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


9. Ice Cream Social

Despite the setbacks, the days began to pass at Camp Hickory Ridge full of activity and full of fun.

On Tuesday morning, Mandy’s cabin group went on a two-mile hike around the lake. They climbed over boulders, spotted rabbits on the trail, and saw wild geese on the lake. Kimberly even picked up a frog they found on the trail near the water. It jumped out of her hands before anyone else got a turn to hold it.

On Tuesday afternoon, it was the seven-to-nine year old girls’ turn for a lesson about lake safety, followed by a demonstration on how to row and steer a canoe. The girls paddled about on the lake in the hot sun for over an hour. It was the first time that Mandy and Kim had ever rowed a canoe by themselves. Margaret partnered with Izzy, while Madison and Natasha shared another canoe.

“This is hard work,” Kim said, paddling back toward the dock. Her arms were getting very tired.

“You can say that again,” Mandy agreed. But they both smiled.


*  *  *


James’s week was turning around too. His cabin group shot archery on Tuesday morning. Mike and Tim were the only ones in the group to shoot a bull’s-eye, but the rest of the boys looked forward to more practice later in the week.

That afternoon, the boys did a scavenger hunt that took them all over camp and the surrounding forest. James’s team, composed of Mike, Caleb, and Jeffrey, found almost everything on the list: the sharp-edged rock, the hickory tree leaf, and even the bird feather.

Most of the other groups hadn’t been able to find a feather. James’s team came in second place.

Things were going pretty smoothly. Jeffrey hadn’t played any more pranks on the boys since the snake incident. He had gladly sat at meals with James and his friends since they had asked him and had begun to reveal a more decent, likeable side to his personality.

James began to think that maybe Jeffrey could actually become their friend and that he would stay out of trouble for the rest of the week. He thought maybe Mike was right when he said that all Jeffrey needed was to be treated like a friend, in order to act like a friend.

After dinner, the children and counselors headed outside for dessert at the evening’s all-camp Ice Cream Social, a build-your-own-sundae event.

There were three flavors of ice cream to choose from—chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, all you could eat—and toppings of chocolate sauce and colored sprinkles. At the end of the buffet, there were canisters of spray whipped cream and cherries to top off the creations.

Rosco and Sheriff were even given bowls of vanilla ice cream. Mandy, Kim, and Margaret lined up with the rest of the girls from their cabin. The evening felt cheerful.

Caleb and James waited patiently behind Jeffrey for their sundaes. Finally, nearing the end of the buffet line, Jeffrey grabbed the canister of whipped cream.

“Look out, Caleb!” Jeffrey laughed. “You look like you need some of this!” He held it up to Caleb as if he’d squirt it all over his face.

Caleb quickly jerked his head away. “Cut it out, Jeffrey!”

But, in the process, Caleb backed up into James, stepped on James’s foot, and lost his grip on his plastic bowl.

“Sorry, James!” Caleb said.

Then he saw his ice cream. His three-scoop sundae had splattered to the ground, spoon and all. Ice cream, sprinkles, and chocolate sauce blanketed the grass.

“Aw, man!” Caleb said. The three boys gazed at the mess.

“Oh, wow! Ooops! Sorry Caleb!” Jeffrey sneered, setting the canister back down on the table. “But wait, you thought I was really going to squirt you?”


“I wasn’t. I was only joking!”

Sheriff quickly descended on the delicious mess, licking it up rapidly. Rosco skipped over too, but Sheriff growled at him. He wasn’t sharing. Stay back, Rosco.

“Well, nice sundae, butterfingers!” Jeffrey teased.

Caleb huffed. “I didn’t even get one bite!”

“I didn’t drop it, you did!” Jeffrey replied.

“Here, Caleb,” said James, stepping in. “You can have mine. I’ll go make another one. Just ignore him.”

Caleb took it slowly, still a bit shocked at the mess on the ground that Sheriff was quickly devouring. “Thanks, James,” he said gratefully, “but you don’t have to . . .”

“No, take it, Caleb. It’s okay,” said James, giving Jeffrey a sharp look. “You’d better watch it, Jeffrey. You need to be more careful. And you shouldn’t tease someone when they’re already upset.”

Jeffrey just shrugged and walked to the picnic table where the other boys from their cabin were sitting.

Caleb sat down next to Mike and quietly told him what had happened. They exchanged frustrated looks, shaking their heads.

“It doesn’t seem to make a difference if we include him in our group or not,” Caleb said, discouraged. “He’s still going to make trouble.”

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