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Hawaiian Islands 1A • June 9-June 22, 2023

Farewell Hawaii!

June 22, 2023

The kids are off! We have had an amazing time getting to know each and every one of them. We had an amazing group and are so lucky to have been able to spend this time together. The following is a recap of the previous few days and what we have been up to!

Following our beach day, we slept in and woke up to the sounds of the ocean roaring. We got dressed and began making breakfast! Emma spearheaded making pancakes for the group. It was so yummy and fun to have a late morning together. Following breakfast, we headed towards Real Noni Organic Farm, a prolific family-operated farm just down the road from camp. Noni, an ancient Polynesian superfood, has an abundance of uses and health benefits, and we were all able to try both the raw plant as well as the house-made lotions containing extracts of the plant! The farm itself was absolutely stunning, we were so lucky to see the wildlife with our own eyes. Henry was even able to feed a bird from his hand!

We then headed to Ka’paa, the largest town on the island. After filling our stomachs with a delicious lunch from local food trucks, the kids broke out on a souvenir hunt around town. Following an afternoon of fun in town, we surprised the kids with a game of iron chef! Our leaders of the day, Grace and Lucas, split up the group into two teams and were given a budget for the competition. They then planned out a perfect meal.

When we got back to camp, we went for a quick swim in the ocean. The waves were roaring and the group had a great time swimming in the salty ocean water during the awe-inspiring sunset. Following our swim, we began the cook-off! The leaders stood back this time and allowed the students to fully drive in the kitchen. Graces’s group created a yummy Italian dish, while Lucas’s group made a scrumptious sandwich option. Both meals were wonderful, but Lucas’s group took home the trophy (which was a burnt chocolate chip cookie). Lara led the celebration for her team and rocked some awesome dance moves.

The next day, we hit the beach for another surfing lesson. The group did amazing! Everyone was standing up and even catching “party waves” with multiple people on one wave. Following surfing, we went zip lining. The view was incredible. We were able to see the mountain ranges and nature of Kauai from a new perspective. Thomas was absolutely fearless and led the zip-lining. He went off the platform backward and struck a Superman pose, which Eli was quick to imitate! It was so much fun!

Next, we went back to camp and enjoyed one last night together. The group hit the beach and reminisced on what an amazing trip we have had and cook dinner. We stopped at a gas station on the way back and even had a full-on gas station parking lot dance party. Adah and Lucas were the standout dancers and brought tons of energy! The kids wanted to have breakfast for dinner. So obviously, we made an arrangement of family-style breakfast foods! We had one final special Moonup together before going to sleep at Kumu camp for one last night.

In the morning, the group came together for one last cleaning session! Adah took the initiative and began cleaning first, and even took on cleaning the van. This was very kind of her (Great EB!) and we all appreciated it greatly. We made pancakes to celebrate the last day, and all took one last look at the view. Michael and Thomas enjoyed one last spike game, and Henry enjoyed throwing the football around. Sadly, it was finally time to leave camp.

We climbed into the van and went to a local thrift store to buy fun outfits for our banquet lunch. Izzy, Finn, and Lara had tons of fun helping the group pick out their outfits. The store was filled with giggles and good energy. Next, we went to our banquet lunch for one last meal together. We handed out superlatives and trip awards and enjoyed each other’s company for one last time. We played games, giggled, and finally hopped back in the car to head to the airport.

At the airport, we said our final goodbyes. We were all so sad to separate but are all extremely grateful for this experience. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible children with us, we feel so blessed to have gotten to know them!

  • Hallie, Emma Clark, and Atkins

Surfs Up!!

June 19, 2023

Hello again and surfs up! We got to our new campsite at Kumu camp and set up our tents while

Eli made us some delicious bacon mac-n-cheese. We woke up bright and early on our first

morning in Kauai and traveled to Koke’e State Park to hike the Nualolo trail. We were

challenged with a rainstorm during our hike, but the kids made the best of the situation and had

a blast! Everyone walked out of the woods covered head-to-toe in mud, smiling from the

memories that were made. During our hike, Adah decided to switch things up and slide down

the trail, tumbling into our guide to bring a laugh to everyone.


After the hike, we traveled back to camp and ran to the ocean to rinse off. Thomas, Izzy, and

Finn stayed in for the afternoon, body surfing and boogie boarding the waves. After a long day,

Michael and Henry volunteered themselves and got the grill ready and grilled burgers and

hotdogs for the hungry group. Before Moonup, we played a fun game as the sun was setting.

Adah, Henry, and Izzy were picked to guess their dream that the rest of the group created for

them. Little did they know there was a special set of rules to the game that the rest of the group

was in on.


