Part of living in a democratic society is that we also help contribute to the health, well-being and justice of the communities we live in. And as part of this comes a responsibility to also participate periodically in the social responsibility known as Jury Duty – where we give up part of our daily lives to the service of the community, in helping to determine justice for those amongst us. Another responsibility that is not as well-known, but also just as important, is that of Beach Inspection. This duty is very similar to that of Jury Duty, however only a select few will ever get called to this duty – it is totally random, and once chosen you do not have the liberty of backing out. You must serve!
Service typically means going through extensive background searches, removal of all known metal devices from your clothing – removal of shoes and even sometimes a manual pat down even after going through screening devices, all to make sure that you pose no threat whatsoever to the local environment of the beaches that you have been chosen to protect. Also, you have no real jurisdiction over where you must serve in this inspection process – it could well be in the upper coastline of Maine, along the shores of California, or in our case – along some beautiful stretch of Kiawah Island in South Carolina!
Once you arrive – you are shepherded into a community nearby the beach itself. Often times there are bathing pools in these compounds so that you can cleanse your body and soothe your mind after working all day. Your role is to basically walk up and down the beach to inspect the sand and all of the materials you may find on the beach – such as shells, crabs and such, and determine if in fact they are authentic. Have they been there since the beginning of time, or were they in fact bogus. This can be hard, especially when you do not have a great deal of experience, and that is why these assignments often take a full week to fulfill. When completed though, you can return home feeling genuinely refreshed knowing the impact the past week has had on your soul… or oops, did I mean the beaches? Well, either way, I think you get the idea that this is an awesome responsibility and one that must be taken seriously. Really!
And oh by the way, if I had not mentioned already, I happen to be on vacation this week and since it was also my regular time to blog I needed to come up with something! It is important to take some time away from work periodically and do something just to unwind – such as some creative writing and walking on the beach!
When is your next beach inspection scheduled?