Science, History, Pirates and More Homeschool Road Trip

We are so excited to bring our community together on a whole new level with a Homeschool Enrichment Activities Road Trip ♥ (HEART) ♥ with Hip Homeschool Moms!  Our first trip will be to Fort Caswell, NC, where we will experience science, history, pirates, and more! So much for that whole socialization myth! We can’t wait to take our first homeschool road trip with you!

When: August 21 – 25, 2016
Where: Fort Caswell on Oak Island, North Carolina
Total Amount Due: June 1, 2016 (You may be able to join us after that date, but will be based on room availability at Fort Caswell).

fort caswell oak island nc 3


[wc_googlemap title=”Fort Caswell” location=”100 Caswell Beach Road, Oak Island, NC 28465″ zoom=”10″ height=”250″ title_on_load=”no” class=””]



As you cross the bridge into Oak Island, you will drive right over one of North Carolina’s most diverse ecosystems, the estuary. Estuaries are areas where the river meets the sea, and they are “nurseries” for many plant, fish, and animal species. Fort Caswell is located on over 200 acres right on an estuary, surrounded by the Cape Fear River, Atlantic Ocean, and marshland. Because Fort Caswell sits on such a unique ecosystem, they offer an Environmental Program that focuses on giving students hands-on experience in an outdoor classroom.


FC MarshTeaching


Barrier Island ecosystem enrichment activities are available for students from K – 12th grade (but younger children are more than welcome to participate with their parents’ hands-on supervision). They will be getting their hands wet looking for crabs to study, capturing sea life in waves and viewing it under a microscope, and even kayaking up a tidal creek! Topics include Estuary Exploration, Tide and Dune Exploration, Marine Ecology, Water Quality, and Maritime History, not to mention a day trip over to Bald Head Lighthouse via a ferry and the evening bonfire with a pirate and s’mores! Here is our Fort Caswell agenda!!


fort caswell conference center


The Conference Center Rooms are closest to the cafeteria and are overlooking the ocean. These rooms include:

  • Two Double Beds
  • Mini Refrigerator
  • Wi-Fi
  • Towels and Linens

The Rooms Don’t include:

  • Microwaves
  • Coffee makers
  • Toiletries and supplies
  • Hair dryers

For larger families, you can bring inflatable mattresses to use on the floor (there are some cots for rent, but are very limited in numbers). Be sure to let us know so we should try to coordinate a larger room so you can have more floor space.

If you do need mini-kitchens, those accommodations are available as well… just let us know and we will help you coordinate those.


The accommodations at Fort Caswell are unique! Their lodging ranges from hotel-style rooms to stand-alone cottages as well as a motel with adjoining rooms and kitchenettes. Due to the variety in the type of accommodations they offer and their pricing structure, the actual price per family will depend on the number of parents and children attending. In order to help you get a pretty close ball park price, we have broken the prices down for you (but this price is not exact until all variables have been accounted for… but it is VERY close). Remember, these prices include accommodations, meals, and all group activities. YAY!!


1 adult; 1 child in one room $710
1 adult; 2 children in one room $880
1 adult; 3 children in one room $1055
1 adult; 4 children in one room $1230
2 adults; 1 child in one room $990
2 adults; 2 children in one room $1165
2 adults; 3 children in one room $1335
2 adults; 4 children in one room $1510
2 adults; 5 children in one room $1680


The price includes the registration fee, one hotel-style room per night, meals (dinner on Sunday, three full meals Monday – Wednesday, and breakfast on Thursday) and all group activities.

If you need an additional room, add $265 to the price.

Children aged 2-5 years old are only charged half-price meals.

Children under age 2 stay free.

Check in is after 4 p.m.; check out is before 10 a.m.

If you live in the area and are interested in being a day tripper, here is your price list.

1 adult; 1 child $465
1 adult; 2 children $655
1 adult; 3 children $850
1 adult; 4 children $1045
2 adults; 1 child $630
2 adults; 2 children $825
2 adults; 3 children $1020
2 adults; 4 children $1210

These numbers include daytripper fees charged by Fort Caswell, all meals on site, and activity fees.

FC Kayak

Recreation Available on Site

  • Indoor basketball gym
  • Outdoor volleyball
  • Softball
  • Tennis court
  • Fishing pier
  • Surf fishing
  • Mini-golf (18 holes)
  • Kayaks
  • Swimming pool with life guards (designated times)
  • Beach swimming with life guards (designated times)


Full meals will be provided from dinner on Sunday, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,  and breakfast on Thursday. If you have any food allergies or restrictions, please be sure to note those on your online registration form.  Here is a Fort Caswell Sample Menu.

Payments, Cancellations, and Refund Policies

Your deposit of $100 will be due by March 15th. We will offer a payment plan (1/3 due at the beginning of each month – April, May, and June), with the total balance being due before June 1st. Payments are refundable only if there is a family on the waiting list who is able to take your place. Deposits are non-refundable. We cannot make any changes or offer any refunds after June 15, 2016.

