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Opinion

Summer-time fun emanates from social gatherings, not money spent

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May 5, 2010

“Sometimes I wonder what I’m gonna do, cuz there aint no cure for the summertime blues.” Summer is literally right around the corner, and I couldn’t be happier.

For many, it’s bittersweet; the end of an era, and yet a beginning of something new. OK, I know that sounded like it belonged in a graduation speech. There are a lot of great people leaving UWRF after next week. I can name just a few when I look around the Student Voice office.  However one might feel about the end of the semester, 99 percent of you can and should be excited about summer, and all that this wonderful time of year encompasses.

Since it’s pretty much all I can think about, let me fill you in on a few things that I look forward to for a summer in my hometown.

Now, I wrote a column a couple months back about how a small town spring break on a budget can be a good time.

Basically, summer is a very extended version of just that, having a great time on a budget. Now, it all depends on what type of “person” you are, you could say, but the one thing that comes to mind for me every year is a tradition my friends and I have held since our sophomore year in high school. What is the tradition? It’s an epic camping trip.

Every Memorial Day weekend, a bunch of us head out to Rock Island on the Wisconsin River. Usually, the number of people sits steadily at around 15-20 people, but it can vary depending on how many people come out for the night. I find camping to be one of the most fun and relaxing things you can do in the summer.

Some of my best high school/early college memories come from that one weekend hanging out with all of your close friends. Whether it’s capture the flag where the only light we have is a full moon, or swimming at 1 a.m.

Lucky for me, I just got certified for bartending in the state of Wisconsin. So, this summer will be a lot of reverse rolls in that aspect. According to the test given to those aspiring to be bartenders, there were a lot of ‘rules’ that I wasn’t aware of. I think I can handle babysitting a few drunk people, especially considering that a lot of those people just might be many close friends.

I just hope that when someone orders a bloody mary that I actually make it right.

So, besides hanging out in a bar, or hanging out in the woods, what else is there to do in a mid central Wisconsin town in the summer? I’m sure you could have guessed that I was going to say ‘hanging out on the Wisconsin River.’ I’m lucky enough to live out on “Lake Alexander,” which is actually a part the Wisconsin River, but it’s cut off by a dam on one end of the river, and “Bill Cross Rapids” on the other. Almost nothing makes me happier than having a few people out to cruise down the river.

I can sit out on the water quite literally all day and night. Whether we decide to go fishing, or each of us enjoy our “make your own six packs,” the Wisconsin River is always a sure thing for a relaxing summer afternoon.

I will leave you with the most important part of summers. I feel that it is at the top of the “to-do list” for most people on the average summer weekend. I’m talking about, of course, bonfires. There is no need for an explanation, bonfires are just awesome. It’s a simple equation. Friends + copious amounts of firewood + a guitar + beer = a bonfire night.

So please, my good friends of UWRF, enjoy your summer as much as possible. You don’t need a ton of money to enjoy yourself, just rely on those closest to you.