7.17.2017

Renourishment work likely to reach beach by Ocean Lakes in early August

Crews are setting up equipment and prepping to start the much-needed beach renourishment project at the end of this week in Surfside Beach, with plans for the work to begin on the beach by Ocean Lakes in early August.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., the contractor on the $26.3 million beach renourishment project, is busy getting equipment in place at Sixth Avenue North in Surfside Beach. Crews plan to start pumping sand there at the end of this week, then work up the beach towards Ocean Lakes Family Campground.

Crews with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. were continuing to set up equipment Monday at Sixth Avenue North in Surfside Beach. The contractor plans to start pumping sand there at the end of the week. The work is expected to reach the beach by Ocean Lakes in early August.
Barring bad weather or mechanical delays, the work will begin on the beach by Ocean Lakes two weeks after it starts in Surfside Beach, Ed O’Dowd, Site Manager with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., said Monday. That means the work by Ocean Lakes is likely to start around Aug. 4, as long as the weather and equipment cooperate and there are no other unforeseen issues.

Crews plan to work quickly, finishing about 500 feet a day. They will close 1,000-foot sections and block off that area using plastic orange fencing. The beach by Ocean Lakes stretches nearly 5,000 feet so most of the beach by the campground will be available for beach-goers at any time during the renourishment work.

Folks run on the beach and toss a football in the surf Monday in front of the booster equipment seen 3,800 feet from the beach that will be used for the upcoming beach renourishment project, which is set to begin at week's end in Surfside Beach north of the Surfside Beach Pier.
The timing of the work during the busy tourist season was set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was beyond Ocean Lakes’ control. The work is needed to rebuild the beach and dunes, which were wiped out by Hurricane Matthew in the fall.

“Beginning the construction project now enables the major, long-term benefits of protecting people and property from storm damage to be realized as soon as possible and before peak hurricane season,” said Glenn Jeffries, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Charleston.

Beach-goers can track the progress to see where the work is taking place each day. Crews plan to work 24-hours a day, seven days a week to finish the project as quickly as possible. It is expected to take about 25 or 35 days to complete the leg of the renourishment project from Surfside Beach Pier north to Myrtle Beach State Park (the section of work that includes Ocean Lakes).

Set up of the beach renourishment equipment continued Monday at Sixth Avenue North in Surfside Beach.

Some key points to remember:

BEACH ACCESS | Most of the beach by Ocean Lakes will be open and available at any point during the beach renourishment.
Crews will work in 1,000-foot sections that will be blocked off for about two or three days using plastic orange fencing. The beach by Ocean Lakes stretches nearly 5,000 feet, so there will be plenty of beach available while crews are working.


Beach-goers may find their favorite spot on the beach being worked on and unavailable, but they will be able to move farther down the beach where crews are not working.

NOISE | Crews plan to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There will be noise from the bulldozers, front-end loaders and other equipment, including the back-up alarms that are required by federal law and cannot be shut off.
“We are pushing sand all the time,” O’Dowd said. “We will try to get by them as fast as possible.”
Crews plan to complete each 1,000-foot section in two to three days.

SAFETY | Please use caution and stay out of the work area. There will be pipes outside of the work area, but the contractor will put sand ramps over them so they can be crossed safely.

NEED | The renourishment work is crucial to rebuild the beach and dunes, which help protect the area from storms. Hurricane Matthew in October wiped out our dunes and battered our beaches.

The beach by Ocean Lakes Family Campground the day after Hurricane Matthew hit in October.
The last renourishment by Ocean Lakes was in 2008.
Once the beach from Surfside Beach to Myrtle Beach State Park is complete, crews will renourish the area south of the Surfside Beach Pier to Georgetown County and then in North Myrtle Beach.
This project will place about 1.2 million cubic yards of material on area beaches.

SHELLS | Beach-goers are likely to find lots of shells after the work.
"Shells should be cool and abundant due to the project, and it is cool to see if someone hasn't seen this type of work before," Jeffries said.

