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Maui 2A • June 26-July 9, 2023

Mahalo from Maui

July 9, 2023

Aloha again!

Today we woke up a little earlier to head to Krispy Kreme for Brooks’s birthday!!!! The day was just getting started as we headed over to Kalama Beach Park for our first surfing lesson. The waves were smaller today, but that made it perfect to learn. Everyone was able to master their technique and even catch a few waves! We then headed to do some service and experience a fun surprise. Evan, the owner of the farm, showed us around. His wife was a Moondance leader back in the day! He taught the kids how to pick cucumbers, and then had them pull out the invasive weeds to allow for new cucumbers to grow. Addison and Elizabeth worked together to pull them off of the branch and get them ready to go to the farmer’s market. He then brought us out of the greenhouse and over to the planting area where everyone worked together to plant fennel. Hollis and Maggie used butter knives to pull out the small roots and move them into a larger pot so they can grow larger. After some hard work, Evan surprised the group with a homemade waterslide! Everyone was eager to hop on and zoom down in as many different ways as they could think of. Daisy flew down, and even went backward on her back! After a long afternoon at the farm, we went back to camp to have iron chef. In this round of iron chef, we split the group into two categories to have a cook-off. One group was given the entree of burgers, and the other group pancakes. They were given 30 minutes at the grocery store to shop for whatever they needed in order to impress the judges: Brooks and the leaders. Will took charge of his group, whipping up an astonishing 28 smash burger pattys. The burger group presented us with a smash burger and a side of cheesy bacon fries paired with a pineapple drink. On the other side of the kitchen, the pancake group took a basic meal and had a creative twist on it, making pancake tacos with breakfast sausage. Hayden made a beautiful fruit display for us to eat, and even wrote a 16 with strawberries for Brooks! After long deliberation, the ultimate winner of iron chef was… drumroll please… the pancake team! We decided that the winners got to sit out of cleaning that night, but what truly spoke to the character of our group was when everyone jumped in to help clean no matter who won what. We then sang Brooks a happy birthday and watched the stars as we had moonup. Everyone headed to bed after a long day and snuggled up for a cold night.


Another amazing morning began with surfing! Everyone was excited to get back in the water and test the skills they learned yesterday. This was extra exciting because a swell rolled in, and there were some nice waves. Even the outfitters were impressed. Liam showed off his skills by riding almost every wave he caught all the way to the shore. Ella and Hollis took up the tandem board offer and caught a wave on the same board. Everyone was amazed! Jake was patient for the best waves he could find, and it always ended up paying off, as he caught some of the best ones in each set. After lots of party waves, we headed back up to shore and everyone was so so hungry. We made a stop at some food trucks, and everyone got delicious açaí bowls! We then drove over to slaughterhouse beach for one last afternoon in the sun. We took advantage of the swell and played in the waves. It was the perfect relaxing afternoon for our last full day here in Maui. Back at camp, the kids got some new white Moondance shirts to tye dye. Everyone was so creative with their colors, and each shirt is one of a kind! Afterward, we hopped in the car to go to Walmart to get matching nightgowns for our banquet dinner. We went to My Thai, a local Thai restaurant that always hits the spot. Lots of the kids had adventures outside of their food comfort zones and tried food they had never tried before! Afterward, we went to Ululani’s for one last shaved ice. It has been so sad thinking about all of our lasts. We then drove back to camp for our last moonup where we took moments to appreciate each person and their contributions to this amazing group we have. This trip has come to a close so quickly, and we can’t believe how much fun we had!


We woke up to one last beautiful morning at Maui Prep. It was bittersweet, but we all took in the campsite for one last time before cleaning up after ourselves and packing everything up. What started as just a campsite has now begun to feel like home. After packing up, we went to Paia to shop around for a little bit before we had to do the inevitable and head to the airport. We listened to our favorite songs one last time and cherished our last few moments as a full group. As we sent them through security, there wasn’t a dry eye. We can’t believe how much fun this group has been to have and know that they are all leaving Maui different people than they came here as. Thank you so much for allowing us to get to know them, it’s truly been a blast!


Caitlyn, Lucy, and William

Watersports, Olympic Triumph, and More from Maui!

July 8, 2023

Aloha again, viewers of the Maui A trip updates!


