Two-thirds of Americans sadly think summer loses its magic as they get older, according to new research.
The survey of 2,000 US adults found grown-up responsibilities, not having enough time, and having a job were the top three contributors to taking the fun out of the season.
But despite all that — and COVID-19 — respondents are determined to have the summer of their lives this year.
The survey, commissioned by Dutch Bros Coffee in celebration of its new Campout Cold Brew and conducted by OnePoll, revealed seven in 10 plan on getting creative to make the most of summer 2020.
Many are drawing inspiration from a treasured place to make their summer extra special ‒ their own childhoods. Two in three will be embracing the same activities they loved as kids.
Three-quarters say the best part of summer growing up was having all sorts of spontaneous adventures with their friends.
The average person had the best summer of their life at age 14 and had five adventures to make that summer truly memorable.
The most common activities respondents are looking to recreate from their youth this summer were hanging out with friends (44%), bonfires (31%) and camping in the woods (30%).
Other summer classics adults want to return to were swimming in a pool (30%), family vacations and reunions (both 27%).
Nearly two-thirds of respondents are parents, and of those, 87% are hoping to give their kids a summer like the ones they enjoyed.
Eighty-five percent of parents also said their children have helped them recapture that summer magic.
Two in five respondents have summer traditions from their childhood they still uphold today. Some top favorites included camping in the woods, sleeping in the backyard, telling ghost stories and summer camps.
“It’s not surprising that most people find summer less magical when they add in adult responsibilities,” said Bryce Schneider, head of Broista training at Dutch Bros Coffee.
“I’ve tried to find ways to keep summer exciting like enjoying fun adventures and sweet treats. I love sitting by a campfire, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores — it’s like being a kid all over again.”
Respondents frequently named bonfires as one of their favorite summer memories — and one they hope to get back to this year.
And what would a bonfire be without s’mores? Survey respondents broke down what it takes to make the perfect s’more.
Three in four deemed graham crackers as the only sandwich material for the ideal s’more, but when it came to chocolate the results were more varied.
Two in five prefer milk chocolate in their s’more while 23% opt for dark chocolate, 17% for white chocolate and 13% would go for a chocolate peanut butter cup.
Perhaps the most important element of a s’more is the marshmallow roast. A third said the marshmallow should be medium roasted and just a little tan and brown.
Nearly a quarter said they like their marshmallow well roasted and one in five prefer it barely roasted at all.
While a marshmallow on fire would seem like a lost cause to many, 2% said they want their s’more marshmallow properly burnt black.
“Summer is like the longest holiday when you’re a kid. Then, you become an adult, and it’s just another season,” said Ashley, Smith, a lead of Dutch Bros Coffee’s broista teams.
“Tapping in to the nostalgia that comes with summer can be tough, but there are simple ways like enjoying summer flavors. My favorite is our Campout Cold Brew, it’s like summer s’mores in one cup.”
CHOCOLATE FOR THE PERFECT S’MORE
- Milk chocolate 40%
- Dark chocolate 23%
- White chocolate 17%
- Chocolate peanut butter cup 13%
PERFECT S’MORE MARSHMALLOW ROAST LEVEL
- Medium roasted — a little tan and brown 37%
- Well roasted — very tan and brown 23%
- Barely roasted — barely any color difference 21%
- Nearly burnt — brown and a little black 6%
- Not roasted 6%
- Burnt — black and was on fire a little 2%
TOP ACTIVITIES ADULTS WILL RECREATE THIS SUMMER FROM THEIR YOUTHS
- Spending time with friends 44%
- Bonfires 31%
- Camping in the woods 30%
- Swimming in a pool 30%
- Family vacations 27%
- Family reunions 27%
- Sleepovers with friends 27%
- Swimming in a large body of water 25%
- Playing outside all day 25%
- Sleeping in the backyard 23%
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