Thursday, September 15, 2022

Welcome to Sandyland | Halloweekends 2022

Join us in Sandyland this October for Halloweekends! We have packed each of the five weekends with loads of fun and games for families to enjoy. 

We are always striving to increase the fun-meter, and as you all know, we are always listening. You wanted more and you got it!

Below are the activities occurring between Thursday and Saturday. While this is A LOT of information, we NEED you to follow along and read carefully: 

Thursday, October 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th | 

Halloweekend Mason Jar Make & Take: 2 PM- 4 PM
Come join us in the Recreation Center, Room C to make your very own Halloween mason jar. Recommended for Ages 10 and up. We will provide all the materials necessary to paint and decorate your very own unique Jar. You can use your imagination to create something or follow the examples we provide for you. We will keep class open from 3 PM to 5 PM. The time it takes to finish depends on what you choose to make. Cost: Pay the instructor $5 per jar upon arriving to class. 

Halloweekend Movie Showing: 6 PM-8 PM 
Grab the whole family and come on down to the Recreation Center. Bring your pillows, blankets, drinks, and snacks. We will be showing some Halloween classicsNo fee. 

Movies Being Shown: 
9/29: Halloweentown 
10/6: Hocus Pocus
10/13: Casper
10/20: The Addams Family (animated version) 
10/27: Halloweentown

Friday, October 7th, 14th, 21st, & 28th | 

Family Ceramics: 9:15 AM-2 PM
All ages are welcome. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Class will open at 9:15 AM. Please be sure to arrive to class on time. All seats typically fill up as soon as class opens. No painters allowed into class after 12 PM. You will have until 2 PM to finish the item you choose to paint. There is a wide variety of ceramics to choose from. Prices for all ceramics range from $2 up to $40, depending on the item you choose. Held in the Recreation Center, Room C. You will be able to paint, dry, gloss, dry and take your ceramic with you the same day. 

Rock N Roots Pumpkin Aquarium Make & Take: 12 PM-1 PM
We have added an exciting new workshop hosted by Rock N Roots Plant Co. This class is open to all campers and will provide necessary materials to teach and walk you through making your very own pumpkin succulent. The white pumpkin is 10 inches and there will be 5 succulents inside. 

Cost is $45 and you will pay the instructor upon arrival to class. Class runs from 12 PM to 1 PM. Please sign up by emailing or by using the QR codes provided on the flyers at the Recreation Office. 

Halloweekend Music Bingo & Stupid Trivia: 7 PM-9 PM 
Join us in the Recreation Center for this fun, musical twist on the original bingo game we typically play. Snippets of songs in different categories will be played and you will have to match up the song played with the song titles on your Bingo Card. We will give a few hints along the way. In between rounds of Music Bingo, we will play 3 rounds of Stupid Trivia. 10 Wacky, crazy questions in each round. NO cheating! No fee.

Saturday, October 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, & 29th |    

Pumpkin Carving/Painting/Decorating Contest
CONTESTANTS – Drop Off Pumpkin: 9 AM-11:30 AM
Drop off your carved/painted/decorated pumpkin between 9 AM and 11:30 PM in Room A located in the Recreation Center on Saturday mornings in October. Please Note: Must be a real pumpkin to win. We will award prizes in each of the following categories: Most Unique, Funniest, Best Theme Execution, Best Painted/Decorated, and Best Carving. Winners will be posted in the Recreation Center prior to the Monster Mash Ball. We ask that you pick your pumpkin up between 7 PM and 9 PM on Saturday night. Pumpkins not picked up will be thrown away on Sunday. No fee. 

VOTERS - You Must Vote Via App/Website: 12 PM-3 PM
We encourage all to come join us in the Recreation Center side room to view and vote for your favorite pumpkins from 12 PM to 3 PM on the day of. 

Learn the Thriller Dance: 9 AM-10 AM (No Class: October 1st) 
Come out to the Recreation Center to learn the classic Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Dance. Class is approximately 45 minutes. Ages 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Please be sure to bring water and a towel with you. Cost: Pay the instructor $5 at the time of the class. 

