British Virgin Islands

Program Itinerary

British Virgin Islands

– High School Summer Program Itinerary  –

The itinerary depicts the typical 21-day program with notations made below any activities that are not included in the 12-day trip. The flow of the schedule may change slightly due to impromptu community events, weather, or other factors that keep us flexible.

Day 1: High school volunteers arrive at the airport on Beef Island, Tortola, or St. Thomas in the USVI. VISIONS leaders meet each student as they arrive and then make a quick call home. Regardless of the arrival airport, all students take a ferry to Virgin Gorda. 

Everyone settles into our homebase—a humble community center known as St. Mary’s Community Hall atop a hill with ocean views. We begin our program orientation, have our first Circle meeting to start getting to know each other, and our dinner cook prepares an island-style welcome meal!

Circle meetings continue every other evening throughout the program.

Day 2: Following a hearty breakfast, we have rotating workshops, including tool and construction training with our carpenter, beach safety, cooking and meal prep, and orientation to our non-construction worksites. 

Days 3 – 7: We get into the groove of service projects and usually work until about 2 pm. Teens choose their worksite and many develop favorites they return to throughout the program. Projects include carpentry, environmental work, social service with local kids, and helping the Animal Rescue Council with puppy care if needed and 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. 

Activities include beach time, exploring the island’s famous grottoes known as “The Baths,” a sunrise walk at the abandoned coastal Copper Mine, and enjoying bonfires with the Caribbean as a backdrop. During Circle meetings, the group transitions into the “working stage,” learning more about constructive feedback and community building.

One afternoon we meet professional guides at Mountain Trunk beach to learn about marine invertebrates. We then snorkel with the guides to see invertebrates up close on the island reefs.  

Read more about daily life on VISIONS programs.

–The shorter program condenses the schedule above by ~ 2 days, but always includes the Baths and invertebrates activity.–

Days 8 & 9: Get ready to scuba dive! We complete the resort course certification and explore some of the best reefs of the BVI. (Snorkeling is an alternative for anyone not wanting to scuba.) We also take one day to rest, clean our homebase and have a leisurely cookout. 

Days 10 – 14: The week involves a solid push with projects, and our non-work activities include exploring additional beaches, a juice-making workshop using island fruits, a hike up Gorda Peak for a scenic outlook of the BVI and USVI archipelago, and a guided tour of the former sugar plantation at Nail Bay. 

–The shorter program condenses the schedule above by ~ 2 days.–

Day 15: 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. Alternatively, if scheduling allows, we visit a private island with a unique animal preserve.

–Not included with shorter program.–

Day 16: We join professional guides on a boat journey to Bitter End, where we’ll learn about mangroves and the benefits they provide to the marine ecosystem. We then snorkel with our guides and observe the abundant marine life.

–Not included with shorter program.–

Days 17 – 19: Three more project days to complete our work on Virgin Gorda! We pack a lot in and still save time for favorite beaches and outings. We make the exhilarating climb up “99 Steps” and jump into a refreshing grotto afterward, compete in the popular VISIONS Beach Olympics, and also have a talent show. Circle meetings take on new meaning as we transition into thinking about how the overall experience might continue to play into our lives back home. 

–The shorter program condenses the schedule above by ~ 1 day.–

Day 20: 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 friends and project partners. 

Day 21: Bye for now! Leaders accompany kids to the airports and see everyone off for their trips home.

Celebrating 35 Years