Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Smyrna, SC

Home Care Smyrna, SC

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Historic Downtown Smyrna gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Smyrna, SC is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Smyrna, SC

location Service Areas

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Phil Davidson and his staff provides the best service around in the York County area...Very professional and they truly care about their clients...I highly recommend Always Best Care of Rock Hill”

Will J.

“Looking for a loving and caring place for a parent, grandparent or any loved one? Look no further than Phil and his team at Always Best Care of Rock Hill!”

Tamaya M.

“I have enjoyed working with Always Best. They are informative and helpful. When I need to schedule care, they are very responsive. Definitely a good choice in companion care.”


“Always willing to help”

Christine B.

“I have worked for many agencies as a CNA. Always Best Care of Rock Hill, SC is by far the best! They treat their clients and caregivers with generosity and compassion. They go "above and beyond" in every area. You can't go wrong with them.”

Loretta B.

“They gave my mother the most wonderful, loving care. They were very accommodating when we needed to make changes in the schedule. After dealing with two other agencies I wish I had gone with them from the start. They deserve a 10!”

Bobbie S.

“New Employee & I’m loving it already”

Sonda P.

“Needed care for my mother with dementia, and father with medical issues. The team at Always Best Care were very responsive to our needs for 24/7 care for about 8 weeks. They try hard to have the same caregivers come to the house for continuity of care. The family really appreciated Phil's assistance with placing my parents in Assisted Living. His knowledge of the local York County homes was invaluable to placing my parents in a welcoming environment. I would highly recommend Always Best Care to help with senior care!”

Mary E.

“I have had the best support from a caring and supporting staff over the past year. The AMAZING part is that I live in CA and they're providing these services in Rock Hill. When I have any questions they are quick to get my answer back in a timely manner.”

James G.

“I could probably say that I was a past client of this provider, but because I continue to receive words of encouragement and advise from them, I still claim the current client status. Their help with my mother that was provided while she was at home was fantastic. They also have helped guide us through hospital and rehab stays. I would have to give them a 5 star rating and honestly can not think of one thing that went wrong on their part while we used their care The Caregiver was excellent. I wholeheartedly would recommend Always Best Care to anyone that finds themselves needing a caregiver to come along beside them.”


“Always willing to help”

Christine G.

“We're using Always Best Care for my parents. They're fantastic. The caregivers are professional, courteous, entertaining, and accommodating. They mainly provide medication management and companionship. I feel like they give personal touches, and there's a certain professionalism to them that other agencies I contacted didn't have.”


“Excellent care was given to my mother. Thank you for being there when we needed you.”

Robin J.

“Always Best Care has been providing care givers for my 91 year old father for more than 2 years now. I have been happy with their staff. My father is cared for with love and dignity and with their help I've been able to keep him in my home.”

Laura A.

“Always Best Care service was very helpful in locating an assisted living facility for my Mother. Very professional and I would use them again.”


“It was time to consider alternative living arrangements for my mom. She was living on her own in a single-family home that she loved. She was in need of assistance with daily household chores, driving, and managing daily functions. I was given Phil Davidson's name from a social worker. He explained that Phil (and his company Always Best Care), may be a good resource for me and my mom. We began with some in home care (3-5 days a week). Phil met my mom, established a great working relationship with her, and had one of his staff members become my mom's in home caregiver. Phil took the time to get to know my mom and aligned her needs and personality with the right person to help her. Eventually we needed to look for an Assisted Living community. Phil was there to guide us. He arranged meetings with a variety of communities and toured with them with us. Phil knew the right questions to ask and always kept my mom's wishes on his checklist. I especially liked that Phil does not get paid by us, but rather by the facility that we ended up choosing. Phil and his staff were great to work with. Exceptionally professional and understanding of my mom.”

Rich S.

“I had a wonderful experience using Always Best Care Senior Services! The owner, Phil Davidson, along with our wonderful caregiver, Sarah , came to my house so that I could meet them and get to know them before my parents moved in with my family for several months! As we sat discussing our plan of care, I got the feeling they would treat my parents like part of their family! And they sure did! Sarah was kind, patient and very knowledgeable with my parents and their medical issues. Sarah was so helpful to me and my family! I would not have been able to make it through those months without her! I felt at ease and had no worries when I was at work, or having some ME time! I knew my parents were in caring and trustworthy hands! So, I would highly recommend Always Best Care senior Services!!”