The next day, we woke up to the screams of the wild roosters around our campsite. We

unzipped our tents to a beautiful sunrise over the ocean, starting our day on a great note! Next,

we drove over to Hanalei Bay for our first surf session. The group was split in two: half started in

the water with the private instructors, the other half went into the quaint town to pick up coffee

and breakfast. Emma surfed last summer in Fiji and picked up right where she left off, absolutely

crushing the waves! Grace, a Charleston native, showed the group her east coast skills, also

shredding the gnarly waves. Everyone was able to stand up within no time and we had a great

morning surfing, tanning (especially Lara), and walking around town. We picked up some pizzas

for lunch and came back to camp to play spike ball and swim in the ocean. Lucas was making

everyone laugh with his silly dance moves. Our LODs, Henry and Adah, went to the store and

picked up some groceries to have taco night. Boy, were those tacos delicious! Everyone was full

and happy closing day 9 with Moonup while we watched fireworks on the beach in the distance.

Happy Father’s Day! This morning we woke up well before the sunrise and roosters for our two

drive to the famous Napali Coast where they filmed Jurassic Park, Avatar, Pirates of the

Caribbean, and more! We were supposed to sea kayak the coastline, but the swells were too

large to safely go out, so we changed plans and had a great morning on the beach surrounded

by the stunning mountain range. Next, we went to a scenic lookout spot and enjoyed taking

some gorgeous photos. We are having a blast and are so sad that that we are entering the final

days of our trip. Talk to you guys soon!



Atkins, Emma Clark, and Hallie

Having the best time in Hawaii!

June 16, 2023

Aloha friends and families of Moondance Hawaii 1A! We are having an incredible time here in Hawaii. The vibes are through the roof, everyone is so genuinely happy, and our group dynamic is unbeatable. 

We started the SCUBA certification day with our energy high. After a great breakfast, we drove down to Jack’s Diving Locker in Kona. This day was particularly special because we were able to all go out on the boat together as one group, instead of being separated into two groups. The boat day was great. The music was loud, the dance moves were groovy, and the smiles were big. We began the morning with a lovely dive through a coral reef. The reef was full of arches that we were able to dive through! 

After the first dive, we enjoyed lunch together on the boat overlooking the Hawaiian coast. Next, we went back in the water for our second dive. As the group was taking a group photo (underwater!) a TON of dolphins swam up to the group. It was UNREAL, we all were in shock at what was happening. The dolphins were within 10 feet of the group. Emma took an incredible video of the dolphins on her GoPro! The moment we all got out of the water, all we could do was awe at the sight of the dolphins; Izzy remarked that the reason we were able to experience such a sight is because we are SUCH a special group and we deserved to see the dolphins as a reward for completing the scuba section of our trip. Next, we all lounged in the sun as we headed back to the dock. 

We then travelled back to camp and enjoyed a late afternoon session of spike ball and other sports on the beach. Our leader of the day, Henry, wanted to take the group on a hike through the campsite. We discovered a cave and enjoyed a wonderful view over the ocean. We made mini pizzas for dinner, had a fun evening full of laughs, and shared a lot of love. 

The next morning, we woke up ready to explore! We had a leisurely morning and made pancakes with mini M&M’s in them to celebrate our scuba certifications. Next, we packed up camp and hit the road. We enjoyed a drive to the famous Green Sand’s Beach! 

The hike was beautiful, we all were shocked to see how amazing the sights were. We discussed how the scene looked like it was out of a movie. Once we reached Green Sands Beach, we enjoyed our subs as we sat upon a cliff, looking down onto the beach. Lucas and Henry took the initiative to dive straight into the water, and Izzy and Emma quickly followed suit. Despite the heat and scorching sun, the group persevered with positivity. 

After fueling up the gas tank and quenching our thirst at the nearest gas station, we were off to Manua Kea to watch the sunset from the volcano! Although it had been a full day of travel and traversing, the group powered through to the site. We arrived and quickly realized that we were in for a special night. We watched the sunset at a lookout spot above the clouds. We were 9,000 feet above sea level! Finn, Lara, and Izzy were quite literally jumping for joy at the sight of the sunset. Michael took some great photos! We were so excited to watch the beautiful sunset together. As we drove back to camp, we watched the final moments of the sunset from the van. The van quite literally passed through clouds; it was incredible. 

After a long drive back to Kona, we stopped in town and picked up some tacos. We sat outside and enjoyed a game of late-night volleyball before heading back to camp. Lucas was by far the standout player, his athleticism truly shined through. It was fun to watch him show off his skills and take action when he rallied and motivated the group. 

Once we returned to camp, our leaders of the day, Thomas and Adah, lead a wonderful moon up. We talked about what our greatest accomplishments are, and about how incredible our day had been. 

The next morning, we woke up ready to travel to Kauai! The group was very helpful while cleaning up camp. Grace constantly asked how she could help the group. She is a rock star. After finally finishing camp clean up, we headed to the airport! After a fun flight, we landed in Kauai. Eli and Michael initiated a fun game of four square while waiting at baggage claim. The girls sat together creating friendship bracelets with the string that Emma so graciously shared. 

We finally arrived at our campsite and are so excited to be settling into our new home. We can’t wait for the second half of our trip to begin and are all feeling extremely grateful to be a part of this special group. 

