Beach Badge

In Fun

My ancestors have owned a house in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, since the early 1900s, and I have been visiting it every summer since I was born. Most of my extended family on my dad’s side, including both of my grandparents, have roots in New Jersey, and I enjoy spending family time there each summer. My family loves the beach, and in order to be granted access to the Lavallette beach where we go, each person must purchase and wear a beach badge throughout the summer season. Beach badges are small, plastic, a different color each year, and they can attach to your swimsuit or any other fabric with a curved safety pin on the back. Every year new badges must be bought for the upcoming summer season, so we have accumulated quite a large collection of badges. This collection began in the 1940s by my great-grandparents and was most recently contributed to on June 17, 2018, when my parents purchased a few more in anticipation of friends joining us for some long weekends throughout the summer. My grandfather used to wear a bucket hat to the beach that displayed a variety of badges, new and old, which had been worn by four generations of my family. My parents, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunts and uncles, second cousins, and many more proudly wear the beach badges each year. Although the badge itself is simple, it represents unity and important family bonding time, and I hope that someday my children can be a part of the beach badge tradition!

Place(s): New Jersey
Year: 1940

– LK.

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more