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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Camping (07/11/05)

By Elisabeth Seiter



“Schnibble-nobbits!!!” Groaned Erica “I HATE CAMPING”.
“I don’t want to go. There are no bathrooms, no showers, and no air conditioning.!.....
Not to mention the thousands of bugs and mosquitoes!” Who ever invented camping anyway.” Erica went on with her Hate camping dialogue.
She knew the utterances fell on deaf ears because there was no way she would be permitted to stay at home. Erica just had to make her point known to herbrothers Jake and Tim who absolutely loved camping.
“I don’t understand why we can’t do something different ” she ranted. Some of her friends went to the Caribbean and California on vacations, and she wanted to do something exciting so she could talk about it with herfriends. Erica usually sat silent as they spoke of their vacations... All she could think of
was that she would be spending her 10th birthday with her stinky old brothers.

“They probably forgot my birthday completely!” “I’m not going to remind them either, Just wait. That will make them feel bad!” she muttered to herself.

Erica scooped up her dog Jesse in her arms and he immediately gave her--doggie kisses. Holding Jesse always seemed to make things better. Jesse would listen to all of her problems and knew just when she needed an extra doggie kiss.

“Aren’t you packed yet?” called her dad. “This is only for a weekend you don’t have to bring your whole closet with you.”
“I’m coming” stomp, stomp went her feet. “And leave the elephant feet at home” her father bellowed.

By 6am the backpacks and suitcases, food, and fishing gear were loaded. Four hours later they arrived at the campsite. The tent went up without any problems.
“Okay” shouted her father “let’s go hiking.”
“ Schnibble-nobbits. Where is the bug spray? I can’t find my hat, what happened to my hiking boots? If I put the hat on I’ll have hat head hair, OOHHH, I HATE Camping.Why can’t I just stay here with Mom and make lunch.”
“Go on,” her mother said, “ It’s not as bad as all that, you will have fun. You just like todwell on the negative side of things until you get going, and like always you will have a
great time, Now go”
“Okay, if I have to.” she said through clenched teeth.

No sooner had Erica left when about 20 of her friends and their parents arrived to help set up for Erica’s surprise birthday party. Streamers and balloons decorated the trees and
surrounding bushes. Tables were set up with beautiful party tablecloths, sandwiches, salads, and of course a birthday cake.

This just finished the hikers could be heard coming back. They had been gone about twohours. Jake and Tim were in on this the whole time. The signal for their return was to start shouting, “ Hope lunch is ready, I’m starved.”

Erica was the first one to enter the campsite, she turned around and said to Jake “This is the wrong place. I think we got lost. There are a lot of people down there”“Well we better find out where we are then. Go down” said Jake.

"No. I’m not going to ask for directions, you go, better yet let Dad go first.” Erica exclaimed.

“We’ll all go together” her father said.

They brazenly walked into the center of the campsite and all of Erica’s friends came out of hiding and yelled, “SURPRISE!”
Erica almost fell over in shock.

Patty, her best friend gave her a big hug, and the rest of her friends gathered around.

“This is so great. I wish my family would go camping. Imagine being outside, and able to see the sky so clearly and not have TV. Your Dad has some great stories that he’s told my parents about camping. You are soooo lucky.” Patty said

“We do play games together at night and talk about stuff. I guess I just took it for granted that everybody does those things.” said Erica.

“No, my Dad just watches TV because he is too tired after working all day.” Patty said.Just then Patty’s Dad came over to wish Erica a Happy Birthday and said“I’d like to try camping for a change instead of going away all the time. This seems so relaxing.”
Erica went to her father gave him a big hug and said “Thanks Dad, you’re the greatest.Did I ever tell you how much I like camping?”

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This article has been read 746 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shari Armstrong 07/18/05
I had to read this story first -the title had me very curious! A few typos that need fixed, but other than a very cute story!!
Nina Phillips07/18/05
This was a fun and sweet article. Liked the ending. (a few typos) God bless ya, littlelight
dub W07/21/05
Delightful tale, work on dialog techniques and clean up the typos and you have a piece worthy of publication. Thanks.
Brandi Roberts07/21/05
Very fun! Needs a little editing, but that's no biggie. Thanks for sharing!