Pet Costume Contest: 12 PM
Please sign up your friendly pet in the Recreation Office. The contest will be held in the Recreation Center. We will award prizes in the following categories: Most Unique, Cutest, Funniest, and Best of Show. Cost is $5 per pet, and all proceeds go to help Canine Angels.

ON STAGE Family/Group Costume Contest: 1 PM
Grab your loved ones and come out to show off your amazing family/group costumes in the Recreation Center! NO PRE-SIGNUP REQUIRED. Just show up before 1 PM to fill out your index information card. We will have winners in 2 different categories: Best Couples Costumes and Family/Group Costumes. All participants are encouraged to really go all out with their stage performance and are allowed a few minutes to sing or act out costumes. Top 5 in each category will win a prize. No fee. 

ONLINE Costume Contest Entry: App/Website Upload 9 AM-4 PM
Due to the popularity of this event, with over 300 participants, we are moving all individual costumes to our online costume contest. 

Weekly Beginning 9 AM Friday–4 PM 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 online at by completing the digital form and uploading the entry photo. Top 5 winners in the following categories will win a prize: Scariest, Funniest, Cutest, Most Unique, Best DIY Costume, Best Last-Minute Costume, and Best Ocean Lakes 2022 Themed Costume. Winners will be contacted and announced by 8 PM on Saturday night. Plan to go early to avoid a line and meet the upload deadline. No fee.

Trick or Treating: 4:30 PM-6:30 PM
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 Halloweekend 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 take your sign down. 

At 4PM (NO SOONER), those wishing to go Trick or Treating around the campground can pick up the Treat Friendly Site List at the Recreation Office. No fee. 

Creepy Site Crawl: 6:30 PM
If you are interested in entering your site in the Halloween decorating contest, sign up in the Recreation Office prior to 5 PM on the day of. 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 App/Website
At 6 PM (NO SOONER) on Saturday, we will give out a list to those interested in viewing/judging the sites. 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. Only 1 vote per family. No lists will be handed out after 7:30 PM.

Monster Mash Ball: 7 PM-9 PM
Come join us with all your spooktacular costumes and dance the night away with our D.J. between 7 PM and 9 PM in the Recreation Center.  We will be announcing the winners of the Pumpkin Carving Contest and the Creepy Site Crawl during the Ball. Winners will also be posted on the Recreation doors. No fee.  

Just For Fun Activities | 

Amazing Race:
Do you miss participating in our annual amazing race? Well now you can enjoy this family fun activity on your own. Stop by the Recreation Office to pick up your packet. We will provide you race rules, race questions and race answers in an envelope for you to score yourself once completed. No prizes. No fee.  

3D Pumpkin Search:
Download the Ocean Lakes App by scanning the QR code and join the fun! The clues for each pumpkin are located throughout the campground. Scan each clue to complete the search and earn a badge in the App. Show badge at Recreation Office to win a prize! Limit 1 prize per family.

Who Done It? Scavenger Hunt: 
This CLUE-themed scavenger hunt will have you chasing clues throughout the campground to locate the next crime scene. Good luck figuring out the identity of our suspect! 

Join the hunt by downloading the Ocean Lakes App! Simply scan the QR Codes located throughout the campground. This is no random hunt, follow the clues in order (they are numbered). Show your badge at the Recreation Office to win a prize! Limit one prize per family. No fee.

Face Painting: 10 AM–12 PM 
We are excited to announce that Jessie from Myrtle Beach Face Painting will be helping with all your face painting needs this year. Jessie will be set up every Saturday throughout October in the Recreation Center. You MUST sign up for this activity. Sign up begins Saturday morning, and we are only accepting the first 50 to participate. No fee.

Halloweekends Jar Guessing Via App:
Come on out to the Recreation Center to put your counting skills to the test. Guessing jars will be available for viewing in the Recreation Center weekly from 9 AM each Friday until 4 PM on Saturday. Voting must be done using the Ocean Lakes App. Winners who guess the closest without going over wins. All winners will be contacted by 8 PM on Saturday to pick up their prize. No fee. 

Until Next Time | Select your game piece, roll the dice, and join us in the land of sweet adventures this October! 

