Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Our Bravest Camper | An Ocean Lakes Memory

This week, we are doing things a little different. One of our guests will be telling you her story – Rather, her brave grandson’s story. Meet Terra from North Carolina and her grandson, Breylon. 

Breylon’s Story | Breylon was born at 24 weeks and weighed 1 lb. 4 oz., and although he is limited by vision, mobility, and cognitive ability, camping at Ocean Lakes has been a fabulous family vacation for Breylon and his parents. Breylon has cortical vision impairment, so his visual field is very close, but he does see those big trucks and campers!

Grandma’s Hero |
My grandson has Cerebral Palsy and he so enjoys riding the golf car around the campground. Breylon loves looking at other campers, he will often say, “big truck” or “big camper, two slides.” He loves playing at his campsite with his “racetrack.” Some of my greatest memories are of those watching him at Halloweekends. One year, he was a kissing booth that was attached to his walker, and he did get quite a few kisses that year! 

Another year, he was a school bus, and he used his walker as the bus. To see the joy and smiles combined with the kindness of the other campers is such a blessing. We are fortunate to have a campground that is so family-friendly for adults and children.

A Family Tradition | We have camped at Ocean Lakes for more than 12 years. We come as often as possible and really enjoy the Spring and Fall best, but any day at the beach is better than a day at work! We love Sandy’s Soapy Suds for laundry (my family makes fun of me for enjoying the laundromat so much)! It is so easy to go over and put in 4 or 5 loads all at once and is a real time saver! Plus, it is always so clean and climate controlled. 

Positive State of Mind | I have had the opportunity to work remotely over the past year, so I have been able to work from Ocean Lakes some this year, and honestly, it has been a lifesaver for keeping a positive state of mind.

Love, Ocean Lakes | Breylon, you are a very brave little boy, and we are honored that you love spending time with us here at Ocean Lakes. We hope you enjoy another Halloweekends with us – We cannot wait to see what costume you choose this year! We look forward to many more wonderful memories with you and your sweet family.

Until Next Time | We love reading stories of our guests’ experiences at Ocean Lakes. Stay tuned for more wonderful memories and trips down memory lane. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Lights... Camera... Halloweekends At Ocean Lakes

Lights… Camera…Halloweekends! Celebrate the Golden Years of Ocean Lakes starring our very own, Sandy STARfish! We are rolling out the red carpet for our guests this October! Dress up as your favorite star and glam out your site as we bring Hollywood to Ocean Lakes! Every Friday and Saturday in October are a Halloweekend. 

Friday Events (All 5 Halloweekends) |

Family Ceramics | 9:15 AM | All ages are welcome. Children younger than 12 MUST be accompanied by an adult. Seating is limited to only 30 spots per class so make sure you arrive on time. We have a wide variety of ceramics to choose from ranging in price from $2.00 to $40.00. Completed items will be ready to pick up on Friday night beginning at 6 PM. Held in the Recreation Center, Room C. There is a daily supply fee of $1.50, plus the cost of the item you choose to paint.

Beachside Movie | 7 PM | Grab the whole family for a fun night under the stars. Bring your chairs, blankets, and snacks down to the basketball courts. We will be showing your favorite Halloween classics! NO FEE. 

Please Note | The basketball courts will shut down at 6:15 PM in order to prepare for the movie! Movie will be canceled due to inclement weather, including high winds.

Saturday Events (All 5 Halloweekends) | 

Pumpkin Carving/Painting/Decorating Contest | Drop off your already carved/painted/decorated pumpkin in the Recreation Center (9 AM - 12 PM). And, yes, your entry must be a real pumpkin. We will award prizes in each of the following categories: Most Unique, Funniest, Best Theme Execution, Best Decorated, and Best Carving Skills. Winners will be posted at the Recreation Center. We ask that you pick your pumpkin up between 7 PM – 9 PM on Saturday night. (Pumpkins not picked up will be thrown away on Sunday). Guest Voting: 1 PM – 4 PM. Voting will be done through our app or through the Ocean Lakes’ website. NO FEE. 