Stephanie C.

“Phil, I just wanted to recount to you what my Mother told me on the phone this morning about your employee, and my parent's caretaker, Vicky Jo. Vicky Jo started with my parents in March of 2012, during a very difficult time. My father had fallen and broken his neck, on top of coping with Parkinson's. My mother took care of him, as well as their home and while we could help some, the day to day chores took a toll on her. We were afraid we were going to lose her health as well. In a huge stroke of luck, we were able to find a two-bedroom apartment at Chandler Place which would provide meals and emergency response services, alleviating a good bit of my mom's responsibilities and stress. In an even bigger stroke of luck, we began using Vicky Jo two hours every morning to help my father with bathing and dressing. In the months that followed, Vicky Jo has not only provided physical support, but significant moral support to both my parents. She is very capable, upbeat and genuine. My mother is absolutely devoted to her and feels she can trust her with anything. We couldn't be more grateful for her, and for you as well for providing her to us. I also want to take a moment to thank you, as you have gone above and beyond in your interaction and care of my parents. I can tell you truly care about my folks and their well being and it is such an amazing thing to see in this day and age when everything seems like it is only about the money. Blessing to you and your business. I know that you will be a God Send to other families as well and I wish you the best. Please know that if you are ever in need of a referral, I would be delighted to provide one for you.”

Barbara S.

“It is a pleasure doing business with a professional and ethical company”

Kristen B.

“Phil, We so love Sara and are very appreciative for the way you run your business. You really stand out in an industry and a time when people just go through the motions. You are a very special man and I pray that you will be very successful in your business.”

Karissa L.

“Thank you and your team for providing the great help and assistance during this summer. The care givers that we had were excellent and very professional. Thanks for being so flexible with the scheduling.”

John R.

“Dear Phil, "We would like to thank you and your staff for providing such wonderful live-in care for our Grandfather from June through October 2013. Our family found ourselves in the most unimaginable situation when our Grandmother was unexpectedly hospitalized in late May and ultimately passed away in June. As you know, she was the sole caregiver for our Grandfather who has severe Alzheimer's disease. We are so very fortunate that we discovered your agency! You were able to promptly place qualified caregivers in his home and this gave our family immediate peace of mind. The level of care and compassion that you and your caregivers demonstrated toward our Grandfather is more than we ever anticipated and we will be forever grateful. You all walked with him through the terrible tragedy of losing his wife of 67 years. You and your staff provided extraordinary physical and emotional care for him through his grief and made getting him back to a "normal" life your top priority upon her death. In addition to the care you all provided my Grandfather, you were so kind to help educate us on the progression of Alzheimer's. You were a wonderful resource to us on what to expect in the next phases of this disease and help us plan for long-term care for him. While we are very sad to have to place him in a memory care-assisted living facility, we made the decision knowing that this will be the best place for him as he ages and his disease worsens. Your guidance and expertise in helping us choose the right facility for him helped make this daunting task bearable. Thank you again for all that you have done for our grandfather and for our family! We will be forever grateful!”

Ashley S.

“Phil, We so love Sara and are very appreciative for the way you run your business. You really stand out in an industry and a time when people just go through the motions. You are a very special man and I pray that you will be very successful in your business.”

K L.

“Dear Phil, Thank you and your team for providing the great help and assistance during this summer. The care givers that we had were excellent and very professional. Thanks for being so flexible with the scheduling.”

