we took the ferry to Dubrovnik and embarked on our city day. We took showers, had an awesome lunch, and then headed into the old city. We took several hours to shop and look around there. Hobby and Mary were on the hunt for some nice jewelry, and luckily they hit the jackpot. We stopped for dinner at a great restaurant with some live music. Frank loved the music so much that he went up to the musicians to chat. They asked him to go up and play and he did! The whole group danced and it was amazing! A true highlight of the trip. After dinner, Mason and Helen led us in an awesome final Moonup together. We got one last gelato and headed back to the hotel to prepare for an EARLY start the next day. We’ve pretty much been up all night because we are not ready for the last day to come! Everyone traveled to Paris together and then said our goodbyes. This summer has flown by and we couldn’t be more grateful to have had such a wonderful last session. This group was surely something special! We have so much love for these kids 💗


Signing off one final time,

Samuel and Brooke

Croatia 3A

Howdy from Croatia!

July 20, 2023

Howdy partners! Boy have we been busy, you cannot even imagine how exhausted and sweaty we are. We have had such a fun few days with rafting, swimming, and kayaking!

We woke up early in the morning to get a quick start on the day. We ate breakfast at the hotel, which was delicious, and hopped on the bus for a hefty drive to the river for our rafting. On the bus to the river we all let the road put us to sleep and we woke up ready to go. The river was cold but it was very hot outside, making it the perfect conditions for our activity. We split up into two groups and went on our way. It was a fun day full of jokes and wrestling and boogie bombs. Bradley and Brantley hopped in the water every chance they got. Frank, Connor, Lexi and Bradley all got to take a chance being captain and it was hilariously bad. So bad that Helen fell out of the raft on one of the calmer parts and came out unscathed. Her reaction to the fall made everyone laugh and kept us entertained for the rest of the day. We did some more cliff jumping, and tried to hang on to the rocks so the current wouldn’t sweep us away. It was a great time. After rafting, we headed to Omiš to have lunch and some ice cream!! Then, we hopped back in the bus for another long drive. Once again, we all fell asleep in the van to pass the time and catch up on Zs. That night at the campsite, we all ate a big dinner, mooned up on the beach, and headed to bed.

The next day, we took the ferry over to the Mljet Islands for our final section of the trip. We loaded all of our stuff onto the ferry and then got out of the bus to explore. Brooke, AP and Helen enjoyed a morning ice cream. Once on the island, the group headed straight to the ocean to cool off, because it was the hottest day in Croatia on record. At our little cove we did some more cliff jumping, and swimming. Henry, Samuel, and Lexi kept swimming down to touch the bottom and taking cool videos. In the afternoon, we sat in the shade and played lots of card games to escape the heat. We cooked up some pasta and the group was so happy. Mason claimed it was the best he’d ever had. We had a great Moonup, hung out under the stars for a while and went to bed.

Today, we went sea kayaking! It was the perfect activity for a day like today. The sun was hot but the ocean cooled us off. We took lots of breaks to swim. Case got a great arm workout paddling for both him and Maggie. At our big break site, our guide found an octopus and we all got to look at it. A bunch of kids got to touch its arms and suckers which was super cool. After sea kayaking, we grabbed some ice cream and then we headed to a rocky beach not far away. Lexi looked around in the rocks for a while and found a bunch of beautiful sea glass. At dinner tonight, the crew was workin’ hard. Mason learned how to cook chicken the Croatian way. AP, Lexi, Hobby and Maggie helped us chop and cook up all the veggies and such for our rice bowl dish. It ended up being a huge hit with the group. For dessert, Brooke gave out Oreos and suggested that people tried dipping them in peanut butter. Lucy was suspicious of the suggestion, but she ended up loving it. Mary Leland was just stoked to finally have some Oreos. All in all, we’ve been having a blast and making the best of these hot hot days. We’re pumped for our last couple of days together and ready to soak up all the sun and sea we can! 🌞 Talk soon!