There will be lots of candy, spooktacular decorations, and incredible costumes. You do not want to miss the excitement, laughs, and sweet memories!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Family Ceramics – Family Traditions | An Ocean Lakes Memory

Our activities are more than recreational… They are bonding moments, laughs shared with the people you love, memories in the making… They are family traditions. Many of our guests return year after year to create wonderful family memories that will last a lifetime. 

The Tranchida family is one of those families.

Meet Alyssa | Alyssa is from Sterling Heights, MI and has been vacationing at Ocean Lakes for 20 years! This week, she is describing her favorite Ocean Lakes memory. 

More Than Just An Activity | Follow along as Alyssa shares her favorite memory of Ocean Lakes:
My Nana and Grandpa purchased their place at Ocean Lakes in 1994 and they visited every year.

My favorite memory from Ocean Lakes was doing Family Ceramics with my Nana every year. We have been going to the ceramics activity in the Recreation Center every year for the past 16 years. 
My Nana loved spending time with her grandkids at Family Ceramics. She always helped us pick out which ceramic to paint, and she helped us out when we had difficult items to paint. My Nana even had her own ceramics business back home in Michigan, so she was the ultimate pro! 

After my Nana passed away in 2018, the grandkids continue to carry on the tradition of visiting Ocean Lakes and attending Family Ceramics. I loved going to Ocean Lakes with my Nana and I miss her more and more every year.  

Join Us For Family Ceramics | Family Ceramics has become a very popular activity in the campground! We have very talented guests who create beautiful pieces each week. 

If you are interested, stop by the Recreation Center, Room C, to partake. All ages are welcome; however, children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Classes are open Monday – Friday from 9 AM until 1 PM. There is limited seating so be sure to arrive before 10:30 AM. 

There are a wide variety of ceramics to choose from. Completed items will be ready to pick up the following day (weather permitting). Price ranges from $2 up to $40, depending on the item. 

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. 

Monday, July 11, 2022

Protecting our Waterfowl | An Interview with Carolina Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

As many of you remember, a few weeks ago, we had a juvenile swan come in contact with cooking oil in one of our lakes. The swan is still in the care of the Carolina Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and getting stronger each day. 

Our team rescues many animals each week from different situations – Cooking oil, fishing line, being run over, etc. We want to take this opportunity to further educate our guests on how they can help protect the wildlife around us, as well as the environment. 

To do so, we have gone straight to the experts – Carolina Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Their Executive Director, Kim, is an expert in her field and works closely with the Ocean Lakes team to rescue and rehabilitate the animals in the campground, as well as the surrounding areas. 

Carolina Wildlife Rehabilitation Center | Carolina Wildlife Rehabilitation Center rehabilitates birds of prey and other federally protected birds, mammals, and reptiles. Their mission is to mitigate human impacts on the environment’s native wildlife and ecosystems through professional medical treatment, education, and scientific research. Their team of rehabbers and volunteers are committed to helping animals; they take their convictions and turn them into actions. 

Meet Kim | Kim is a hero in our book. She is making a difference and changing lives one animal at a time. 

We sat down with Kim to talk about her role at CWRC and the important facts to know regarding our wildlife.

What is your role at Carolina Wildlife Rehabilitation Center?
I am the Executive Director and Rehabber at Carolina Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. I have been with CWRC for three years. I have always loved animals! When I got into wildlife photography, it sparked a passion to want to work with birds of prey, which drew me into the world of wildlife rehab.

How does CWRC help the animals in our community?
We rehab injured and/or orphaned animals, as well as educate our community on issues that can cause harm to our wildlife.

Explain why cooking oil, oil in general, is so dangerous to swans and other waterfowl.
When oil coats a bird’s feathers, it leaves them unable to regulate their body temperature and unable to fly. Depending on the type of oil, it can be toxic if ingested. 

One of our Resident Swans has Angel Wing. Explain Angel Wing. How does a swan get it and how does it affect them?
Angel wing is caused by a nutrient deficiency of vitamins and minerals combined with high carbohydrate and sugars levels. This deformity happens when they are young, and their wings are forming; the bone twists causing the feathers to point out. This can sometimes be corrected if caught very early, but most times it is a permanent disability rendering them flightless.

