One of the highlights of my youth was working during the summer.

It started for me around 11 or 12 when I started mowing lawns around the neighborhood, I believe the going rate back then was 10 bucks a yard, although I'm told it's much more than that now.

After a couple of years of that, I decided to spread my wings and venture out a little bit.  I grew up in Missouri and my hometown hosts the Missouri State Fair. So, a couple of friends and I decided to try our luck there.

What an adventure that was.

For 3 years, every August I would go to work at the "Pineapple Whip" stand and make ice cream cones for 10 days straight. It was a pretty good gig considering that I got paid AND I got to eat all the ice cream I wanted. As a fat kid, I was pretty pumped up about that.

Photo by Joia de Jong on Unsplash
Photo by Joia de Jong on Unsplash
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Plus, we got to hang out with carnies, and that in itself was a whole education.

Of course, it didn't take long for me to figure out that all the other folks that were working food stands got to eat for free as well, so after some wheelin' and dealin', that money that my Mom gave me every day to eat went to ride rides and play carnival games in the midway.

We asked Montanans what their favorite summer job was.  Here are a few of the responses.

"Mowing grass at golf courses! Great hours, nice tan, don’t have to deal with people, free golf…. Did I say a nice tan?"

Photo by Dan Congdon on Unsplash
Photo by Dan Congdon on Unsplash
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I had a part-time job mowing the fairways of a local golf course when I was a kid, except I'm a ginger and all I did was burn, so I looked like some fat beekeeper out there on a tractor. However, for those of you who tan like normal people, I can see this being a great job.

"Rum testing..enough said"

Photo by Claus Grünstäudl on Unsplash
Photo by Claus Grünstäudl on Unsplash
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I'm not even sure where to start with this one. I mean, how does one get that job?  I'm guessing you have to be of a certain age, and once again, how does one get that job?? I gave up the drink long ago, but I have a whole lot of friends that would quit their full-time job to do that part-time.

"Working at Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone, no internet and no cell service.. best summer ever!"

Photo by LaiLa Skalsky on Unsplash
Photo by LaiLa Skalsky on Unsplash
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Ok, this sounds like a ton of fun.  I mean seriously, you get to work and play in the most popular National Park all summer long?  How fun would that be? Plus, you don't have all the annoyance of checking your phone 600 times a day, it sounds like the perfect summer gig.

"YMCA camp counselor. Loved working with young kids, the camp was amazing, and being away from home all summer."

Photo by Josh Campbell on Unsplash
Photo by Josh Campbell on Unsplash
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What a great summer job!  You get to do something fun AND something with a purpose. Plus, it's camp, I mean camp just sounds like a good time, right?  Or the start of an 80s slasher movie...

"I worked at the Pop Stand in Livingston. It was a cute ice cream shop with burgers. When I worked there I met Michael Keaton and Margo Kidder they would come in and have burgers and shakes it was fun to visit with them."

Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash
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How much fun would this be? I know a little bit about meaning famous people while working a summer job. As I mentioned, I worked at a little ice cream booth at the State Fair and I met former Vice President Dan Quayle and the manager of New Kids On The Block. I know, I know...impressive, right?

So what about you? What was your favorite summer job?  What was it about the job that made it so great?

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