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SUMMER

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EXPERIENCE MOONDANCE

Front Cover: On top of Piminè, French Pyrenees CHAMONIX, 2014 Six of these students would later become Moondance leaders


Picos de Europa National Park, Spain SPAIN + MOROCCO, 2017


Prince William Sound, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2018

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TABLE OF

CONTENTS A LETTER FROM HAYES

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THE LOST SUMMER 8 THE EARLY YEARS

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LEAVING THE COMFORT ZONE

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WILD PLACES

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A PARENT’S PERSPECTIVE

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WHY WE TRAVEL

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COMMUNITY 64 WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO

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GET YER YA-YA’S OUT

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TRIP FINDER

Pyrenees Mountains, Spain CHAMONIX, 2019

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A LETTER FROM HAYES How will history tell this story? As we go to print our seasonal catalog in August 2020, we are still unsure of when this pandemic will end. We will forever remember 2020 and the lost summer. Never before has this time been taken away from those who treasure this right of passage, kids. There are only seven summers a teen can have experiences like Moondance. Having missed this summer, kids are craving the chance to get outside, experience life and share these special moments with new friends. Former leader extraordinaire and current singer / songwriter, Kelly McFarling has been writing the Moondance copy for the last several years. She captured what many are experiencing in her piece, The Lost Summer. We think she nailed it. For our 2021 catalog, we have pulled some of the best images from the previous 24 summers starting with our initial Moondance trips in the summer of 1996 when a handful of kids followed us to some wild places. Little did we know the impact this would have on so many over the years. Included in this catalog are two of my favorite essays written in the late 90’s that still ring true today – one written by a student and one from a mom. Coincidently, they both happen to be from the same small town of Grosse Pointe, Michigan where my mom grew up. Our goal remains to exceed what you ever imagined an adventure would be like - simply the best experience of your life. We are confident this will be one of those moments you will treasure forever. Life is a collection of experiences. We hope Moondance can be one.

Hayes Hitchens President + Founder PS - A special thanks to Harrison Newman who has masterfully designed the imagery from previous summers into the pages you hold in your hand. In addition, we want to thank the many Moondance leaders who have captured the magic. Enjoy.

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Summiting Mt. Rainier with Addy Collett and Kienne Coram who later became extraordinary Moondance Leaders Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2012


Moondance’s first summit of the Grand Teton, 13,770’ with legendary Exum guide and noted author, Jack Turner Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming WYOMING WILDERNESS, 1996

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THE LOST SUMMER We recognize it gathering in the lingering light of longer days. We smell it in the sunlight on our clothes and feel it in the cyclical call of outdoor spaces. The familiar golden hue of summer days are here, but this time, everything is different. This summer is the lost summer. A summer is a powerful thing. The year revolves around it. It’s the annual culmination of possibility. It’s the time when all the hard work pauses, and adventures begin. It’s when we make room for being wild, for exploring, for sun-soaked outdoor living and swimming holes. It’s when you meet new people, and new parts of yourself. A summer forges friendships and fortifies souls. The ripples of a great one will stay with you for the rest of your life. This summer is unlike any we have ever known. Never in our lifetimes has the entire world come to a halt for the same reason. There is not one human being on this planet whose life has not been altered by the global pandemic. In some ways, we are more connected than ever, despite not being able to see, meet, or travel to each other. In some ways, this is the wildest summer of them all. For those of us in the outdoor industry, the summer is the sweet spot. It’s when we get to put our philosophy and passion into practice. This year there are 148 trips that will not run. There are 1420 students and 125 leaders who won’t go on them. There is no way for us to ever know the extent of what didn’t happen, the ripples that won’t get spread, and the lives that won’t get changed. How many best friends won’t find each other? How many memories won’t get made? How many backcountry realizations and reflections have dissolved in the ether? Our planned and prepared days of experience, joy, growth, challenge, friendship, are now suspended in a time that never will be. In the context of what the whole world is going through, it feels like nothing. For us, it’s everything. For the past twenty four years, we’ve spent every summer taking young people outside. These people grow. They take a break from individual outlooks and the value of convenience. They trade it for deep connections and even deeper convictions. We’ve watched these strong and capable and hilarious people move through the summers. We’ve seen them climbing mountains and cooking for each other huddled over whisper-light stoves. We’ve seen them conquer insane hikes, huge rapids, and torrential downpours. We’ve seen them take care of themselves, and each other. We’ve seen them cry and laugh and light up when they achieve things they never thought possible. We’ve seen them leave their creature comforts behind, and find comfort in the creatures they are. Right now, in the face of the lost summer it helps to think of those people, and remember what we’ve learned in summer’s past. The best trips happen because of the people on them. When a group is united by the cause for a common good, its potential is limitless. We know what it means to be part of something bigger. We know how to be good citizens of this moment. We know how to cultivate adventure anywhere, and everywhere. To put aside our individual selves, and prioritize the health and safety of the whole. We know how to be present in the moment, and pay attention to it as it changes. We know to look for the good things that are seeping into the cracks of all that feels broken. These pages are dedicated to the past 24 summers and the people who have made them. To the places that have changed us, and the friends who have made us who we are. For the promise of summers we will have again, and to the one that got lost, but will never be forgotten. There are many ways to fill these summer days. Let’s top them off with the knowledge that we’re all in this together.

