British Virgin Islands

Program Itinerary

British Virgin Islands

– High School Summer Program Itinerary  –

The itinerary depicts the typical 19-day program with notations made for excursions that are not included in the 12-day trip. The shorter program also has fewer volunteer hours and will miss some of the local afternoon activities. The actual flow of the schedule may be a little different due to the flow of service projects, weather or impromptu community events that we are invited to.

Day 1: High school volunteers arrive at the airport on Beef Island, Tortola, or St. Thomas in the USVI. VISIONS leaders meet each student and all teens make a quick call home before the group heads out. (Additional calls home happen about once a week, but as with all VISIONS locations, this is otherwise a tech free teen summer program.) Regardless of the arrival airport, all students take a ferry to Virgin Gorda. 

Everyone settles into our homebase—a humble, comfortable community center atop a hill with incredible ocean views. We start our program orientation and also have our first Circle meeting to start getting to know each other. Our dinner cook then prepares an island-style welcome meal that we enjoy at outdoor tables while soaking up the idyllic surroundings. 

Circle meetings continue every other evening throughout the program.

Day 2: Following a hearty breakfast, we continue with our orientation, get to know the worksites and spend time with our carpenter who leads us through hand- and power-tool training for the construction projects ahead. We complete some small carpentry projects  on this day, as well. 

In addition to carpentry training, the day is devoted to getting grounded for the program experience ahead with rotating workshops that include safety, cooking and meal prep, orientation to our non-construction worksites and fun icebreakers

Days 3 – 6: We get into the groove of our work days and usually work until about 2 pm. Teens get to choose their worksite each day and many develop favorites they return to throughout the program. Projects include carpentry, environmental work and social service with local kids. One of our local partners is also grateful for our help with animals, including the construction of dog houses. Homebase crew days also commence with groups rotating on a daily basis to prepare breakfast and lunch, clean our living space, do laundry and shop at local markets for our next meals. 

Afternoon and evening activities include snorkeling, exploring the island’s famous grottoes known as “The Baths,” taking in music and traditional foods, and enjoying bonfires with the Caribbean as our backdrop. During Circle meetings, our group transitions into the “working stage,” delving into activities to learn more about constructive feedback and effective community building.

Read more about daily life on VISIONS programs.
–The shorter program condenses the schedule above by ~ 1 day.–

Days 7 & 8: Get ready to scuba dive! We complete the resort course scuba certification and head out to explore some of the best reefs of the BVI. We also take one day to rest, clean our homebase and have a leisurely cookout. (Snorkeling is an alternative for anyone not wanting to scuba.) 

Days 9 – 13: The week involves a solid push with all of our projects and afternoon activities including volleyball games at Savannah Bay Beach, steel pan drum lessons, a hike up Gorda Peak for a terrific scenic outlook of many islands, and the wildly popular VISIONS beach olympics.
–The shorter program condenses the schedule above by ~ 1 day.–

Day 14: We take a ferry to the nature island of Anegada, known for its unique fauna and salt ponds. Here we spend time exploring, taking a guided tour and helping with a few needed conservation projects.

Day 15: It’s time to join professional guides on a boat for a journey up to Bitter End, where we’ll learn about mangroves. We’ll learn why they create such an important habitat, the benefits provided to the marine ecosystem, and identify some of the creatures that can be found within them. Afterwards snorkel and observe the different marine life.
–Not included with shorter program.–

Days 16 & 17: Two more project days to complete our work on Virgin Gorda! We pack a lot in and still save time for favorite beaches and outings. Circle meetings and our time bonding as a group also take on new meaning as we transition into thinking about how the summer experience might continue to play into our lives back home. One evening includes the ever popular VISIONS Talent Show!

One afternoon is spent on a private tour of the well known Necker Island (owned by Richard Branson) to see lemurs and other fascinating island features.
–Not included with shorter program.–

Day 18: This is a day to celebrate and thank our local friends for welcoming us into their community. After a big clean of our living space, we start preparations for what will be a final dinner and fun evening with our close friends and project partners. 

Day 19: Bye for now! Leaders accompany kids to the airports and see everyone off for their trips home. 

Celebrating 34 Years