Rosco the Rascal Goes to Camp

Ten-year-old James and his seven-year-old sister, Mandy are off to summer camp with their loyal German shepherd, Rosco. While Mandy struggles with homesickness, James's week is threatened by a prank-playing bunk mate's antics. But during an unexpected thunderstorm in a game of capture-the-flag, the prankster finds himself lost and alone deep inside the forest. Rosco must play the hero and save the boy but not before he teaches him a hard-earned lesson about friendship. Wholesome, adventurous, outdoor fun, this Rosco the Rascal tale brings the magic of summer camp to life.
*136 pages
*Recommended for ages 6-10

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3. First Time Ever

Mandy McKendrick was seven years old, and it was her first time ever at summer sleep-away camp. She and her brother, James, would be here for one whole week. In that amount of time, she’d get to do a lot of fun things at camp—like swimming, hiking, playing sports, creating something in the arts and crafts center, and making new friends, just to name a few. Most importantly, at least according to her brother, she’d get to be a part of his favorite activity on Thursday night—the big game of capture the flag. Mandy couldn’t wait.

Despite all the excitement of the first day, Sunday, a few small tears escaped down her cheeks as she hugged her parents.

“What if I miss you too much?” she asked them. “What will I do? Can I come home early if I get really homesick?”

“Honey, you’re going to have a wonderful week,” Mom said. “You’ll make lots of friends in no time, and pretty soon, you won’t even notice that we’re not here. Just give it a chance. You’ll see. You’re going to love it here. Remember how excited you’ve been lately? And James is here if you get lonely. Rosco, too.”

After they left, Mandy dried her eyes. She set up her sleeping bag and pillow on a top bunk, and waited as more and more of her cabin mates arrived.

Mom and Dad had dropped James at his cabin first, and James had already run down to the dock with his old friend, Caleb, to go canoeing. The older kids who had been to Camp Hickory Ridge before had the option to use the lake this afternoon.

But the new kids, mainly the younger ones like Mandy, had to wait for their whole cabin group to arrive before the fun could start.

Her cabin housed twenty girls, ages seven through nine. She didn’t know even one of them yet. As each girl walked in with her luggage, choosing a bunk and saying goodbye to her parents, Mandy grew more and more anxious. To keep herself busy, she arranged some of her things in a drawer next to the bunk bed.

Soon, eight-year-old Kimberly arrived. Kim wore a big smile as she confidently carried her suitcase, sleeping bag, and pillow into the cabin. She chose the bunk below Mandy’s.

Kim was as new to summer camp as Mandy was, but she wasn’t worried about missing home and was quick to say so when they overheard a girl crying as her mother attempted to leave.

“You couldn’t keep me home this week if you wanted to,” Kim whispered to Mandy, tossing back her pigtails as she dug through her suitcase to find her bug spray and her sunscreen. “I just hope this week doesn’t fly by too fast! I’ve been waiting all year to come to camp!”

Kim had long, brown hair and loved dogs, just like Mandy did. It didn’t take long before Kim and Mandy became friends. Mandy’s worries soon vanished.

After all of the kids arrived and settled in, the seven-to-nine year old boys and girls split into teams to play a series of funny games and relay races.

First came the Crocodile Race. On each team, the campers stood in a long, straight line, placing their hands on the person’s shoulders in front of them. Then they crouched down to form a crocodile, and raced to the finish line.

But Mandy and Kim were put on different teams, so once again Mandy was without a friend.

That’s okay though, Mandy thought with a little more confidence.

For the next game, Mandy partnered up with another friendly girl from her cabin named Margaret. Margaret was seven years old, just like Mandy. It was the three-legged race. Both girls tripped and fell over twice, but neither one cared—it was too much fun.

Now Mandy could say that she knew at least two people here besides her brother. Little by little, the day was getting better.

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