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Hot fun in the summertime - so what is a PMINJ member to do?  No monthly meeting, no speakers, no satellite locations, no symposium, no training - but New Jersey has its beaches, sand and history…

I’m sure most of us that went to the beach as a kid probably brought a toy pail and shovel to play in the sand, first thing that comes to mind is to build a sandcastle. Well, building a sandcastle or sand sculpture is not just for kids, adults also like to have their fun showing off their skills in shaping sand - not to mention project managers practicing their craft in planning and managing the sand castle build!

Sand sculpting is a form of entertainment in many beaches across the world, as sand artists profit from their work as tourists pose beside their picture-perfect sculptures. Around the globe, beach-side sculptors and architects have elevated the summer pastime of sandcastle-building into an incredible art form and feverishly compete.

But did you know that the first known profitable sand sculpture was built right here - in Atlantic City, during the late 19th century?  The first sand sculpture was created by Philip McCord in 1897 featuring a drowned mother and her baby in macabre form. During the late 1800’s spectators and passersby walking along the boardwalk would throw tips. Word spread that there was money in sand sculpting and many had ventured into the sand-building business on almost every block… to the point that it became a nuisance to the Atlantic City town fathers.

In 1944, a violent hurricane demolished Atlantic City's boardwalk and destroyed its sand dunes. The city government saw it as an opportunity to ban sand sculpting – a law that was in existence until 2014!

But by the late 1940’s, Americans started vacationing at the beach, and family sandcastle contests started to pop up on beach-side resorts in many towns along the east coast.  However, modern-day sand sculpting as we know it only came into its own during the 1970’s in California.  This was made possible by the Sand Sculptors International (SSI), a team formed by Todd Vander Pluym and Gerry Kirk.  SSI established the standards for sand sculpting.  Sand sculptors have SSI… project managers have PMI!

Today, most beach-side resort towns host at least one sandcastle contest – take a look at the nine contests in NJ for the month of July... and more planned in August!

So, no matter what you are planning, building or tracking this summer... be it a sandcastle, skyscraper, software application, or regulatory trial, you’ll always need a project plan.  Fun, work, or leisure… always remember the fundamentals! 

Enjoy a safe and happy summer!  Wherever you are, we are there with you.
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