Summer Fun in the Sun

Summertime always brings back great memories of how carefree life was in the 80’s. Everyone couldn’t wait for summer to start.  After all, who doesn’t love hot summer days and long summer nights where it feels like the sun never sets? Come on, I’m sure you’ve got plenty of great memories of what life was like in the 80’s. Did you attend summer camp? Did you find summer romance? Were you wild and carefree? If you answered yes, you probably survived summer in the 80’s.  Here are three great things about being a kid in the 80’s.

Stranger Things Season 3 comes out July 4th!

Roaming Free

It was common for kids to leave the house in the morning, get on their bikes, and roam free for hours if not all day without supervision. The only rule may have been you had to be home by dinner or before it was dark out. What did kids do all day? They would meet up with friends, ride bikes all over the neighborhood or town, climb trees, build forts, Slip-n-Slide, and jump creeks. They pretty much did anything their imaginations could come up with. Yes, there were those kids who got into a little mischief but nothing that an 80’s kid or their group of friends couldn’t handle.

Summer Tans and Sun Kissed Hair

Yeah, no one used sunblock in the 80’s. You knew if your skin was apple red in the evening when you went to bed it had been a good long day in the sun with your friends. How about using baby oil as sun tanner? Some thought that if they smothered themselves in oil it would help them tan or bake quicker in the sun. Does anyone remember using a tanning blanket? Yes, teens would turn on their boombox with their favorite tunes blasting, smother themselves in baby oil, and lay on a silver tanning blanket that looked like tin foil to achieve that perfect summer bronze tan. Also, it was common to put lemon juice in your hair to create blond highlights naturally. Most of the time you’d pretty much spend all day in the sun enjoying the water or whatever you were doing without ever another thought of reapplying sunscreen or protecting your skin from the summer rays. Oh, I don’t know about you, but the sting of a summer burn from the 80’s is still hard to forget. 

Camp Crystal Lake from the Friday the 13th movies is NOT the ideal summer camp experience.

Summer camp and Summer Love

Yes, kids were shipped off to summer camp in the 80’s without a care in the world. You arrived at camp with a small backpack with clothes in it, a sleeping bag, and a pillow. Most often you didn’t see your parents or talk to them for a whole week. There were no cell phones, gaming, webcams, or picture posting from camp, it simply didn’t exist. You were lucky if you could send a handwritten postcard home to mom and dad and let them know you were still alive. At camp there was a whole lot of talking, singing, shouting, laughing, and lots of memory making going on. Maybe you even found your summer love at camp. If you did, you’d write letters to each other for the rest of the summer. We all have at least one good camp story to share from the 80’s.

Thinking back on it all, how did we ever survive summer as a kid in the 80’s? Parents gave their kids tons of freedom and we took it. Yes, running around until the sun set without a care in the world, no phone in our pocket, or shoes on our feet…those were the best summers ever. Here’s to summer dreams and long summer nights, just like the 80’s.

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