June 23, 2023
Wednesday June 21st.
With a late start to the day everyone decided to sleep in and enjoy the wonderful morning. Mary and Kate went to Krispy Kreme this morning with Sarah to surprise the group with doughnuts. Once everyone enjoyed a couple of doughnuts, we were on our way to go for a rappelling adventure. Alys and Ben, filled with excitement, led the group down the first rappelling line. With steady confidence, they guided their friends through the descent, setting the tone for the exhilarating day ahead. Mary and Wil followed suit, showcasing their rappelling skills with grace and poise. Despite Wil’s unexpected wipeout, they both laughed it off and continued their descent. Next in line were SM and Cate, who fearlessly took charge of leading the group down the waterfall line. Margaret, once safely down the waterfall line, dived into the refreshing swimming hole, joining Brie. Nicolas and Patrick, eager to to push their limits perfected the Ferrari position, yearning to experience the speed and thrill associated with the various lines. Ethan and Carson enjoyed skipping rocks along the waters edge. After the exhilarating rappelling adventure, the group made their way to Paia for a well-deserved late lunch. We ate at Flat bread pizza, where everyone indulged in their own custom pizzas, ranging from classic margarita to meat lovers. With satisfied appetites, we rushed to Goodwill, excitedly searching for funny outfits to wear for our banquet night. The guys decided on baggy jeans and an assortment of quirky shirts, while the girls delighted in a vibrant array of colors and unique fits. The sight of everyone’s attire filled the evening with contagious joy and lightheartedness. To cap off the night, we headed to Tobi’s shaved ice to enjoy a sweet and refreshing treat.
Thursday June 22nd
The dreaded day has come… the final day of the trip. What a fun time we had together but sadly it has come to an end. We slept in after a fun night of laughter and storytelling. We started the day off with Chick-fil-a breakfast and Ethan enjoyed a birthday milkshake to get the day started. After we cleaned up camp, we headed to Paia to shop and grab lunch. Ben, Carson, and Wil all grabbed matching hats, while Nicolas grabbed an assortment of soaps. Soon after we checked out a local surf shop where Ethan told us all about the cool things that go into surfing. Patrick bought a local Hawaiian t-shirt to remember the wonderful memories he made. The girls all walked around together to shop and stumbled upon some temporary tattoos to share with everyone. We ate lunch at Milagros for a final meal before we departed for the airport. Once we got to the airport, everyone settled in and awaited their departures.
When the first group left, everyone said their goodbyes and some tears were shed because of the hard goodbyes that followed. We have loved spending the last two weeks with this group, and we are so sad for it to be over. Thank you, parents, for sharing your amazing children with us! We miss you guys already and hope you have the best rest of the summer!
Connor, John, + Sarah
June 21, 2023
Aloha again Maui 1C Families!
It pains us to think that we have only two more days left with this amazing group! Everyone has grown so close and accustomed to the incredible amenities we have experienced in Maui. We are so lucky to have spent this time with your amazing children!
Monday’s surfing expedition was nothing short of extraordinary as our entire group embraced the waves with confidence. It was a day filled with thrilling achievements and laughter that echoed across the beach. Brie and SM along with Alys and Margaret astonished everyone as they rode tandem, with their synchronized movements and radiant smiles capturing the pure enjoyment of riding the waves. Ethan astounded us with his remarkable surfing skills by effortlessly hopping onto people’s boards mid-surf! Ben and Carson pushed each other in a friendly competition of who could ride the wave the longest. Wil provided endless laughter as he fearlessly embraced wipeouts with infectious humor. Patrick found himself surrounded by sea turtles throughout our time surfing! Nicholas amazed us all by surfing with both feet facing straight forward. Margaret, armed with the trusty GoPro, expertly documented some of our thrilling surf sessions. While Margaret was filming, Brie added a vlog-like aspect to our surfing adventure. Mary amazed us by effortlessly flipping sides while riding the waves. Lastly, Cate graciously moved through the waves with great agility!
