Sea and Service at Myrtle Beach State Park, South Carolina

Sierra Club Outings Trip # 14447A, Service/ Volunteer


  • Work to help preserve Myrtle Beach State Park, a square mile of nature among hotels and shopping
  • Enjoy beautiful ocean views and insights into the area's history
  • Spend a free day exploring the castle at Huntington Beach State Park and Brookgreen Gardens


  • Housing in comfortable CCC-built and recently updated cabins
  • All meals from Sunday dinner through Saturday breakfast
  • Several ranger-led programs provided by folks who love their work


DatesFeb 16–22, 2014
StaffLynn Malley

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Trip Overview

Please note that the trip title has changed from what was originally published. If you have questions, please contact us. 

The Project

Both Myrtle Beach State Park and Huntington Beach State Park have been heavily impacted by funding cutbacks. Both are treasures of green along a strip of South Carolina that has lost the natural feel. We anticipate spending some time working at both parks, though we will be primarily at Myrtle Beach State Park. Replacing the floorboards of the pier there is the first project on our list. Other possibilities include repairing trails, repainting signs and road markers, edging roads, painting structures, installing dune fencing, and improving campgrounds.


Day 1: Arrive at Myrtle Beach State Park anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. At 3 p.m., come to Cabin 6, get your key, and get settled in. At 4 p.m. sharp, we will begin with introductions to each other, the park, our work, and fun opportunities. After dinner, our first meal together, we will spend the evening getting to know one another. It is very important that we all be there for the 4 p.m. meeting as that is when we will learn about each other and the firmed-up schedule for the week for the first time.

Day 2: Our work days will generally be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Specific work for each day will be assigned as we get closer to the trip time. We will work at MBSP today. This evening, we will have a ranger-led activity -- perhaps an owl walk.

Day 3: Our work will continue from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Today may be at Huntington Beach State Park, which is a few miles down the road. This will give us the opportunity to see the castle and the gardens across the street, and help us decide what to do with our free day on Wednesday.

Day 4: This is our day off, an opportunity to explore the area or relax around the park. There are many opportunities to play both within the park and within 20 miles of the park. Water activities will be limited only by weather. Fishing is not at its peak in the winter, though birding is -- Huntington Beach State Park has a great pier to view from. It is about 20 miles down the road and has a completely different landscape and feel, with miles of bike trails, marshland, birds, alligators, and an old 'castle.' Across the street is Brookgreen Gardens, a wonderful combination of nature, art, and animals. Seafood restaurants abound in the area, should you want to eat out. There’s also Broadway at the Beach to explore, if you are interested in the area's many tourist attractions.

Day 5: Our work will continue from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a ranger-led activity after work or in the evening, perhaps turtle stories. The beach is the site of loggerhead turtle nesting in the spring.

Day 6: This will be our last day of work and we will finish up the various projects we have started. In the evening, some of the park staff will join us as guests for the evening, including dinner.

Day 7: After eating breakfast, packing, and cleaning the cabins, we will be ready to depart by 10 a.m.

Note: The leaders will make every reasonable effort to meet the goals outlined in the itinerary. Please keep in mind that weather or other conditions beyond our control may cause us to modify the itinerary in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the group. Also, remember that since this is a service trip, the leaders will have prepared the menu and everyone will share responsibilities for preparing meals, cleaning up afterward, and making sure things work generally. We usually find that it's a great way to get to know fellow trip participants.



Getting There

The closest airport is Myrtle Beach International Airport, only six miles away. Cabs charge about $25 to get to the park. Charleston International Airport is just under 100 miles away and would require the rental of a car to get to the park as there is no public transportation. Florence Regional Airport (SC) and Wilmington International Airport (NC) are each about 75 miles away and also have no public transportation to Myrtle Beach. Each of these airports supports different airlines, so you may want to consider which airlines are also supported by airports near your home.

If you decide to drive to the park, consider offering others along the way a ride. Sierrans often share rides or the cost of rental cars. Cars will not be required during the trip as we will be living and working in the same location and transportation will be provided by park staff on the day we work at HBSP.

Accommodations and Food

Housing is in fully furnished historic CCC-built cabins just yards from the beach, with modernized kitchens and baths and gracious screened-in porches. Meals will be planned ahead of time by the staff and shopping will be done by the time you arrive. Food preparation and cleanup will be shared by the participants; each day, a small group will be responsible for meals and cleanup. Meals will be vegetarian-friendly.

Trip Difficulty

Trip difficulty will be easy to moderate and you will be able to choose the level at which you are comfortable.

Equipment and Clothing

All equipment will be provided. Only toiletries and clothing are required. You should bring clothes that you are no longer attached to or that you already have done painting or outside work in. Closed-toed shoes are appropriate for work, even if the weather is warm. Please bring toiletries and rain gear. If you are attached to a particular pair of work gloves or drill, please do bring them.



Please bring stories of the challenges and conservation movements from your home area. The trip leader's will be about spraying oilfield debris on farmlands. We will share our stories one evening as a program. It is hard to know what conservation opportunities will present themselves on the trip so far ahead of time. English Ivy is an invasive species in the area, to the extent that chemicals are being used to destroy it.

In 2014 America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The Sierra Club, various other organizations with a wilderness focus, and the four federal wilderness management agencies are vigorously planning this celebration. The goal of the effort is to assure that a broader public knows about the concept and benefits of wilderness. Sierra Club Outings is a vital part of the celebrations for wilderness.

While the Act was far in the future when our outings program started, we were already promoting the principle behind it: to forever set aside from human developments certain special places, by civic agreement. This is the basic principle on which the Sierra Club was founded. The wilderness anniversary gives us an opportunity to highlight our organization’s leading role—in publicizing this principle, in passing the 1964 Act, and in achieving more designated wilderness since then.



Lynn Malley is a long time Sierra Club Member. She has read about service trips for 20 years and is delighted to have both the time and the opportunity to lead them during the last four years. A recent year in South Carolina has increased her interest in the interplay between land and water as well as to the losses that our state parks have suffered due to recent budget cuts. With a background in conflict management and solid waste management, and two years spent living and teaching in the Balkans, she welcomes those who have served on our behalf. All Sierra Club trips offer a 10% discount to military families.

Assistant Leader:

Thomas Long

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