Do you love camping?
(This is fine.)
ADD: I do. Some of my best memories come from summer camp.
I remember one day,
I especially remember one "bad weather" day.
me and my friend
My friend and I
were playing some intense soccer outside our cabin
were playing soccer outside our cabin
when suddenly a roar of dreadful thunder burst from the sky.
when a roar of dreadful thunder burst from the sky.
It looked like our fun had ended so we headed towards the cabin and rested on the porch.
We ran for shelter on the porch
We watched nature do its thing
where we watched the wild forces of nature,
while hearing loud claps of raindrops fall above the roof.
while raindrops pelted the roof.
It was like music to my ears, especially the lightning.
Every time the bolt would strike from the sky, we both jumped and laughed in excitement.
Every time a lightning bolt flared across the sky, we jumped -- and then laughed with excitement.
It was an awesome time together just relaxing.
I'll never forget the overwhelming power of nature we witnessed that day.
I am just worried about if I may have changed the past/present tense in the story, and am skeptical about the commas.
The verb tenses and the commas are not the problem. You're worried about the wrong thing.
What is really wrong with this theme is that you didn't put much effort into thinking about what you wanted to say.
You used some cheap, pre-made cliches - words you can just write down without bothering to think about them because they come pre-packaged into your mind. They don't even match the meaning of what else you wrote.
> Saying "music to my ears" is an example. That's a strange way to describe SEEING things such as lightning flashes
> "just relaxing" does not apply to jumping and laughing with excitement.
> What does "nature doing its thing" even mean? Did you watch a ladybug trundle up a lilac leaf? Did you watch the green and silver showers of May soak into the sleeping earth? Did you watch a meteor strike wipe out North America? A hurricane obliterate a city? A baby bunny nibble a blade of grass? These are all cases of "nature doing its thing."
> That's what is wrong with cliches. They have already done your thinking for you, so now you are not doing any for yourself. You become willing to say any old thing -- no matter how shallow, how meaningless, or even how contradictory in meaning -- just because a pre-made expression has popped into your mind.
> The only striking thing in your essay was that roar of dreadful thunder that burst from the sky. That phrase redeemed this story because it's fresh - freshly minted by you.