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North Cascades National Park, Washington PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2017


THE EARLY YEARS

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WYOMING WILDERNESS, 1996


“The toughness of the climb makes the view even better” » WADE MORRIS, 14, ATLANTA, GA, 1996

Grand Teton climb, Wyoming WYOMING WILDERNESS, 1996

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Arkansas River, Colorado ROCKY MOUNTAIN WAY, 1997


“Everything we did and accomplished on this trip was so far outside the realm of any previous personal experiences I have had. As a result, I found my own horizons and preconceived limitations have been expanded. The fact that I shared these experiences and growth with ten other people whom I genuinely care about made the experience that much more enjoyable, and it brought us that much closer.” » WILL GOLDEN, 16, DARIEN, CT, 1998

Mt. Rainier, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 1998

Prince William Sound, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2000

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“With courage, belief in one’s self, and a sense of purpose, a person can accomplish anything.” » MOONDANCE MISSION STATEMENT, 1996

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WYOMING WILDERNESS, 1996


Wind River Range, Wyoming GRAND ASCENTS, 1998

San Juan National Forest, Colorado ROCKY MOUNTAIN WAY, 1997

Uncompahgre National Forest, Colorado THE UNCOMPAHGRE ROCKS, 1997

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WYOMING WILDERNESS, 1996


San Juan National Forest, Colorado ROCKY MOUNTAIN WAY, 1999

Grand Teton Summit, Wyoming WYOMING WILDERNESS, 1996

Wind River Range, Wyoming GRAND ASCENTS, 1998

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Looking Glass Rock, North Carolina BLUE RIDGE EXPEDITION, 2000

“The thing I liked most was coming on this trip with no friends and leaving with the feeling that they were my brothers and sisters. I learned more about myself in two weeks than I have in three years of high school” » MATT MORAN, 17, GROSSE POINTE, MI, 1997

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Talkeetna Range, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2001


Climbing the Grand Teton, Wyoming WYOMING WILDERNESS, 1996

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LEAVING THE COMFORT ZONE Before I left on my Moondance trip I was more nervous than I have ever been. I was about to go out into the wilderness and attempt things I never thought would be possible. On top of that, I was going to do this with people I had never met and I had never even been out in the wilderness overnight before! I wondered what the people were going to be like and what the trip was going to entail. I distinctly remember the anxiety I had of getting on an airplane alone, not knowing what I was about to do or whom I was going to meet. Needless to say, in the wake of uncertainty, I was anxious. But there was a good reason for my anxiety: I was about to leave my “comfort zone”. To me, leaving the comfort zone meant getting away from all that I normally did; exploring the unfamiliar. It was about meeting total strangers, climbing a mountain for the first time in my life, not taking a shower for a few days and wearing the same outfit more than one day in a row! It was getting away from civilization—regardless of how uncomfortable I initially may feel—and making the most of my natural environment. It meant leaving the familiar behind, and confronting the fear of the unknown so that I could explore, discover new things, and be adventurous. When I arrived at my first trailhead just below the Colorado Rockies, the reality sank in: I was out of my comfort zone. I was in the midst of a lot of newness and “firsts”—new faces, new scenery, and new activities. I was away from the routine of my everyday life. I no longer had all the luxuries I was used to: no clean clothes, no TV, the phone, my friends, and—most of all—no showers! I wondered what we were going to do, if I was going to enjoy it, and if I was going to succeed. In those all-too-short two weeks, my group and I did succeed. We learned so much from each other and accomplished so much more than I ever had anticipated. Throughout my fifteen days, my group and our instructors shared dazzling sunrises, hiked deep into the stunning wilderness, and stood below gorgeous waterfalls. All the while, we learned and laughed and made life-long memories. All the anxieties I had before I started my Moondance course were immediately forgotten. Though I was officially out of my day-to-day “comfort zone,” I was more than comfortable in my new surroundings. And now, as I prepare for the Moondance Leadership course I am taking this summer, I have an entirely new perspective on leaving my comfort zone, even though it is much larger than it was before my first Moondance trip. I have more confidence in myself and in my abilities to accomplish whatever I want. I have a new appreciation for the environment and I realize how fortunate I am to have all the luxuries of our modern day life. Of course, I still wonder about who will be in my group and what the trip will entail. I still wonder about where we will travel and who my instructors will be. However, regardless of whom I am with or where we go, I know that I can meet the challenge. My previous Moondance experience taught me this and more. » ELIZABETH MORAN, 15, GROSSE POINTE, MI ROCKY MOUNTAIN WAY, 1998 20