John A.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Smyrna, SC?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Smyrna, SC

Types of Elderly Care in Smyrna, SC

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Smyrna, SC
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Smyrna, SC
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Jonquil Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Smyrna, SC
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Mezza Luna Pasta and Seafood or visit Battle of Ruff's Mill, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Smyrna, SC

Benefits of Home Care in Smyrna, SC

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Smyrna, SC, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Smyrna, SC

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your SC's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Smyrna, SC

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Smyrna, SC understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Smyrna, SC

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Smyrna, SC

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Woodland Ridge Assisted Living
  • The Cambridge - Assisted Living & Memory Care
  • Smyrna Village Memory Care Community
  • Delmar Gardens of Smyrna
  • Twin Oaks
  • Charter Senior Living of Vinings
Home Care Smyrna, SC

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Smyrna, SC

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Smyrna, SC 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Smyrna, SC

Latest News in Smyrna, SC

There’s a new campground proposal in York County. How it fits into a growing trend

A York County campground reborn could add yet another new outdoor option to the area.The owner of 20 acres at 787 Woodland Park Road in Smyrna wants to develop the property into a 40-site campground. It would include RV camping. The site is more than a mile east of the town, off S.C. 5.The county zoning board of appeals will hear the case Thursday. The property needs a special exception from that ...

A York County campground reborn could add yet another new outdoor option to the area.

The owner of 20 acres at 787 Woodland Park Road in Smyrna wants to develop the property into a 40-site campground. It would include RV camping. The site is more than a mile east of the town, off S.C. 5.

The county zoning board of appeals will hear the case Thursday. The property needs a special exception from that board to allow the campground, but it’s not the first time the site has been a camping destination.

The property was an active campground in the 1990s known as Woodlands Campground. Structures there date back to the 1970s, according to county land records. By early 2000, the campground was closed, but the site still has much of what supported 45 campsites there. There’s a concrete swimming pool, two bathhouses, an acre pond and other buildings.

Marcus Clayton acquired the property about three years ago from the late, long-time owner who ran the camp property.

“We’re just trying to get the baby back up to what she used to be,” Clayton said. “There’s a lot of memories out there. We want to get it back to something that people can enjoy like they used to.”

Clayton’s family went to the campground in its earlier years.

“Just an old diamond in the rough,” Clayton said.

In late 2020, Clayton had some friends over for camping and took some reservations but got more feedback and support than he expected. Social media blew up, Clayton said.

“We quit posting when we figured out we had more stuff to do with the county,” Clayton said.

If the decision Thursday goes his way, Clayton intends to move toward reopening and expanding the site in full. Somewhere for parents and kids to play and unplug, he said.

“There’s not a whole lot of room for that anymore,” Clayton said.

The new plan for Woodland Park Campground involves additional RV space as part of 40 total spaces. A site plan for the project shows 17 sites with a bathhouse just off Woodland Park Road before the internal drive splits in several directions to access the remaining camp sites, parking and a swimming pool. There’s a private residence on the southeast portion of the site. There’s a pond and pavilion to the southwest.

Between the residence and the pond there’s an area marked future expansion. The expansion area is 7 acres.

The Rock Hill region has long-established camping options from Ebenezer Park in Rock Hill to the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill to state parks like Andrew Jackson State Park in Lancaster, Chester State Park and Landsford Canal State Park in Chester County and Kings Mountain State Park in York County.

There also are new or planned additions. There’s recent and coming work at Ebenezer to upgrade and expand its camp offerings. York County also has Allison Creek Park set to add camping on Lake Wylie and the massive Catawba Bend Preserve coming along the Catawba River.

Last fall, a property owner with 78 acres in southwestern Lancaster County, near the Chester County line, applied to build a campground with 166 sites, a dog park and more off Cedar Creek Road.

This spring, the owner of 335 acres on Kendelwood Drive in Lancaster County applied to build a Christian campground on about 20 acres. It would include an activity center with bus parking, and a chapel.

This story was originally published August 7, 2023, 12:49 PM.

Shark bites South Carolina surfer's face at popular Florida beach, officials say

A surf session at a Florida beach went horrifyingly wrong after a boarder from South Carolina was bitten in the face by a shark, officials said.Volusia Beach Safety officials confirmed to ...

A surf session at a Florida beach went horrifyingly wrong after a boarder from South Carolina was bitten in the face by a shark, officials said.

Volusia Beach Safety officials confirmed to FOX 35 Orlando that a 38-year-old Mark Sumsersett was bitten in the face at the popular New Smyrna beach, which is east of Orlando at approximately 7:50 a.m. Tuesday.

The 38-year-old visitor from South Carolina, who is an avid surfer, told FOX 35 Orlando that the bite felt like a "bear trap closing in" on him.