STAY UPDATED | Use the real-time online map from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to track the project and see where the crews are working.
We'll also continue to update guests through our blog, social media and website.
Other resources: 



7.10.2017

Beach renourishment project starting this month could impact beach-goers

Crews will start a much-needed beach renourishment project later this month, but beach-goers will still be able to use most of the beach by Ocean Lakes during the work.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced last week that the $26.3 million renourishment project will start near the Surfside Beach Pier around July 15 and proceed up the beach to Ocean Lakes Family Campground and Myrtle Beach State Park.

The Corps set the timing of the project, which was beyond Ocean Lakes’ control.


Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. will work in 1,000-foot-long sections that will be fenced off for roughly two or three days, then crews will move to the next section, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The beach by Ocean Lakes stretches nearly 5,000 feet, so most of the beach by the campground will be available to beach-goers at any given time during the work. Beach-goers may find their favorite spot on the beach being worked on and unavailable, but they will be able to move farther down the beach where crews are not working.

Beach-goers also should easily be able to maneuver around the active construction area, the Corps says.

Beach-goers can track the progress to help plan their beach outing. Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers could not pinpoint the date when the work would start on the beach by Ocean Lakes.

The project, which is needed to repair the damage done by Hurricane Matthew in the fall, should wrap up by late August. The contractor will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and usually completes up to 500 feet a day, barring any mechanical issues or bad weather, according to the Corps.

It will take between 25 and 35 days to complete the renourishment from the Surfside Beach Pier to Myrtle Beach State Park, a section that includes Ocean Lakes, according to the Corps.
The dunes must be rebuilt after being wiped out by Hurricane Matthew in the fall.
The timing of the project during the busiest time for our beaches is not ideal and is beyond Ocean Lakes’ control.

“We wish we could have it scheduled at another time, but the Army Corps of Engineers set that schedule,” said Lance Thompson, Vice President and General Manager of Ocean Lakes Family Campground. “We are kind of at the mercy of the Army Corps of Engineers.”

Corps officials said several factors led to the work starting in July, including the federal emergency funding that must be used as soon as possible and the availability of the dredge.

The Corps acknowledges that the construction “will cause temporary inconveniences to people using these stretches of beach for recreation. However, beginning the construction project now enables the major, long-term benefits of protecting people and property from storm damage to be realized as soon as possible,” Project Manager Wes Wilson said in a news release.


Beach-goers should use caution near the work area. Use crossover ramps to get over the pipelines that will run along the beach outside of the fenced area and stay away from lines.

Ocean Lakes has encouraged guests to stay off the temporary dunes until the renourishment could be done, adding signs to the oceanfront reminding guests as their feet hit the sand.
Ocean Lakes installed signs along the oceanfront earlier this summer encouraging beach-goers to stay off the dunes.

Once the beach from Surfside Beach Pier to Myrtle Beach State Park is complete, crews will renourish the area south of the Surfside pier to Georgetown County and then in North Myrtle Beach.

The beaches need work after taking a beating from Hurricane Matthew in the fall. The storm wiped out the dunes by Ocean Lakes and in many other parts of the beach.


Hurricane Matthew wiped out the dunes on the beach by Ocean Lakes Family Campground, as seen in this file photo taken a day after the storm hit in October.

Federal emergency beach rehabilitation funding from Hurricane Matthew is helping pay for the work.


“We wish it was at a different time, but it definitely needs to be done. Everybody can recognize that,” Thompson said.

6.21.2017

Fun on the Fourth | How to make the most of your July Fourth stay at Ocean Lakes

Folks headed to Ocean Lakes to celebrate July Fourth are in for one of the most fun, festive weeks of the year.

From our annual Patriotic Golf Car Parade to the Salute from the Shore military flyover along the beach, the week is jam packed with patriotic events and America-themed activities so everyone has a chance to show off their red, white and blue. There’s a reason this holiday week gets booked up months in advance.


“You can’t beat July Fourth at Ocean Lakes,” said Salle Horner, Sandy Harbor and Recreational Activities Coordinator. “The spirit of America is displayed everywhere you look – from the decorated campsites to the decked-out golf cars. It just doesn’t get any better.”

We have patriotic parades on four wheels, two wheels and four paws, as well as a contest for the best decorated site.

