British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands
PRICING 
Jun 30 to Jul 21
$4,950
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION 

Islands rising up out of crystal clear blue waters. Mountain peaks touching trade wind clouds. Crescent-shaped white sand beaches stretching endlessly. A proud Afro-Caribbean heritage alive in a culture with all the flavor of the local fruit trees and all the variety of the fish swimming offshore.

Welcomed Service

Community service in the BVI will engage you with the enthusiasm of local carpenters, farmers, environmentalists and development workers. In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Department of Agriculture, National Parks Trust and schools, VISIONS teens have built playgrounds, pavilions, homes, mountain lookouts, walking trails and more. Volunteering in the BVI includes non-carpentry projects as well. The Rainbow Home awaits us for working with their children every summer, and we lend a hand with projects at the Humane Society. We also work on an organic farm preparing fields, maintaining irrigation systems, harvesting food, and feeding the livestock.

Full Immersion

Our time is filled with opportunities to interact with community members and to be a part of Tortola’s island culture. In addition to the immersion experience that comes naturally by being grounded in the community, we schedule activities for after work, evenings and weekends. You will participate in workshops with artisans and musicians, make island smoothies, attend festivals, host a Rastafarian guest speaker, and have a chance for pickup basketball and games with neighbor friends. We listen to steel drum music on the beach and enjoy some competition in island scavenger hunts. Throw in a perfect ocean sunset, and the stage is set for an unforgettable summer.

"The summer in the BVI was unforgettable. The focus on community service made me appreciate all the little things I take for granted."

Rosa Lechartier – Paris, France
Our Home Base 
Tortola
We live and work on Tortola, the commercial center and largest island of the BVI. Friendships forged during our two decades of summer programs in Tortola’s friendly communities mean that teen volunteers are warmly welcomed, year after year.
The BVI was one of VISIONS first international programs. The first house we built was for Miss Ivy, an elderly woman who had gone mostly blind, but helped choose the colors for her new home. This would be the first of many large projects over the seasons, and VISIONS is honored by the connections that span more than twenty years. Environmental issues have become as pressing as housing needs on Tortola, and some of our work assists the National Parks Trust while also doing construction and carpentry for homes and organizations across the island.
Explore the British Virgin Islands

Snorkeling happens at almost every beach, and finding the best coral reefs becomes its own small summer adventure. We go sailing on the White Squall and SCUBA with the island’s most trusted dive company. Tortola is a mountainous island, and the panoramic view of all the islands from the top of Sage Mountain is something you will remember for a long time. We also discover the capital of Road Town with its markets, music and food, and even take a large ferry to nearby Virgin Gorda to swim at the famous “Baths.”

Daily Life

We live together as a group in a community center in one of the island’s neighborhoods. There are bathrooms and showers, kitchen facilities, and everything we need to make it our temporary home.

Service projects take place five days a week and finish by mid-afternoon to beat the heat. You typically get to choose between three different worksites each day, often making considerable progress in a short time. Once a week, you will be on “homebase crew” with a few other participants and a leader. The crew makes breakfast for the group, runs errands and buys food for the next meals, does laundry, and enjoys a “day in the life.”

After work is for beach time, island hikes, exploring Road Town, games with local kids, spending time with neighbors, and occasional downtime to relax before dinner. In addition to after-work activities, we have exciting full-day excursions that take advantage of our amazing Caribbean surroundings.

Meals are varied, plentiful, and with meat and vegetarian options. Miss Carol is our dinner cook, and knows our tastes well after cooking for VISIONS groups for more than 20 years! A few evenings a week, we have group meetings that last about an hour and are a time to reflect on the volunteer and cultural experience. Other nights we’ll hang out as a group, prepare for the next day’s projects, or go into Roadtown for an event.

VISIONS is not a teen tour with a day-to-day travel itinerary. Instead we settle in to our home base and are part of daily life. The itinerary provides an overview of some of the highlights, keeping in mind that most every day includes cultural any recreation activities.

Itinerary

June 30
July 1
July 2
July 4
July 5
July 11
July 12
July 18
July 20
July 21
Arrivals & Welcome!
Orientation & Worksite Training
First Full Day of Worksites
SCUBA Training & 4th of July BBQ
SCUBA Diving
Virgin Gorda “Baths”
Family & Neighbor Visits
Sailing Trip
Community Goodbyes
Departures

More Details

Flights are to Beef Island, an extension of Tortola. Or, you may fly to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, and be picked up by a VISIONS chaperon for the ferry ride to Tortola. VISIONS leaders pick each participant up at the airport.
Parents receive a phone call or email once their child is met by leaders at the airport. After that, phone calls home are generally limited to once a week.
Our home is a community center where our teen volunteers and leaders live together as a group. Boys and girls sleep in separate rooms and VISIONS provides thick foam floor mattresses. You will bring your own sheets, light blanket and pillow.
VISIONS has a 1 to 4 or 5 leader to student ratio, one of the best ratios among summer programs. The maximum group size is 25, and programs are gender-balanced. Most participants attend alone, and no more than two friends may attend a program together.
We emphasize an inclusive group dynamic. Things like age and grade become less important on a VISIONS program. We eat most meals and do most activities as a large group, and we break into small rotating groups for workdays.
Details such as a packing list, travel notes, and health forms are provided upon enrollment through login web pages. The process is straightforward and we are here to help. VISIONS travel agent books flights, which are not included with tuition.
Securing a space requires applying and being accepted, and paying the $800 tuition deposit. There is no deadline to apply, but program spaces do fill. We also encourage applying early in order to secure a flight and prepare for the program.
Teen volunteers receive 75 community service hours. Youth summer camp program for ages 14 – 18.
In addition to VISIONS high school summer program on the BVI, we offer a middle school travel and service program for ages 12 – 14. Note that 14 year-olds may choose between high school and middle school programs.
Program Director
British Virgin Islands

NOT QUITE READY?

Our staff loves to assist! We are happy to answer questions and discuss the program locations with you.