"I got bit when I was a little kid by a dog, and it kind of felt like that, but like a bear trap closing in on me," Sumsersett told FOX 35 Orlando.

Sumsersett shared the graphic details of his attack, saying that he was in the water and about to jump back on his board when he felt something bit his face.


The visitor was attacked on the right side of his face directly above his cheek, officials said. He told FOX 35 and officials that he didn't get a chance to spot the predator.

"It was definitely a fight or flight situation," he said.

A woman on shore helped him call 911 and get to the hospital.

"I was like, ‘What do you do?’" he said. "You don't know what to do when a shark bites you. This doesn't happen this often.

At the hospital, doctors gave the shark attack survivor over two dozens stitches along his cheek and chin.

He told FOX 35 that he's "grateful" to be alive and that God has a reason for his life.

"God has a reason for me to be here. And that's to help other people on this earth," he said. "I'm just so grateful."


This incident is the latest shark bite on New Smyrna Beach with two people being bitten over Labor Day weekend.

A 37-year-old woman from Apopka was bitten on her right foot while in shallow waters on Ponce Inlet, Volusia County Beach Safety confirmed to FOX 35. She was playing in waist-deep water at the time of the attack, but reported that she did not see the shark that bit her.

((Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images))

The second holiday victim was identified as a man in his 30s, who was bit by a shark near the Ponce Inlet Jetty.

He was reportedly bitten on his left hand, but refused medical attention at the scene and took himself to the hospital.


Fox News Digital's Pilar Arias contributed to this report.

South Carolina Man Recalls Moment He Was Bitten in the Face by Shark: 'I Heard the Crunch'

A South Carolina surfer who was bitten in the face by a shark at a Florida beach says the encounter was “the scariest thing” he’s ever experienced.Mark Sumersett, 38, was surfing at New Smyrna Beach — which has been called the "shark bite capital of the world&mdas...

A South Carolina surfer who was bitten in the face by a shark at a Florida beach says the encounter was “the scariest thing” he’s ever experienced.

Mark Sumersett, 38, was surfing at New Smyrna Beach which has been called the "shark bite capital of the worldon Tuesday when the shark latched onto his face, according to an incident from Volusia County Beach Safety obtained by PEOPLE.

The surfer told NBC affiliate WESH that he didn’t see the shark before it bit him while he rode a wave near the jetty.

Man Dies, Another Found Floating Face Down in Separate Incidents at Fla. Beach Over an Hour Apart

“It was like a crunch,” Sumersett said. “I heard the crunch. It felt like a bear trap crunching on my face.”

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“I thought that sucker was going to come back for me,” the South Carolina man added. “I thought he was ‘cause I was bleeding so bad.”

The surfer was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center, a level-two trauma center, and released a short time later, per a previous WESH report.

How to Prevent a Shark Attack and What to Do If Bitten? An American Lifeguard Association Expert Weighs In

The surfer sustained injuries to the right side of his face, which took about 20 stitches to close, according to the outlet. The shark also left marks at the bottom of the left side of his face, as well.

But this incident has not deterred the man from getting back on his surfboard.

Connecticut Man Is Third Drowning Death This Week Off North Carolina's Outer Banks Coast

“I'm going surfing again. Because I love it,” he told the station. “There's nothing in the world that makes me feel better than surfing.”

However, nothing in his life has compared to the fear he faced during the attack. “I've been in bad car accidents,” he said. “Nothing like this.”

The incident is the seventh shark attack in the area this year, according to CBS affiliate WKMG-TV, The Daytona Beach News-Journal and WESH.

Man bitten in face in 'Shark Bite Capital' New Smyrna Beach Florida. Here's what we know.

This makes seven shark bites in Volusia County so far this yearA surfer coming off a wave Tuesday morning was bitten in the face by a shark, according to Beach Safety Ocean Rescue officials in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.This makes ...

This makes seven shark bites in Volusia County so far this year

A surfer coming off a wave Tuesday morning was bitten in the face by a shark, according to Beach Safety Ocean Rescue officials in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

This makes seven shark bites in Volusia County so far in 2023.

Here's what we know.

Who was bitten in the face by a shark in Florida?