Here’s a rundown of the info you need to know to make the most of your July Fourth stay with us, including details on the holiday’s biggest events, highlights of other holiday-themed activities and reminders of some Ocean Lakes rules (no fireworks or sparklers allowed in the campground!).

Fun on the Fourth

Activities run all day and well into the evening. 

Here’s a rundown of some of the must-see events and activities:

Patriotic Golf Car Parade
When | 3 p.m. Tuesday, July Fourth, lineup starts at 2 p.m.
Where | Lineup along Sand Dune Drive at Gull Drive, parade starts on Ocean Lakes Drive at Sand Dune Drive in front of the big Sandy. Use Salt Works Road to get your registered golf car in the lineup on Sand Dune Drive
Tip | Want to participate in the parade? You MUST pre-register before 1 p.m. July Fourth. That gets you the number to display on your golf car; you won't be able to line up to participate in the parade without that number. Simply swing by the Recreation Center to register! Prizes will be given out for Most Patriotic, Most Creative, Most Attractive and Best Overall.


The Patriotic Golf Car Parade has been an Ocean Lakes July Fourth tradition for decades - longer than anyone can remember. Our founders Nelson and Mary Emily Jackson, both of whom passed away in 2010, loved this event and could always be spotted leading the parade.

More than 300 golf cars participate in the parade, which starts on Ocean Lakes Drive near Sand Dune Drive then snakes through the campground.

Be prepared to see golf carts masked in everything America, with guests kicking their creative decorations up a notch every year aiming to take the prize for the most patriotic display.

“Guests go over the top – American flags, a likeness of the Statue of Liberty, Uncle Sam - anything and everything that shows how much they love America,” Horner said. “Every year I’m amazed at the fun and crazy decorations our guests come up with.”





Can't make it to Ocean Lakes for the golf car parade? We'll be streaming the parade live on our Facebook page.

Salute from the Shore
What | Military flyover “air parade”
When/Where | Tuesday, July 4. Starts at 1 p.m. in Cherry Grove and ends about 1:30 p.m. over the May River Sandbar in Bluffton
Tip | The Observation Deck is a great spot to catch the flyover (but anywhere on or near the beach works, too)


Military aircraft will zoom by Ocean Lakes on July Fourth as part of Salute from the Shore, a nonprofit founded in 2010 by South Carolinians to honor the Armed Forces on Independence Day and encourage beachgoers to show their support.

Organizers encourage folks to wear their patriotic gear as they watch the flyover, and share videos and photos showing their support of the military.




How to share your images: www.facebook.com/SalutefromtheShore, on Twitter at @July4Salute and Instagram at @July4salute use #SalutefromtheShore.

Organizers aim to distribute the tributes for the benefit of military family at home and abroad.

“Participants on the beaches are strongly urged to organize patriotic displays in groups, big and small, and to share their tributes online for our armed forces around the world to see,” organizers said in a news release.

The flyover features F-16s and vintage military aircraft. The vintage flights are dependent on weather and a variety of mechanical conditions.  


Ocean Lakes Family Campground is one of a number of businesses, foundations and others that support Salute from the Shore. Donations are used to assist the owners of the vintage aircraft with their expenses and to provide funding for video and promotional products.

Patriotic Bicycle Parade
When | 10 a.m. July 4
Where | Meet in front of the Recreation Center
Show off your patriotic pride on two wheels! Ride around the campground on your decorated bike. Sign up before 8 p.m. July 3 in the Recreation Center. Prizes to the top three winners!


Have fun all week


We had so many patriotic events planned we couldn’t fit them all in on the Fourth. Check out the full list of activities online; many of our regular summer activities will take on an American theme during the week of the Fourth, including Amazing Race, Minute to Win It and Field Day.

Some highlights:

Patriotic Pet Parade
When | 10 a.m. July 3
Where | Recreation Center
Cost | $5 donation to Canine Angels
Let your pets show their patriotic spirit, too! Dogs, birds, guinea pigs and more strut across the stage in the Recreation Center donning their best July Fourth costume. Prizes for Cutest, Best Smile, Most Patriotic, Funniest. Sign up in advance in the Recreation Center.