Croatia 3A

Samuel and Brooke


Thank you mom and dad for sending me on this trip. Forever grateful love yall😗😗 -Hobby


Thank you mom and dad for sending me on this amazing trip! Love and miss y’all😌😌 – Lexi


Thank you dad and mom for letting me experience this amazing trip. Love you and see you so soon! Happy 23rd Livi can’t wait to hug you!! -Maggie


Thank you mom and dad for allowing me to have this amazing experience. I love y’all so much and I am so grateful 😇✌️-Mary Leland


Thank you so much mom and dad for sending me on this trip!! I am having the best time, love you guys – Lucy


Thank you mom and dad for this amazing experience. Love y’all can’t wait to see you in a few days. – Bradley


Thanks for sending me on this trip, see you soon! -Mason


Thanks Gabe and Wells for being such cool brothers and being so fun (and I guess thanks to mom and dad for giving me this amazing experience 😉) -Case


Thanks Cece and Winnie for this amazing opportunity! I love y’all so much! I guess thanks to my parents also for sending me on this awesome trip! – Henry


Thanks for sending me on this trip mom and dad. Love y’all and can’t wait to see y’all soon. – Connor


Thank you so much mom and dad for sending me here I’m having the absolute best time. I’m so thankful and I love y’all so much, tell my best friends I miss them ☺️☺️-AP


Thank you mom and dad for sending me on this amazing trip! Y’all are the best parents ever!! So excited to see y’all soon!! Yayayayayayayayayay!!😋😋😋😋


Dad and mom this has been a great trip. Thank y’all for doing this for me. I will see y’all soon. Also happy birthday Virginia I love and miss you. -Frank


Thanks you mom and dad for this trip I am having a blast it is super fun and cool I’m am a very fortunate boy – Brantley

Trekking in Croatia!

July 16, 2023

What’s up folks! 

We have had such a fun time in the mountains of Croatia. We did tons of hiking, sightseeing and laughing. We began our journey with a strenuous hike up to the mountain hut where we would be staying for the next 3 nights. Despite the steep incline, Maggie spent more time running up the trail than walking. The sun was high and the day was hot, but we all made it up the mountain and ended the hike with a spontaneous swim in a natural pool. The water was freezing but we all got in. Brooke, Frank, Mason, and Connor all decided to see who could spend the longest time in the water. The challenge ended in a truce as we needed to get on with our day. We walked up the short path from the pool to Marijo’s where we finally got to sit down and take a rest. Tired and hungry from our big day of hiking, we chowed down on some Peka, a traditional Croatian dish consisting of chicken, veal and potatoes. After the hearty meal we had Moonup and went to bed!

The next morning we decided to treat ourselves with a bit of sleeping in and a later start to our day. We had a leisurely breakfast with coffee and eggs, taking in the stunning view from our table. After a restful morning we began our hike for the day. It was difficult but nothing compared to our hike the day before. On the way to our viewpoint, we took a 5 minute silent break to really enjoy the woods we were in. After our break we kept on hiking a little bit higher to where we were going to eat lunch. Lunch was filled with smooshed sandwiches, peanuts, Pringle’s, and photos. Again, we ate our meal with a stunning view through the trees. We hiked a little while longer to another overlook where we could see Marijo’s hut on the mountainside. Brantley, Bradley, and Frank graciously carried other people’s backpacks for them because they were feeling a bit tired, and they were up for the challenge! At one point Brantley had 7 backpacks on at once! A new record! We left our overlook and headed back to Mario’s, but of course we had to stop for another swim in the natural pool. That night we had a GREAT Moonup with awesome questions from our LOD’s Connor and Maggie. After Moonup, we sang and danced in the night while Marijo himself played the accordion for us. After the dancing, Brooke had the genius idea of going back to the water for a nighttime polar plunge. Henry and Bradley jumped in without hesitation while the rest of us took some encouragement. Lexi, Lucy, and AP decided to all jump in at the same time. The rest of the night was filled with good conversation between one another until eventually we all fell asleep.

