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Back at the Ocean View

If you haven’t heard, we bought a motel.

I’m not going to delve into details about that. If you want to know more, check out this blog that was posted in March. Or ask someone in Campus Outreach – they can fill you in!

Moving on.

So we’re back at the Ocean View Motel (which may or may not be renamed at some point). Located in Murrells Inlet, SC, the Ocean View is about twelve miles south of our dwelling place last summer. Murrells Inlet is a calmer and more residential environment compared to the atmosphere in Myrtle Beach.  

Last year’s location was a changeup. Project had been at the Ocean View for many years. I spent my first summer at the Ocean View and my second at the Aquarius in Myrtle Beach. Even though I had spent equal time at each, the Ocean View always felt more like Project’s true location than the Aquarius had. Coming back to Murrells Inlet this summer felt like coming home.

I asked one of my roommates and fellow team leader, Katie Beth Strand, what she thought. She and I are both on our third Project and have experienced both the Ocean View and the Aquarius.

“The Ocean View is cleaner and safer and a lot closer to work. It has better access to the beach, too. There’s actually a long list as to why it’s better in a lot of respects. Even with the nuances of the Ocean View, I would still pick this place any day of the week. It’s home. This is where I had my first Project. I tend to get attached to places and my first summer was really impactful for my walk with the Lord so this place has a lot of memories and meaning. It’s where a lot of things began.”

For most room leaders, this is their second Project and first summer at the Ocean View Motel. Last year at the Aquarius, they didn’t have a context for Project being anywhere but there. I wondered if their opinions of the Ocean View would be different from Katie Beth’s or my own. I talked to a few room leaders, and it turns out their opinions align with ours. Here are a few of the comments:

“This motel is so much better. It’s actually pleasant to be in my room and on hotel grounds. I didn’t feel that way last year; Project wasn’t the place I wanted to hang out. If a group of us wanted to hang out together, we would plan to go somewhere off Project. This year I’m really content to be in someone’s room or just under the tent or by the pool. And I actually look forward to getting back to my room each day.
Campus Outreach being invested in it is cool, too. It’s not like we’re reporting issues to an apathetic management team; when we have an issue, there is ownership. They care a lot about the motel, so they actually try to do something about it.
The location is a lot better, too. It’s safer-feeling and nicer. The downfall is that there is less to do in walking distance. But overall, I would choose the Ocean View hands down.”

Although we were blessed to have a place to stay last summer, it seems the general consensus is overwhelming thankfulness and excitement about being at the Ocean View. We are praying Project will be able to stay at the Ocean View for many years to come.