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Summer Camp Secrets: Book 9
by Melissa J. Morgan
Priya’s best friend Jordan is a boy, but they are just friends – she can’t stand it when the girls tease her for being Jordan’s “girlfriend”. So when Jordan admits that he really likes another girl, Priya can’t understand why she suddenly feels jealous. Now it’s time she figured out her feelings for him once and for all.
“a frothy, fun-packed read”
School Librarian Journal
Sorry I haven’t written more, li’l bro. But you know how much I hate to sit still. And there’s always so much to do at Camp Lakeview. B-ball. Swimming in the lake. Soccer. Moonlight hikes. And some pretty great pranks have been played already this year. The most extreme ones since Jordan and I started coming here. Wow, I can hardly believe it’s our third summer. (Jordan says hi and says to go next door and scratch Cougar’s belly for him, because his parents always forget how much Cougar loves belly scratchies.)
A couple of days ago, I had this tree-climbing contest with Jordan, and I almost fell. Don’t tell Mom! I won, so it’s all good. Except the next day, Jordan beat me in this game we invented. Bikebroom polo. We’ll teach it to you when we get home.
You’ll go ape over it.
With the tree and the polo included, that makes the overall score for the summer: Priya 43–Jordan 41. I so rule! Except that, okay, Jordan has been ahead of me a couple times in this summer’s private Who’s-the-Most-Extreme Challenge. We’ve always managed to keep it a secret from the counsellors in the past, but this year there have been a couple-few visits to the nurse. There was even some hoo-ha about how I could have broken a bone after someone not-cool saw me in the tree. If I had broken one, you know what that would have meant? I’d be even with you and Jordan in bone breaking. (And, Mom would say, stupidity!) Because, as you know, I’ve had two broken bones in my almost twelve years on the planet, plus that thing that time with my tooth. What’s that Dad says? The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat? I still say the thrill was worth the agony of the teeth. ’Cause I did conquer that empty swimming pool with my skateboard. You know it.
How’re you? How’s the all-star team? Getting to play at Disneyland, that so rocks. I miss you, but with my best friend here, do I really need my annoying little brother around? (Just kidding. Jordan’s my BBFF. That’s boy best friend for ever, in case you don’t know. But you’re my BBF. Best brother for ever. Duh.)
I can’t wait until Friday. That’s when the whole fourth division is heading off for our long weekend – five days!!! – in Washington DC. There are a bunch of different activities to pick from, with pairs of counsellors chaperoning each one. Jordan and I have already made a zillion plans. We’re definitely going to do this thing called Sites on Bikes. That’s where you bike around all the monuments. (Do you think it’s possible to scale the Washington Monument? Because how much insane fun would it be to rappel down that thing? Just kidding. Mostly. I mean it would be fun, but even I’m not that deranged.) And we’re going to spend one whole day in the National Air and Space Museum. Of course. Two astro-nuts like us couldn’t miss that. There’s also this dance-cruise thing on the Potomac River the last night that everyone has to go to. I’m not so into that. But Jordan and I will find some way to make it fun.
Gotta go. Time for swimming.
Your favourite (and, okay, only) sister,
Priya Shah swam towards the big wooden raft out in the lake part of Camp Lakeview. She loved to lie on it until she started to get just a little dry. Then dive into the cold blue-green water. Then dry. Then dive. Then dry. Then—
Get hauled straight to the bottom!
Something had her by the foot and was dragging her down, down, down. Make that someone! Jordan played this trick on her at least once during every swimming session. She did a fast flip-twist-roll, the combo that she always used to get free from Jordan’s power grip, and shot up to the surface like a bubble in a can of Coke.
Jordan popped up next to her about a second later. “You need some new routines,” Priya told him.
“I’m thinkin’ we need more BTL,” Jordan said.
If you didn’t know Jordan, you might think he was saying he wanted more bacon, tomato and lettuce sandwiches. But Priya knew Jordan and the way Jordan’s brain worked. To Jordan, BTL could only mean one thing. The Beyond the Limits section of the National Air and Space Museum.
“We already calculated how much time we can spend at every exhibit we want to see,” Priya reminded him as they trod water across from each other. They’d been planning the museum part of the DC trip almost from the moment Dr. Steve announced it.
