July 24, 2023
Aloha!! We are having the best time out here in Hawaii and are so sad that our trip is coming to an end. This has been an incredible group and we all feel extremely grateful for this opportunity to have met and to have shared these special moments together. These two weeks have truly felt like a trip of a lifetime.
On Friday, we headed to the coast to complete a 8 mile hike! The view from the hike was incredible, we overlooked the entire Na Pali coast. Paige and Millie were great cheerleaders throughout the hike and kept the group morale high. We truly had the best time! Noni and Sam loved taking photos at the beautiful lookout. We were all in awe of the incredible scenery around us.
Following the hike, we went to a local ice cream shop to celebrate. We enjoyed our ice cream while sharing many laughs about the memorable moments of the trip thus far.
The next morning, we headed to Honalei Bay to enjoy some surfing! The waves were smaller this morning, but this did not stop our crew. It started to rain when we arrived but shortly after a beautiful rainbow rose over the beach. Atkins was able to capture a stunning video of Emmie surfing with the rainbow in the background. It was so beautiful, it looked photoshopped! We had so much fun doing tricks on the board, and sharing laughs together in the beautiful water. Georgia surprised us by doing a headstand on the surfboard in the water. Hiram was an outstanding surfer and did some really cool tricks!! We had the best time.
After surfing, we stopped at a local acai shop to experience the incredible smoothies and bowls that the island has to offer. Then, we were off to ziplining! We completed three different zip lines which were 800ft, 1,800ft, and 4,000ft long (which is 3/4 mile😱)! After the second zipline, we stopped off at a secret freshwater swimming hole which had a high jump and a zipline into the water. Addie showed us an amazing cheer stunt into the water. Noni impressed us all and did 14 pull ups on the zipline before falling in the water. After the swimming hole, we went up to the last zipline. Everyone rode face first (superman style) which gave them the experience of flying like Peter Pan through the jungle of Kauai.
After ziplining, we went back to camp and dressed up nicely for our Banquet dinner. Paige was kind enough to let all the girls use her makeup, and Georgia helped apply it on everyone. On the way to dinner Cole got everyone hyped up and rapped some freestyles in the ~trap~ van. We went to Jimmy’s for dinner and we got a table outside on the beach with live music playing! It was a great way to spend our last night together.
Our final moonup was very special. We recapped our special moments, funny moments, and the times that took our breath away. Jake was making everyone laugh! We talked about what we learned about ourselves on the trip, and the ways that we want to implement these changes into our lives back home. Overall, we all enjoyed being unplugged, making new friends, and pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones. We’re looking forward to taking this moondance magic back home with us.
The next day, we worked to clean up camp. Noni, JB, Paige and Georgia helped cook us an amazing last breakfast. After a sad goodbye to Kumu camp, we spent our final afternoon exploring local shops for some last minute souvenirs. JB got an amazing ukelele! He plans to spend his layover learning some new songs. Lizzie enjoyed trying a local juice store, and Paige and Addison loved the local bathing suit shops.
Lastly, we headed for the airport for a final goodbye. It was really hard to say goodbye to this beautiful chapter of our lives, but we are eternally grateful for this time together. We are already talking about a reunion trip! As we were pulling into the airport, we saw one last final rainbow. Check out the photo below!
Thank you for sharing your children with us this summer. This trip was very special and the group dynamic was outstanding. Your children truly did find lifelong friends, and have learned a lot about themselves and the world they live in. Thank you for providing them with the opportunity to be a part of the Moondance family. We are so happy that we met them. We miss them already.
Atkins, Emma Clark, and Hallie
July 21, 2023
Aloha friends and family!
We spent our first full day in Kauai sea kayaking along the stunning Na Pali Coast. The route was a little over 5 miles each way, but each kayak pair took the challenge by storm and absolutely crushed it-we completed the first leg of our journey in record time! Our fearless LODs, Addison and Cole continuously cheered the group on and encouraged other to keep paddling. Cole even took on the specialized role of LOH-Leader of Hydration- enthusiastically reminding everyone to drink their water! Halfway through the journey, we stopped at the first beach on the coast for some lunch and refreshments. After lounging in the shade, Addison, Lizzie, Emmie and Paige joined our guide on an impromptu hike to a fresh water stream. They discovered a cool watering hole tucked within a valley, looking onto the ocean; it was truly something out of a movie.
Once back at camp, the group took another dip in the ocean before showering off. We then headed to a local restaurant, Mariachi’s, to celebrate our achievements of the day! The boys quickly made a friend (Julio, age 7), with whom they danced and griddied until the food was served. JB danced in circles with him for at least an hour! We finished the night with some frozen desserts and another wonderful moon-up.
The next day, we woke up with the sun and headed to Hanalei Bay for our first surfing lesson. The kids crushed it! Millie hopped up like a pro on her first wave, while Sam and Hiram made friends with a local surfing pro who gave them some expert tips. Although the incoming storm might have made the skies a little gloomy, it brought in some pretty gnarly waves! To avoid the treacherous weather, we treated ourselves to a movie at the one and only movie theater on the island! We saw The Flash, which Noni and Jake paid keen attention to.