Mark Summerset, 38, of South Carolina, was surfing at the New Smyrna Beach jetty, a popular place for both surfing and shark bites, when he jumped off his board after a wave around 7:50 a.m., according to Ocean Rescue Capt. Alex Miller. Summerset said he saw a marine animal underwater that nipped at his face, Miller said.

What kind of shark bit the man in the face?

Unclear. "He did not see what it was but the assumption was that it was a shark," Miller said.

Surfers on the beach told local media they had seen spinner sharks in the area that morning.

How badly was the man bitten in the face by a shark injured?

Summerset suffered about a 2-inch laceration above his right cheek and was taken to AdventHealth hospital in New Smyrna Beach, Miller said. WESH 2 News reported he had been taken to Halifax Health Medical Center as a precaution but was released later that day.

Unverified and extremely graphic images posted to the @nsbinlet Instagram page Tuesday seem to show a man with a deep laceration behind his eye and several smaller cuts around it.

How many shark bites have there been in Volusia County this year?

Seven, so far. Five in New Smyrna Beach, considered by many to be the shark bite capital of the world, and two in Ponce Inlet on Labor Day. There were seven bites total in Volusia County last year, down from 16 in 2022.

According to, as of Sept. 13 there have been 58 shark bites this year, eight provoked and seven fatal, that have been publicly reported and verified.

In the U.S., there have been 31. Sixteen in Florida, three in Hawaii, six in New York, and two in South Carolina. Two were provoked, none were fatal.

Shark bite increase farther south:Treasure Coast shark attacks spotlighted by National Geographic's SHARKFEST

Why do sharks bite people? Do sharks eat people?

Researchers say sharks do not go after people intentionally. There are more than 300 species of shark and only about a dozen have been involved in human encounters. Humans are not part of a shark's normal diet, which is generally smaller fish and invertebrates. Some larger shark species may prey on larger marine animals such as seals and sea lions.

In Florida, there are a lot of things more likely to kill you than a shark.

Most of the time when a shark bites a human being, it's because it was curious about the splashing in the water or startled by a swimmer or surfer crossing its path. Some sharks may bite to protect an area, similar to a dog barking at people in his yard.

“People just happen to be in their way," Forrest Dowling, an 18-year-old student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University said in July. "And you know, sharks, obviously, they don't have hands, so they just kind of test to see if you're food or not. And sadly, people just end up in the way most of the time, just wrong place at the wrong time.”

How do I avoid shark bites?

New science center near Smyrna could impact education and economy

The new Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation building near Smyrna isn’t finished yet, but the foundation’s educational programs are already helping local students, while the plans for the future could help the local economy, too.While the interior of the Innovation and Technology Exploration Center (ITEC) is still under construction, foundation president Dr. Stephanie Wright can describe her vision for the interior so vividly that dinosaurs and planets start to emerge from the concrete and steel.&l...

The new Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation building near Smyrna isn’t finished yet, but the foundation’s educational programs are already helping local students, while the plans for the future could help the local economy, too.

While the interior of the Innovation and Technology Exploration Center (ITEC) is still under construction, foundation president Dr. Stephanie Wright can describe her vision for the interior so vividly that dinosaurs and planets start to emerge from the concrete and steel.

“We’re going to keep the first floor open so it can be fluid, with changing exhibits, so it’s not the same thing every time,” said Wright. “We’ve got a life-sized inflatable dinosaur that would be great to put near the entrance as the children walk in, but then, three months later when the students come back, we can have an ocean exhibit with a life-sized inflatable whale or a space exhibit. We do everything from dinosaurs to space.”

Wright, who founded the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation (DASEF), exhibits boundless enthusiasm but possesses endless patience.

Since DASEF was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1990, progress has been slow but steady, starting with educational programs and day camps, then the opening of the 2,300 square-foot Environmental Outpost featuring classroom space and an observatory with a telescope at Kent County’s Big Oak Park just south of Smyrna in 2007.

About seven years ago at the park, the foundation started construction on the 40,000 square-foot Innovation and Technology Exploration Center (ITEC) which will house exhibits, classrooms, and a dormitory for overnight stays or week-long science camps. The building features a geothermal heating and cooling system, solar-powered electricity, a green roof with plantings, and a rainwater collection system.

