In just a few days, I’ll be headed to Turks and Caicos with the entire family for the 2015 Social Media on the Sand Conference! To say I’m excited is surely an understatement! What better way to fuse family vacation, personal/business development than a beautiful Caribbean location like Turks and Caicos. If you’re hearing about this for the first time and wondering how you missed it, trust me, I felt the same way when I first heard about it back in April.
I’m a blogger ambassador for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and back in April I met other blogger ambassadors, one being Maria of MamaliciousMaria.com. She attended Social Media on the Sand last year and could not say enough great things about it. She really had me at Beaches Resort (hello all-inclusive and luxury), and Turks and Caicos! But it’s not your normal conference where you can log onto the site and register to attend. This conference is exclusive in that it is an invitation-only event. You also have to submit an application in order to be considered.
As SOON as I got wind, I immediately went on the website, applied and then started tweeting and
inserting myself joining in conversations on Twitter using #BeachesMoms. If there were blog posts or articles shared about last year’s event, I read them, shared them and thanked whoever shared. They gave me even more insight and confirmation as to why I had to be on that invitation list this year.
From Social Media on the Sand website:
“Beaches Resorts Social Media on the Sand is an invitation-only social media conference hosted by Beaches Resorts. Through the weekend, attendees sharpen their social media skills during this immersive and completely unique event through inspiring and empowering sessions, while connecting in the Caribbean and creating unforgettable memories amid an incredibly beautiful island setting.”
Once I heard about it, I told my husband that this is how we would celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. If you’ve followed me long enough, you know that I am all about speaking into existence what I want, and those things that I may not know how they’re going to happen, but it’s just a matter of when they will happen. In my mind, it was the perfect opportunity to mix two things I love: my family and my work. To top it off, two out of three of our kids also had birthdays in September, so it was going to be extra special to get invited. And trust me when I tell you, it felt like Christmas when I woke up to an e-mail that said, “You’re Invited: Beaches Resorts Social Media on the Sand“.
Spilled the beans on #Periscope last night that I got the invite to join the #BeachesMoms family! We are heading to #TurksAndCaicos in October for Social Media on the Sand! Check out my replay (and give some 💜💚💙❤️💛😉) to see why getting this invite was powerful! Hubby and I get to celebrate our 10 yr anniversary in style 🙌🏿 Can’t wait to join other fab bloggers and social media influencers in the Caribbean 😁 #BeachesDads #blogger #bloggerlife #SocialMediaOnTheSand
And while I knew it would be special, I’ve been moved to tears with just how absolutely amazing it is to be a part of the #BeachesMoms family…and we haven’t even left home yet. From the private Facebook group where we get to engage and interact with other attendees ahead of time, to the surprise packages that have shown up on our doorstep several times…I am at a loss for words.
In addition, I love organizations that make giving back a big part of what they do, and Beaches Resorts is doing just that with the Sandals Foundation. The Sandals Foundation is the philanthropic arm to Sandals Resorts International and has impacted 98 schools across the region with a variety of programs and initiatives. As attendees, we were invited to attend a local school in Turks and Caicos and participate in a wide variety of activities geared towards improving reading, listening and comprehension skills. We were also asked to “pack for a purpose”, and bring school supplies with us to donate to the local children. Check out how I used this as a teaching moment for my kids.
I spent the afternoon shopping for school supplies and backpacks for the local children of #TurksAndCaicos for the @SandalsFdn, @packforapurpose & @scholasticinc, along with my kiddos. The whole time they kept asking if they could get “this and that”. I explained to them we were buying these things for kids who were less fortunate when we go on our trip (which is still a surprise as to where we’re going). They then got excited about what we should get. Even after going to three different stores, they didn’t whine or complain about not getting anything. When we got home, there were three packages waiting for them from @leapfrogofficial and @beachesresorts with their names on them. I was able to use it as a teaching moment: when you bless others, God will bless you in return. THANK YOU for putting a smile on my kids’ faces and for helping to make their first real plane ride a fun & entertaining one! #LeapPadPlatinum #BeachesMoms #BeachesDads #momsncharge #SocialMediaOnTheSand #SharePossible A photo posted by Christine St.Vil (@momsncharge) on
I am beyond grateful that we get to give our kids this experience. They’ve never been on a plane ride they can remember (my youngest has never been on a plane). Every time I come home from a trip, they ask when they will be going on a plane ride with me? Little do they know, that moment is only days away. Being able to give our kids the experience of their lives on our own terms means the world to me. I can’t think of a better first stamp on their passports than this trip to Turks and Caicos.
While this may be a conference, they set aside plenty of time for fun and family time. My family and I were fortunate enough to get an invited to the limited seated Sesame Street Breakfast while we’re there. And I heard that these characters can dance! I’m not sure what other surprises are in store for us, but something tells me it’s going to be awesome. I am more than ready to take it all in. And the family is too.
Below is a highlight video from last year’s Social Media on the Sand.
If you’re interested in being considered, you can apply here.
Click here to check out all of the amazing conference partners who have been helping Beaches Resorts to spoil us rotten.
You can also check out the following blog posts from past attendees:
Socamom (free scavenger hunt printable)
What say you? Have you been to Turks and Caicos? What would be the thing you would look most forward to if attending?