The students wanted to send some messages to y’all! See below 🙂 


Hey Mom, Dad, Greg, Caroline and Lillie. I am having a blast. My group is amazing and diving was a blast. I love all of you and am praying for Sunny. 


Hey guys I am doing great, I appreciate all of you so much and you’ll never know how much you all mean to me. I love all of you, never forget that! 


Hi guys i’m having the time of my life here, I miss you so much! The group is amazing and the diving was so so cool. I love you so much and I’ll see you soon! (Give Junior a hug for me <3 ) 


Hey guys! I am having a great time here. I love and miss y’all. Thank you so much and I will see y’all soon. 


Hey Mom and Dad. I love and miss you so much. Give lots of pets to Scout for me <3


Hey Mom and Dad, I have been having a lot of fun. That pillow you gave me has come in really handy. Now that I’m finally certified me and Dad can dive a lot. Love y’all and miss you a lot. 


Hi Elizabeth and Dare-Bear, I’m having fun, I miss y’all! 


I love and miss y’all! I have the absolute best group and I want to live here. I’m scuba certified now and have made the best memories. I’ll be with y’all soon on the beach! 


Hey Mom + Dad! Currently on a road trip to a volcano! It’s been such a great trip with everyone and I’m so sad that it is already been half a trip 🙁 I miss y’all more than anything. Give cuddles to my babies! 


Hey guys! The trip has been amazing so far. Everyone is very nice, and I’ve had a lot of fun spending time with them. Shoutout to man-city crusting through the champions league, miss y’all and hope you’re doing well! 


Hey guys! I miss y’all so much, but I’m having the most amazing time with amazing people. Hope y’all don’t miss me too much, especially Braden and Tippy. Love y’all! Hugs and Kisses! 

Sunshine and Good Times in Hawaii!

June 12, 2023

Aloha Hawaiian Islands Families and Friends!

We had a wonderful time welcoming everyone to Hawaii at the Kona airport. As each student arrived, the smiles got bigger, the laughs got louder, and the energy got higher. We were all so excited to finally be together! We quickly realized that this group of young adults is special. Our group has a wonderful Dynamic and by the end of our first day, we felt like a family. After everyone arrived, we picked up some pizza on the road and headed to camp. Our campsite is on the beach, and the group was psyched to see that we will be falling asleep to the sound of the rolling waves of the ocean.

The next morning, we woke up ready to rumble. Finn and Lara were our first Leaders of the Day and they knocked it out of the park. After a beachside breakfast, we realized that our van was stuck in the sand! The group quickly came together, alongside some lovely locals, to tow the van. After digging it out, the group was ecstatic and the energy was high. Every student was talking about how even though the van getting stuck was not ideal at first, they were happy it happened because it brought the group together and showed the true spirit of Moondance. Lara has been on many Moondance trips before, and she shared with the group that “situations like this reminds me of how much I love Moondance.” Our first activity was scuba diving! After a gleeful karaoke car ride, we arrived at Jack’s Diving Locker (Fun fact: Jerry Garcia got his scuba certification at this shop!), and dove straight into training, literally.

Izzy brought the energy all day long, and there was a smile beaming on her face each time she came out of the water. After a fun day of scuba, the group headed back to our camp and began cooking dinner. Eli, Henry, and Adah took the lead in the kitchen, and made the group some gourmet quesadillas and rice. After dinner, Grace and Izzy rounded up everyone’s dishes and giggled as they cleaned each dish with joy. Grace was extremely helpful and was constantly asking the leaders if there was anything she could do to assist around camp. We ended the night with a lovely moonup and each shared our highlight of the day.

Sunday morning, our leaders of the day, Michael and Izzy, gathered the group for our morning huddle. Michael and Izzy shared some inspirational quotes about facing our fears that applied to our scuba day ahead. The group then hit the ground running, once again, to Jack’s where we had another successful day of training. Finn, Emma, Henry, and Lara were already certified and went out on the boat with our guide Simone and crushed two 40-minute dives. In the car, Adah brought the energy, and sang Taylor Swift at the top of her lungs. After a great day of scuba, we stopped at a local ice cream shop for some shaved ice and enjoyed a local farmers market.

Next, we headed back to camp for an afternoon of sports on the beach. Finn and Thomas killed it at the spikeball game, and even pioneered some football drills. Henry was loving throwing around the football, while Lucas was showcasing his soccer skills. Lucas even rallied together a group for a juggle circle, where Thomas was also able to flex his abilities. The group also listened to music, while Emma took advantage of the beautiful scenery and took some breathtaking photos. Emma has a charm to her that really embodies what it means to be a Moondancer. She constantly brought positive energy and was an asset to our beach party. We are truly having the time of our lives. This group is really something special and we can’t wait to see what’s next.

— Atkins, Emma Clark, and Hallie

Arrived Safely in Hawaii!

June 10, 2023

Hello Hawaiian Island Families!

We heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Hawaii! 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


  • Thomas
  • Eli
  • Michael
  • Finn
  • Emma
  • Henry
  • Lara
  • Lucas
  • Adah