Women’s Rejuvenation Retreat – North Carolina
Restore yourself and nature during our women’s Sea Turtle Rejuvenation Retreat. Leave the daily stress behind as you reward yourself by relaxing along beautiful, white sandy beaches with other active, philanthropic women. Spend a week pampering sea turtles as a volunteer at the newly expanded 10,000 square foot Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, and we will pamper you with restorative treatments for body, mind, and soul. Have the camp experience of childhood with all the upgrades of adulthood. This program is designed for women who want a refreshing experience, while giving something back to the ocean community.
Five species of sea turtles ply the waters surrounding southeastern North Carolina: the leatherback, hawksbill, green, Kemp’s ridley, and (most commonly) the loggerhead. Each day will involve traveling from our ocean front accommodations to the Sea Turtle Hospital where we will work alongside volunteers to provide care for sick and injured turtles. You will learn the obstacles facing these animals- from hatchling to adulthood. Our marine scientists will lead you on an interactive tour of southeastern North Carolina coastal habitats to give you a sea turtle’s perspective of the marine world.
When not spending time at the hospital or in the field, we will get to know one another through numerous other activities. Yoga classes on the beach will bring us balance and stamina. Stand Up Paddleboarding sessions will challenge and invigorate us. A kayak lesson will awaken our adventurous side. Spa treatments will restore both our mental and spiritual capacity. And a trip to the NC Aquarium will provide a greater picture of the ocean world. On our last night we will have a local chef prepare a delicious organic meal at our beach house; and together we will enjoy the sunset from the back porch accompanied by a glass of wine.
In the midst of all of this activity, you will meet Jean Beasley, the hospital’s founder and Animal Planet “Hero of the Year”. Her inspirational odyssey of sea turtle conservation will move and motivate you to become an environmental ambassador in your own community. Due to our commitment to quality, group sizes will be limited to 10 participants per camp. This guarantees that everyone has the best experience possible.
Retreat tuition includes: single occupancy ocean front lodging, breakfast and lunch, gourmet dinner on our last night, admission to all activities, all equipment, 1/2 day at the spa with your choice of pampering, local transportation including pickup and drop off from the Wilmington International Airport (ILM), Sea Turtle Hospital donation, Sea Turtle Camp t-shirt, and memorable group photo. Women are responsible for dinners, round trip airfare to ILM or transportation to Surf City, North Carolina. Cost: $2,495
There are no coastal North Carolina Women’s Rejuvenation Retreat dates at this time.
Arrive in Wilmington and be whisked away to your own island paradise where we will provide you the opportunity to unwind at our luxurious beach house on Topsail Island. You’ll have plenty of time to unpack and get settled in to your room before we head to the turtle hospital for an orientation and tour. While dinner is being prepared, you’ll roll out your yoga mat for a class on the beach with one of our certified instructors.
As the smell of delicious, restaurant-quality meal wafts from the windows, you will return for cocktails and dinner. You already feel at home in this cozy coastal town, and the anticipation for the week ahead makes it a little tough to fall asleep. Eventually you will drift off to the sound of the crashing waves.
You will view the morning sun as it shimmers across the water from the deck as we eat a healthy breakfast and get ready to see our new patients. We will work side-by-side with the volunteers at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center to provide love and care to the sea turtles. Throughout this experience, we follow the journey of a sea turtle as we learn more about their life history from our marine educators.
After an amazing morning spent working with turtles, what better way to rinse off than an afternoon charging in the water with a stand up paddle lesson from the staff at WB Surf Camp. We’ll start off with Ground School, during which your Lifeguard Certified instructors will discuss safety, marine life, and the basics of paddleboarding. We make sure you are well-prepared before we even enter the water. Now the time has come to start exploring. You will receive personalized instruction to help achieve goals and increase your comfort level in the water.
We may rise a little sore from the previous day’s activity, but we’ve been learning the turtles names and stories, so we can’t let those little guys down! In the afternoon we kayak through the sound and tidal creeks to explore the amazingly diverse and productive marsh habitat. We’ll see great blue herons and egrets wading along the marsh shoreline as hermit and fiddler crabs scuttle up in the sand, and keep our eyes out for dolphin fins popping out of the glassy waters. Marshes are exceedingly important ecosystems, both to us and sea turtles, and we’ll learn why. After working our arms for the second day in a row, we’ll partake in a little restorative yoga on the beach to stretch out tired muscles and restore some inner clarity.
Another magical day with the turtles! Looking in the eye of these majestic creatures is a soul-stirring moment. You are becoming more and more acquainted with these little guys, learning who likes to eat what and who likes to be scratched where. After a couple days of physical activity it’s time to give our body a treat as we get spa treatments at Inis Spa (named after the Gaelic word for island). Mary, who previously worked in an Irish castle, will help you build your own package of manicure or pedicure, massage, and facial or body treatment. After a day of luxury, what better way to unwind than with dinner and drinks back at the beach house.