Mt. Daniel, North Cascades National Park, Washington CASCADES MOUNTAINEERING, 2000

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Kicking steps to Camp Muir with RMI Guide and world renowned mountaineer Phil Ershler, Mt. Rainier, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 1999


Camp Muir, Mt. Rainier, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2001

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“I was put back in check with how powerful natural wonders can be. I often forget how big the world is and how many opportunities for fun there really are.” » ADELE ZIEMAN, 17, MOBILE, AL, 2001

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Mt. Adams, Washington CASCADES MOUNTAINEERING, 2001


“While only 14, there have been times in Robert’s life I have recognized that mystical moment that something has changed and he is truly growing up. While I’m not sure if he is fully aware of the lessons he learned, he returned home with more than just stories. I see in Robert a journey that took him farther than just distance and time, it took him one step closer to adulthood and for that I am forever grateful.” » MARK HENNESSY, FATHER OF ROBERT, 14 ATLANTA, GA, 1998

Cordillera Mountains, Costa Rica COSTA RICA VENTURE, 2000

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Wind River Range, Wyoming BIG WILD, 1999


Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina BLUE RIDGE EXPEDITION, 1996

Mt. Rainier, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 1999

Gunnison National Forest, Colorado COLORADO TRAIL, 2001

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Mt. Rainier with legendary mountaineer and Moondance staff training guest speaker, Ed Viesturs MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2005


Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming GRAND ASCENTS, 2005

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming GRAND ASCENTS, 2009

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming BIG WILD, 2001

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Cinque Torri, Italy DOLOMITES, 2018

WILD PLACES

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Grand Teton Summit, Wyoming GRAND ASCENTS, 2009

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“Being with a group of kids my age in such beautiful places was definitely a highlight of Moondance. People’s backgrounds, different experiences and points of view helped me to think with a more open mind. This is an experience that teaches you to push yourself mentally and physically. The final product is the realization that wanting something is more enjoyable than just getting it” » DEX BLUMENTHAL, 14, BOSTON, MA, 2007

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Monkey’s Face at Smith Rock, Oregon PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2015


Salkantay Trail, Peru MACHU PICCHU, 2017

Lighthouse Reef, Belize BELIZE + COSTA RICA, 2015

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Dolomite Mountains, Italy DOLOMITES, 2018


