collins lakeAs we were all children at one point in time, there are many occurrences that shaped who we became, and values that we instilled into our psyche early on in our lives. For me, many of the values that I hold to this day came from my time spent on yearly camping trips to Collin’s Lake.

My life’s path has been greatly influenced due to the time I spent at Collin’s Lake with my family. Whether it be the campfires, the adventures, or the small one on one conversations I have had with others in our campsite, my future was being influenced each day I spent there. At the time, all I wanted was to have fun each and every day with my cousins but unbeknownst to me, I was learning something new about myself each trip. All of the years I have spent at Collin’s Lake has shaped my life and manipulated the person I have become today.

collins lakeMuch of my life has consisted of going outdoors and adventuring the land around me, a collective thing my cousins and I often did at Collin’s Lake. Nearly every year since I was about 5 years old till this past, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, on both sides of my family have attended the camping trip at Collin’s Lake in Yuba County. Since the adults always socialized and talked amongst themselves, my cousins and I were left to adventure around the camping grounds and lake for most of each day we spent there. We would dig holes, throw rocks, fish, and ride our bikes as far as we were able to pedal. Currently in life I continue to go on the occasional bike ride, go backpacking, and take day trips and drive somewhere I have not been before. I attribute this to my time adventuring in Collin’s Lake. Considering we were children. We could not rely on our parents or our electronics for activities, we were forced to make our own fun and have the land around us provide us with it. My cousins and I taught one another how to skip rocks, perform wheelies on our bicycles, catch tarantulas, and climb trees. These are things we are now able to pass onto the younger generations in our family, including our children in the future. This helped me be an active person and not only participate in mainstream sports to fulfill my need for activity, but also allow the grounds to provide me with activity. My adventurous lifestyle has been molded greatly, and I owe this to the Collin’s Lake campgrounds. These camping trips were not just fun, they were quite fundamental and provided me with many opportunities for learning experiences in the outdoors. Considering I spent much of my time with my cousins, in our younger years, much of the time we were playing, we were under the watch of adults. For example, there were times when we would find these PVC pipes sticking in the ground across the campsites. We would often take these and play with them. Little did we know we were doing the wrong thing. My aunt would tell us that these were for catching gophers around the camp. This taught all of us that if there is something we see that is a man made resource, there is a possibility is being used for something that we do not understand.It helped us know to keep our hands off of others property and use our own items to have fun.

We learned a lot about how to camp as well from our elders. I was taught by the male members of my family how to build a campfire, open and close our tent trailer, fish, and how to work a generator. By being taught all of this by the male members of my family, I have been able to go on a few camping trips with my friends without a problem. Thanks to these trips, and the guidance of my family members, I have learned much about my abilities in the outdoors. Collin’s Lake was not just a place where camping took place, it was a safe haven for myself as well as my family. There were some instances where we grew closer as a family and shared in our experiences together. There was a special instance that will always hold true to me.

collins lakeIn 2005 as our entire family was on our way up to Collin’s Lake, we were informed of the news that my uncle, who had cancer, had just passed away that morning. We all still attended our yearly campsite, I believe it is because we felt safe there. Even my uncle’s family came the next day to share in our camping trip. We all mourned together and my cousins who just lost their father at a very young age seemed as if they just felt safe at the campgrounds. This all made me think about how safe I felt there too. I felt at peace, not afraid anything bad could happen there and everything was perfect. The shock of my uncle dying and my family’s reaction to the misfortune proved to me how important Collins Lake is to me.

Through Collin’s Lake, my life has been altered each and every year I attend the trip with my family. I feel as if I become a better person and become closer with each member of my family. With the help of my family and those around me on these camping trips, I have been taught many key characteristics of a person who can live a life full of good fundamentals and exciting characteristics. The whole atmosphere of my family life and the environment of Collins Lake has influenced me and I have learned much about myself and others around me.

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