Lowcountry Weekly and the Friends of Hunting Island are pleased to present the third – and last – group of finalists in our Hunting Island Memories Essay Contest. In our next issue, we’ll announce the winners!  We’ll also tell you all about Hunting Island’s 75th anniversary celebration, happening August 2nd & 3rd.  Stay tuned!

Adult Category

July 4, 1994, a full moon.  Woke up about midnight, and decided to take another walk on the beach.
    People were gathered near the waters’ edge. Getting closer, I saw that it was something from the ocean, beached on the sand.  It was a huge stingray,  ten feet across.  It looked like an outer space creature, with two alien eyes on top, a deadly spine stretched out behind.
     “What’s wrong with it?  Is it dead? Kids and grownups alike were in awe.  It was making a few feeble gasps.  
    “It’s gonna die.”  “Must weigh a hundred pounds”, somebody said.  “It’s gotta get back in the water”. One man took charge: “Listen up.  No kids.  Just adults. Stay away from his spine, but let’s all try to grab hold and drag him back to the water”.
    A crowd of about twelve brave souls circled the stingray, and gingerly bent down to grab an edge of his glistening, gray body.  “OK, at the count of 3, . . .”
    The small brave circle each grabbed an edge, and gingerly picked up the monster, and backed up slowly and got it back to the water.  
    The stingray fluttered like a butterfly in bright moonlight.  It turned an iridescent silvery blue, fluttered again like a wave goodbye, then disappeared under the water.  The crowd was quiet for a few beats, then one by one, we started clapping.  Clapping for the stingray, clapping for the heroes, and clapping for a beautiful night at the beach.  

Mary Hope Roseneau


Youth Category

I see a lighthouse in the distance.
I walk inside to run up the spiral stairs
with my siblings close behind.
My legs begin to tire
but we’ve yet to reach the top.
With the steady rhythm
Of our feet tap-tapping on the stairs.
these never-ending stairs.
I walk out to the balcony of this towering
to see the ocean.
the waves softly crashing on the shore
and feel the breeze
its breath twisting our hair.
My siblings and I enjoy the sight,
but when the sun dives into the horizon
it is time to leave.
We rush down the spiral stairs.
Down, down, down,
the spiraling stairs.

Kira Murphy
7th Grade
Robert Smalls Middle School


Child Category (tie)

My favorite Hunting Island Memory was when I went camping with my dad and my brother. We played games, went to the beach and cooked food over a fire. I even tried two new foods – ramen noodles and beef jerky. I didn’t like them.
    It was fun being with my dad because he works a lot. I took a lot of pictures of him and my brother with my new camera. Setting up the tent was fun. I never did that before.
    My brother and I helped take it down, too, but it was harder because it was raining.
When I think about that trip I feel good inside. It will always be one of my favorite memories.

Connor Clancy
Age 9

I’ve been to Hunting Island so many times since  I was born, but my favorite memory was camping out with my dad and brother. At the camp grounds we stayed in a tent and played at the beach. The best part was staying up ate.
    We saw lots of wildlife while we played. It was very beautiful. I loved walking along the beach and watching the sunset. It was very peaceful and serene being there. I guess it was because there were no cars or other distractions.
    That is why I will always remember my experience at Hunting Island.

Tyler Clancy
Age 11