Today is our last day at the Sea Turtle Hospital, and it will be incredibly difficult to leave these creatures behind. Their stories are etched in our conscience, like those of children. We’ll say a special thank you to Jean for allowing us access into the enchanting world of the sea turtle. After a difficult goodbye we’ll quickly head down the coast because we’ve got a boat to catch! We’ll take a water taxi from Wilmington to the uninhabited island of Masonboro, enjoying this quiet slice of paradise. This publicly protected conservation area is part of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve and remains unchanged as a natural pristine barrier island. After two hours exploring this unique island habitat, we’ll head back to shore and travel to the NC Aquarium to see what was hiding under the waves. After a tour of the aquarium, we’ll stay in Wilmington for a final dinner out together before returning back to our beach house.
It’s your final day of the Sea Turtle Rejuvenation Retreat, but it’s not complete without a last surf and yoga session out in front of our beach house. After a solid session in the water, we’ll go out for lunch and share our final stories, laughs, and memories of the week. Final goodbyes will be said, and those clients who are flying out of ILM will be chauffeured to the airport by our staff. We will all remember this week with extreme fondness and cherish the special connection we had with the sea turtles.
Topsail Island is a 26-mile long barrier island off the coast of southeastern North Carolina. The island is a sanctuary for sea turtles and known for its beautiful beaches. According to popular belief, pirates used to hide in the channel between the island and the mainland waiting for merchant ships loaded with goods to pass. The pirates would attack the ships and claim the cargo as their own. Eventually the merchants became aware of the hiding place and began looking for the topsail, which was supposedly the only part of the pirate ship that could be seen by the passing victim.
Many times Topsail feels like your own private beach, with absence of big crowds and commercial development. Topsail Beach is a clean and friendly, family oriented beach community where beautification is encouraged, and conservation of the island environment is a top priority. The only sea turtle hospital in the state, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, is located on the sound near Town Hall. This is where we will be spending a considerable amount of time getting to know the four flippered patients.
We will be staying in a beautiful oceanfront beach house located in Surf City with full amenities and steps away from the sand and surf. Cocktails can be had on the deck overlooking the pool. Gourmet meals will be prepared by chefs using local produce and ingredients. We are happy to coordinate and cater to any food allergies or specific dietary requests. Each participant will have their own queen or king bedroom with views overlooking the ocean or the quaint town of Surf City and most will have their own private bathroom. With endless sandbars stretching along the island, and minimal crowds in the water, Topsail Island provides the ultimate getaway to recharge and renew your spirit.
This is our inaugural women’s Sea Turtle Rejuvenation Retreat. With over 10 years of experience facilitating camps and travel adventures, you can rest assured that we know how to dot our i’s and cross our t’s while providing our clients with a magical life enriching adventure.
Do I get to see real live sea turtles?
YES!!! We work very closely with the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center who have an average occupancy of about 20 sea turtles with varying degrees of injury or illness. Some are even permanent residents due to the severity of their injury. The NC Aquarium usually houses a few behind the scenes and from time to time we even see them out in the ocean.
What kind of community service will I be doing?
At Sea Turtle Rejuvenation Retreat service is the most rewarding part of our program, and we like to think of it as service learning. Everything we do at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, from working directly with live sea turtles, cleaning, and feeding sounds more like enjoyment than service, but it is.
Where do we stay during camp?
During your time at our Sea Turtle Rejuvenation Retreat you will stay in a beautiful ocean front beach house. Each participant will have their own king or queen size bed and most will have a private bath.
Should I bring a friend?
While most of participants come alone, you are welcome to come with a friend.
I am a finicky eater; can you cater to special diets?
Yes we can. We know how important it is to eat healthy meals when you are outside and at the beach all day long. We’ll ask you in a questionnaire what types of food, snacks, and drinks you prefer.
What do I need to bring?
A complete packing list will be included with your informational registration packet.
What sort of payment do you accept?
We accept checks, money orders, or VISA/MC/AMEX credit cards. All credit card payments are processed online using a secure server. There is a $50 service charge for all returned checks.
What airport is best to fly into for your program, and do you provide a shuttle service?
The best airport to fly into is the Wilmington International Airport (ILM), which is located about 10 minutes from the University. Our educators meet all participants at baggage claim. The shuttle cost to and from this airport is included in program tuition.
What if I can’t get in by the set check in time?
Please contact our Program Coordinator to discuss arrivals and departures outside of our preferred times. In order to avoid missing any planned activities, participants should try to arrive around 12 pm on the first day and depart around 3 pm on the last day of camp.
What if my luggage doesn’t make it?
Occasionally the airlines will misplace luggage or your suitcases will miss connecting flights. We recommend keeping essentials, such as medications, toiletries, bathing suit, and extra change of clothes, in their carry-on luggage just in case.
What kind of non-turtle activities will we be participating in?
- Day trip to the secluded island of Masonboro
– Stand Up Paddleboard lesson and tour of the salt marsh
– Mid-week spa treatment and massage
– Delicious gourmet meals
– Yoga on the beach