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Column: The sweet, moldy smell of summer is here

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Summer is here, bringing amazing things. Weird tan lines, weird tan lines turning into burning peeling messes, summer camp, backpacking trips and just hanging out with friends.

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It all started with the Section Track meet in St. Cloud Apollo. It was extremely hot outside, and I thought it would be a great idea to wear just a sports bra and overalls. Turns out: not such a great idea. With the sun shining bright, my uncovered skin turned bright red.

The big red half circle right below my neck has now turned brown and is peeling, along with my shoulders, and the formerly red lines going down my back. My shoulders are blotted brown, red and pink. I even used sunscreen.

A couple days afterward, my friend Lexi and I spent the whole day swimming. (Admittedly, we did forget to use sunscreen.) Most of the time, we played on a broken buoy that washed up on the shoreline by my house. It makes a great teeter totter.

Unfortunately, one side was covered in mold and all cracked. I made Lexi sit on it at first but then it started to scratch the inside of her legs. She then made me switch with her.

After the day was done, we both were even redder, and had burn/rashes on our legs. Hint: Lotion doesn't really work all that great on such a rash.

Mowing the lawn becomes a weekly thing during my summers and my shoes turn green. All of my clothes begin to smell like grass, but I love it. To me, that's the smell of summer -- freshly cut grass, tents, rain and dirt.

As you know, every summer I go to Camp Wilderness. In my opinion, Camp Wilderness is one of the best places on Planet Earth. It's always been my favorite since I first went there when my brother was a first year Webelo. In those days, you couldn't go to Camp Wilderness for a summer camp until you were in fourth grade. Now, lucky Cub Scouts can start going in first grade.

I can't imagine not wanting to go there the minute that you are eligible. It is simply the best place. When you're there, you get the smell of tents. Usually they don't smell too pleasant, but it makes me remember why I'm at camp -- to be outdoors of course, to do all those fun waterfront, adventuring things.

I spend my summers outdoors, filled with swimming, playing with chalk and running around the streets in old fancy dresses yelling, "Snag!"

See, during the summer between fourth and fifth grade, my friend Kylee and I decided to wear old fancy dresses and walk out in the middle of my street. What made it even better is that we wanted to wear my mom's makeup. So, on goes the mascara, lipstick, blush and eye shadow. Being only 10, we didn't know how to put it on. If I remember correctly, we coated out eyebrows in mascara, had lipstick all over, and our faces were bright pink and shiny from all the blush and eye shadow.

We walked down the street and waved to strangers. I don't know if it was funnier to watch the look on people's faces, or actually doing it. (By the way, we will be doing this again in a couple of days.) After the hour it took to get all the mascara off of our eyebrows, we started trying to get the rest of the makeup off. It took almost two hours. We sure did learn our lesson.

Every year, a friend and I fill up my whole driveway with chalk. I've been doing this forever and every single time, it rains right after we do it. It never fails to make our not so beautiful artwork wash away. The hippos, elephants, inside jokes, flowers, polka dot umbrellas and striped boots and platypuses wash away, along with everything else washed away during the rain. Hey, at least it leaves my driveway nice and clean, making it perfect for us to do it all over again.

During the summer, I feel even more like a little kid. No schoolwork waiting to be done, and staying up until midnight is no longer late. There are many adventures to be had during the summer, and I plan to enjoy them all.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a sophomore at Detroit Lakes High School.

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