Living on Mackinac Island for the summer

Alyssa Ochss

While working on an island primarily known for fudge and horses, you come across some weird smells. Like the combination of a fudge shop and a burger joint, or the all too familiar mixture of—you guessed it—fudge and horses. Though these smell mixtures might not be the most attractive part of Mackinac Island, there are many other events and activities that are well worth it.

Over the summer, I was given the opportunity to work on the island and all it took was a simple job application, a few painless interviews and a weekend trip to get there. It was my first time living on my own for more than a couple days, and it was a brand-new experience that no one could have prepared me for. Needless to say, I traveled back down state at the end of summer and I wanted more.

I’ll start by explaining what I did for four months. I worked in three fudge shops all by the same company so no matter which one I went to, I knew the skills of the trade and was able to perform my tasks accordingly. It was hard work with a full case of candy, a full case of fudge, and ice cream in each of the shops to keep my coworkers and I busy at all times. However, it was rewarding at the end of a hard day to remember that, hey, I’m on an island!

On my days off I was free to roam around the island or go to the mainland if I really wanted to. I made the most of these days, engaging in activities such as carriage tours, visiting the fort and going on a haunted tour. For the haunted tour, let’s just say that I was glad I was leaving in a week when I found out that there was a ghost story right outside my dorm! It was still enjoyable nonetheless.

My favorite part of Mackinac Island by far were the people that I met. A few of the girls that I met in the dorms are some of the best people that I have ever met, and they helped me through some pretty tough times in my life. I wouldn’t have been able to get through the summer without their help, and support through my training at the fudge shop or through the personal issues I had.

It was interesting to find out that some people even came from as far as Europe.

Overall this experience was one that I wouldn’t exchange for anything else in the world. I came out a stronger person and I feel that I’m able to progress a lot further with it. Everything that I did from walking around the island in the dead of night to watching the fireworks on the Fourth of July were experiences I would never forget.

I plan on going back next year so I can experience it all over again.