Thursday morning, we drove down to the south side of the island to do some community service around the National Tropical Botanic Garden. We started by weeding invasive grasses out of a garden. Georgia took the challenge in stride and collected the most weeds while simultaneously pumping the rest of the group up!
We are truly having the time of our lives out here in Hawai’i. Thank you for sharing your incredible kids with us, we can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip has in store!
Atkins, Emma, and Hallie
July 18, 2023
Aloha friends and family!
Checking in as we depart for our next island: Kauai!
We started our Friday off with a shore dive. The group was pumped to finally put their scuba skills to use in the ocean, as well as get one step closer to certification. Once back on land, we roamed around the town of Kona, picking up souvenirs and enjoying some shaved ice before heading back to camp. We all enjoyed having some free time—many friendship bracelets were made! We had fried rice for dinner. Cole did an incredible job cooking!
The next day was our fourth and final day of scuba diving. We all enjoyed being on the boat together. We took so many amazing photos! We surprised Sam with his favorite sunglasses underwater for a photo. We had fun exploring the amazing arches. For this dive, each student was assigned a different task. We had so much fun! Millie did a wonderful job prepping the scuba team, and JB was an outstanding guide! It was such a fun day. We then headed back to camp and made personal pizzas for dinner! Georgia and Paige also made an amazing salad. We ended the night with a special moonup where we all shared how happy we are to be here, and how grateful we are for such a special group.
After saying goodbye to our wonderful scuba instructors, we spent our last day on the Big Island hiking and soaking in the beautiful views. We started our morning with a hike to Green Sands Beach: one of only four beaches in the world where the sand is, well, green! (Fun fact, it’s also the southernmost part of the United States!). We hiked to the beach where we then ran into the ocean to cool off and have some fun. Hiram and Jake especially enjoyed swimming! We then hiked back out and all talked about how the hike is so beautiful and the climate is so different, it felt like we were in a different world! It was absolutely breathtaking.
We then stopped for a well-deserved lunch at a local bakery. After lunch, we continued our road trip jamming out and singing the whole way! We then headed to Hiio to stop for some ice cream on our way to Manua Key.
Once we arrived, we watched the sunset together at the mountain top. It was breathtaking. Noni loved the view and said that it was a very special experience. Emmie, Addison, JB, and Sam especially loved taking photos on top of the mountain! It was such a beautiful night.
The next day, we woke up ready to travel to Kauai! Lizzy was super helpful around camp while cleaning up. We said our final goodbyes to Kona and flew over the Kauai to start the next chapter of our adventure. Thank you all for reading, we miss you all so much!
Atkins, Emma, and Hallie
July 14, 2023
Aloha Hawaii 3A Friends and Family! We have arrived and are already having so much fun in Hawaii. After each member of our group met, we picked up some pizza and headed to our campsite. We had a fun first Moonup under the stars. The sky was beautiful, many of us saw shooting stars. It was a magical night and a great first evening to the trip. JB and Lizzie were nominated leaders of the day (LODs) first due to their enthusiasm and friendliness throughout airport day.
We woke up the next morning and headed towards Jack’s Diving Locker in Kona to begin our SCUBA training! The training pool overlooks the ocean, it is a wonderful place to learn. Fun fact The Grateful Dead was certified at this shop! The shops slogan is “grateful diver” for this reason. How cool is that!
We spent the morning learning how to breathe underwater, how to properly use scuba gear, clear a flooded mask, as well as a plethora of other skills. Everyone in the group paid close attention throughout the dive, absorbing all the information necessary to dive safely.
After a full day of pool dives, the group headed back to our campsite to play some Spikeball, toss the football, and listen to some good music before dinner. Our all-star cook crew, Addison, Millie, Jake and Sam, prepared a gourmet Tex-Mex meal. Quesadillas, brown rice, homemade guacamole and queso were the perfect comfort meal!
We then jumped into a heated game of Family Fued. Atkins, aka Steve Harvey, narrated as the two teams competed to rack up as many points as possible on the scoreboard. Hiram and Cole were key members of their team as they consistently guessed the top answers, they should really consider going on the show in the future! After another lovely Moonup under the stunning stars (you could even see the Milky Way!), we all headed into the tents for a good night’s sleep.
The next morning, we woke up with the sun, prepared some bagels, and headed back to Jack’s! The group hopped right back in where they left off and honed their emergency ascent skills. The kids completed their skills in record time, so we were able to take a spontaneous adventure to a nearby beach. We spent the remainder of the morning swimming, playing volleyball, and hanging out on the beach! Paige loved playing in the ocean, and Emmie scouted out a great tanning spot. Then, we headed back to Kona to explore town. We explored some local shops, played more volleyball, and had fun hanging out with each other! Then, we enjoyed some tacos before heading to the marina for our night snorkel!
The night snorkel was amazing. We saw manta rays!! They flipped so close to us! We were all squealing with joy through our snorkels because of how unreal this experience was. We jammed out to music on the ride back and Noni showed off some awesome dance moves. We enjoyed taking photos on the boat, and dancing as well.
After a fun night, we headed back to camp and had a wonderful moon up lead by our leaders of the day, Georgia and Sam. We then went to bed to rest up our shore dives tomorrow! More updates to come! 🙂
Atkins, Emma Clark, and Hallie!!!
July 12, 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!