British Virgin Islands
The BVI 9- and 7- day programs are an introduction to VISIONS and the BVI culture. Note that the flow of the schedule may change slightly due to impromptu community events, weather, or other factors that keep us flexible. Activities not included in the 7-day session are denoted below.
Your voyage begins as you touch down at Beef Island, Tortola, or St. Thomas in the USVI. Wherever you land, our VISIONS leaders are there to greet you. After a quick call home we hop on the ferry to our home island of Virgin Gorda. The island’s embrace awaits!
Settling into our homebase, St. Mary’s Community Hall, perched atop a hill with sweeping ocean vistas and breezes that stir a sense of connection with this captivating land. Community envelopes you as we kick off our program orientation and first Circle meeting.
And as the sun dips below the horizon, we enjoy a welcome meal of island cuisine favorites prepared by Camille, our wonderful dinner cook.
WORK & PLAY
Our first “homebase crew” helps prepare breakfast for the group and then we jump right into our volunteer projects and tool orientation. You’ll choose daily between social service with local kids, environmental initiatives, and carpentry and painting projects that help improve infrastructure at community parks and schools.
After work it’s beach time! The sunny afternoon will find us playing sports and games at the beach and taking a refreshing swim at the notoriously gorgeous Spring Bay.
That evening we’ll head over to Saucy’s restaurant to hang out with local friends during the weekly barbeque.
PROJECTS & JOURNEYS
DAYS 3 – 6
Worksites and homebase crew rotations continue and you’ll choose from several project sites each day. Through daily volunteering and shared goals, you open a doorway to establish connections with community members.. It’s also our way of thanking long-time islanders for sharing their Afro-Caribbean heritage and lives with us.
Hard work is matched with adventurous exploration, creating a perfect balance to our time in the BVI. Afternoons and evenings include options to climb Gorda Peak and the iconic 99 Steps. And as you reach the top, the panorama before you reminds you that the climb isn’t just about conquering stairs; it’s about embracing terrific challenges–and everything that waits on the other side.
Following the hike, we step into history, exploring the remnants of Nail Bay’s sugar plantation.
EXPLORE ISLAND GEMS
DAYS 3 – 6 (Activities, continued)
Other activities include exploration of the island’s famous grottoes at The Baths National Park, where volcanic rock outcroppings create iconic swimming pools and views.
We also join professional guides on a boat journey to Bitter End, where we learn about mangroves and the benefits they provide to the marine ecosystem. Next, we’ll don snorkeling gear and observe the abundant marine life below the water’s surface.
Days on Virgin Gorda include scheduled activities as well as plenty of opportunities for spontaneous fun, spending time with community members, and exploring the harbor town known locally as Spanish Town.
Read more about daily life on VISIONS programs.
DAYS 7 & 8 (9-day program only)
Teen volunteers who participate in the 9-day program will scuba dive and explore the underwater marine life, hidden coves and coral gardens of some of the best reefs in the BVI. Every breath is a reminder that beneath the surface lies a realm of beauty, where you’re not just a spectator, but a guest in this sanctuary. We complete a “resort course” with professional divers and no prior scuba experience is required.
The final days of the program also include wrapping up worksites, learning how to make favorite island foods with community friends, an ice cream outing, and of course the always-popular VISIONS Beach Olympics and barbeque.
Departures begin with a ferry ride to the airport, where leaders see each participant off on their journey home. Part of you is left behind with the projects you completed and the connections you made, and much of the BVI experience will become part of you, as you’re reminded throughout your life of the positive changes you can make when joining like-minded people for purpose and service.
Until next time!!
“I loved how I got to meet new people and live within the community and actually feel like I’m doing something important. I loved being able to know that I can fly out of the country and meet new people by myself. It was a really great experience and I also loved the excursions. I think it was great!”