Talkeetna Range, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2016

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A PARENT’S PERSPECTIVE August 23, 1999 Dear Moondance, For three consecutive nights following Molly’s return from the Moondance Leadership Course, we were treated to a demonstration of her most excellent ice axe skills. These demonstrations took place following dinner with Molly using an old yardstick she had fashioned into an ice axe with...what else but duct tape! While Molly never got to self-arrest during her ascent of Rainier, she assured us if it had been necessary she would have been awesome at it. She flung herself to the tile floor, dug in with all appropriate body parts while shouting the necessary commands. Mind you, she did this willingly night after night with no provocation or request from family members (Imagine that!) And as a matter of fact, when her great aunt visited several weeks later and was looking at Molly’s pictures from the trip, Molly once again pulled the makeshift axe from the broom closet and began a demonstration. Self-arresting seems to be the buzz word for the confidence and passion Molly returned home with. Her friends are “bemused” by her need for outdoor adventure with lots of people she doesn’t know. They don’t understand. Molly, in turn, can’t wait to do something equally challenging next summer. Her friends are grossed out by the thought of no shower for 12 days. They don’t understand. Molly, on the other hand, knows that lack of showers is yet one more opportunity to rise to the challenge at hand. Molly tells us how she ran into one of the mountain guides from “snow school” at the top of Rainier. He remarked to Molly that he was very surprised to see her at the summit. This made Molly’s accomplishment even more important to her. Molly tells how she was sure the first day that there was one group member who would never fit in. This person dressed differently, didn’t seem to have anything in common with most of the group. And yet, at the last Moon Up, group members spoke of how they had learned not to judge each other by looks and cried knowing they were not going to be together again. And each of them left with some part of the others with them. It was always the most unlikely person who would stop to give you a hand, help you over a rough spot, encourage you when you felt you couldn’t go on, challenge you to push yourself, personally and socially. Step out of the body you occupy for forty nine weeks out of the year...and step back in after three weeks knowing you have changed in ways that would not have been possible without the presence of all the others in your group. 14,411 feet – that’s not climbing. It’s soaring. It’s what Moondance teaches. » MARTY WEAVER, MOTHER OF MOLLY + CASSIE GROSSE POINTE, MI

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The summit of Mt. Rainier, 14,411 feet, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2005

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Desolation Peak, North Cascades National Park, Washington PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2016

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Machame Route, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2015


“I’m not sure if there is much I have left unsaid…we were absolutely blown away as parents. It was very likely one of the defining experiences in our son’s life. Every child should have an opportunity to experience this type of adventure, connection with nature and- probably most importantly- positive connection with others their own age (and the young adults that are leading them.) A true slam-dunk in all ways!” » LISA YARBROUGH, PARENT OF OSCAR, 15 CHARLOTTE, NC, 2019

Talkeetna Range, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2013

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“Going on this trip undoubtedly allowed me to achieve a perspective and sense of global citizenship that can’t be acquired any other way.” » CHRIS QUAZZO, 16, CHICAGO, IL, 2013

Barranco Camp, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2015


Pyrenees Mountains, Spain CHAMONIX, 2016

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“Moondance provided each of our three sons with a unique, memorable experience that was individual and personal to them. The friends, experiences, and feelings of accomplishment they have will last much longer than the quick summer experience. You truly have a unique company.” » JOHN EAKIN, FATHER OF JACK, BILL, + ROB (17, 14 + 13) NASHVILLE, TN, 2003

Machu Picchu, Peru MACHU PICCHU, 2018

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San Juan Islands, Washington PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2014


Prince William Sound, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2016

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Kona, Hawaii HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, 2017

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Serengeti National Park, Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2012

Apurimac River, Peru MACHU PICCHU, 2009


“I loved my trip so much! I learned that you would never grow unless you step out of your comfort zone. On many parts of this trip I told myself ‘This is why I am here…I am here to grow.’” » BETSEY DIBONAVENTURA, 13, CHESTNUT HILL, MA, 2003

Yosemite National Park, California CALIFORNIA, 2016

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Talkeetna Range, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2017


Indian Ocean, Mozambique SOUTH AFRICA, 2019

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2015

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“One of the most powerful lessons I learned from Moondance was to always carry your own weight… and more! Don’t be afraid to help someone outwhat goes around, comes around.” » DANNY COPELAND, 14, ROCKVILLE, MD, 2009

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Turtle Town, Maui MAUI, 2017


Costa Brava, Spain CHAMONIX, 2010

Prince William Sound, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2009

San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Islands ECUADOR + GALAPAGOS, 2017

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WHY WE TRAVEL Travel is the source! It’s our raison d’etre, our favorite cookie in the jar, and it’s a tenant truth of our life philosophy. Right now, the future of travel is in flux. The looming questions of where and when we’ll be able to travel make us realize how precious it is, and has been. As we prepare to face the future of how far we can go, it’s important to take stock of why we love it so much. When we travel, we diversify our lens. We let in new colors, sights, smells and realities. Traveling is a window and a mirror. Seeing new things and places shows you a different version of yourself. Whether you are going across the globe, or across your home state, being in motion will move you, shake you, and change you. The reasons for traveling are as limitless as the rewards. Here are some of our favorite ones.