Once our surfing adventure was finished, we headed to Pono Grown farms to learn about agriculture and regenerative farming practices. Evan, the owner of the farm explained to us how the word Pono means righteous and gave us a lesson on how we can be righteous in our daily life. Evan gave the group a tour of the farm and explained the different methods and practices used for farming. He explained how wood chips make a great foundation around the base of the tree to soak in moisture and prevent weeds from growing. After, we went into the greenhouse and saw the array of vegetables being grown such as zucchini, watermelon, and tomatoes! Evan then led us to the chicken coop that had over 50 chickens walking around and foraging part of the land. Nicholas seized a rare opportunity and skillfully caught one of the chickens! To cap off our tour, we indulged in a homemade slip-and-slide that unleashed sheer delight. With each exhilarating slide, we achieved killer speeds and contagious laughter filled the air! Alys, SM, and Margaret were constantly laughing and even rode all together down the slide for a fun adventure. The tour of Pono Grown farms offered us a glimpse of the remarkable world of agriculture and gifted us with cherished memories and a profound sense of gratitude for the wonders of nature.
We started Tuesday with more surfing! Everyone looked like a pro and continued to enjoy the scenic views surrounding us. The group continued to practice their surfing skills, with Margaret even performing a headstand while surfing! We even have video proof to showcase her skills. Ethan’s remarkable surfing skills left the guides so impressed that they rewarded him with some surfing magazines. Once we finished surfing, we headed to the food trucks for everyone to enjoy a delicious post-surfing lunch. Everyone got something different ranging from Hawaiian poke to an aloha burger! Once we finished lunch, we headed back to camp to get ready for the Olympics. We were the tie-dye team, so everyone put on their tie-dye shirts that we made the night before and also put on eye black to showcase our competitive spirits! We hyped ourselves up in the car with music and got our game plan ready to become the victorious team.
Our first game was wiffle ball. Our team emerged victorious in a 12-7 victory against the Maui 1B team! Patrick, Carson, and Wil demonstrated their batting abilities by hitting massive home runs during the game. Ben and Ethan also caught many pop flies to propel our defensive effort. Mary stood out with her impressive photography skills, capturing memorable moments throughout the game. Cate and Brie excelled in hitting line drives up the middle, providing excellent support to our juggernaut of an offense! While watching the game, SM and Margaret spent their time socializing with the other groups, creating connections, and enjoying the company. Nicholas lent a helping hand in the kitchen, skillfully cutting up pineapple and watermelon for the group. Ben led the group in our next game, which was soccer. Although we did not come up victorious, Ben had 3 goals and took control of the entire game leaving some of the other groups in awe over his skilled soccer abilities. Once we finished playing games, we enjoyed some hot dogs and other snacks. While eating, Alys entertained everyone with great jokes and stories.
We have had such a great time on this trip and are continuing to cherish our time together each and every day. What a spectacular group we have, we couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them. Each of them has grown tremendously throughout our time together and we cannot believe it is all coming to an end so soon. Stay tuned for one final update!
Sarah, Connor, and John
June 19, 2023
These past few days have been special for the group. It makes us tear up thinking we are already past the halfway point of the trip! Each student really is starting to open up and show us how incredible they all are. As the end is slowly approaching, we are making the most of every second we all have together.
We woke up today to a wonderful pancake and bacon breakfast prepared by Patrick and Nicolas. Soon after, we were on our way for day 2 of windsurfing. Everyone looked like a pro out there mastering the power of the wind and trying some super cool maneuvers over the course of the morning. Ethan managed to get 11 spins on the wind surfing board, a new record for the group. Cate ventured out of the cove and with the help of a guide and caught some serious wind and speed. Mary did 10 360’s and one 360 with Brie on it how cool is that!! Brie and SM somehow managed to sail on one board at the same time, talk about some great teamwork. Overall the whole group crushed it and had a great time in the water. Soon after we decided to head to Baldwin Beach and relax on the beach. Margaret and SM caught some killer waves to body surf on while Alys was watching and laughing away. While the girls enjoyed the water, the guys played basketball for a little bit and Wil threw down a dunk while being guarded by Patrick. Carson had a smooth three pointer to finish off the game. Once we all finished at the beach, we ventured on to Tobi’s Poke and Shaved Iced to enjoy a sweet and refreshing treat after such a wonderful day of activities. Ben started off the order with a blue raspberry and lemon lime shaved iced cup, while Brie and Mary enjoyed some delicious ice cream.
For dinner we enjoyed a delicious Teriyaki orange chicken and rice dinner prepared by Ethan, Nicolas, Patrick, and John (our private chefs of the trip!!) They each showcased their culinary skills that left everyone at the table in awe. Each bite was a symphony of flavors, a true testament to the joy of cooking and the pleasure of sharing a delicious meal with great company.