We started the day off with windsurfing! Everyone felt like they were starting to get the hang of this new activity by the end of the first lesson, so we were all excited to hop in the water for the second lesson! Addison arrived late to our group, so she wasn’t able to make it to the first practice session. However, this didn’t seem to affect her at all! She jumped right into the water and was a true natural. Elizabeth rode the wind so far out that she saw a turtle! They are everywhere here. Towards the end of the lesson, lots of people were getting tired, but not Hollis! She was the first one in and the last one out. She even learned how to do a 360 on the board! We then headed to Lahaina for our town day. The group’s favorite store was definitely the vintage t-shirt store. Everyone scored such cool merch! We split up into groups so more people could explore the cute Hawaiian beach town. Jake found an awesome Hawaiian quarter zip at another t-shirt store and has sported it ever since. We finished our town day with delicious gelato, then headed back to camp. For dinner, we made chicken tacos that were a hit with the group. Will took charge of the kitchen and made sure everyone had a taco with all the fixings. Everyone was stuffed and ready for bed, so we did a quick moonup before hitting the hay. Every day here seems to get better and better!


The next day began with ziplining! We got to sleep in, so everyone was excited to get out there and explore the jungle. We started with the bunny line, so everyone could get a feel for ziplining before we went on the big ones. We all agreed that the second line was our favorite. It was the longest of the seven–and stretches almost a half mile long! Halfway through the tour, we got to walk onto a bridge that overlooked everything we just ziplined over. It was so beautiful. After ziplining, we had a quick lunch at the local market and everyone bought banana bread to try. We were stuffed, but we headed back to camp to host the Olympics! During the Olympics, all three Maui groups meet up to go head-to-head in a variety of games. We played Birdie on a Perch, Relay Race, Gummy Bear Search, and Water Balloon Toss. Will dominated in the Gummy Bear Search and was a force to be reckoned with across the board. We had a slow start in the beginning but ended up making a comeback during the Water Balloon Toss and Relay Race. During the relay race, Hayden, Brooks, Jake, and Daisy brought it home for our group. This was the beginning of our dominance. During the water balloon toss, almost all of the other groups teams were out, and over half of our group was still playing! Liam tossed the water balloon over half the field and victory was ours. We celebrated with a lap around the field, playing our favorite song: Parole Parole – 2001 remastered. After celebrating Maui A’s back-to-back wins, we finished the night with hot dogs and fresh fruit. We were even lucky enough to catch some fireworks! We recapped our win during moonup and took the opportunity to get even closer with each other. As we draw towards the end of the trip to the trip, we have come to love this group more and more every day—and we can’t wait to hold these last few days closely to our hearts!


We began the next day with stand-up paddle boarding. It was probably the group’s favorite activity! We all got to hang out and relax on the paddle boards for a little bit before playing last man standing. Daisy ended up coming out on top, knocking over everyone else on their paddle board. We then paddled over to a coral reef, where the guides pulled out two different sea urchins for us to hold! Maggie was eager to hold the urchin and was the first to grab it. Ella took it next and put it on her head like a crown. The whole group was laughing. We then headed in for lunch and went back to our favorite beach. We had a variety of food from the local grocery store, including orange chicken, pizza sticks, sushi, and corn dogs. What a smorgasbord! At Slaughterhouse, we played in the ocean and had a mini spikeball tournament. We went back to camp and prepared breakfast for dinner. Woohoo! We had almost every type of breakfast food, including hash browns, pancakes, bacon, eggs, and toast. It’s safe to say no one went to bed hungry. We then had an amazing moonup and headed to bed.


Aloha and mahalo for reading! Here are some shoutouts from your kiddos as well!


Caitlyn, Lucy, and William


Liam: Hey mom and dad, I’m having so much fun all over Maui.


Will: Hey Mom and Dad, I’m having so much fun, thanks for sending me to Maui


Daisy: Hi Dad and Mom, I fell off the boat snorkeling but don’t even worry love my leaders and group miss y’all lots; tell Peter to bless


Ella: Hey fam!! I’ve made the best of friends here! Say hi to the Weins for me please. See u soon! love you.


Elizabeth: Hey family, Maui is cool. Bye!


Hayden: Hey mom and dad I am having lots! Love and miss you!


Maggie: Hey Mom & Dad! I’m having a blast, thanks so much for this trip! I hope Russell is having so much fun at camp! Love you!


Addison: Alohaaa!!! I’m having so much fun! Thank you so much for the trip! See y’all soon! – Addison


Jake: I am having the best time! W trip. See y’all soon!


