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WE ARE THE PANTHERS!
Cheerleading camp is the best!" I said to my twin sister, Ashley.
"I know," said Ashley. She jumped into the air and landed in a split on the grass. Her blond ponytail bounced. "Go, team!" she shouted. Then she grinned. "Sorry-I couldn't help it. Can't you just feel the team spirit around here?"
I laughed. "I feel something, all right," I said. "Hungry." I reached down to help Ashley up. "Let's go to breakfast."
I couldn't believe Ashley and I were actually here at sleep-away cheerleading camp. We'd been looking forward to it for weeks. Especially Ashley. She's been totally into cheerleading ever since she was little.
Camp was being held at a fancy boarding school. The place was amazing. The brick buildings had ivy growing on the walls. And there was plenty of green grass, shady trees, and cool cobblestone pathways.
Ashley and I spent the day yesterday in the school's Olympic-size gymnasium, learning cheers. It was so exciting. Almost as exciting as solving mysteries for the Olsen and Olsen Mystery Agency! That's what Ashley and I do. We're detectives. We run the agency out of our attic.
But for two weeks we were going to be cheerleaders!
I glanced behind me. "Uh-oh," I said. "Look who's coming."
Ashley looked. Our roommates, Wendy Sanders and Marla Franklin, were walking up the path.. It was only the start of our second day. And Wendy was already driving me a little crazy.
"If she says one more word about wanting to be captain..." I whispered to Ashley.
Ashley -sighed. "Tell me about, it," she whispered back.
"Hey, wait for us!" Wendy called.
Marlaand Wendy ran to catch up to us.
"I forgot to tell you guys," Wendy said. 'Last season I got an award for Most School Spirit." She fluffed her dark curls.
"Congratulations," Ashley said politely.
"Thanks," said Wendy. "And-oh! Did I mention that my cheerleading squad was first place in the league? I was captain. So I'm a natural choice for Panther captain here at camp.
"A natural bragger is more like it!" Marla whispered to me.
I giggled. I wasn't really angry with Wendy. Her bragging was annoying. But basically, she was okay.
"I helped to make up the winning cheer," Wendy was telling Ashley.
"Really?" Ashley said. "You know, Marla made up an amazing cheer yesterday, during the opening pep rally."
At first Wendy frowned. But then she shrugged. "That's true," she admitted. "Marla's cheer was really great."
Marla blushed. She's tall and thin, with plain, mouse-brown hair. And she's excellent at writing cheers.
"In fact," Wendy went on, "Marla is so good at making up cheers, I was thinking I'd make her chief cheer-writer when I'm
I just had
to change the subject. "So is Kim coming to the meeting?" I asked Marla. Marla's older sister, Kim, is our squad's counselor-in-training. She's really nice.
Marla nodded. "This is Kim's first year as a CIT. She was a camper here for five years. She was squad captain for three."
"You know why else I should be captain?" Wendy broke in. "I'm always chosen to be on the top of the pyramid. I have very good balance."
I rolled my eyes. So much for changing the subject!
Finally, we reached the dining hall. Inside, thedelicious smells of bacon and pancakes filled the air. We took our place in the food line. We saw Kim talking with some other CITs. As soon as she spotted us, she hurried over.
Marla sighed. "I bet she's going to remind me to drink all my orange juice."
"Why would. she do that?" I asked. I put a grapefruit half on my tray.
"Kim always thinks she has to take care of me, 17 said Marla.
Ashley and I exchanged glances. We noticed that yesterday. Kim kept asking. Marla if she'd remembered to stretch before doing her jumps. Then she tried to put extra sunscreen on-her.
"Kim does seem to worrya little," Ashley said. She took a plate of food from the cafeteria lady. "But it would be cool to have a sister who's such a great cheerleader!"
have a sister who's a great cheerleader," I said. I tossed my hair like Wendy. "Did I mention that my cartwheels were voted best in the universe?"
Marla and Ashley cracked up all the way to our table.
Our squad, the Panthers, sat -at a table with Kim. Our table was right beside the Tigers' table. Patty O'Leary,- who lives next door to Ashley and me at home, is on the Tigers' squad. We call her Princess Patty (behind her back, of course!). She's one of those kids who gets everything she wants.
Patty waved to us and we waved back. She was wearing brand-new, expensive sneakers. On the table beside her was a fluffy pair of gold and purple pom-poms.
"I heard Patty's parents had those pom-poms made especially for her," Marla said.
cool," Ashley said. "But I still like my lucky ones better."
"We know!" Marla, Wendy, and I said together. Then we all burst into giggles.
"You sure are crazy about those lucky pom-poms," Wendy said.
Ashley's cheeks turned red. "I can't help it," she said. "I don't let anyone touch them. Not even Mary-Kate."
"Ashley's totally superstitious about those pom-poms," I explained. "It's weird. She's usually very logical."
"Well, I'd be careful with them, too, if -they were mine," Marla said. "They're so pretty, Ashley. I love the red and silver streamers." The New Adventures of Mary Kate & Ashley #17: The Case Of The Cheerleading Camp Mystery
. Copyright © by Mary-Kate & Ash Olsen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.