#apachefamily #2


“Those things were a back-saver when my kids were babies. You hardly see anyone using that kind anymore,” I said to the petite brunette holding her baby son in a chest carrier.

“Oh, I know!” Victoria Larusch said.

And we began a chatty conversation about babies (She has 2 cutie pie boys), motherhood, the weather (Absolutely gorgeous that evening.), where she was from (Youngstown, Ohio) and if she had visited Apache Family Campground before.
The answer to that last question knocked my socks off.

“Our whole family has been coming here to Apache for 13 years.”

Wow. I love interviewing families like these. In my job, I am very fortunate to meet all sorts of people; those that walk in from the Ocean, Apache year-round residents, summer vacationers, guests, locals…

But I adore talking to the families.

Because they get it. They know why Apache is a summertime staple for so many. Their stories are truly fascinating. The appreciation that these groups have for Apache, the SC Grand Strand, and for each other is beautiful.

“We’ll be moving down here, no doubt about it,” said John Hoffman, boyfriend to Amanda Santiago. Amanda is the sister-in-law to Victoria.
“We love it down here.” Amanda said to me as we walked down the pier for a while.

Terry Gill, the family matriarch, told me with a twinkle in her eye, “We have so many great stories about our vacations here.”
“And we usually have about 18 or more in our group!” Amanda said.

Their 2013 group included Dave and Terry Gill, Frank and Victoria Larusch with their sons Jordan and Bentley, and Frank’s sister Amanda Santiago with her boyfriend John Hoffman.

As I gathered them together to take a picture, I asked if they wanted me to add anything to their interview. I could hardly keep up.
“It’s quiet and friendly and family-oriented.”

“I love the ladies at the Trading Post!”

“There is nowhere better to fish than at the Pier.”

“The ocean is great!”

“It is always nice to see some of the same faces year after year. They become like part of your family.”

And we thank you for being part of our #apachefamily, Larusch’s of Ohio.
See ya next year.

#apachefamily #1

L to R: Cecil Berrier, Ally Berrier, Skylar Berrier, Rocky Sidden, Tony Tollie, Susie Cecil Berrier. Seated: Kathy Tollie

L to R: Cecil Berrier, Ally Berrier, Skylar Berrier, Rocky Sidden, Tony Tollie, Susie Cecil Berrier. Seated: Kathy Tollie

“You guys have got it going ON at Apache. This might be our first visit here, but it won’t be our last,” said Cecil Berrier. “Everyone is SO nice, it seems like one big family working here. And the fishing has been awesome. I can’t believe we can camp in tents here, too!”

“I haven’t even left yet, but I can’t wait to get back!” said Rocky Sidden.

Meet the Cecil family of Welcome, NC. I met them on the Pier last night as they were releasing a 4 foot shark they had accidentally hooked. Susie Cecil Berrier saw my employee name tag and flagged me down. “We didn’t mean to pull it up! Are we gonna get in trouble?”

I giggled and assured her that it wasn’t the first shark pulled up yesterday and as long as they released it, they were certainly not in trouble.

We struck up a conversation about fishing, where they were from (Welcome, North Carolina), where they were staying on their vacation, Skylar, her granddaughter, and things like that. Although they were staying a little farther north, they were quick to tell me how they felt about Apache. “I am so happy we came here tonight!” said Ally Berrier, Susie’s daughter.

“I have fished in lots of places but this has been incredible tonight,” said Tony Tollie. “We have found our new vacation spot.”

I happened to be outside, filling the bait freezer, when they were leaving. “Y’all even have a shuttle? You mean you can give people a ride if they need it? Oh my goodness, we are coming back here!” said Kathy Toller.

I was so proud to belong to my Apache Family Campground family, just on behalf of the Cecils.

This is an Apache Family. Although they aren’t residents (yet!), the Cecils all vacation together, fish together, and enjoy just being together. They were a friendly bunch, just taking in the salt air and listening to the Party Favor Band. Life is easy and relaxed when you are at the beach and they all looked about 22 – except for Skylar, of course. Something about the atmosphere here just sets you at ease and lets you forget any stress waiting at home.

Cecils, we are so happy to have met you and can’t wait for you to get back. Thank you for being an #apachefamily!


What makes yours an Apache Family?

Have you been coming to Apache for years? Are you “break-of-day, every day” fishers? Does the entire campground recognize you by your golf cart?

Tell us about it! We are looking for families that embody what Apache Family Campground and Pier is all about. Submit your story in a tweet using the hashtag #apachefamily, tell us in a Facebook post on one of our pages, tag us in a Pinterest board, respond with a comment here or come by the Pier to see Charity. You and your family could be featured across our Social Media platforms!