We started the day with an exhilarating zip-lining adventure in Kapalua. As we soared through the lush greenery and Oceanside view, we all experienced an adrenaline rush along with some insane speed. Wil and Ben were first up for the zipping adventure anxiously waiting to feel the wind in their face and take in the beautiful views. Alys and Margaret went second and perfected the cannonball and starfish position. SM and Nicolas decided to race and while it was a close one, SM barely beat Nicolas.
The adrenaline from zip-lining left us energized and ready for the next adventure of the day, which was Ho’okipa beach, which is known for its incredible surf-watching. As we arrived, you could hear the sound of the crashing waves, and the skilled surfers graciously riding the waves. Ethan soaked up the gracious technique of each surfer. Watching the surfers was truly awe inspiring, as they showcase their talent and mastery of the ocean.
While watching the surfers, we noticed something remarkable nearby; over 30 sea turtles basking along the sandy shoreline. It’s a heartwarming sight to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, peacefully soaking up the warm Hawaiian sun. Brie, Cate, and Mary took a moment to appreciate the beauty and the unique opportunity to witness these beautiful creatures up close.
We started the day off by driving to the other side of the island for a conservation activity with Maui Cultural Lands. Our amazing guide, Ekolu, gave us insight into the importance of the sacred land we were working on, which was one of the most important food production sites in the 1300s, SO COOL!
Next stop was picking up a well-deserved lunch from the grocery store and having a picnic on the beach. As everyone was cracking jokes and filling their bellies with chicken fingers and fruit, we reflected on the morning and how to make each moment count with our time quickly running out.
This trip has truly been so special, and we cannot express how thankful we are that these kids shared 2 weeks with us. These kids are so exceptional, and we love them so much!! Onto the last few days of this fantastic adventure…
June 17, 2023
Aloha Maui 1C friends and family!
We can’t believe we’ve already made it to Day 6 in Maui. Time flies when you’re having fun! This group’s bond is now unrecognizable looking back on our first day meeting one another. Seeing how inclusive and close everyone has become with one another has been an honor to be a part of.
Tuesday morning started at Kanaha Beach with everyone’s first time windsurfing! Our guides even said this beach is one of the best windsurfing spots in the world. Brie led the group by being the first one to get up and ride the wind! The girls got off to an incredible start while the boys took some falls followed up by lots of laughter. Ethan was the exception as he put his surfing knowledge to use and zipped around the coastline while everyone was still trying to get up. His skills are an amazing sight to see! Mary and Ben had lots of fun with the GoPro as they showed off their moves and new sailing knowledge.
The next day we had an early wake up call for snorkeling at the Molokini crater! As we arrived everyone was blown away at the 180 feet of visibility below the boat. Nicholas and Patrick were the first ones to jump in and spotted out some moorish idols (Gill from Finding Nemo). SM, Margaret, and Mary were swimming around taking some magical GoPro footage of the group. Cate and Alys were the first ones to dive into the water at our last stop, Turtle Mansion, where the group swam with tons of massive sea turtles! It was awesome!! Carson and Wil helped the guides set out a well deserved lunch… sandwich’s, cookies, and chips. We then soaked in the sun and waves at Baldwin Beach to finish off the day followed with a shaved ice stop!
Stand up paddle boarding was the next adventure lined up for our crew and everyone dominated! The guides were blown away at the kids skills! Nicholas was in the front of the pack the whole morning and didn’t fall once. Wil was making the group laugh by telling jokes and even wiping out a few times. The day did not stop there. The group decided to really challenge themselves and conquer the Haleakala Ridge Trail hike! After going straight uphill for multiple miles, we were greeted with the most amazing views of the island we have yet to see. To celebrate our hard work, we hit our first local food stop for dinner at Cafe Mambo in Paia. Another peaceful Moonup under the stars helped everyone reflect on the day’s events and prepare for tomorrow’s.
On to the next adventure,
Sarah, Connor, and John
Carson: Having a great time trying out new activities and getting to know my group better! Love y’all
Nicholas: having fun in maui and meeting new people. I’ll see you soon. Love you
Wil: hey mom and dad, I’m having a great time and I’m making new friends, I’m so excited to see you later, love y’all
Cate: hey momma and dad I’m having a blast! Dad tell mom not to worry and that I really am having the best time. Dad you’d love it here, love y’all
Alys: hey mom and dad I miss y’all, I’m having so much fun here!! I’ve met lots of new friends!! Love yall!
