By Sarah Hogan, Navy Spouse

With Camp Lejeune’s proximity to the intercoastal waterway and Atlantic ocean, you don’t need a house on the dune to feel like you live at the beach.  We are ready to head outdoors for sun and sand after the unseasonably cold and snowy winter here in eastern North Carolina.

Our Out & About Camp Lejeune Spring Edition

Family Fun

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital in Surf City opens for tours on Thursday, April 5.  The rescue center receives sea turtles from around the nation that need rehabilitative care.  Follow them on Facebook for special turtle release dates.  Make a sign and come cheer for the turtles being returned to the ocean.

Grab a bucket and head to Onslow Beach aboard Camp Lejeune, the area’s premier location to find shark teeth.  Life guards are posted Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Surfing is welcome outside of the posted swimming zone.  Visit for a local pictorial guide to identify your treasures.

Enjoy North Carolina’s rich pirate history at Pirate Fest in downtown Swansboro on Saturday, April 21.  Storytelling, black powder weapons demonstrations, live music, and a costume parade for mateys young and not so young.  All “arrrgh” welcome to wear their pirate best.

Hammocks Beach State Park has ongoing activities for families this spring, including star gazing, an Eco Hike on Bear Island, and animal track and scat identification.  Most of the park activities are free but you do need to preregister. Paddleboard and kayak excursions are available through a concessionaire on site or download the paddle map on the website to bring your own.


Not for the Faint of Heart

Join the Marine Raiders for Mud, Sweat, and Tears on Saturday, April 28.  This five-mile, obstacle-free run is muddy mayhem and lots of fun. Located on Stone Bay. Waves start at 0800.

The 4th Annual Bike the Banks in Emerald Isle happens Saturday, May 5. Enjoy the beauty of the barrier islands with your choice of 10, 50, and 100-mile road rides.

The Earth & Surf Fest in North Topsail Beach will be held Saturday, May 19. Festivities include a 5K sand run, surf lessons, yoga, and a Paddle for Trash tournament.  Bring your surfboard, paddle board, or kayak to help pick up trash on and around Permuda Island in the ICW to win a prize!

American Red Cross lifeguard certification is offered for ages 15+ at the MCAS New River pool on a rolling basis through the spring and summer.  Take your water safety skills way beyond the buddy system. is a community of military and veteran families helping each other with our biggest relocation needs through trusted reviews. Help us help each other and submit your reviews today.  Together, we can truly make a difference!

PCSgrades Author: Sarah Hogan has been married to her Navy corpsman-turned-chaplain husband for twenty years.  She recently completed her Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration after a quick, 15-year stay-at-home mom gig between her junior and senior years of college.  She is currently working on her clinical hours to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.