STEP OUTSIDE THE LINES We get comfortable in our routines, and we forget to step outside of what is easy and familiar. Traveling teaches us that comfort is a portable concept. Wherever you go, there you are, and who you are comes into focus. Stepping outside of your routine and into a new place gives you the opportunity to see the spectrum of life’s great lessons, joys and experiences. FIND YOUR PEOPLE We believe that the company you keep makes all the difference. That’s why when we travel, we do it in small groups so we can connect with new friends. A shared experience is the greatest way to know someone, and to be known. New people in a new place brings out the freshest version of yourself, and that’s refreshing. You’ll be amazed how close you can get to people when you meet them on an adventure.

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Railay Beach, Thailand THAILAND, 2014

SEE NEW WAYS OF LIVING New places reveal new ways of living. Paying attention to the people, their stories and their history is the most valuable lens for understanding a new place. Taste different food, play different games, observe unfamiliar customs. Listen and share with people in a completely different culture. By experiencing our differences we are able to see more clearly our similarities and feel more connected to humanity as a whole. Learning about other people, makes you a better person. FRESHEN YOUR PERSPECTIVE Experience the vibrancy and detail of a new place. Fill your brain with new sounds, sights, colors and landscapes. Expand your memory palette. Your imagination will thank you later. MOVE, AND BE MOVED Travel not only transforms us; it teaches us to reach for more. Once you have been out in the world and seen who you are out there, you gather the confidence and competence to take yourself anywhere. Travel leads to more travel, and more travel leads to a more fully lived life. LEARN TO RIDE THE WAVES Life is a rich and complex adventure. Like any great one, yours will encounter bumps, twists and turns. Travel teaches us to roll with the punches, and laugh through the traffic. Putting yourself in the arms of the unexpected will give you the skills to confidently handle the unknowns that life can throw at you. What better way to face a challenge than with a group of friends in an incredible place. You’ll learn that it’s not the challenge you remember, but how you got through it that counts. UNPLUG AND RECHARGE Traveling places us in the present moment, and lets us be fully engaged. Life is made of moments, and traveling is so full of good ones, it reminds you to pay attention and appreciate them. There is so much sparkling reality to absorb in a new place; you don’t have the need to check your feed. WRITE YOUR OWN STORY Your life is your story, and you are the author. Give yourself the ingredients to make it interesting. Travel gives you chapters, action, adventure and the richness of experience. Fill your chapters with times worth remembering. How you craft your story and spend your time in this life is what ultimately makes you who you are.

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Rhino Research and Conservation Project Marataba, South Africa SOUTH AFRICA, 2019


Costa Brava, Spain CHAMONIX, 2011

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2009

Alftavatn Lake, Iceland ICELAND, 2018

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Matanuska Glacier, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2017


Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado COLORADO TRAIL, 2017

“I learned that life moves quickly and opportunities speed by. You must seize them when you have the chance and try anything and everything.” » ELLA YOUNG, 15, PASADENA, CA, 2010

Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina MOUNTAINS TO SEA, 2011

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Olympic National Park, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2010


Colorado River, Utah CATARACT CANYON, 2013

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Talkeetna Range, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2014

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Pyrenees Mountains, France CHAMONIX, 2008

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming GRAND ASCENTS, 2007


“From the first time I met everyone in the airport to the last day of surfing, meeting new people and watching as we became friends was the best part of my trip. Moondance is special because it is 13 people from all over put together to live in tents in the most beautiful places on earth. My leaders were not only leaders, but some of the best friends I made on my trip.” » AUSTIN TURNER, 15, BERN, SWITZERLAND, 2005

Arkansas River, Colorado COLORADO TRAIL, 2006

San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Islands ECUADOR + GALAPAGOS, 2010

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“Some might say the backcountry is the middle of nowhere… but I say it is the middle of everywhere.” » LAUREN CASH, 15, PEACHTREE CITY, GA

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Breche de Roland, France + Spain CHAMONIX, 2016


Canyonlands National Park, Utah CATARACT CANYON, 2013

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Photo overlay of one person traversing Monkey’s Face at Smith Rock, Oregon PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2005

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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska MIDNIGHT SUN, 2019


COMMUNITY

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Maasai Village, Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2015


San Ramon, Costa Rica COSTA RICA, 2010

Mto wa Bu, Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2017

Karongwe, South Africa SOUTH AFRICA, 2015

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Mt. Kilimanjaro Summit Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2015


