Two years ago, I started a tree branch collection. I went to the beach and saw a 31/2-foot tree branch. I asked my mom if we could put it in the trunk, and she said yes. I thought about what I should do with the tree branch, and I decided to paint it!

This was a unique event for me, because I thought of it on my own just by looking at that branch. I wanted to make it colorful. When I got home, right away I started painting the tree. It took me a while, but it got fully painted.

My mom said it looked amazing and great, so she put it on the porch. I said, "Maybe we should do it every summer." She said, "That's a wonderful idea." If you like collecting things, maybe you can try it.

I think collecting different things is a representation of who you are. Every year I would put away the old branch and take out the new one. Collecting branches and painting them for me is just like discovering gold treasure.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

My beach tree branches are very special to me. When you start collecting something, you will be very protective of it. Make a challenge for yourself or try to reach a goal in your collection. Remember to have fun collecting your item.

Fun is the key to success!