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Doing whatever it takes to protect the fort

Memories seem to be so important to me. To be honest, I think I'd rather live in a world full of memories than in a world focused only on the here and now.

There's a song by a rapper named Mac Miller, and in it, he sings "These memories keep me alive." I think that quote is partially true because memories keep me going on a daily basis, and the thrilling idea of creating more memories makes me adventurous and ready for anything.

The topic of memories brings me flying back to when I was in fourth grade, when I got into trouble for the first actual time.

It was the spring of fourth grade. I remember I was 11 and both Dallas and Dylan (my best friends) were still 10. We were in one of those adventurous phases in growing up, and we spent basically every day after school at our fort we built behind the old Pamida in the woods by the Pelican River.

That fort was our life -- we ate there, we hung out there, we had social gatherings there. That fort was our pride and joy that year. We even slept there on warm nights. We (as little kids) would have done anything to protect our fort, and that's exactly what ended up happening.

I remember it was early May, and we were planning this wild trip where we would take this old row boat on the side of the river and see how far we could get down the river before we either crashed it, or someone stopped us. Our goal was to make it to Pelican Rapids -- for some reason.

The plan was that Dallas, Dylan, our other friend Tyler (Big T), and myself were going to each say we were staying at one another's house, and then we would take the boat and basically leave. Our goal was to try to be back by mid-afternoon the next day.

It was the day before we were planning to leave, and Dallas, Dylan and myself were kicking it at our fort as usual. I had just gotten done putting a recliner in our fort, when three rocks came buzzing by my head. We looked up, and Big Cam, our neighborhood bully, had followed us to our fort (which we built to hide from Big Cam in the first place). We knew that if we didn't act fast he would destroy our fort.

Dallas and I were now nearly panicking. We took off for Pamida and left Dylan to watch the fort. Dallas and I went into Pamida and instantly started looking for some way to fend off Big Cam. All we found were a box of paint balls and two slingshots, but being we were 10 years old, we didn't have enough money for them. So, we unwrapped the slingshots, put them in our pockets, paid for the paintballs and left.

The long and short of it is we got caught stealing slingshots from Pamida at age 9 and 10, and our fort got destroyed at exactly the same time. We still attempted our voyage down the river the next day, but as soon as the old boat hit the water with Big T in front, it literally snapped in half with the front half floating down the river and the back half, probably still to this day, sitting on the shoreline somewhere.

Jonah Bowe is a senior at Detroit Lakes High School.