Note: We have a minimum number of families required – 25 families. Therefore, until we meet this minimum number, this trip will not be considered “confirmed”. Should we not reach our minimum number required, we will issue a full refund of payments. Also, we have a 100 maximum. So if you are interested, please be sure to get your deposit in. UPDATE!!! We have enough families now to say we are going! The minimum number has been met!!  

We will have a guest acknowledgement form from Fort Caswell as well as a release form for each family to sign. By your deposit payment, you acknowledge your understanding and agreement of the cancellation and refund policy.


  1. We have contacted a local homeschooling family who are professional photographers. They will be putting together a package deal for us to get family portraits on the beach!! I cannot wait! More details on that will be provided in the private group for attendees.
  2. We have added an extra day of advanced science available on Thursday if you want to stay over one additional day. This day will have two additional dissections and some experiments from Apologia’s Marine Biology. {aff}
  3. Also, we have negotiated with Fort Caswell for you and your family to be able to stay through Sunday (without activities). Fort Caswell has set aside some rooms for the same rate. They are in the Motel style accommodations (so they include a shared kitchenette), but they also have availability in the cottages as well (not the same price).You can just hang out on the beach or do the tourist thing. Wilmington NC has so much to offer! Here is Wilmington’s Visitors Guide if you want to check it out.

Ready to Register?

If you have any questions, please email us and we will be glad to help!! Be sure to put “Fort Caswell Questions” in your subject line.

The deposit will be $100. Remember we have a minimum of 25 families and a maximum of 100. So get your deposit in ASAP. First come, first served!!!

Once you have registered and paid your deposit, join our private HS Moms HEART Fort Caswell Group and let’s start getting to know each other before the trip! We are so excited to be able to really start making in real life friends with our community! We expect many life-long friendships will start right here at Fort Caswell! And that is the mission of these H.E.A.R.T. get togethers… to build community for families living the home education lifestyle! We can’t wait to meet you!!  ♥  ♥  ♥

[wc_button type=”primary” url=”https://hiphomeschoolmoms.com/ft-caswell-sign-up/” title=”Register for the Event” target=”self” position=”center”]Register Now[/wc_button]

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  1. Is there an option for no meals. My kids have a very restricted diet (gluten, dairy, corn and soy free). If so what would the price point be? Thanks! Melissa

  2. This is SO cool! We aren’t able to do it this year but I hope you’ll be doing more events like this. It sounds so fun.

  3. Can you post the non-meal prices? My daughter is also on a strict diet (whole food, no preservatives, nothing pre-packaged and wheat & corn free).

  4. Im wondering what the meals are? I have picky eaters so I can plan better if i Know what is being served

  5. This is such a great idea! I am hoping to make this possible. I have an older son getting married in June and that is seriously dipping into my hs funds. If I sign us up as 1 adult and then my husband is able to make it (this is a long shot), can we add him and pay the difference at that time?

  6. This looks amazing! It says there is an option for an extra day that uses Apologia science as the text. Is that text used for the entire session or just the extra day? I don’t know much about the text but I know some texts teach people and dinosaurs coexisted or that some of the fossil record is inaccurate. I realize that is very specific but I just want to be prepared.

    1. Leticia, we really won’t be getting that involved with the discussion. We are following the experiments and dissections (especially on Thursday). More than actually teaching much from the book. Hope that helps!

  7. I would also like the price with no meals, we will have to cook everything, due to my twins food allergies. I am able to sign up Monday and was wondering how to handle this. Thanks!

    1. Hey Jennifer! I’m so excited to hear that you are planning to attend!! We will get back with you this weekend with this information! ~Trish

  8. Hi. I would like to consider going with my 4 year old daughter. We would be flying out of Syracuse NY. So where would we fly to and should we rent a car or just have a taxi bring us to the hotel? Any extra details you can give me would be great. Thanks

    1. Hey Sarah!! The airport is in Wilmington NC. It is about 35 minutes from the airport. You could probably take a taxi or rent a car…. but we are on property for the entire week. So a rental car might be a waste since we don’t leave property. Let me know if you need any additional information.

      1. Ji was going g to ask if there is any tent camping options too? May e we can book a lot near your rv and daytrip too?

  9. I am so excited about this possibility for my family and I. I was wondering whether the curriculum would be mostly secular or if there is a religious component. If so, what would that be? Thanks.

    1. Hey Marjorie, There will be very little “how it began” conversation…. so that will take away some of the controversy. But if there will be a slant, it will be towards a religious perspective. Fort Caswell is a Baptist Retreat …

    1. We are, but not to Fort Caswell. We are still investigating and will share details soon. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you can get the details!! It was so much fun!

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