Why Kata McKenna loves her summers in Medford

(written when she was 9 years old)….


I love summer because i love to swim at the lake at Camp Ockanickon, or as the locals call it: Ocky!

I get excited on hot, sunny summer days, when the air is filled with laughter, shrieking and happiness coming from the camp. I can hear them all the way here at my house. I’m thrilled with the anticipation of going. I put on  my bathing suit, get my towel and I’m ready to go. When I arrive, I see my lifeguard buddies, friends and family. I drop everything and bolt to the water. It feels relaxing.

My mom calls it, “The Lake of Shining Waters,” as she makes her hands like a ripple. As I lay back into the lake water, the noises are muffled, but it feels calm and peaceful.

I hear voices, laughing. “Marco…” “Polo….” “Marco…” “Polo…” “Marco….” “Polo!” “I got you!” All of a sudden, my cousin Naomi yells, “Want to go to the deep end?” My relaxing time has vanished. I race to the ladder and climb up onto the dock. I hold my nose and jump forward, feet first.

The family game of tag has begun. Before anyone says that I’m it, I tag them and say, “You’re it!”

Time flies by, as the sun sizzles overhead, but there’s always a breeze at the lake. I see smiles and happy faces, mine included. This is what I have longed for all winter.

Right away, my mom yells, “Hey Kaya, want to go on a kayak?” And I say, “Sure. A day is not complete without kayaking.”

I get out of the water, don my life jacked and I’m ready to paddle. I say, “Ready, Mom!” Mom says, “Ok!

I get into the kayak and Mom pushes the kayak out into the water.

We synchronize our paddles to the cadence, “right, left, right, left, right left,” until we reach the middle of the lake. Then we lift our paddle out of the water and we gently glide.

I put my hands in the water and it feels slightly cool. Then I take my hand out and hold my mom’s hand and say, “Best friends forever.” You cannot beat this moment. Summer means “Ocky” and the memories we make. Yes, I love summer.

It calls me …. “Marco…” “Polo….” “Marco….” “Polo!”