Spring Break Let-Down, Part 2

Published 7:00 am Friday, April 6, 2018

By Deborah Craig 

I began to scan the beach at the throngs of college students, as BeeGees music blasted from someone’s nearby transistor radio. And again, I was disconcerted to find nearly everyone on this beach was a various version of college females, ages 18 to 22, it seemed.The four of us were completely mystified. Where were the guys? At another beach, perhaps? After growing up watching “ Where the Boys Are” and the Beach Party movies, it was supposed to be the other way around! Five guys to every girl!

Later we asked the driver on the shuttle cart why there seemed to be a scarcity of young men on this island for spring break.

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“The American college boys have been so destructive,” he explained, “and cost the island’s hotels and resorts so much money in destroyed properties, that two years ago we voted to ban all-male college travel groups from any hotel or resort on the island.

The ones you do see here are guests of families or renting private cottages.”  Wow. We had no idea.

What a letdown! We spent the rest of the week, however, enjoying our friendships, the warm blue sea and sky, swimming, reading and talking; accepting the fact we’d have no stories of beach party romances when we returned home.  One exception was our college’s invitation to a British Royal Navy Sub’s officers’ party one night.  It was fun, as well as carefully (and thankfully) chaperoned by several older British couples living on the base, including the rector. (Bermuda is a British Crown Colony.) We returned home well-rested and happy, even without the stories of meeting guys and romance.

And each year, when I read or see in the news, reports of male college students in Cancun or Fort Lauderdale, jumping off hotel balconies, punching holes in hotel room walls, or pouring beer down a sea turtle’s throat (which killed it), I wonder how much longer these resorts will endure this before they too ban them as Bermuda did over 40 years ago.   My own two children thankfully never even gave a thought to a college spring break trip. Growing up in a mild climate did not propel the need for a week in a warm beach paradise.

They enjoyed the time off with friends, going to movies, or a day on the coast, in New Orleans, or to Gulf Shores with a friend’s family for a few days, something they’ve done since childhood. But more importantly, I was happy to see that the “Animal House” spring break antics of thousands of college students had no appeal for either one of them: a break was not for breaking or destroying, but for relaxing and welcoming spring.