What is the biggest issue that swans face in our area?
We take in a lot of swans annually. The top reasons are for being hit by a car, fishhook/line injuries, and lead poisoning.  

How can fishermen help protect our waterfowl? 
Fishermen can help protect wildlife by ensuring they pick up all the items they brought with them, as well as making sure they are not leaving hooks or line for animals to get caught in and injured. Please clean up and properly dispose of any line/hooks/weights in the trash, or if available, fishing line recycling bins. Some do not realize waterfowl forage greenery on the bottom of the pond and will sometimes ingest small lead weights that were used for fishing. One of the top reasons for waterfowl being admitted to our center is for fishing line or hook injuries.  

What is one small thing we can do to help the wildlife that inhabit our area/campground?
Education is key. Many people just do not know how many things are dangerous to wildlife. We urge everyone to clean up after themselves, dispose of your waste properly, and understand that while we may be enjoying this beautiful campground, this is their home. We need to take care of it.

Until Next Time | Thanks, Kim, for the information and tips! You are right, education is key! We invite you all to stop by our Nature Center while you are in the campground and learn more about the environment around us and the animals that inhabit our surroundings. Together, we can make a difference.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Get Out and Get Active at Ocean Lakes

Who says you cannot get a fun workout in while on vacation?! Or, perhaps you naturally enjoy more physical activities. We have multiple activities, amenities, and opportunities for guests to be active in the campground. 

Follow Along for the Activities and Amenities | 

Water Aerobics – Monday, Wednesday, Friday | Wake up and feel the burn (and I do not mean sunburn)! Everyone who can comfortably touch the bottom of the pool can come join our qualified instructor at the Indoor Pool for a class of aerobic conditioning, toning, exercises, and movement. There is no fee. 

Please Note: You must walk down the sidewalk between the Recreation Center and the Game Center for this class. Sandy Harbor will be closed until 9 AM. 

Sunrise Stretching – Tuesday and Thursday | Start your morning off the beach way! Join our qualified instructor on the Observation Deck to enjoy the peaceful sunrise, while performing stretching techniques combined with mild yoga. You will need to bring your own towel or mat. There is no fee and ages 12 and up are welcome to attend. 

Zumba with Amber - Tuesday and Thursday | Zumba with a view? Yes, please! Join our qualified instructor on the Observation Deck for this Latin Dance inspired workout with an amazing view of the ocean. The class is approximately 45 minutes long, and ages 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Please be sure to bring water and a towel with you. Pay the instructor at the start of the class. Cost is $5 per person. 

Zumba with Ivy – Wednesday and Friday | Join our qualified instructor in the Recreation Center for this fun Latin Dance inspired workout. The class is approximately 45 minutes long, and ages 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Pay the instructor at the start of the class. Cost is $7 per person cash, or $8 if using Cash App. *June 24th – No Class Held* 

Oceanfront Fitness Equipment | Located on the oceanfront, next to the Volleyball Court and one of the play structures, are pieces of equipment that can be utilized as workout equipment.

Bike Rentals | Hop on your bike and explore the campground! We are a 310-acre park, so think of all the biking you can do. If you do not bring yours, no worries - Rent a bike from the Recreation Center. 

Bike Rental Rates: 
Per Hour: $5
Per Day: $15
2 Days: $25
3 Days: $35
4-7 Days: $50

Basketball/Volleyball | Grab a group of friends or family members and head down to the Basketball or Volleyball Courts for a game! All sports equipment can be checked out from the Recreation Center and is free to all guests.

Beach Walk/Run | We can all agree that there is no better way to exercise than by the ocean. Get your heart pumping and blood flowing all while breathing in that wonderful sea air. You can take this opportunity to look for seashells or even do your own beach sweep by picking up any trash you come across.

Until Next Time | The weather has been beautiful at Ocean Lakes, so get out and get active! We encourage all guests to make the most of their time with us, and that includes even trying activities that you would not normally. You will have a blast and you will not regret a second of the fun!