Family Costume Contest – App/Website Upload Deadline – 3 PM Saturday | Weekly, beginning 9 AM on Friday to 3 PM on Saturday, stop by the official Costume Contest Photo-Op in the Recreation Center to take your best costume photo. Enter the contest through the Ocean Lakes App or online at by completing the digital form and uploading the entry photo. Winners will be announced by 8 PM on Saturday night. Plan to go early to avoid a line and to meet the upload deadline. There will be 6 winners per week, and we will notify the winners by 8 PM on Saturday. We will award prizes to winners in the following categories: Scariest, Funniest, Cutest, Most Unique, and Best Overall. NO FEE.

Pet Costume Contest – App/Website Upload Deadline – 3 PM Saturday | Weekly, beginning 9 AM on Friday to 3 PM on Saturday, stop by the official Costume Contest Photo-Op in the Recreation Center to take your best costume photo. Enter the contest through the Ocean Lakes App or online at by completing the digital form and uploading the entry photo. There will be 1 winner per week. We will award prizes in the following categories: Best Dressed, Most Unique, Cutest, Funniest, and Best of Show. No Fee. 

How-To Enter Costume Contests | We are ready for your close-up! Dress yourself and your pets in your finest camera-ready fashion! Simply take your place on the Red Carpet located at the Recreation Center, strike your best Hollywood pose, and be sure to get Clapperboard Sandy AND the Weekly Number in the photo. Snap a photo and scan one of the QR Codes on the How To Enter sign at the photo area. 

Trick-or-Treating | 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM | 

Treaters |
If you want to hand out treats, PLEASE MAKE SURE TO SIGN UP IN THE RECREATION OFFICE prior to 2 PM on the day of. You will be given a distinctive Halloween sign to put at your site. You can start handing out treats at 4:30 PM. You will most likely run out of candy, so just buy the amount of candy you want to hand out. When you run out of candy, please take your sign down.

Tricksters | At 4:30 PM (NO SOONER!), those wishing to go Trick-or-Treating around the campground can pick up the treat friendly site list in the Recreation Office. NO FEE.

Creepy Site Crawl & Contest | 6:30 PM – 8 PM | 

Site Decorators | NEW! ENTER SITE CONTEST VIA APP! If you are interested in entering your site in the Halloween decorating contest, upload a photo of your site via Ocean Lakes App’s “Costume Button” prior to 4 PM on the day of. Under "Choose a Contest" select "Creepy Site Crawl." Please keep your decorations “young eyes” friendly for this event. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Most Creative, Best Theme Execution, and Best Overall Decorated. NO FEE.

Site Judges – You Must Vote Via The App/Website (NO PAPER BALLOTS) | At 6 PM on Saturday, we will give out a Creepy Site List for viewing/judging. Upon receiving the list, our guests will perform the “Creepy Site Crawl” throughout the campground. All votes must be uploaded using the app or website before 8 PM on Saturday. No lists will be handed out after 7:30 PM. 

Remember The Souvenirs | 2021 Halloweekend T-Shirts and Cups can be purchased at the Recreation Office or at the Main Office Gift Shop. 

Halloweekend T-Shirts:
Youth XS – Youth L: $16
Adult S – Adult XL: $18
Adult 2XL – Adult 3XL: $20

Adult T-Shirt - Front Side

Adult T-Shirt - Back Side

Youth T-Shirt - Front Side
Youth T-Shirt - Back Side

Halloweekend Cups: $3

Just For Fun – Pumpkin Search | Do you miss participating in our annual Amazing Race? Well now you can enjoy this family fun activity on your own! Log into the Ocean Lakes App to play. No prizes are awarded and there is no fee.