“I know. But BTL has the full-size space shuttle cockpit simulator. I need more minutes with that,” Jordan told her.
“Fine. Just don’t take them away from the Clementine. It—”
“I know, I know,” Jordan interrupted. “The lunar exploration vehicle that went from drawing board to space in two years.” Jordan knew how her brain worked, too. “But, Priya,” he continued. “I’m tellin’ you, that doesn’t mean that you can make one in your garage.”
Priya splashed him with one hand, using the other one to keep treading water. “Can I just say – duh?”
“I know how you think,” Jordan insisted. “Some day I’ll come over and it will be like that scene in E.T. You’ll have a fork and a phone and a bunch of other garbage and you’ll be trying to put yourself in orbit.”
Priya lowered her mouth into the water and shot a stream at him. “The Clementine was unmanned.”
“Fish poop in that water, you know,” Jordan informed her.
“So we’re both swimming in fish poop,” Priya answered.
Jordan stared at her for a second, a disgusted expression crawling over his face. Then he cracked up.
“I see you and the boyfriend found a new place for a private conversation,” Gaby commented as the 4C girls headed back to their bunk after swimming.
Priya rolled her eyes. She knew Gaby just called Jordan her boyfriend because Gaby knew that it drove her bonkers. But she couldn’t stop herself from exclaiming, “For probably the five hundredth time, Jordan is my friend. Period. Friend. Nothing before it. Friend. Friend. Got it, Gaby?”
Gaby raised her eyebrows. “Okay. You and that boy who is your friend seemed to have an awful lot to talk about today. And it didn’t seem like you wanted anyone else listening in, since you were talking while treading water away from everybody.”
“Yeah, that’s why you two climbed to the top of that tree the other day, right?” Grace teased. “So you’d have privacy to tell each other how much you loooove
“Don’t be stupid,” Priya said, but she smiled. At least Grace was just being goofy. Not trying to start trouble, which was what Gaby seemed to live for.
“It’s not stupid. Trees are the classic place for romance.” Brynn slapped her hands over her heart, her green eyes bright with laughter.
“What are you talking about?” Alex, the bunk’s own soccer star, asked, kicking a ball along the trail in front of her.
Brynn smiled. “Haven’t you ever heard that rhyme about being in a tree? K-I—”
“S-S-I-N-G!” everyone finished with her.
“We were C-L-I-M-B-I-N-G,” Priya told them.
“So you’ve never even thought about kissing Jordan?” Gaby asked.
“I haven’t ever thought about kissing anyone. Jordan hasn’t ever thought about kissing anyone, either. It’s grosser than drinking fish poop,” Priya insisted.
“Yuck,” Abby cried.
“Yeah, yuck,” Candace echoed. She was kind of a human echo.
“What’s yuck? The kissing or the fish poop?” Alex said.
“Both,” Abby answered.
“With kissing a little higher on the yuck scale,” Priya agreed.
“I wouldn’t mind deciding for myself. With the right person,” Brynn admitted.
“I still say Priya’s found her perfect guy,” Gaby said. “She’s with Jordan practically every second possible. They spend all their free time together. And they’ve been in a ton of the same activities this summer. Like tomorrow, they both have nature together.”
“We both like nature. So what?” Priya asked.
“All the magazines say it’s good for couples to have things in common,” Valerie joked, winking at Priya.
“Yeah, I bet if you and Jordan took that quiz from Seventeen magazine, you’d definitely get ranked Much More Than Friends,” Grace agreed.
“Just because we both like nature?” Priya protested.
“Lots of people like nature! Grace is in nature with me, too.” Luckily, they’d reached the bunk by then. “I call first shower!” Priya shouted, ending the conversation.
“Bat!” Priya called out the next day during nature. The bandanna tied around her eyes made her blind as a... you know.
“Tree!” someone to her left answered.
“Moth!” someone behind her squeaked. She was positive it was Jordan, trying to disguise his voice.
Two other people called out “moth” from somewhere in front of her. She was pretty sure Grace was one of them, because of the Grace-like, but not moth-like, giggling.