Brooks: Hey party people! Maui has been awesome and my group is great!


Hollis: Hey Mom and Dad!! I’m having soo much fun! Can’t wait to tell y’all more about it when I get home. Tell everyone I miss them!!!! Love y’all


Memories in the Moonlight

July 5, 2023

We started our fifth day here in Maui with a delicious breakfast of avocado toast and bagels. We had to be quick because we were headed off to rappelling! We drove on the famous road to Hana and it was super windy, but the views were beautiful. The night before it was rainy, so the waterfalls were huge! After we went down the practice hill, everyone was prepared to take on the waterfalls. Our first waterfall stood tall at 50 feet! Will was eager to tackle the challenge and stepped up to go first! He showed the rest of the group how it was done. He was a natural, and it didn’t look like his first rodeo. While waiting on the rest of the group to head down, Jonas, the outfitter, took the group to a small cave where they got to jump off. Jake was showing off and doing hilarious poses. We made sure to grab some videos of that! We then hiked up all of the elevation we rappelled down and it was a challenge, but made lunch all that much more delicious. And, we had company… peacocks! It was hilarious watching them try to eat all of our food. Daisy checked out the local shop and made a new cat friend, Flowers. We then headed over to Paia to grab a local favorite, Ululani’s shaved ice. Addison branched out and tried blue raspberry with wedding cake. There were mixed opinions on the wedding cake flavor, but the blue raspberry was a hit. We went back to camp to whip up a delicious dinner. We had Kalua pork sandwiches with a side of Mac and cheese. Elizabeth tried out the Hawaiian barbecue sauce, and everyone else followed suit. It tasted like barbecue with a hint of soy sauce in it. It was so good and everyone’s sandwiches had some on it. We finished off our night with Moonup under the stars. We didn’t even need our usual water bottle light in the middle because the moon was so bright.


The next morning was an early one! We hit the road to head off to kayaking and snorkeling. Daisy and Maggie, our LODs took charge and were talking to Griff, our outfitter, about the plan to communicate it to the group. We kayaked out to our snorkel spot, Mikey’s house. The group had so much fun swimming around and exploring the coral reefs. Brooks was a fish in the water, swimming around the corals searching for unique creatures. We got back in our boats and had a quick Fig bar snack before kayaking back to shore. Griff complemented our group on their amazing listening skills and said they were one of the best groups he has ever seen! Griff used to be a Moondance leader, so he works very closely with the company. In fact, he created the Maui trip! We then headed to Costco to get some dinners and new snacks. Ella grabbed lychees for the group and everyone was eager to try this exotic fruit. It was a hit with some, and not so enjoyable for others. Back at camp, we tried out our new snacks and hung out in the kitchen. For dinner, we had debatably one of the best meals offered at Costco: chicken tacos! Everyone had a blast cooking up the dinner and dancing to the music. We then played a quick after dinner game of whiffle ball. Hayden hit a home run for the cobra team, and carried them to victory. The Pua team wasn’t too discouraged, and there will for sure be a rematch later. After another great Moonup, we headed to sleep to prepare for another great day and early morning!


We had a sweet wake up to Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles. Everyone quickly threw on their swimsuits and hopped in the van to head to snorkel with Redline Rafting! Everyone was eager to get on the boat and into the water to see all of the fish. We were the first ones out to the Molokini crater, and there were fish everywhere. We even spotted a zebra moray eel! After exploring the crater, we drove around on the boat and looked at our home, Maui, from a far. It was so pretty to see from a different angle. They drove us over to turtle town, and we were surrounded by turtles. Liam stayed in the water the longest, amazed by the turtles. He even spotted one that had three legs. We named him tripod, poor thing! After spending a great morning on the water, we went back to shore to head over to Slaughterhouse, our favorite secret beach. We obviously brought out spikeball and hacky sack, the best two beach games. After a long afternoon on the beach, we headed back to camp to hangout and play cards. Uno was the best one we played all afternoon, and everyone had fun sabotaging each other. It was hilarious. Hollis took charge of our dinner, and made everyone delicious grilled cheeses. With full tummies and tired eyes, we had Moonup under the stars. Everyone was quick to hit the hay after a long day. We can’t believe this trip is almost halfway over. We have been having a great time with everyone, and it has been great watching this group grow closer together.

With love,

Caitlyn, Lucy, and William

Aloha from Maui!

