Rose is determined to become a lifeguard. After failing her first test and being ridiculed by the instructor for being a "girl", Nick helps train her. She passes her second test, beating the time of all the male hopefuls. Thus gaining the respect of her instructor as well as her lifeguard certificate. Meanwhile Patty falls in love with a baseball loving, handsome older lifeguard. She decides to ditch her tomboy ways to win his attention, only to have her heart crushed when he begins dating her sister Diane.
Nick is fed up with the girls arguing and decides everyone needs a little quality family time; so he takes the girls on a weekend camping trip which starts out disastrous but later brings them closer together.
Diane decides to enter a beauty pageant with Nick's permission as long as she promises to keep her grades up. Meanwhile, Mickey wants a unicorn so she dresses up as one to try and catch one of her very own.
Christmas approaches and the girls find out a new social worker has been assigned to their case. Nick's scheduled meeting with the worker gets delayed because he has car trouble so the girls entertain her while they wait for Nick.
The Cuban missile crisis hits full blast as Russia threatens to attack the United States. Nick builds a bomb shelter when Mickey becomes afraid of being vaporized. Diane plans a very emotional Sweet 16 party, hoping for harmony with Russia.