Proudly Presenting Halloweekend Food Specials | 

Hollywood Pizza –
Standard 16’’ Pizza with Garlic Butter Crust
Price: $12.94 Plus Tax
Each Additional Topping: $1.04

Blockbuster Burger – Cheeseburger with Cheddar Cheese, BBQ Sauce, Crispy Onion Strings, and Coleslaw
Price: $4.75 Plus Tax

Marquee Grilled Chicken Salad – Bacon Bits, Colby Jack Cheese, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Onions, Croutons, and Grilled Chicken with Choice of Dressing
Price: $6.33 Plus Tax

Family Movie Night Combo – Soft Pretzel, Nachos with Chili, Cheese, JalapeƱos, and a Large Drink
Price: $8.60 Plus Tax

Safety First | Safety and Security Policies Regarding Masks and Face Coverings | 

The 3 Major Considerations Regarding Masks:

1. COVID mask guidelines recommend covering the nose and mouth only.
2. Halloweekend guidelines address and restrict FULL face coverings and masks to set times and locations for guest safety and security concerns.
3. Security Reasons – Avoiding fully covered faces where ONLY the guest’s eyes are showing. We want to honor the spirit of the holiday fun, but must keep safety and security a priority, which includes identifying guests when needed.

Ocean Lakes’ Mask Policies:

1. Full masks and face coverings (that cover MORE than the nose and mouth) are only permitted to be worn in Ocean Lakes for the 5 Halloweekends (on Fridays and Saturdays).
2. Full masks and face coverings cannot be worn in our businesses (Sandy Mart, RV Center, Golf Cars, Main Office, Ocean Lakes Properties, Sandy Harbor) except during Trick-or-Treating on Saturdays from 4:30 – 6:30 PM. They are generally permitted in the Recreation Center as it is the hub of our Halloweekend events and costume contests.
3. Operating a vehicle or golf car with a FULL mask or face covering is NOT permitted as it is a safety issue and hinders Security in identifying underage drivers.
Security Teammates will use discretion on a case-by-case basis as needed throughout Halloweekends regarding masks, coverings, costumes, and decorations.

Please remember all the “young eyes and young ears” in our campground and be family-friendly!

Until Next Time | Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year at Ocean Lakes. Everyone at the campground decorates and joins in on all of the weekend festivities. For many families near and far, Halloweekends have become an annual family tradition! Bring your candy bag and pumpkin – It is a treat for everyone!  

Monday, August 16, 2021

Memories Made at the Arcade | An Ocean Lakes Memory

Last week, we announced that we will be featuring some of our favorite memories from our guests in our blog. Next up this week is Eric from Greer, South Carolina!

Meet Eric | Eric is a South Carolina native and has been camping with Ocean Lakes for 42 years! He has special memories from the arcade that all began with his pal, Troy, and his summer love, Roxanne. 

Thinking Back With Eric | It was the summer of 1978. My best friend, Troy, and I were 12 years old and it was my first trip to Ocean Lakes. We walked into the arcade as soon as we finished setting up camp. As the song “Barracuda” by Heart played in the background, I spotted her. Roxanne was visiting with her family from Ohio. For the rest of the week, my best friend, Troy, took a backseat to Roxanne! Roxanne and I stayed in touch for a while. 

Eric and Troy - 1978

Every time I visit Ocean Lakes, I always walk into the arcade and think back to that wonderful summer. Troy and I are still pals. 

Eric and Troy - 2021

Fast Forward | At Ocean Lakes, I know my boys are stowing away memories just the same as me. I can’t wait to hear the stories they will one day tell their kids.

Eric and his two Sons

Eric and his two Sons

Until Next Time | Stay tuned for more Ocean Lakes memories from our Guests and Annual Lease Site Holders! 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Reminiscing on “Po-Po” | An Ocean Lakes Memory

To celebrate our 50th Birthday, Ocean Lakes held a contest in which Guests and Annual Lease Site Holders were invited to enter their favorite Ocean Lakes memory for a chance to win the sparkly Golden Golf Car. The contest garnered over 600 entries – These memories made us laugh, cry, happy, sad, and so blessed to be a part of Ocean Lakes! While the contest only had 5 finalists, we knew our guests would enjoy reading some of the amazing memories as much as we did. So, that is exactly what we are doing. 