Priya spun around in the direction the squeaky definitely-Jordan voice had come from. “Bat!” she called out again. She got answers of “tree” and “moth” from all around her, along with some more probably- Grace giggles. She focused on one particular “moth”. This time it had been called out in a deep, booming voice. But Priya’s best friend couldn’t fool her. She knew him inside out. She’d been there at the most embarrassing moment of his life, and he’d been right there at hers. Jordan’s – calling his second grade teacher “Mommy” in front of everybody. Priya’s – peeing in her pants at Holly Perry’s seventh birthday party after proving that she could chug a two-litre bottle of lemonade without taking a breath (thanks very much for that dare, Jordan) and then getting really, really involved in a game of hide-and-seek.
“Bat! Bat! Bat!” Priya yelled. Arms outstretched, she stumbled towards the voice calling “moth” that she was sure was Jordan’s. Gotcha, she thought. Then she
launched herself into the darkness, and tackled... somebody...onto the grass. She jerked off her blindfold. Green eyes. Messy, longish brown hair. Freckles. Yep, it was Jordan.
“Great echolocation, Priya,” Roseanne, the counsellor in charge of the nature hut, called. “You guys see how the bat located its dinner? When Priya called ‘bat’, that was like a bat sending out a sonar pulse. And when you guys answered, that was like the bat receiving the echoes from the pulse. That’s how bats pinpoint where things are.”
“I rule!” Priya shoved her fists into the air.
Jordan climbed to his feet. “Congratulations, bat girl. You just ate a moth.”
“So? Good source of protein,” Priya told him as she stood up.
“Priya’s right,” Roseanne agreed. She ran her fingers through her long curly hair, making it even more wild. Priya was glad her dark hair was short, short, short. Pretty much nothing she did could mess it up. “Insects are high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol. They are really nutritional. In fact, I have some chocolate covered grasshoppers back in the nature shack if any of you want to try them,” Roseanne continued.
“No thank you. I’m on a special diet. Nothing that hops, ” Grace joked. “I’m really missing the frog legs and kangaroo meat. But I’ve lost like an eighth of a quarter of a kilo already.” Maybe if they were gummy grasshoppers she’d go for it, Priya thought. Grace had a serious gummy-bear habit.
“That is completely disgusting. And chocolate does have fat,” Chelsea, one of the Bunk 4A girls, decreed. She narrowed her eyes at Grace. “You might want to consider cutting out chocolate if you’re serious about losing weight.”
“But I’m not,” Grace answered.
Priya shot Jordan a wicked smile. “I’m thinking three points,” she whispered to him. No way would he let a grasshopper into his mouth, even one that was covered in sweet, chocolaty goodness. He was the Picky Eater poster boy. Jordan didn’t even like the foods he was willing to eat to touch each other. He even brought a supply of those plastic picnic plates with three separate sections with him to camp so he could keep his food compartmentalized. Not just to camp, either.
“Eating the ’hopper would put you one point ahead of me,” she added, just to torture him. As if he didn’t totally know that already.
“How is that extreme?” Jordan asked. “How is that worthy of our challenge?”
“Oh, right.” Priya shook her head. “You eat bugs every day. It’s not extreme at all.”
“You know what would be extreme?” Jordan asked, leaning close to her, his breath hot against her ear. “If you made me kiss someone.”
Priya jerked back and stared at her best friend.
Wh-what? She felt herself blushing. Even though she wasn’t the one who’d started babbling about kissing. Kissing. She didn’t think she’d ever heard Jordan use the word before. Maybe she’d just had an ear malfunction. “Huh? I didn’t hear you.”
“You missed a moth,” Jordan said. He whipped out one foot, and she was face down in the grass before she had time to react.
“You see it?” he asked.
“No, do you?” Priya yanked him down next to her.
“Jordan. Priya. Playtime’s over,” Roseanne teased, but with an I-mean-it edge to her voice.
Now that was something Priya and Jordan had heard a bunch of times. They’d been hearing it their whole lives. Priya scrambled up, managing to step on Jordan’s foot accidentally-on-purpose. He grinned at her. And her world was normal again.
Except she knew she really hadn’t had an ear malfunction. Jordan had used the K word. And just yesterday she’d told everyone in her bunk that Jordan had no interest in kissing anyone, ever.
Didn’t she know her BBFF at all?
Do you agree or disagree with the reviews below? Why not write your own?
summer camp secrets
Are you writing any more summer camp secrets books because I am really enjoying reading them.
sarah parker, 6th August 2008
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