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Teamwork at Camp Tioga
Copyright 2005 by Marsha Hubler
Requests for information should be addressed to:
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Hubler, Marsha, 1947-
Teamwork at Camp Tioga / Marsha Hubler.-- 1st ed.
p. cm. -- (Keystone Stables ; bk. 4)
Summary: Having taken a crash course in American Sign Language,
Camp Tioga junior counselor Skye tries to communicate with a troublesome
camper who is deaf, and when he disappears on horseback into the
hills, she and Chad lead the rescue team.
ISBN 0-310-70575-4 (softcover)
[1. Camps---Fiction. 2. Behavior---Fiction. 3. People with disabilities---
Fiction. 4. Deaf---Fiction. 5. Horses---Fiction. 6. Christian life---Fiction.
7. Pennsylvania---Fiction.] I. Title.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the
HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION . Copyright 1973,
1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan.
All Rights Reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted in any form or by any means---electronic, mechanical, photocopy,
recording, or any other---except for brief quotations in printed
reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
Zonderkidz is a trademark of Zondervan.
Special thanks to the Glupker family for use of their ranch.
Interior design: Susan Ambs
Interior illustrations: Lyn Boyer
Art direction: Laura Maitner-Mason
Cover design: Gayle Raymer
Photography: Synergy Photographic
Printed in the United States of America
05 06 07 08 09 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Dedicated to the Bill Rice Ranch
in Murfreesburo, Tennessee
We're finally here!' Skye yelled, jumping out of
the truck cab. Her dark brown eyes darted back
and forth at the surroundings as fast as her heart
was pounding. She ran both hands through her hair,
nervously pushing back the long dark strands. 'Morgan,
I can't believe it! Camp Tioga, all summer long!'
Mr. and Mrs. Chambers quickly slipped out of the
truck and set up Morgan in her Jazzy wheelchair on a
'My nerves are frazzled, and we just got here!' Morgan
giggled. 'Do you think not being able to sleep for a week
has anything to do with it?'
'You girls are in for the treat of your life,' Mr.
Chambers said. He squared his cowboy hat on his
brown hair and smoothed his mustache.
'You certainly are!' Mrs. Chambers smiled all the way
to her blue eyes. 'We're very proud of our foster girls volunteering
to be junior counselors and riding instructors.
Since you both have experience with horses and with
special-needs children, you're just the teen workers this
Christian camp was looking for.'
'It's so cool that our church decided to send monthly
support to this place,' Morgan said. Her long, kinky red
hair framed a freckled face upturned to the hot June sun.
'After Mr. Wheaten spoke to the youth group in Sunday
school last January, Pastor Newman really got sold on
this place. Thanks to those two, we're here!'
Skye's attention shifted to the barn and riding corral
straight ahead. 'I just can't believe that serving the Lord
could ever be like this. I mean, like, Morgan and me
together in the same bunkhouse! And on top of that,
Champ and Blaze could come too.' She glanced at the
trailer hooked to the back of their truck.
Neigh-h-h! At the mention of his name, the sorrel
quarter horse whinnied and pawed the trailer floor. Blaze
'Mr. Wheaten should be somewhere close by,' Mr.
Chambers said. 'He told us to be here by four o'clock.'
'Did I hear my name?' a man's voice called from inside
the barn. A large door slid open, and a giant of a man
walked out with a belly that looked like he had swallowed
a watermelon---whole. From the top of his cowboy hat
to the bottoms of his boots, he was covered in hay dust.
He banged his black Stetson on his jeans, wiped his sweating
face on his sleeve, and squared the hat on his silver
crew cut. 'Whew! Sure is a hot one today,' he said.
'Stackin' hay in heat like this is worse than tryin' to catch
a greased pig in a tub o' sticky oatmeal. It's almost as hot
here as it was in Texas. How are you folks doin' today?'
He extended his right hand to Mr. Chambers.
'We're fine,' Mr. Chambers said with a warm handshake.
'Jumpin' out of our skin would be a better way to
describe Morgan and me,' Skye said. 'We can't wait to
start our jobs.' And see Chad, she mused.
'Morgan Hendricks and Skye Nicholson, reporting
for duty, sir!' Morgan said, saluting. She shook Mr.
Wheaten's hand and then pivoted her chair toward a
large building to her right. 'I am so into cooking these
days. I want to get my hands on that neat equipment in
your mess hall where I'm going to spend three days each
week. At home I even practiced making brown bread and
'Yeah,' Skye said, opening her mouth and pointing at
her tongue. 'Enough to gag a maggot.'
'Skye---' Mrs. Chambers shook her head.
'Sorry,' Skye said.
'Little lady,' Mr. Wheaten said, 'you must've been
using Charleston's Summer Cookbook or somethin' left over
from the Civil War! This is Camp Tioga, not Camp
Atlanta. Pennsylvanians don't eat black-eyed peas---or
grits---even if that's all that's left on the shelf. We'd
rather eat wallpaper.' He laughed and his watermelon
belly bounced like it was dancing.
'Oops,' Morgan said, placing her hand over her mouth.
'I thought all camps had steady diets of grits and stuff like
'In these Pocono Mountains, you'll find baked beans,
griddle-fried potatoes, and homemade biscuits. No grits!
I repeat, no grits! Just give me a good ol' quarter-pounder
nestled between two slices of fresh-baked bread, and I'm
a happy camper. We've got great cooks and great eats
here at the camp. I'm sure you'll be a tremendous help to
our kitchen staff, little lady.'
'I can't wait,' Morgan said.
'Now, folks,' Mr. Wheaten said, 'the first thing we
need to do is get your mounts bedded down and get you
girls registered at headquarters.' He pointed to another
large building nearby. 'That's your first stop. Then we'll
show you your assigned bunkhouse, and after chow, you'll
get the nickel tour of the place. Tomorrow the campers
arrive, and we're off into a summer of 'what will happen
next?' So if Annie Oakley wants to help me, we'll unload---
oh---what are the horses' names?'
'Champ and Blaze,' Morgan said.
Mr. Wheaten continued, 'Okay, we'll unload Champ
and Blaze so they can take a nice long nap in their stalls
before munch time.'
'Annie Oakley?' Skye said, scratching her head.
Mrs. Chambers laughed. 'Skye, you're a little too
young to know about that TV program. As a matter of
fact, I wasn't around then either, but my mother told me
about it because she was as crazy about horses as we are.
Annie Oakley was an expert horsewoman and sharpshooter
who always wore pigtails.'
'Little lady, you'd look just like her if you had pigtails,'
Mr. Wheaten said. 'And I am old enough to remember
that TV show. One of my all-time favorites.'
'Hey,' Morgan said, 'I learned about Annie Oakley
in history class. She was a real person back in the early
1900s. Skye, you'd look cool with pigtails.'
'I'll pray about it,' Skye joked, walking toward the
back of the horse trailer.
'Hey, burgers and cheese, but no black-eyed peas!'
Skye and Morgan sang and giggled outside the mess hall
Following their introduction to 'camp grub,' they sat
through a not-too-boring orientation with all the other
volunteers. Next---as soon as Mr. Wheaten could join
them---they would get their guided tour.
'I wonder where Chad is.' Skye surveyed the surroundings,
hoping to see a blond head and gorgeous