Throughout the year, we will be featuring some of the favorite memories from our guests in the blog. First up this week is Wayne from Nolensville, Tennessee!

Meet Wayne | Wayne has been an Annual Lease Site Holder at Ocean Lakes for 45 years! He entered into the Share Your Favorite Ocean Lakes Memory Contest with memories of his family with Mr. Jackson. 

Words From Wayne | I have watched how Ocean Lakes has changed over the years. When I first visited Ocean Lakes, I could always count on a visit from Mr. Jackson. 

My kids referred to him as “Po-Po;” he was a Colonel Sanders look-alike. He would put my grandkids on his golf car for pictures and would visit my mom for a “family” picnic lunch at Site 0-13. He helped make OL’s vacation a welcoming experience!

Until Next Time | Stay tuned for more Ocean Lakes memories from our Guests and Annual Lease Site Holders! 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Every Story Has A Beginning, This Is Ours | A Family Legacy

If you have been following our social media channels since July 2nd, then you are aware of “A Family Legacy | An Ocean Lakes Docuseries.” A docuseries dedicated to telling the story of Ocean Lakes and our founding family. Two episodes have been released with more to come in the near future. 

Episode 2: Growing The Land premiered last week, which detailed the events that began the wonderful story that is Ocean Lakes. Well, in this week’s blog, we are going even further.

Picture it… Myrtle Beach… Early 1900’s… (Like my Golden Girls reference?) 

Back To The Beginning | Our story begins with Vivian Francis and Mary Dusenbury Platt. They met in 1913 in Myrtle Beach, SC when Mary saved Vivian from drowning in the ocean by pulling him out by his hair. After his rescue, they dated, they married, then they had two children and established their home in Conway, SC. Their two children were named Mary Emily and Vivian Francis, Jr. 

Mary Dusenbarry Platt, Vivian Francis Platt, Mary Emily Platt Jackson, and Vivian Francis Platt, Jr.

Mary Emily's Parents, Vivian Francis Platt and Mary Dusenbarry Platt

The Ultimate Swap | Once Dr. Platt began buying land, he would swap property, timber the land, and then acquire more land. He continued this until he had accumulated around 7,000 acres of land.

Newspaper Article of Dr. Platt's Land Purchase

Dr. Platt was interested in the oceanfront property in which Ocean Lakes is located today, so whenever he had time off, the family would drive over to the beach. He first bought property in Murrells Inlet since his father had a place down there. He thought he would develop that land. However, he found out how costly it was to put in the roads and the sewer lines. Instead of developing that land, he had an opportunity to swap that land with the man who owned this oceanfront property. 

In 1930, he acquired 1,000 acres with nearly a mile of oceanfront. It was heavily wooded and a great place to hunt deer, wild turkey, and ducks. There were three lakes near the ocean for fishing and three log houses along with a mineral spring for medicinal purposes.

Lakewood Beach Estate

Now That’s What I Call High Quality H2O | The family discovered that the mineral spring on the property had a very good composition of ingredients. He sent the water off to Raleigh, North Carolina for testing to confirm that it was comprised of medicinal quality. Then Mary Emily’s father decided he would sell that water. He set up an operation to sell one- and five-gallon jugs of the water. This was called Platt’s Mineral Spring Water.

Platt's Mineral Spring Water Test Results

Platt's Mineral Spring Water Label

On The Hunt | Dr. Platt was mainly interested in hunting and had a hunting club that would meet every week during the hunting season. They would come back in and have their hunt for breakfast. They would hunt deer, wild turkey, and ducks, and they would also feed the animals. There were lots of squirrels and birds, as well. The family would come in at night and see the deer in the fields eating and noted how beautiful they were each night.

