Once upon a time, Abby and Emmy went to camp. It was Emmy’s idea, but Abby thought it sounded like fun. They’d get to spend a whole week away from home, sleeping in a cabin in the woods!
The two spent hours talking about camp and thinking about all the things they’d get to do. They looked over the brochure and made a list of things they “had” to have, and spent hours packing and repacking. Emmy couldn’t wait to go swimming, and Abby read that the camp had horses and they’d get to go hiking and build campfires.
At last, the day was here!
[You can, of course, read about Abby’s arrival at camp for the first time in REDUCED!]
The girls had a great time – on the first day, they settled into their cabin with eight other girls and then took a tour of the camp. It was huge, and there were hills and trees and a big meadow nearby. Plus, a creek ran right past their cabin and there was a really cool bridge to walk across it.
They went to the dining hall for dinner and then to the pool, so they could have their swim tests. Emmy was like a fish, and right away was assigned to the green caps, but Abby was a bit unsure and didn’t care for water in her face or her ears. She wasn’t too upset though, that Emmy and she were in different classes, and besides – she liked the color red. It matched her new swimsuit.
By nine o’clock, the girls were all worn out and they settled into their sleeping bags as their counselor, Cal, came to tuck them in and tell them goodnight.
The next day, Monday, Abby and Emmy happily painted friendship rocks at arts and crafts, then went swimming again. After lunch, they had a rest period, but no one slept. They were too excited about the afternoon activities – they were going to hike to the lake and learn how to canoe!
Abby was a little disappointed that so far hiking had been confined to gravel roads and the meadow, but she really liked being at the lake. And tonight there was going to be a campfire, with everyone in the whole camp.
It was late by the time the girls began walking back to their cabin. They were near the creek, when Cal suddenly shoved Abby to the side and in a low voice told them all to walk backwards ten steps. She called to another counselor to bring a rake and a shovel, and she stood very still.
Within minutes, the snake had been beheaded and was safely stashed in a water bucket, on its way to be burned in the remains of the campfire. Abby appeared to be in shock. She’d come within inches of stepping on that copperhead. Some of the other girls were crying, but not Abby. She’d watched closely as Cal handled that viper and now she knew what to do the next time. Probably. She wasn’t sure she could actually do it, but she’d remember.
By morning, the drama with the snake had all but been forgotten as the girls got ready to go swimming again. After that, they were going to practice knife safety and learn about building fires. Abby liked this part best; she was fascinated with Cal’s big Bowie knife and wished she had one too – her small, pearl-handled pocketknife seemed tiny in comparison and it wasn’t really very sharp.
Abby and Emmy skipped off happily, hand in hand, to collect firewood around the edge of the meadow. They gazed up at Sunnytop, wondering when they’d get to climb all the way up there. It looked very high to the two second-graders.
“Bet it would take us all day to get up there!” said Emmy.
Abby nodded in agreement. “Come on, race you back to the shelter!”
By lunchtime, everyone was hot and tired. This time, rest period really was a rest for most of the girls, but some of them had letters from their moms and dads. Not Abby. She hadn’t really expected one. She knew her mom was busy with her little sister, and her dad… well, he wasn’t much for letter writing.
Abby decided she’d write a letter to her mom and dad anyway. Surely, they’d like to know what she was doing here at camp. She pulled out a piece of her stationery and carefully licked a stamp, sticking it in the corner of the envelope. Next, she printed out her mom’s name and address, then started telling them all about what she’d been doing the last couple of days.
She left out the part about the snake.