Ben: aloha (hi) I am having an absolutely fantastic time in Maui. I am making new friends and taking in every bit of Maui that I can. I love it and I didn’t think that it was gonna be this fun. Love y’all.
Margaret: Hey mom and dad I miss y’all so much and I’m having so much fun! Dad have a great Father’s Day! Tell Avery and the dogs I say hi! Bye! I love yall!
SM: hi mom and dad. Hope the beach is great. Happy Father’s Day if I don’t get to update y’all again. Maui is so pretty. Love yall byeeeeee
Brie: heyyyyyyyy! I am having so much fun in Maui. Miss u a bunch, also happy Father’s Day Dad! Love youuuuuu
Mary: hiiiii I miss y’all so much and I am having so much fun the waves are huge also happy early Father’s Day dad I love y’all so much tell the dogs that I miss them and Jane and Kate love y’all soooooo much
Ethan: hi mom and dad! I miss you guys! So far camp is really fun! Today we went snorkeling and the water is sooo clear! Everyone is also really nice! I miss you guys!(happy early Father’s Day dad)
Patrick: hi mom and dad. Hawa’ii has been a lot of fun, from friends to snorkeling. See you soon!
June 13, 2023
Aloha from Maui!
This group has impressed us so much already and we could not have had a better one to start the summer with. We cannot wait to see how our students grow during this amazing experience!
Ethan was our first arrival who bolted off his plane with a smiling face, ready to start his adventure. As more of our students arrived, the group played card games and shared amazing stories as they began to get to know one another! Airport day ended with famous local pizza and our first Moonup at Pono Grown Farms, our amazing camp site, where we elected our first LOD’s (leaders of the day) for the next day.
Our LOD’s for the first official day were Ethan and SM because of their outstanding attitudes and positive impact on the group’s morale! After sleeping in and continuing to recover from the jet lag, we made delicious and hearty breakfast burritos! Patrick led the way with his cooking skills by cooking us some fantastic eggs and sausage.Our first full day consisted of going to our first beach and a cooking class with a famous chef on the island! Once we arrived at our cooking class, we were greeted with some freshly squeezed juice straight from the farm. Margaret and Brie were eager to try it, so they stepped up by passing around our delicious refreshments! While we learned how to prepare Hawaiian vegetable rolls, Cate and SM aided in the making of the homemade coconut peanut sauce. Will set the tone on how to roll up the vegetable roll with an excellent demonstration for the group! Nicholas and his clever humor kept everyone smiling ear to ear throughout the class as well. Our LOD’s chosen for Day 2 were Patrick and Cate!
Our second day got off to a spectacular start as Griff, a former Moondance leader and Hawaii legend, led all of us on a beautiful sea kayak and snorkeling tour through the Wailea shoreline! Carson’s eyes were glowing as we kayaked by the famous Kaho’olawe island. Alys led the charge behind Griff with her outstanding kayaking skills. Griff taught the group a Hawaiian language lesson using the island names around us and Brie displayed her knowledge by guessing what a few of them meant in English. As soon as it became time to snorkel, Ben became almost face to face with a magical sea turtle in the water with us! Mary showed off her professional GoPro skills by taking incredible underwater videos of the reef below us. With all of the tropical fish around us, we were lucky enough to encounter two octopuses during the snorkel trip! The group displayed their creativity and growing bonds when we got back to the campsite by creating their own special baseball and football games to play together. Before a nice homemade meal, the group burned some more energy at the Baldwin Beach in Paia by dancing the in the waves. John cooked his favorite pasta recipe along with Caesar salad with the group who all volunteered to help. Our fabulous LODs worked tirelessly to make it as delicious as it was, even teaching John a few things to add onto it. The night ended with a Moonup under the breathtaking stars that left us speechless.
To have these kids experience the beauty of Maui with us in this wonderful environment unplugged from our lives back home is the greatest blessing. It’s wild to think it has only been two full days together with how this group is starting to feel like a family. We cannot wait to see what more Maui has to offer our precious students. Stay tuned for our next updates coming later this week!
Sarah, Connor, and John
June 11, 2023
Hello Maui Families!
We heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Maui! 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!