We would meet at the campground Friday afternoon, set up our tents and put out the coolers and arrange the picnic tables. My siblings, cousins and I immediately would change into our swimsuits and run to the beach. Of course, an adult—usually my lively uncle—would come with us.
The first year, all of us kids were so excited to jump in the water and try out our new boat raft. My brother and uncle jumped in and paddled out to the dock. Arriving at the dock, they admired the whole lake. My brother looked down, and immediately his glasses fell off. My uncle jumped in to get them, quickly learning that the lake was really deep. The glasses were gone for good.
My brother ran back to the campground to tell my mom the bad news. She responded with, “Why don’t you just jump in and get them?” That’s when my uncle told her the water was really deep. Everyone gave up hope about finding the glasses, and it became the joke of the whole campout.
Someone mentioned that a fish could see clearly now. Everyone laughed.
Later that evening, we got the fire going, started cooking dinner and turned on the radio. Wouldn’t you know, “I Can See Clearly Now” came on the radio. Talk about a coincidence!
We laughed and laughed about that song coming on and the fact that my brother dropped his glasses in the lake in the first place.
The next year, we arrived at the lake and my mom made sure that my brother left his glasses on shore before jumping in the lake. Also that second year, my uncle said he had a surprise for us. That’s when he pulled out T-shirts for everyone. They were pale blue with the outline of a fish under water, wearing glasses with a thought bubble saying “I can see clearly now.”
The campouts went on for years, with new memories—the small marshmallow tent, the T-shirt contest, the hat contest—but no memory will stand out as much as the glasses in the lake.
When thinking of “101 Things to do This Summer,” I couldn’t help but think of how much fun I had at my family’s annual campout. We would spend the whole day outside, playing, having fun and spending time with family. Isn’t that how summer is supposed to be?
Camping out made the list, along with concerts, ice cream stands, festivals and much more.
Until next month,
Kelsey Reinhart, editor