What are your fondest summer childhood memories? Do they include picnics, trips to the lake or river, vacations, family reunions, church or scout camp? For children summer represents freedom, fun and friends. Freedom from school, extra curricular activities and waking up early. As a child I couldn’t wait for summer. I have fond memories of family reunions where we ran and played with so many cousins that I don’t recall all their names. Food in the summer even seemed like it was better somehow. We ate lots of amazing food, I still love the smell of burgers or hot dogs on the bar-b-que grill, there’s nothing like the sweetness of that first ice cream bar bought from the ice cream truck that came around the neighborhood every afternoon, or first taste of an ice cold watermelon on a hot summer day. I still love and remember the fun we had roasting marshmallows by a campfire, catching fireflies, playing hide n seek after the street lights came on at night, riding my bike, like everywhere, and sleep overs at friends. It was a time for girl scout, and church camps, making new friends and going on great adventures that I now share with my grandchildren. My mother and grandparents gave me those memories. Money wasn’t plentiful, but with a little imagination and a will to make things work, my sisters and I never did without.

In this day of technology we sometimes overlook the simple pleasures that summer has to offer. Everything in moderation. There is a time and a place for technology and a time to just enjoy the simple pleasures of life. We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the state, the Ozarks. We are close to several rivers and lakes and the beauty of nature is all around us. If you have children or grandchildren now is a good time to plan some simple pleasures for the summer.

Our retreat is offering a summer camp for girls ages 8-12. We will soon announce day camps and one night over nighters for boys and girls as well. Sean and I have a passion to share knowledge, the love of the outdoors and want to instill the love of giving to our young children. We’ve had years of experience teaching and watching children learn. The relationship between a care giver and a child is so much more than just learning, it’s experiencing life and rejoicing at all there is to share with one another. There’s so much for us to share with our children and so much they can share and teach us. Summer is a special time where our bond with nature and each other is fun and carefree. Our camp is here to keep your children safe and happy as they learn about themselves, share with fellow campers and staff, and experience the joy of summer with memories that we hope will last a lifetime. For more information about our events go to our Facebook page, The Dirty Farmers Community Market, call or email, thedirtyfarmerscommunitymarket@gmail.com.

If camp isn’t the thing for you then look around in our community. We have several organizations that sponsor events and activities over the summer. Our county library has a wonderful program for children and families. We have events happening all the time and are listed here in the newspaper or contact the Clinton or Fairfield Bay Chamber of Commerce for a calendar of events and activities. Our community is like one big family, working together, playing together, making memories together. Enjoy the summer and if you are in our neck of the woods stop by for a visit. “Tans will fade, but memories will last forever.” Unknown.

If you have a heart warming story about giving to tell please share it with me so that others can read about it in this column. Call, 501-253-4716, 501-757-2750, email grandmayogi7@yahoo.com, text or message me on Facebook through The Dirty Farmers Community Market page.