by Sophie Brown-Graham
It all starts when that bell rings. That magical beepbeep- beep echoes through the hallways, spreading into classrooms. All the kids jump up screaming, as the good artists hold up signs with Harry Potter and Snoopy saying, “No more school!”
Every school does it differently. Maybe School’s out for Summer blares from the intercom system, the teachers chase students from the school property with water balloons or the principal heads up to the roof with the janitor to blast first-graders with the hose on jet-spray mode. The point is always loud and clear: summer is great.
The bus crowd heads onto the vehicles singing Justin Bieber songs and the walkers become a laughing amoeba that invades the ice cream parlour across the road. And voilà, summer is born.
Then it really starts to pick up. Some kids like to sleep in, while others wake at the crack of dawn. Maybe you go to a summer camp or perhaps you spend the day cruising around on your bike with friends. I personally like to spend a lot of time with the other kids who live on my street, making big chalk murals on the road (“Welcome to Chalkland! Here’s the Mona Lisa! Like the nose piercings and the unibrow? Sorry, I got a bit carried away!”), climbing trees (“See if you can get my mom to look through the second-story window; she can see me from there!”) and of course eating Popsicles (“Cool! Did you just hear that slurping noise I made?!”). And guess what? Summer’s only just getting started!
My birthday is in the summer. Sometimes that’s a good thing; sometimes it’s a bad one. It’s great because you don’t need to go to school on your birthday and unless it’s raining, you can play outside. Every year, I invite my friends over, dad makes a piñata that we all flog until it dumps a shower of lollipops on our heads, and we eat cake. Like I mentioned before, there are downers too. Sometimes it’s just too hot or all your friends are on vacation and you have to postpone it until September. But, I will say I’m lucky to have it in the summer.
Each year I go to a summer camp. I usually pick a multisport camp because that means I don’t get stuck playing one sport for too long. Though I must admit I have never been to an overnight camp, I have been to quite a few nature/outdoor camps. I always have the best experience at those. I once went to Baxter Conservation Area Camp. Every day we went swimming in the lake, played “instincts for survival” in the meadows and tried to catch frogs. Once, in the insect study, my group thought that a wasp was a fly so we caught it only to realize it was a wasp and when we let it go, it chased us around! Luckily we found the leader before the wasp got us. Ahhh … good memories!
Camping in the summer is a tradition in my family. We pull out our old three-person tent, plus an eight-pound bag of marshmallows, and invite another family along. Everyone in my family has a great time. William, my little brother, rides his bike in the lake when no one is looking, my friend and I make pools in the sand, the dads tell ghost stories about monsters that eat all of you except for your pelvis, and mom becomes the resident porta-potty critic. We go canoeing, eat s’mores, and the dads trick us into asking people with satellite dishes what movie they are playing that night. I LOVE camping.
But just as soon as summer starts, you start to notice something fishy in the air. THE BACK TO SCHOOL SALES ARE ON!!! DUN-DUN-DUN!! This always bugs me at the start, but when we do go, I am immediately sucked into an awesome world full of stationery products. The notebooks … the tiger-patterned pens … those folder-file thingies, I love them all.
After that, September approaches menacingly. In no time, the last days of summer begin to disappear, so you MUST take drastic measures! Invite all your friends to the park! Squeeze in as many library trips as possible! And make a lemonade stand! Have as much fun as possible because the start of school draws nearer!
The first day of school comes and you reunite with friends and peek at the class lists. If you’re lucky, you could get your favourite teacher; but there is a chance you could get a complete stranger instead. On that day, you don’t do anything too hard and recesses are extended. This won’t last long, though, so you’ll have to wait until next summer to spend your days in Chalkland!
Sophie Brown-Graham is Grade 5 student who eagerly awaits this coming summer vacation. She enjoys reading, writing, and drawing fantasy creatures when she’s not climbing trees.