Nestled in the Northwest Hills of St. Croix’s rainforest, the Mount Victory Camp homestead was designed to incorporate the beauty of the lush, natural surroundings. While you will find bungalows and dwellings tucked around the property, they are interspersed amongst the property’s beautiful fruit trees, native plants, flowers, vegetable and herb gardens, and historic ruins.
In order to be eco-friendly, and to use as many local resources as possible, the camp dwellings were constructed from wood harvested from the island’s fallen or dying trees. Bruce Wilson, the founder of Mount Victory Camp, explained:
‘It’s not easy to construct buildings in a sustainable way in the tropics. Termites are the reason why all building is done with arsenic treated pine or masonry blocks. I wanted to build the camp, as much as possible, from local, natural, untreated materials: a healthy and aesthetic choice.’
And that he did! Even the beds for the camp were built in a rustic arts and crafts style with locally sourced, knotty teak boards. The bungalows are ‘more craft than carpentry’, but they express the joy of wood and the beauty of nature, while capturing the cool Caribbean breezes, and putting you at one with nature.
While this is an eco lodge, you will still have many of the comforts of home. You can cook your own meals using the camp’s propane stove, cookware, dishes, and silverware. There’s also a community pavilion with a kitchen and bar including a fridge, a propane stove and a sink, and there’s plenty of seating areas and lighting in and around the pavilion for the evening time. Mount Victory also offer free Wi-Fi for their guests in the pavilion, as well as various other hotspots around the property. There are also multiple fire pits for campfire cooking, or just sitting around the fire with friends. Last, but certainly not least, there are several hammocks strung amongst the trees inviting you to take an afternoon siesta.
With the exception of The Schoolhouse Apartment, the bungalows and tent campers share a community bathhouse. The bathhouse toilet and shower facilities are kept clean, and offer plenty of hot and cold running water. Also eco-friendly, the bathhouse produces hot water from a solar thermal flat plate collector, and the low-flow shower heads mean you can relax in a nice hot, open-air shower after a long day in the tropical sun.
Looking for something a little more private and comfortable than a standard bungalow or tent? The Schoolhouse Apartment offers a private bathroom, a sofa, table and chairs, as well as an efficiency kitchen stocked with the basics. The apartment situated amongst the Mount Victory schoolhouse ruins (built in 1841), is built from the massive West Indian Almond and Mahogany trees, and incorporates the walls of the old schoolhouse. Additionally, it has a back door with steps that go down into the ruins where you can mingle with the camp’s red-footed land tortoises, a successful captive-breeding program that has been running for two decades.
In addition to the unique lodgings, Mount Victory Camp is the only place on St. Croix that currently offers tent camping. Already have a place to stay, but want to commune with nature? This is the perfect place to spend the night.
Camp owners, Carmen and Matt Corradino are instructors in primitive skills at Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracking, Nature, and Wilderness Survival School. They offer workshops in a variety of nature studies and primitive skills, including: wild plant identification and their uses, basket weaving, bowmaking, primitive fire by friction, basket weaving, naturalist studies, and rope and cord making from natural fibers. You can sign up for one of their scheduled workshops, or schedule a private workshop for a small group. Hiking trails can also be found at Mount Victory, and guided hikes are also available upon request.
Even if you don’t consider yourself the ‘camping type’, I highly recommend a trip out to Mount Victory Camp. Take a stroll around their beautiful grounds, take a hike along one of their trails, or partake in a wilderness skills workshop and learn something new. No matter what you choose, Carmen and Matt will make you feel at home and renew your appreciation for the beauty of St. Croix and it’s natural landscape.
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