July 3, 2023

We started off day 1 with a big day of windsurfing! Everyone was eager to hop in the water and try out this unique sport. While the group started to learn the basics of windsurfing, Lucy and Caitlyn went to the airport to get Daisy. Even after a long travel day, she quickly jumped into the windsurfing lesson. It was a super windy day, so it took a little longer for everyone to get their sea legs. However, once everyone got the hang of it, we were all having a blast. Hayden was a natural on the water, and she ended up showing off new tricks using the sail! The extra wind is typically considered a challenge, but even the outfitters said that we were some of the best beginners they have seen. The challenge was tackled head on. Liam, one of the first LODs, proved his leadership skills by encouraging everyone not to give up. The activity would not have been such a success without this! While we waited for our new arrival, we headed over to Baldwin beach to hang out and play games on the beach. Brooks caught on quick to Hacky sack, quickly catching the ball and getting people out. We then picked up Addison from the airport and we can now proudly say our full 2A family is here. She was excited to jump right into the Hawaiian culture, grabbing shaved ice right after landing here. As we headed back to camp, we heard news of a fire in the town we passed on the way to camp. Because of this the road was closed, so we had to change the plan! We headed over to Chick-Fil-A for a first group dinner. Everyone was so excited to have a little taste of home. We then decided to hop in the van and see how far we could get to the road closure before it opened. We ended up being in the van for far longer than expected, but the kids took advantage of this unique experience and used it to hang out and learn more about each other. The LODs, Liam and Hollis took charge, and we had an impromptu moonup on the side of the road, under the stars! We were so proud they took this time to grow closer as a group. We could tell from this that this group is special.

We began day 2 at Maui Cultural Lands. Puanani took us down to the valley where we learned about the history and culture of Maui. She taught us a chant that we repeated back to her to be welcomed to the valley. Once we hiked down, we got to work removing invasive plants so they can cultivate the land for ways more beneficial to the island. Elizabeth took charge and was removing roots left and right! She was a force to be reckoned with. Jake was speedy with the pickaxe, no one could keep up with him. After clearing the land, we went on a tour of the valley. Puanani showed us different plants and fruits that the Hawaiians used in health practices. Hayden stepped up to try the Noni fruit on her bug bites and found an almost instant relief. After an amazing and rewarding morning at Maui Cultural Lands, we headed back to camp for a quick lunch. Ella and Hollis stepped up to help make everyone delicious chicken quesadillas. For the afternoon, we went to Slaughterhouse Beach. The name sounds daunting, but it is a hidden beach that might be our new favorite spot! We all played in the water and soaked up the sun for a casual afternoon. We then headed back to camp before going to a cooking class! We started by learning about the history behind the land we were on. It is so interesting to hear about the culture of Maui as it helps us appreciate it as our home for these next two weeks! We then headed into our cooking area, where we learned about the story of how coconuts came to be. You will have to ask your kids to share the story when they come home. We then had some pineapple salsa as an appetizer, and our main dish was blue rice with chicken! For dessert we had some mango that he grew right where we were cooking. Everyone agreed that it was the best mango they had ever had. He even let us take some back to camp for breakfast. It was another great day!

We spent the next morning at Slaughterhouse beach! The kids hopped right into the water, playing in the waves, and riding them into shore. Once we tired out from swimming back and forth, we headed back to the beach for a quick snack. Will took charge and started an intense spikeball game. There is still a heated debate over who the winner was. After a great morning, we went to camp for lunch before a long drive to Haleakala summit! We got there a few hours before the sun went down, so we explored the summit and walked on some trails. It was so cool to be above the clouds—it didn’t even feel like we were on earth. To pass time before sunset, we played some more hacky sack and took amazing pictures. As the sun began to set, we all settled down to watch it go down. It was one of the prettiest sunsets we have ever seen. We then surprised the group with an out to eat dinner! We went to Paia fish market, where Maggie got the chicken quesadilla. Many others followed her lead. It was a delicious ending to another great day! We can’t wait to keep exploring this island with this amazing group.


Caitlyn, Lucy, and William

Made it to Maui!

June 27, 2023

Hello Maui Families!

We heard from our leaders that the majority of the group has landed safely in Maui! Due to travel delays, Daisy will be arriving today. The group is excited have a welcome party for Daisy upon her arrival!

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


  • Addison
  • Brooks
  • Daisy
  • Elizabeth
  • Ella
  • Hayden
  • Jake
  • Liam
  • Maggie
  • Will