The next morning started a bit earlier than our previous day, but still just as leisurely. Samuel and Brooke got up early and made special pancakes for breakfast, which everyone said they enjoyed. At breakfast the group decided to split up into two groups, one group would go hike, while the other group stayed and enjoyed the mountain hut. The group that decided to hike started their day with a big stretch and hydrate session. We left the hut and began our journey even further up the mountain. The first half was a breeze as we made extremely quick time up to the tree line. Once we got out of the trees, it was go time. We stopped for a quick lunch and then summited the mountain!! The views were incredible!!! Several of us remarked that it was the coolest place we had ever been. Samuel and Mason decided to continue to climb to the very top, the view was amazing. Bradley even gave us a juggling show at the top. We all got pictures with each other and began the descent. The descent was long in miles, but the conversation was flowing. Case decided to make the most ridiculous sports statements and loved to practice his debating skills all the other boys while hiking. Eventually, we switched gears and played follow the leader for our last bit of descent. We all made it safely down the trail and met our friends at the bottom. Back at the hut, we had been having an awesome chill day. We hung out, rested, told stories, played some fun card games, and even got to meet some of the pet donkeys owned by our hut host! At one point, Helen, Maggie, Hobby and Mary were all on the 2 donkeys at the same time. Even Brooke got on a donkey. We had a photo shoot and fed them lunch. They were so cute and loved our pets. As the day started to come to a close, we were happy to all be reunited. We spent the afternoon lounging and talking with each other. We munched on some bean soup for dinner, a new hit amongst the group. Of course, we also had to get cheesecake dessert. We mooned up, and headed off to pack all of our stuff up for the upcoming trek out of the mountains.

This morning, we got up super early, ate breakfast and made our way down from the hut. We said a bittersweet goodbye to Marijo and started on our way. Luckily for us, the way down was much easier and faster than the way up. When we got to the entrance, it was time for rock climbing. We suited up, and got on the rock wall. Frank was eager and went first. AP and Helen were first a little hesitant but eventually they conquered their fears and decided to climb! Despite telling us their hesitations about making it to the top, they both pushed themselves and made it all the way! After we got done climbing we drove out of the park for a quick lunch and a swim in the Adriatic. The summer season was quite apparent today in Croatia, so we obviously got some gelato! 

The past few days have been so much fun and we absolutely LOVED our time at Marijo’s. We are now headed to rafting and then on to Mljet island for a few days and we cannot wait! Talk to you soon!

Shoutouts 🫶🏼

Hi family! I miss y’all so much and I am having so much fun here in Croatia!! Can’t wait to see y’all! Love you! – Lexi

Hey fam! Im having the best time and can’t wait to see y’all! I miss everyone so much and happy early birthday Livi I love you! – Mags

Hey guys, I am having a very fun time in Croatia-we have done fun activities like kayaking and rock climbing-and I miss you guys a lot! -Case

Hey fam, I am having a great time here in Croatia. My favorite part so far has been river kayaking. I miss y’all and the dogs a lot, and I’m super excited to see y’all in a week. – Henry

Hey mom and dad, having a great time at camp and right now we are rock climbing in a national park and about to go rafting tomorrow. See you soon! -Mason

Hey guys! I miss y’all so so so much! Croatia is awesome! I’m about to go rock climbing! Can’t wait to see y’all soon!!!!!!!!! Love y’all!!!!!!🍑🥭 – Helen

Hi fam 😉 I’m having the best time with my favorite group! I’ve been thinking about all of y’all and I miss y’all ! I can’t wait to see all of y’all. I love y’all so much. -Anne Price

Hey everybody, I’m having a lot of fun in Croatia. We have a great group and awesome activities. Miss y’all! – Bradley

Hey guys I’m having fun, miss yall -Brantley

Hey mom and dad, Croatia is fun. As I’m speaking we are rock climbing on limestone at the bottom of the mountain. I’m excited to see Lucy and y’all soon. -Frank

Hey fam! Honestly this is the best time I’ve had in so long I’m having so much fun. Can’t wait to see y’all love y’all! -Hobby

Hey Fam!! I miss you guys so much. I am having the best time here and I can’t wait to tell you guys all of the awesome stories I have. -Lucy

Hey!! I miss you guys so much! I’m having an amazing time and I can’t wait to tell y’all about it! Tell everyone I say hey! I love y’all!! -Mary Leland

Hey guys, I miss y’all and I’m having so much fun. Croatia is awesome and the people are super cool. Hope y’all are having fun in California. – Connor

Greetings from Croatia!

