In summer we sometimes went to Waskesiu Lake in Northern Saskatchewan. We stayed with my aunt and uncle and their four boys, or we rented our own cottage. The cottages were pretty densely packed and there was a section of "shack tents" with names like Dew Drop In further up the hill, further from the lakefront.
We were close to the lake. Not everyone had toilets; there were communal outhouses. The "honey man" used to come around with his truck, draining the cesspits. Lining the lake some grander cottages--I remember log cabins--still one beside the other. Lots of squirrels: we designed traps. We took swimming lessons at the "Breakwater," where I fell in love with the lifeguard (and a little later, back in Vancouver, with the tow-rope operator on the ski slope). My uncle had a motor boat and we learned to water ski, and motored across the lake, where there were no cottages, for "weenie roasts" with marshmallows roasted on twigs. When the trucks came around to spray for mosquitoes, we ran through the DDT. Everyone socialized on the beach. My uncle promised to get up for a before-breakfast swim and broke his promise, an early experience of adult unfaithfulness.
I had my picture taken with a Mountie. I went on my "first date" to the movie, "The House of Wax" in 3D (plot still vivid) got sick and had to leave. I caddied for my mother, a golfer. Some evenings at sunset we took the car to the "Nuisance Grounds" and sat with the windows rolled up tight and watched bears and cubs rummage for garbage. After dark, because the blacktop highway into the National Park stayed warm, elk came out of the forest (there was a lot of forest) and lay down on the road. In winter, because of the snow, there was no one, so they weren't used to cars.
"Waskesiu" means Red Deer or elk in Cree language.