FOOD FIGHT AT CAMP RUNAMUCK
It was Sarah’s first time going away to summer camp. Sarah’s friends were off to a different camp where she had also wanted to go, but her mother wouldn’t hear of it. Sarah’s older sisters had both spent their summers at Camp Runamuck, and her mom insisted that Sarah follow suit. She was going alone, and she was far from thrilled.
Sarah always thought the camp sounded like a totally weird place, but as the family car pulled into the gates, rolling green hills, a lake with big wooden rafts and row boats, a swimming hole with a tire swing, delightful log cabins, and rows and rows of vegetables were what met her eyes. “This place looks beautiful,” Sarah let slip out of her lips.
They were soon met by a camp counselor. “Welcome fellow farmer. I’m Christie,” she said as she held out her hand to shake Sarah’s. “Ready for the tour?” Christie led Sarah and her parents around the grounds.
Camp Runamuck had more than fields of growing vegetables, it had an enormous barn full of cows, goats, chickens and ducks. ” You’ve got livestock, how wonderful!” Sarah was beginning to feel good about the camp her mother chose for her.
”Folks think the name ‘Camp Runamuck’ sounds like a place gone out of control, but it was named because it overflows with growth. It ‘runs-a-muck’ with leafy and breathing life,” explained Christie.
”It’s a ‘Green’ place Sarah! Getting your hands dirty growing food and working with animals are things you don’t get to do where we live,” said her mom excitedly. “I grew up on a farm, and I wanted my girls to experience it too.”
”I think I’m going to like this place,” Sarah thought as she waved goodbye to her parents. However, that feeling was fleeting. Just as she picked the nicest bed in the empty cabin and began unpacking her trunk, three girls burst into the room.
”Hey, newbie, you get the smelly futon!” yelled Marsha, a huge, red-headed girl who had hair growing on her upper lip. Her toadies, Trish and Tiffany, followed suit in welcoming Sarah by laughing and kicking her trunk into the corner where the dilapidated bed sat. “See you at chow,” they taunted as they left the cabin.
Sarah found her way to the ‘Grub Pavilion,’ picked a seat at an empty picnic table and was soon met by a smiling boy wearing thick, wire-framed glasses. “Corey’s my name, and growing is my game. It’s nice to meet you.”
Sarah and Corey were getting to know one another in between bites, but something suddenly caught Sarah’s eye. Marsha was standing a table away holding a heaping bowl of white stuff high in her hand, and she was aiming right at Sarah!
WHUMP! A gloppy, gooey mess that smelled of porridge dripped down her cheek and the front of her t-shirt. What?! Sarah was shocked, and outraged.
She grabbed the first thing at hand, her chocolate milk. She opened the box all the way and threw it – past Marsha but THUNK, right on Trish’s ear, the milk flowing like a wave over her blonde banana curls!
“You missed me,” laughed Marsha. She then grabbed Corey’s tuna fish sandwich and rolled it into a soft fishy ball. SWISHHHH- THWACK!
With Corey’s egging, Sarah stood up and with all her strength flung her tuna fish sandwich at Marsha. But instead it ZOOMED way to the right and landed SWAP, right on Christie, the counselor’s, chest.
Christie jumped up on a table and yelled “Enough! This is no way to welcome everyone to the first meal of camp.” Sarah stared sheepishly down at her plate feeling guilty for her retaliation and generally bad aim. Christie took something from behind her back. “Cake is a much better welcome!” Cake flew in all directions, SPLATTING on hair and noses.
CampRunamuck’s Grub Pavilion was in total chaos! As Sarah turned to ask Corey if this kind of thing happened often, he yelled “IN COMING!” And an expertly thrown frosting glob landed, SMOUSH all over Sarah’s face!
“Let’s get out of here Corey,” cried Sarah as she went running towards the door, but SWOOMP, she slipped on a juice puddle and the frosting glob she had cleaned from her face went flying and landed on Marsha’s head with a PLOP! “Uh oh, I’m dead now! Come on Corey, let’s go hide in the veggie fields.”
“No, not yet,” Corey said. He stopped at a table where three girls were cowering underneath, on the floor. They had hardly touched their food. Corey reached for it and in quick succession he fired three sandwiches, two scoops of mashed potatoes, two handfuls of green peas, three pieces of chocolate cake and two slices of watermelon across the room. CLUMP, SCROOSH, SQUOOSH, SQUOOSH, SCLATTER, PLUNK, PLUNK, BUNK, SPLUMP. The food found its targets. Marsha, Trish, and Tiffany hardly had time to look for something to throw before something else was spluttering somewhere near them.
Dahlia Jones, a newbie too, had shaken a bottle of YOO-HOO and stealthily rolled it to stop right next to Marsha and the toadies. POPWOOOSHLISH- Direct hit! Sarah cheered, then grabbed Corey and Dahlia and ran to the veggie fields.
There they found turnips; pulling them from the soft earth with a THWOOP, they fired one, then another, then a third at the troop streaming from Grub Pavilion.
They ran deeper into the rows of growing veggies to find Marsha hiding alone among the tomatoes.
“Sarah Wright, please come to the office. You’ve got a phone call,” the grounds’ speakers announced. “”Sarah Wright, please come to the office. You’ve got a phone call.”
Sarah dropped the tomato she was about to SQUISH on Marsha’s back and ran towards the office. She hadn’t wanted a fight in the first place.
It turns out that Marsha was a wimp if you got her away from her toadies. She sat and cried, “BWAAAH, BOO, HOO, WHAA!”
Stunned, Corey and Dahlia dropped their veggie weapons and sat down next to her. “I was bullied when I first came to Camp Runamuck, so I vowed to bully first so no one would pick on me again,” she confessed. “This tough act of mine is fake; I’m really a MUSH!”
Meanwhile, Sarah picked up the phone in the office to hear her mother on the end of the line. “So, my dear, are you getting your hands dirty?”
“I sure am Mom. I’m getting my hands, feet, head, arms and legs FILTHY!”
BAM, the office door burst open and Corey, Dahlia and Marsha stumbled through it laughing all over one another. “Hey Sarah, come on!” Corey urged, winking that everything was okay.
Sarah blinked twice. Was Marsha actually standing between Corey and Dahlia with their arms on her shoulders all SMOOSHIE TOOSHIE?
“We’re going to the swimming hole to wash off this muck, you coming?” Dahlia asked.
“Mom, I gotta go, but I want to tell you that I love it here, and I’ve already made friends! Thank you, Love you, bye!”
“You can have the best bed Sarah; I’ll take the futon,” Marsha said as she held out her hand to Sarah. “Friends?” Sarah smiled back and went to shake on it, but Marsha gave her a huge bear hug instead-OOMPH!
The war was over.
As they all took turns SPLUSHING into the lake from the tire swing, Sarah thought, “Boy, this place sure does live up to its name!”