Chiang Mai, Thailand THAILAND, 2014

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Wainandiro Village, Fiji FIJI, 2015


“I loved the constant change of scenery and the depth in which we could explore each one. The people that you start the trip with end as your family. Moondance is special because of its leaders. They are articulate, smart, funny, and focused on accomplishing goals. They love what they are doing; this is not just another summer job to them.” » STEPHEN MANKER, 16, LAKE FOREST, IL, 2005

North Cascades National Park, Washington PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2005

Rio Negro, Ecuador ECUADOR + GALAPAGOS, 2009

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“I learned that time does not determine how close you are to someone, but instead the experiences you have together” » JACQUELINE FRIST, 16, NASHVILLE, TN, 2018

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Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming BIG WILD, 2017


Chickaloon River, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2010

Stella Point, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2013

Mt. Rainier, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2002

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Olympic National Park, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2010

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Pyrenees Mountains, Spain CHAMONIX, 2016

Wind River Range, Wyoming THE GRAND, 2018


Wind River Range, Wyoming GRAND ASCENTS, 2008

Talkeetna Range, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2014

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San Juan Islands, Washington PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2008


Olympic National Park, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2010

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming BIG WILD, 2006

French Alps, France CHAMONIX, 2017

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“Putting and helping others before yourself gives you so much more of a reward than being first in line yourself.” » JOANIE DAVIS, 15, LAKE FOREST, IL, 2008

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Buenaventura, Costa Rica BELIZE + COSTA RICA, 2017


Mt. Shasta, California YOSEMITE, 2019

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Wind River Range, Wyoming BIG WILD, 2016

Olympic National Park, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2003

Trinity Alps, California CALIFORNIA’S LOST COAST, 2006

Chickaloon River, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2011


Salmon River, Idaho BIG WILD, 2014

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Pyrenees Mountains, Spain CHAMONIX, 2017

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WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO

I came to Moondance in the summer of 2006 looking to work in the wilderness, and give my meandering life path an upgrade. At that staff training in 2006, my life did in fact change. I found myself beneath the stars in a circle of the most wonderful humans I’d ever met. As I gathered in that Moonup circle for the first time, listening to strangers discuss their biggest fears and wildest dreams, I felt the beginning of a large shift. I had never been around such a concentrated group of people that I was so deeply inspired by. I learned so much, and laughed so hard. I spent 11 days focusing on how to cultivate adventure, and haven’t really stopped. That summer my life changed color. The flavor of this experience has left a lifelong linger. Here are some of my favorite reasons it stays. FUN IS IMPORTANT

Maybe the most important. A Moondance summer is the embodiment of this truth. You go to great places with amazing people, and its your job to have fun. To find it everywhere, in everyone and everything. Fun creates the most lasting memories, and is the most worthy of enterprises. A trip reminds you to carry this with you always. BE COMFORTABLE IN THE UNCOMFORTABLE The comfort zone, the asphalt castle, the real world - whatever you want to call it, we live in a controlled atmosphere. We live indoors at preferred temperatures. Our eyes are full of screens and our ears are full of headphones. This bothers me, and I like to shake it up. Comfort is overrated. The world is wild and beautiful and full of magic. Go out into it. Discover it and explore it. While you’re out there you’ll realize that it can be messy and hard and uncomfortable, but that’s okay. Get wet and cold and dirty. Then bundle up, make a shelter and a hot meal. Realize that you can take care of yourself. How you respond to the rain is how you experience it. Don’t let it keep you from the wild and beautiful world. PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE - THEN GO WITH THE FLOW Make your plans - and be ready for them to change. They might need adjustments, complete overhauls, and sometimes they will accidentally blow out the window of a fifteen passenger van. You can’t control the weather, you can’t put a rainbow in a jar, and you sure don’t know why that snowpack hasn’t melted yet. Life shows up to remind us that we are not in control, despite our most organized itineraries, and deepest felt expectations. We have to be flexible. When you learn to roll with the waves, you can enjoy the ride.

