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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10. The Shadow On the Window

After the sundaes were gone, the whole camp played a giant game of freeze tag. The boys were exhausted after such a busy day.

Later, at James’s cabin, everyone got ready for bed. Matt made his usual announcement as he flipped the last light switch on the wall. “Lights out. Time to go to sleep, guys.”

At Mandy’s cabin, the scene was similar. The girls brushed their teeth and changed into their pajamas. They settled into their bunks, quietly chatting with one another, reading a book by flashlight, or writing a letter to their parents.

“Okay, girls. Lights out. It’s quiet time now,” said Jennifer. She switched off the lights and left the room. In the corner bunk, Izzy turned over inside of her sleeping bag. “I’m too tired to stay up, anyway.” She yawned.

A little while later, most of the girls were asleep. Suddenly, a bright light appeared at the window beside Margaret’s bunk. It was coming from outside. The light moved about unsteadily. Eerie shadows began to appear on the walls and floor inside the cabin.

“Look!” Kimberly whispered loudly. “What’s that?”

“Eeeeeek!” Margaret screamed. Several other girls screamed.

“What is that?” Margaret pointed at a shadowy shape. She jumped out of her bed, which was on the lower bunk, and flitted away from the window.

Jennifer came racing in from the other room where the counselors slept. “What’s going on in here?” she asked. “What’s all the screaming about?"

“Look! Over there!” Mandy cried. She pointed to the window beside Margaret’s bed.

A strange and monstrous figure now seemed to be lurking just outside of it. The figure’s shadowy movements twitched about on the glass pane.

Madison quickly climbed down from the top bunk, scrambling to escape the clutches of the spooky shadow.

“Hold on a minute, everyone!” Jennifer told them in a loud whisper. “I’ll be right back!” She ran from the room. Another counselor quickly came into the girls’ bunk room to keep the girls calm.

The girls heard the screen door of the cabin slam shut as their counselor raced outside. Whoever was responsible for shining the flashlight outside the cabin would be caught red-handed.

Out on the porch, Rosco had been pacing about with worry. He had already heard the screams coming from inside Mandy’s cabin, and was on high alert for any noise coming from the woods. As Jennifer jumped off the porch in pursuit of the shadowy figure, Rosco followed her.

But by the time the young woman and the dog reached the back of the cabin, the spooky shadows had stopped. Whoever was responsible for frightening the girls had disappeared.

“Doggone it! They got away! They must’ve heard me.” Jennifer glanced at Rosco, then back at the woods. “Well, stay away, whoever you are!” she shouted into the dark, empty night.

She wasn’t about to chase any young pranksters down the dark trail to the boys’ cabins at this time of night.

But Rosco wouldn’t let a troublemaker get away without a chase. On pure instinct, he raced off down the dark trail.

“Rosco, wait, it’s okay!” Jennifer called. “It’s probably just one of the boys!” But Rosco kept going.

Moments later, Jeffrey tiptoed in through the side door of his cabin. It was very dark in the bunk room. A board creaked under his feet on the old wooden floor, but he slipped into his bed quietly. Most of the boys were already asleep, but some were not.

Caleb sat up and leaned on his elbows. “Where were you?” he whispered.

“Nowhere,” Jeffrey lied. “Just went to the bathroom.”

“Yeah, sure you did,” James said. “Then you’re not responsible for all that screaming we just heard way off in the distance?”

“No way,” Jeffrey said, climbing into bed and smiling to himself. “Not me.” He was glad it was dark, because he couldn’t keep from grinning. He had pulled it off—his practical joke had worked!

“Right,” said James sarcastically, turning to face the wall in his sleeping bag. “Sure, you’re not.” He didn’t believe him for a second.

Jeffrey just shrugged.

James sighed. Here we go again, he thought. More pranks and lies—from one of the oldest kids in our cabin, no less! Treating him like a friend definitely wasn’t stopping him from making trouble. What were they going to do about this kid?

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