July 16, 2023

We are happy to announce that our trip is off to a great start! On day one, 12/14 of us met up in the Zagreb airport, and then soon after hit the road. After over 24 hours of travel, the group was definitely ready for some much needed dinner. We munched on some American burgers, and then had a special cake to celebrate Frank’s birthday! Happy Birthday Frank!!! Afterwards, we had our first Moonup, and went to sleep. After a good night’s rest, we woke up bright and early for river kayaking! While Brooke went to the river with the kids, Samuel went back to the Zagreb airport to pick up our late arrivals, Anne Price and Helen!! At the river, it was immediately the hot July rays had us all eager to jump into the cold river. We paired up, had a safety briefing, and got on the river. The first few waterfalls were a learning curve for sure, but after a little practice the kids were all naturals! We quickly arrived at the main event of our day, the waterfall jump. Some were more eager than others. Day one and we were already pushing our comfort zones! Hobby and Mary Leland were both hesitant at first, but ultimately they faced their fears and jumped in anyway. The rest of our kayaking adventure was a blast. We went over some pretty big waterfalls and it was awesome! It was like a natural roller coaster ride. Mason was in a kayak with one of our guides, so he got to lay back and enjoy a personal tour of the river. We learned some science about the limestone and the calcification of the waterfalls, which was really cool. All in all, it was a great start to our activities. When we arrived back at camp, everyone rushed to meet our new arrivals. It was so great to finally have the group all together. We spent the afternoon lounging at the pool to escape the heat, and getting to know each other a bit better. Samuel and Helen had a breath holding competition, and several people tried to swim the length of the pool underwater. At dinner we chowed down on some delicious Risotto and wished that there was more birthday cake. It was a leisurely evening filled with great conversation and bonding!

Today, we drove down to the Plitvice Lakes national park for a hike. Lucy taught everyone a new game during the bus ride. We walked around all day and saw some huge lakes with remarkably blue water, and lots and lots of waterfalls! On the way, Hobby showed off her braiding skills as she simultaneously walked and braided Maggie’s hair as we were hiking down the steep trail. Samuel and Brooke were very impressed with her ability to braid on the go. We continued through the park looking at the crystal clear water and taking lots of pictures. We took so many photos that a random person photo bombed a picture with AP and Frank. We finished the hike, to everyone’s relief, and headed to our accommodation for the night. On the way, we stopped to get snacks, and our LOD’s Brantley and Mary Leland helped pick out some grub for the group. They did a great job and everyone was really happy. We spent our time making friendship bracelets and juggling the soccer ball. Connor, Frank, Bradley, Henry and Case were all strikingly good at juggling the soccer ball to each other. Lexi, Hobby, Lucy, and AP were speedily crafting some friendship bracelets. We even had some bracelets done by dinner time. At dinner, per usual, we ate really well. Mason tried soup for the first time EVER, and I think he liked it. We all got ice cream for dessert and it was delicious. Our Moonup tonight was a really good one, this group is very thoughtful and intentional, and we’re so excited to keep getting to know each other better. Although some are a little nervous to begin trekking tomorrow, we are all ready to challenge ourselves, and we know we can do it. Can’t wait to tell you about all of our trekking adventures!



Croatia 3A

Brooke and Samuel

Safely in Croatia!

July 10, 2023

Hello CRO 3A friends + fams,


We just heard from our leaders that the kids have made it to Zagred and are with Brooke and Samuel. The group anxiously awaits the arrival of two students who unfortunately got delayed but will unite with the group tomorrow! They are so excited for the group to soon be complete and to get this adventure started!


-Moondance HQ


  • Anne Price
  • Bradley
  • Brantley
  • Case
  • Connor
  • Frank
  • Helen
  • Henry
  • Hobby
  • Lexi
  • Lucy
  • Maggie
  • Mary Leland
  • Mason