Dr. Platt with Friends on a Hunt

The hunting cabin was designated for family and friends to camp. Even after Ocean Lakes opened, it was used for campground activities until it was destroyed by a fire. 

The Famous Log Cabin

Name That Lake | Locals may know Highway 544 as Dick Pond Road. In the 1900’s, people would fish in Dick Pond. Dick Pond lives on today and is located inside Ocean Lakes! Dick Pond is now known as Lake Magnolia and guests love fishing from the lake.

Jackson Daughters, Kaki and Rachel, on Dick Pond in August of 1962

Map of Lakewood Plantation, including Dick Pond

Fun Facts | Tobacco, corn, beans, and other vegetables were grown on the land; however, tobacco was the main crop. When they would take the tobacco into Conway to sell at the tobacco warehouses, the owner of the tobacco warehouses would ask, 
“Where was this tobacco grown? He would reply, “It was grown so close to the ocean that the mules would get their feet wet at the end of the rope.”
During WWII, Dr. Platt realized that he could lease land to the government and hold on to the title. The government made a deal with Dr. Platt for 2,000 acres that became a part of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. The United States Senate and the House passed a law that surplus property would go to another government entity, state, city, or county. Due to the law, the land used by the government never came back to the Platt family. Due to the war, there were targets set up on the sand dunes along the beach for the airplanes to practice firing. Because of this, much of the land east of Highway 17 could not be sold for timber due to the metal breaking the saws. 

The Battle For Land | Okay, not an actual battle, but it did get your attention. After the passing of Mary Emily’s parents in 1960, it took ten years for Mary Emily and her brother, Vivian Francis, Jr. to settle the estate. By 1970, Mary Emily had inherited 2,300 acres of land and was struggling to pay the taxes. The Jacksons borrowed 1.7 million dollars from the Federal Land Bank with more than half of the money going towards inheritance taxes. However, they knew they had to make it work or sell the land. 

Mary Emily and her Brother, Vivian Francis, Jr.

Connecting The Dots | All of this land was originally owned by Mary Emily Jackson’s parents, and was called Lakewood Plantation. After Dr. Platt’s passing, Mary Emily's brother decided to sell a portion of the land to Carl Perry. Carl Perry is the patriarch of the Perry Family, which owns and operates Lakewood Camping Resort. Mr. Perry named the campground after the original plantation, Lakewood. 

The Entrance to Lakewood Plantation

After the estate was settled in 1970, Vivian sold the majority of his land; however, Nelson and Mary Emily did not want to sell their portion of the land. Nelson Jackson often explained, 
“We could do a lot of things with 310 oceanfront acres in Myrtle Beach, and we’ve had many lucrative offers, but we believe that everyone – the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker – should have the privilege of enjoying God’s beautiful ocean.” Since the campground is oceanfront and there are lakes on the property, the family decided to combine the best of both worlds and name the campground Ocean Lakes Family Campground."
Little did they know, their experience on a bus in the 1950’s would set the course of the land.

Nelson and Mary Emily with their Five Jackson Daughters on the Motorhome Bus

Oh, The Irony | One of the Jackson Daughters, Kaki, reminisced on her and one of her sister’s first jobs: 
“We had a lot of fun, but then Mom also got us to work while we were here. My first job when I was 14 years old was at Lakewood Camping Resort. Laura also worked in Lakewood’s Main Office.”
This was before Ocean Lakes opened, of course. The Jackson daughters had quite a bit of camping experience. After all, their father was one of the first 50 individuals in the United States to own a Trailways Motorhome Bus. 

Newspaper Article of Mr. Jackson Converting Bus

Until Next Time | To learn more, purchase the Family Legacy book, which is sold for $8 in the Main Office Gift Shop, the Nature Center, and Sandy Mart. 

Ocean Lakes: A Family Legacy

Be sure to follow our social media pages for the release of each episode in our docuseries. There is still much of this story to tell!