Love at Camp Fort Jackson (November 2018)
Camping isn’t Austin Brockway’s favorite vacation. He’d rather be in a comfortable hotel where he can order room service. He especially likes hotels where the housekeepers leave little wrapped chocolates on your pillow when they turn down the bed at night. But here he is at Camp Fort Jackson, because he’s worried about his brother. Though Luke hasn’t told him, Austin knows about the feathers under his brother’s arms. He saw them one day when Luke spilled soda on his shirt and had to change. Austin worries that Luke is going to have a problem trying to keep those feathers covered at camp. He wants to be there to help in case there’s any trouble.
There’s one thing Austin does like about camp—Megan Gifford will be there. She and Austin are in the Trackers group. Though their cabins are far apart, the girls and boys sit together at meals. He’ll be able to see Megan then. Luke says Austin isn’t old enough to have a girlfriend. Austin disagrees. He’ll be 13 soon. That’s old enough to take a girl out for an ice cream cone, isn’t it? Maybe he could buy Megan some ice cream while they’re at camp. Just thinking about this makes Austin happy, though he suspects Megan likes his brother. Luke had a summer birthday, so he’s already 15. Luke doesn’t want a girlfriend. Austin doesn’t understand how Luke can know everything about animals and be so clueless about girls. If Luke breaks Megan’s heart, Austin will be there to pick up the pieces. He decides to take some extra money to camp so he can buy Megan something special at the Trading Post.
The Tracker group is out hiking in the woods one day when their counselor gets a call on his mobile phone. The counselor frowns as he listens and looks very worried as he puts his phone away. He tells the campers they must turn around. A cougar has been spotted in the woods very near the hiking trail, and the director wants the campers and staff to come to the mess hall immediately. Some of the campers panic and start to run. The group splits up as the counselors try to keep the frightened kids together and get them safely to the mess hall. Megan trips on a tree root and falls, hurting her arm. When she looks up, she sees a large, tawny animal on a heavy tree branch over her head. As the cougar stares at her, its tail twitches. It goes very still, then slowly lowers it’s head. She tries to scream, but the sound is choked by the dryness in her mouth.
To be continued.
The Cougar (October 2018)
Camp just got a little more exciting! When Luke and his buddy find cougar tracks in the woods, they need to act immediately to keep everyone safe. Luke rapidly climbs to the top of a fifty foot tree and scans the campground. Using “eagle vision,” he spots the cougar in a tree in Tracker Woods on the other side of camp. The counselors don’t believe him. How could anyone see something that’s almost two miles away?
Luke is frantic! He sees a line of hikers on their way to Tracker Woods, less than a quarter mile from where the cougar is hiding. He tells the counselors they must act immediately and call all the hiking groups in from the woods.
“This is a big cat,” he warns. “We can’t take any chances.”