A sense of security sits high on the list of why people choose to live on Callawassie Island, and it enriches the life we enjoy here. Security is the sense that makes it all possible. The warmth, balance, and connection of life here arise from our ability to relax. We know that our families, our loved ones, and our homes are enfolded in an environment that is as protected as it is beautiful.
The environment itself provides the first, most distinctive element in our sense of security. The approach to our island, across the causeway, inspired with its beauty the decision of many of our neighbors to live here. This view also dramatically demonstrates a key factor in our sense of security. There’s one way in, and one way out. Enfolded by tidal waters, Callawassie Island has a natural blockade against intrusion. No medieval moat was ever so lovely, nor so effective.
Security Director Vaughn Holland came to Callawassie Island 25 years ago after serving six years as a military police officer in the Marine Corps and three years in New York City overseeing homes for at-risk boys age 12 to 18. The resulting talent for continual awareness is one of the gifts Maj. Holland has shared with Callawassie Island every day for a quarter-century, now ably assisted by Capt. Athis and Lt. Black. In fact, most of our security contingent on Callawassie Island have backgrounds in the military, or as deputy sheriffs.
“People get along here,” Maj. Holland said, greatly reducing some of the conventional challenges to security. Nevertheless, part of the security assessment Maj. Holland provides is to be continually conscious of characteristics that are special to our island. “A lot of our residents phase-in to making their home here,” Maj. Holland explained. Progressing from lot ownership, to building, to seasonal residence, to full-time home, the types of protection that are called for may be different at each stage.
Controlling access to Callawassie Island is a key that each of these phases has in common. Contractors, for example, are checked in and out of the Island during specified times of day, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 9 to 5 on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays and holidays.
The wider variety of families and households on Callawassie Island is another facet of Maj. Holland’s awareness. “Years ago we saw mainly retired folks,” he said. “Now we see families with children more and more.”
“As soon as we crossed the causeway, we knew we’d found something different,” said Doug Creveling, who moved here with wife Rachel in 2016. “We knew South Florida was not our final home. We were looking for a place to start a family.” Doug and Rachel explored property all the way up the coast to Charleston and discovered Callawassie Island on the way. Both golfers, they settled first on Spring Island Drive.
“When you have a child, your priorities change,” Doug said. They moved within Callawassie Island to Tabby Point in the fall of 2018, when their son, Evans arrived.
If security is the subject, then freedom is the benefit. In this case, the freedom to play outdoors worry-free made Callawassie Island the right place for Doug and Rachel and Evans. But what about the extended family, the generations that give a life its broad perspective? The magnetism of Callawassie Island plays a powerful role in completing that picture for several families here.
“My parents moved here a year-and-a-half after we did,” Doug shared. “They visited six months after Rachel and I settled here,” he said, “and they moved within a year.” This is a story with several echoes among the families of Callawassie Island, and not the only one in which the decision was swift.
Doug and Rachel left friends behind when they moved to Callawassie Island, but even that dimension had an immediate payoff. “If you are willing, people are friendlier here,” Doug said. “We made an effort to get to know our neighbors, and within a month we had more friends here than in South Florida.” The new member orientation and variety of social events made this easy for Rachel and Doug. They value especially the monthly casual evening of hors d’oeuvres and “wine-down” at the Club.
Property Owners Association President Cliff Dykes sees a solid connection between the warmth of friendships on Callawassie Island and the security we enjoy here. “People you can depend on, who are there to support you, is a big part of it, Cliff said. “I was in a store the other day, and I noticed the incredible variety of home-security devices that people seem to buy. It doesn’t cross our mind that we would have to go to a level of shopping out high-security home devices here,” Cliff said.
When people feel this secure, it makes a style of life possible that people off-island can only dream about. “It provides a level of freedom,” Cliff said. “I remember getting a call from a neighbor who needed a couple of eggs for a recipe. I was away from the house and said, ‘Just let yourself in and get them out of the refrigerator.’”
“When we’re travelling we know we can ask a neighbor to stop by and check on things,” Cliff said. “We do the same when they’re away. Some of our neighbors like our dog almost as much as we do,” Cliff said. “Now and then they just stop in and take Bear for a walk.”
“The freedom it gives us for our grandchildren, in the summer when they can come and go visiting friends, is great,” Cliff said, “Worrying about their coming and going is not something we concern ourselves with. They appreciate that, and really find it attractive. Our grandchildren stay in touch with their Callawassie Island friends through the year on social media, and look forward to coming back. Anything that attracts the children and grandchildren is really valuable to us.”
“We’ve begun to attract young families,” Cliff said, and security is certainly a factor in bringing younger residents to Callawassie Island. “For our older residents, the nearness of the fire station, and EMTs just beyond the gate is reassuring. And we have some residents who still travel a good deal on business,” Cliff pointed out. “One of them told me he feels better about being away from his wife and kids, because of the security we have here on Callawassie Island.”
Residents from every chapter of life have good reason to value the sense of security they find here. It is something we provide, and something we share with each other, and something we are grateful for – a part of the satisfaction we enjoy that is uniquely Callawassie Island.
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