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Mto wa Bu, Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2018


WE ARE CONNECTED TO THE PLANET One year, my co-leader and I made a rule. If you have the opportunity to jump into a natural body of water, you have to do it. You’ll never regret it! While you’re at it, put your face in a flower. Sleep under stars, walk beneath trees and be surrounded by nature. Nature is alive and beautiful and we are part of it. When you go into the wilderness you remember that you are already complete. A perfect design, meant to interact with and be among other perfect designs like trees, mountains, birds and rivers. You remember that the moon is there and that it moves the oceans. Every night the sunset makes colors on the clouds while we spin through the universe. These things are always happening, and it is important to experience and connect to them. WE ARE CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER The best trips happen because of the people on them. When you go on a collective adventure, you realize you are part of something bigger than yourself. A group that understands this is a well-oiled machine of empathy, understanding, communication, and the knowledge that being good to each other spreads greatness. We call this concept Expedition Behavior, and it applies everywhere. People who practice good EB develop earnest concern for and awareness of others, and they are better people. I like knowing that those people are out in the world.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming WYOMING WILDERNESS, 1996

An adventure is an eternal teacher and life companion. It stays in the fabric of who you are, and continues to reveal itself throughout your life. For me, gazing into the face of the unknown future, I’m looking for the fun, the flexibility, and the connections. This job didn’t just change my life, it gave me the ability to navigate life. Right now, when the waves are bigger than ever, I’m glad I got the opportunity to learn how to ride them.

» KELLY MCFARLING, Former Moondance Leader

Talkeetna Range, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2019

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Prince William Sound, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2018

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Golden Gate State Park, Colorado MOONDANCE STAFF TRAINING , 2000

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Pacifica State Beach, California YOSEMITE, 2012


“Few things matter more to parents than when someone else leads their children in wisdom and maturity in ways they never can themselves.” » FRANK ALEXANDER, FATHER OF GRAHAM, ATLANTA, GA, 2000

Prince William Sound, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2008

87


Olympic National Park, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2003

88

Talkeetna Range, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2011

Pacifica State Beach, California CALIFORNIA, 2013


Wind River Range, Wyoming BIG WILD, 2007

Flat Rock, North Carolina MOONDANCE STAFF TRAINING, 2019

89


GET YER YA-YA’S OUT

90

Na-Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, 2017


Nantahala River, North Carolina BLUE RIDGE EXPEDITION, 2007

Smith Rock, Oregon PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2009

91


Salmon River, Idaho BIG WILD, 2005

92

Monkey’s Face at Smith Rock, Oregon PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2004

Triglav National Park, Slovenia SLOVENIA, 2019


Colorado River, Utah CATARACT CANYON, 2012

Dolomite Mountains, Italy DOLOMITES, 2018

93


Arkansas River, Colorado COLORADO TRAIL, 2006

94

Smith Rock, Oregon PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2005

Pyrenees Mountains, Spain CHAMONIX, 2017


North Cascades National Park, Washington PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2007

Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador ECUADOR + GALAPAGOS, 2015

Zrmanja River, Croatia CROATIA, 2019

95


Serengeti National Park, Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2013

96

Deschutes River, Oregon PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2005

Olympic National Park, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2005


Deschutes River, Oregon PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 2014

“Each summer after Moondance I come back with a fresher, better perspective on life, a sense of accomplishment, a new appreciation for home and the drive to be a better person.” » LAURA WALLACE, 16, KENILWORTH, IL, 2011

97


Gulf of Thailand, Thailand THAILAND, 2015

98

San Juan National Forest, Colorado COLORADO TRAIL, 2017

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania KILIMANJARO, 2016


Chamonix, France CHAMONIX, 2015

Pacuare River, Costa Rica COSTA RICA, 2009

Talkeetna Range, Alaska NORTHERN LIGHTS, 2003

99


Olympic National Park, Washington MOONDANCE LEADERSHIP, 2010


YOU WON’T KNOW... IF YOU DON’T GO

101


TRIPS

DATES

GRADE

BELIZE + COSTA RICA

6/9-6/22, 6/25-7/8, 7/11-7/24

8-9

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE OR SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA

$6,195

BIG WILD

6/9-6/22, 6/26/-7/9, 7/13-7/26

8-9

JACKSON, WY

$4,695

BRITISH COLUMBIA

6/8-6/21, 6/25-7/8, 7/14-7/27

7-8

SEATTLE, WA

$4,695

CHAMONIX

6/8-6/30, 6/13-7/5, 7/2-7/24, 7/7-7/29

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / PARIS, FRANCE

$7,395

CALIFORNIA

6/9-6/22, 6/26-7/9, 7/13-7/26

6-7

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

$4,495

COLORADO RIVER

6/9-6/22, 6/26-7/9, 7/13-7/26

8-9

SALT LAKE CITY, UT

$4,895

COLORADO TRAIL

6/9-6/22, 6/26-7/9, 7/13-7/26

6-7

DENVER, CO

$4,495

COSTA RICA

6/9-6/22, 6/25-7/8, 7/11-7/24

8-9

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA

$5,395

CROATIA

6/8-6/21, 6/24-7/7, 7/10-7/23

9-10

ZAGREB, CROATIA

$5,495

DOLOMITES

6/8-6/21, 6/24-7/7, 7/10-7/23

9-10

VENICE, ITALY

$5,495

ECUADOR + GALAPAGOS

6/8-6/21, 6/23-7/6, 7/8-7/21

9-10

QUITO, ECUADOR

$5,995

FIJI

6/8-6/24, 6/25-7/11, 7/12-7/28

9-11

NADI, FIJI

$5,995

HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

6/9-6/22, 6/25-7/8, 7/11-7/24

10-12

KONA, HI OR LIHUE, HI

$5,595

ICELAND

6/8-6/21, 6/24-7/7, 7/10-7/23

8-9

KEFLAVIK, ICELAND

$5,795

KENYA + ZANZIBAR

6/8-6/24, 6/25-7/11, 7/12-7/28

10-12

NAIROBI, KENYA

$6,395

KILIMANJARO

6/8-6/30, 6/15-7/7, 7/1-7/23, 7/8-7/30

10-12

KILIMANJARO, TANZANIA

$8,395

MACHU PICCHU

6/8-6/21, 6/23-7/6, 7/8-7/21

9-11

CUSCO, PERU

$5,595

MAUI

6/9-6/22, 6/25-7/8, 7/11-7/24

8-9

KAHULUI, HI

$5,395

MIDNIGHT SUN

6/8-6/21, 6/24-7/7, 7/10-7/23

8-9

ANCHORAGE, AK

$5,395

MYSTERY TRIP*

7/6-7/26

11-12

YOU WON’T KNOW IF YOU DON’T GO!

$8,395

NORTHERN LIGHTS

6/10-6/30, 7/6-7/26

10-12

ANCHORAGE, AK

$6,095

NORWAY

6/20-7/6, 7/8-7/24

10-12

OSLO, NORWAY / BERGEN, NORWAY

$5,995

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

6/10-6/30, 7/6-7/26

8-9

SEATTLE, WA

$5,595

SARDINIA

6/8-6/21

11-12

ROME, ITALY

$5,695

SLOVENIA

6/25-7/8, 7/11-7/24

10-12

VENICE, ITALY

$5,695

SOUTH AFRICA

6/8-6/24, 6/25-7/11, 7/12-7/28

9-10

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

$6,395

SPAIN + MOROCCO

6/8-6/21, 6/24-7/7, 7/10-7/23

9-10

MADRID, SPAIN

$5,895

THAILAND

6/8-6/28, 7/1-7/21

10-12

BANGKOK, THAILAND

$6,595

THE OLYMPICS

6/13-6/26, 6/30-7/13, 7/17-7/30

10-11

SEATTLE, WA

$4,895

YELLOWSTONE

6/9-6/22, 6/26-7/9, 7/13-7/26

10-11

JACKSON, WY

$4,895

YOSEMITE

6/9-6/29, 7/2-7/22

10-12

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

$6,095

10-12

MEET / DEPART

COST

*Alumni Only

TRIP FINDER

For detailed itineraries, pictures, video, and more please visit us at MOONDANCEADVENTURES.COM


To EXPERIENCE MOONDANCE in 2021, visit us at MOONDANCEADVENTURES.COM

SPECIAL USE PERMITS » Moondance operates under special use permits granted by the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service, USDA. We would like to acknowledge the following areas for welcoming Moondance Adventures: Pisgah, Hawaii Trail Systems, Talkeetna, Nantahala, Gunnison, San Juan, and Shasta-Trinity National Forests. In addition, Moondance operates under commercial use and concessionaire’s licenses in the Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Olympic, North Cascades, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, Point Reyes, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado COLORADO TRAIL, 2017


PO BOX 23350 NASHVILLE, TN 37202 800.832.5229 INFO@MOONDANCEADVENTURES.COM WWW.MOONDANCEADVENTURES.COM @MOONDANCEADVENTURES

104

PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 1999

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Moondance 2021 Catalog  

Moondance 2021 Catalog  

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