When we were kids we spent at least a week every summer up at the lake and I have tons of memories of those trips...from the smell of the woods as you drive down the long driveway, the never ending mosquito bites, the curves and twists in the path down to our little playhouse in the woods and wading in the water looking for clams to make "clam soup" over a fake fire. It's the things childhood should be made of and I wouldn't trade those memories for anything and I can't wait for my daughters to start forming the same memories.
One thing that I'll never forget were the yearly treasure hunts my Aunt Peggy coordinated for us. As we grew older we knew that "Up North" meant that we'd be having a treasure hunt and it was one of our favorite memories of the lake. This year we figured the girls were finally old enough to understand the tradition and boy did we go BIG for them.
The concept is simple. Peggy would go to the store (probably the dollar store) and bought 10 or so gifts for each of us. We usually all got the same thing, or versions of the same thing to avoid fighting (smart lady). Then, one day we'd get ushered out of the house and off the property so the treasuring could commence. When we were little the dad's probably took us out on the boat or something but once we got bigger the adults just told us to pound sand and scoot for an hour or two. We walk around the lake, play in the woods, go fishing...anything just to get out of the cabin and away from the house.
The parents would wrap up all the gifts in our individual paper. See, Peggy would pick out different paper for each of us and our present would be wrapped in that paper. Then, when we were searching, if you found your presents, great...but if you found someone else's, better keep your mouth shut and move on. It was part of the fun of it...the secret of knowing you found something someone else was searching for. We each got a scrap of our paper at the start of the hunt and a bag and we were off to do the finding.
A few weeks before heading to the lake I asked Joey if she wanted to coordinate a hunt for the girls and she said yes, so we both went out to buy some gifts and grabbed a roll of wrapping paper for each of the girls and we were set! That is until Grandma and Peggy found out we were doing a treasure hunt. They were too excited to be left out of the fun so they both grabbed gifts for the girls as well.
Would you believe that we had enough presents to do THREE treasure hunts for the girls? It was crazy,..it was like their birthdays. HA! The good thing about doing multiple hunts back to back is that by the third time they totally got it. They knew they were only supposed to find their color paper, they knew there were presents at the end...they knew their stuff was hidden and it was a game. It was super cute and I'm sure we'll be doing one of these every time we're at the lake for years to come.