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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2. The Windsurfer

As James watched Rosco steadily doggy paddling back to shore, a skinny, dark-haired, thirteen-year-old boy appeared on his windsurfer. The boy was trying hard to keep his balance, holding on tightly to the boom as he stood on the board. The instructor had explained to everyone that the boom on a windsurfer was like the handlebars on a bicycle.

But it was much harder than riding a bike, James thought. The boy was struggling to keep his boat afloat and not run into anything.

All at once, a fierce breeze hit the sail, speeding up the boy’s rig. The boy tried to avoid any obstacles in the water, but the wind was too strong. He couldn’t control the sails. He was now heading straight toward Rosco.

Swimming calmly across the lake, Rosco didn’t see or hear the windsurfer at all.

The boy began to panic. “I can’t stop!” he hollered. “Watch out!” But the wind carried his voice away.

James began to panic, too. He raced to the edge of the dock, desperate to warn his dog. “Watch out, Rosco! Get out of the way!”

Rosco heard James’s call without a second to spare. He turned and saw the disaster heading toward him. Quickly, Rosco took a deep breath and ducked underwater.

Then, using every ounce of his strength, he paddled down deeper. If Rosco were lucky, he might not get hit by the large board gliding overhead.

“Oh, no,” Caleb whispered.

As fellow campers held their breath, the boy sailed onward, unable to stop. Swallowing hard, James watched as the boy passed straight through the spot in the lake where Rosco had been swimming only a moment ago.

But no terrible sound was heard—no awful bumping noise, no screeching howl of pain from Rosco—just the board cutting cleanly through the water.

The next moment, Rosco bobbed back to the surface, unhurt.

“He did it!” Caleb cried. “Rosco did it!” He raised a triumphant fist into the air.

“Whew!” James sighed heavily with relief.

Rosco began to swim steadily back to shore again. In a few moments, he crawled safely onto the sandy beach. All of the kids nearby cheered, except for Jeffrey. Jeffrey was pouting.

James hurried across the dock and jumped down onto the sand to greet his sopping wet dog.

“Wow! That was close. You sure gave us a scare, boy!” James said. Are you okay?” Rosco stood up and shook himself, spattering drops from his wet fur all over the place. James held out a hand to cover his face. He turned his head away. But it was no use. Rosco soaked him. “Aw, man!” He cringed, smiling.

Rosco followed James back onto the dock. Tired and wet, the dog lay down in the warm sun.

“Take a rest, boy,” James said. You deserve it.” James turned back to Caleb, who had climbed into their canoe and was waiting for him. “Okay, I’m ready now,” said James.

He stepped carefully into the canoe and sat down. Caleb untied the rope from the post on the dock.

“I don’t know why Jeffrey would play a joke that like,” Caleb said. “It wasn’t funny at all. It was just mean, if you ask me.”

“I know. It was like he just wanted attention. He sure is lucky that Rosco didn’t get hurt, though. Because he’d be in serious trouble right now if Rosco had been hit by that windsurfer.”

“By the way, isn’t Jeffrey new this year?” said Caleb. “I don’t remember him from last year.”

“Yeah. It’s his first time at camp,” James said. “I asked him today when he was setting up his bunk.”

Matt, their counselor, motioned to Jeffrey and Josh to bring their canoe in, frowning hard at Jeffrey.

“Well, we’d better keep an eye on Jeffrey,” James said, “especially since he’s in our cabin.”

They lifted their oars and pushed them against the dock to move the boat out into the water. “We don’t know what kinds of things he might do. This probably won’t be the last little joke he plays on one of us. And I don’t want him ruining our week.”

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