Welcome to the Beach! This can be the best experience of your life. It’s a great way to goof off when done right. Here are some tips for first-timers.
Remember, you may find some beaches are more family beaches while others may be a little more party beaches, it all starts at the beach where everyone plays together. These tips evolve and are based on, to para-phrase the Bearded Villains, our dedication to: The Beach, Family, Charity, Respect and Loyalty.
Two things to remember when travelling to the Beach. First, a green flashing light on a car or truck signifies a volunteer firefighter. If the green light is flashing, they are on their way to an emergency, pull over to the side of the road and let the emergency vehicle pass.
Second, if you’re travelling in rural areas you will come across farm vehicles on the same road. These folks help feed us three times a day, please be patient, watch for signals and pass when it’s safe.
On to the fun stuff …
What should you bring with you? Here is a list of some basic things to take with you:
- Lots of sunscreen and use it,
- Beach towels,
- Lots of drinking water,
- Non-perishable snacks – watch the sand,
- A small bag for your garbage,
- An umbrella if possible in case there is no shade and you need some,
- A football or Frisbee to play catch with, How to throw a Frisbee in 8 steps
Interested in SCIENCE? The beach is a great place to get involved with Citizen Science by helping monitor water quality. Check out ways you can help here.
Basic beach etiquette … or “the rules of the Sand” as Mom & Dad would say.
Beaches attract crowds and when we’re all playing in the sandbox together, we have to follow basic etiquette to be sure we all enjoy our time in the sun and surf.
- IT’S PARTY TIME! … but don’t bother your neighbour. Nothing is better than having a party on the beach. Whether you’re meeting friends or family or hanging out with your honey, nothing beats goofing off in the sun on a beach together.
- This is a communal place, no one owns the beach so leave the music in the car or, if you have to have some tunes, don’t blast it. The majority of people don’t want to hear the music. If you want to have a loud party, find a place away from the crowd or go to a party beach. This way everyone can enjoy their themselves reading, napping or playing.
- Don’t run through other people’s space while playing catch. You have to respect the people around you.
- Beach drinking is best done with plastic glasses. Red Solo cup any one?
- Don’t be obnoxious.
- Don’t Crowd. Everyone likes their own space … especially at the beach. Don’t crowd a stranger. The beach is a first come, first serve place. If you want a great spot on the beach, get there early! Nobody likes it when you try to squeeze into a small space in a prime spot on a crowded beach. It’s like joining a table at a busy restaurant, you wouldn’t do it there, don’t do it here.
- Towel Placement … seriously. When placing your towel, look around. Don’t try to creep onto someone else’s spot.
- When you pack up, raise your towel carefully, slowly, and conscientiously. One of the worst things you can do at the beach is pick up a beach towel without thinking where the wind will send the sand from it … in your eyes, in your neighbour’s eyes, in their neighbour’s eyes – not cool. Always lift your towel slowly and shake it out downwind from others. The same goes for clothing and shoes which also collect sand.
- Be sure to pick up your garbage and take it with you when you leave. There is usually a garbage can near the entrance or in the parking lot.
- Don’t Dress to Impress. We come in all shapes and sizes as do our bathing suits. Some people want as much sun as possible and will wear just enough to avoid arrest. Don’t stare. If you’re looking for more than two seconds, you’re staring.
- Beach Skin Care. Use it throughout the day. No one wants to be reminded of what bad sunburn looks like so lather up!
- Don’t ignore warnings. Water is an amazing thing. Its power is constantly underestimated. If there are signs warning of riptides, strong currents or any other hazard, understand they are there to keep you and your fellow beach bums safe. Remember conditions change and what may look ideal now may not be in a few minutes.
- Beach Bathroom Etiquette. It is really isn’t cool to pee in the water. At the same time, it’s also not fun to pee in the questionably maintained port-a-potty on site and it’s never good to “hold it”. Before hitting the beach, figure out where the closest bathroom is … and use it! Remember, you can always go into a restaurant, buy a drink, sit in the air conditioning for a few minutes and then use their facilities when you leave or use the public facility at the beach. Do not allow your toddler to poop in the water (not a good idea to let your friends do it either). If you must pee in the water, be kind enough to do it away from the crowd.
- Don’t play among the crowds. Playing catch is heart fun and good exercise when you’re at the beach but it can be loud and intrusive for those who prefer to rest. Keep your games away from crowded areas where others are relaxing so you don’t wreck towels, kick sand at people or accidentally hit another beach bum.
- Don’t let your dog roam unattended. There is plenty of room for your dog to play at the beach but keep an eye them. Dogs can get caught in bad water just like we can. Always bring a leash for your dog and make sure that their tags are easy to see with your contact information. Here are a few suggestions from the “Daily Treat”:
- Choose a dog-friendly beach
- Teach your dog to swim
- Find fresh water and shade
- Steer clear of choppy water
- Watch what they drink
- Provide sun protection
- Look out for dangers in the sand
- Rinse their fur
- Pick up their poop
- Don’t feed the seagulls. Like all animals in their natural habitat, seagulls need to forage and stick to a natural diet. Yes, it’s fun to feed the birds but bread, fast food, and other human food can make them sick and lead to overcrowding in places that we visit, like beaches. As hard as it may be, don’t feed them – take your food with you and throw it out. The birds will be fine.
- Don’t leave behind trash. Yes, this should be pretty obvious but we’ve all seen someone leave their garbage or drop it as they walked away. Take a plastic bag with you to take out your garbage!