While donations for the ITEC building haven’t been rolling in as fast as Wright hoped, her enthusiasm for the project remains high.

“To be this far along and not a penny in debt is amazing,” Wright said, explaining that the foundation has always followed the plan of raising the funds for a project before starting that project –and not taking out loans.

The first DASEF building, the Environmental Outpost, cost $4.5 million, but was completely paid for each step of the way.

“The Outpost is continually booked throughout the year,” said Wright. “We urgently need more educational space.”

The ITEC building will provide that space.

“Our immediate focus is on funding the first stage of the building interior fit-out,” said Wright.

That includes mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and six ground floor classrooms. The projected cost for this stage is $2,599,270, she said. The total cost of the building will be about $7.8 million.

“With it, we will be able to reach annually over 40,000 students, 800 teachers, and 1,500 families each year,” Wright said.

Benefits for the Smyrna-Clayton area

Students in the Smyrna-Clayton area have already taken part in DASEF programs, both at the Environmental Outpost and from visits by DASEF staff for educational programs at the Smyrna Public Library and the Boys & Girls Club.

Trisha Moses, executive director of the Greater Smyrna Clayton Boys & Girls Club, said DASEF partnered with the club under the 21st Century Educational Grant to set up programs in science, math, and the environment for seventh, eighth, and ninth graders. Some programs were offered at the Environmental Outpost, and some programs were held at the club.

“I think it helped students retain knowledge during the summer in science and math, which is something all teachers and educators strive for, to make sure students are involved in some type of academic skills-based program during the summer,” said Moses. “The kids loved it. It was tons of fun, always hands-on, very engaging and innovative. They used lots of technology.”

At a June DASEF event hosted by the Smyrna Public Library, DASEF educator Lynda Rae Gannon based her presentation on this year’s Summer Reading Program theme: “Every Hero Has a Story.” A discussion with students about heroes led to astronauts, followed by hands-on activities such as creating an astronaut badge with examples from all the NASA space missions, making and flying a paper helicopter, and creating an astronaut helmet out of a paper bag and a sheet of clear plastic.

“We try to give students activities where they can take a base idea and run with it, and use their creativity,” said Gannon. “These activities lead to more exploration.”

Smyrna Library children’s program director Kriss Mera agreed.

“These are hands-on, science-based activities. The children have a wonderful time,” said Mera. “Then they come to the library and they’re more interested in books on those subjects – in the sciences and biographies.”

What do children think about the program?

“I like it because you get to do hands-on, actual activities,” said Geoffrey Spence, 12. “I like learning about space. It’s interesting learning about planets.”

Britney Maykut, 11, said the DASEF program was “interesting.”

“I liked making the space helmet, and I had never seen the astronaut badges before,” Maykut said.

She was also inspired.

“I would like to go to the moon someday,” she said.

One of the parents at the program, Jennifer Wightman, said the DASEF presentation was both fun and educational.

“My kids love science and they’re always excited to get out of the house and come to programs like this,” said Wightman. “With all the great materials they have, it’s an experience you can’t get at home.”

Kent County Levy Court President Brooks Banta (D – Smyrna) said the new DASEF building will not only improve the educational offerings in northern Kent County, but it will also help the economy.

“The DASEF programs at Big Oak Park certainly serve a tremendous void in helping young people learn about space exploration and science,” said Banta. “It’s amazing what they do in their weekend programs and day camps. The interest at that level by the children is so intense, and parents I’ve spoken to have been impressed as well.”

Banta said while the completion of the new ITEC facility will take some time, the building should have multiple benefits for businesses in the area.

“The building will house young people for weekend stays, and many of their moms and dads might stay in nearby hotels. They’ll use restaurants and gas stations, and shop at our stores,” said Banta. “I know when my daughter takes her son to a weekend soccer tournament, they sometimes spend $500 during the weekend with the hotel and meals and the other places they visit during the tournament.”

Banta said an educational destination could spur similar results.

Along with visits by children and parents, teachers will also be visiting the ITEC building for conferences and training, again with the possibility of eating at local restaurants and shopping at other stores while they’re in the area.

“The economic impact for Kent County could be tremendous,” he said.


For information on making a donation to the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation, individuals and business leaders can see the “donate” page on the foundation’s website,


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