Patriotic Site Judging Contest
When | 7 p.m. July 3
Decorate your campsite or beach home with your best July Fourth gear for a chance at prizes! If you want your site judged, you MUST sign up in the Recreation Center before 4 p.m. July 3.


Our guests are the judges! Swing by the Recreation Center to pick up the list of sites for judging at 7 p.m. July 3 then return the ballot by 9 p.m. that night to be tallied. Only one ballot per site/family. Prizes will be awarded to Most Patriotic, Most Creative, Most Eye Catching and Best Overall.

Remember our rules


Fireworks
We love guests to show their patriotic pride, especially around Independence Day, but remember that fireworks and sparklers are NOT allowed in the campground.


Unfortunately, nearby Surfside Beach has canceled its usual July Fourth fireworks display because of the damage to its pier from Hurricane Matthew in the fall. The town is working to rebuild the pier, but it will be at least 2019 before it's back. Though the fireworks have been canceled, the town still plans to have entertainment and live music on Surfside Drive from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. July Fourth.



Respect each other and our teammates
July Fourth is one of the busiest weeks of the year, so expect the campground to be packed. Might want to pack a little extra patience and remember we are all here to have a fun, festive time!



6.02.2017

"Minute to Win It," "Lip Sync Battle" highlight jam-packed summer activities lineup at Ocean Lakes

Ever sit on your couch watching “Minute to Win It” or “Lip Sync Battle” and think, “I could rock that.”

Here’s your chance.

The Ocean Lakes versions of the two popular TV shows have joined the jam-packed lineup of summer activities in our Recreation Center. Summer activities – including the new TV-show inspired offerings as well as staples such as bingo, ceramics and tie-dye – kick off Monday, June 5 and run through Saturday, Aug. 12.

“There’s something for everybody every single day,” said Salle Horner, Sandy Harbor and Recreational Activities Coordinator.

The Ocean Lakes Recreation Team is ready to help guests have fun on their vacation with a jam-packed lineup of summer activities.
“Minute to Win In” features goofy games such as Rapid Fire (shooting rubber bands to knock over a stack of cans), Magic Carpet Ride (sitting on a mat and scooting across the floor) and Junk in the Truck (just watch the video to see what that one is all about).





Requirements: At least three players but no more than five players. Ability to not take yourself too seriously.

“Minute to Win It” will be played at 4 p.m. Mondays. Sign-up in the Recreation Center starting the Saturday prior to game day. Like most of our Recreation activities, there’s no fee to play and prizes for the winners!

For “Lip Sync Battle,” channel your inner rock (or country or rap) star. We’ll have a variety of family-friendly songs for you to choose from. Don’t just memorize the words – dress the part! Costumes encouraged.

The battle is set for 4 p.m. Fridays. Sign up in the Recreation Center starting the Monday prior to the Friday performance. Free to participate, with prizes to the winners!



And those activities are just the start. Stay updated on all the fun things to do by picking up the pink Summer Activities calendar from the Main Office when you check in or in the Recreation Center.


Want to plan ahead before you even arrive in Myrtle Beach? Check out the activities calendar online – click on each activity to see a detailed description.

Activities through our Recreation Center are a big part of the summer experience at Ocean Lakes, with roughly 15,000 guests participating in them every summer. Tie-dyeing T-shirts, bingo, ceramics and corn toss are among the most popular activities.

“A lot of the activities are free, fun and family oriented, which is what I think vacation should be all about,” Horner said.

Tie-dyeing T-shirts is one of the most popular summer activities in our Recreation Center.
The Recreation team tweaks the summer lineup every year, always adding something fresh while nixing activities that aren’t connecting with guests.

“I look at the numbers and see what’s popular and replace it with something that is bigger and better,” Horner said.

Many families enjoy the activities together and flock to them to give their kids or grandkids something fun to do other than the playing at the beach or water park.

Guests already can find just about everything they need for a fun vacation without leaving the campground, and recreation activities fall right in line with that, Horner said.

“And you have all of your fun activities included starting when you check in,” she said.
Let the summer fun begin!