Turning 40 was great!

On July 2nd, 2011 Ocean Lakes Family Campground turned 40.

It’s hard to believe that we could fit so much fun into a season, but even harder was doing it without our precious founders, Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson. We lost both of them in 2010, Mr. Jackson in February and then Mrs. Jackson in December. As a team, and a “family,” we have all enjoyed the continued presence and guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson’s five daughters who could be seen throughout all of our events and celebration. Their warm words of gratitude and encouragement ever present as we all strive to live up to the amazing legacy that Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson created. And we all miss them.

We kicked the celebration off in April with our Cake Gala and Contest.

Ocean Lakes worked on being good stewards to the earth and added the first Level Two EV Charging Stations on the Carolinas Coast!

The “SurPrize Patrol” gave away 105 prizes per week starting at the Cake Gala.

On July 2nd, we celebrated our 40th with 10,000 cookies (which BTW is seven car loads of cookie trays!). Sandy’s Meet n’ Eat gave away an awesome bike to one family waiting in line for lunch. We took a group photo at our “giant Sandy” with our guests who were born on July 2nd, too. Prize patrol went crazy all weekend. We wrapped it up with a pool party – more cookies, a hula contest, a DJ and a movie full of 40 years of family memories at Ocean Lakes.

Of course, Mr. Jackson’s favorite event was always the Patriotic Golf Car Parade on July 4th. The birthday theme was carried through, even by our loyal guests – our extended family. And here’s a teammate tidbit: it takes 3 cameras and 3 teammates to photograph the entire parade line from start to finish before all the cars take off!

July continued with a Pelican’s baseball game on the beach…at BB&T Coastal Federal Field (yes, they have a beach there). August brought our annual Premier Bluegrass Weekend – preceded by an earthquake. There was one uninvited bluegrass guest – Hurricane Irene. But bluegrass fans are committed and the show went on! The opening night headliner featured Lonesome River Band…and a heart attack…with a happy ending…Amen. It was a tense few moments for the 300+ guests, teammates and musicians (not to mention Irene wailing outside) but thanks to our onsite AEDs (automatic external defibrillators), two nurses and one EMT – Archie’s family made it all the way from Kentucky to celebrate his recovery. (He is still upset about being “kissed” by his longtime friend, Dick Webb of the Bluegrass Strangers…and Dick’s still upset, too!)

All Star Golf Car Show featured more than just golf cars! The first EVs (electric vehicles) showed up at dealerships on the Grand Strand (this foreshadows our next blog on EVs). The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf were on hand for everyone to check out.

Then came our biggest Halloween ever! And because we don’t want to seem slack, we held the SC Fossil and Shell Fair at the same time. Now, most people don’t this, but it still amazes the Marketing Department, “the planners of mayhem,” that we shot more than 800 photos that day. Here’s the kicker…with one camera and two people!

Now it’s our turn for a vacation! (However, there aren’t many days left on our calendar.)

Did your family get to enjoy the 40th Birthday celebration?


  1. Yes we came and June for our 30th wedding anniversary. I won the first calendar give away. We will be there tomorrow. woohoo!!!
    We love comming to Ocean Lakes.

  2. Way to Go Ocean Lakes! Best time ever at the Halloween this year! Brought a friend and she was scared silly by some of the costumes! (Which made our time even more fun with LOTS of laughing!!!) Fossil Fair was great too...Always love talking to the different people who have tables set up...lots of cool information. Keep up the good work!