The 3 girls and Dan made their way first to the local shop, which was en-route to the park, where they picked up not only the biggest bottle of Coke available, but also a bag of sweets each, to share. They may have only just eaten, but being growing kids there was n doubt they’d much their way through this lot too, and probably still be starving by the time they got back home. Dan and Lucy walked hand in hand the whole way, with Becky on one side and Lucy on the other, and they chatted excitedly about anything and everything. Plans for the summer holidays was a big topic of conversation, with Dan particularly excited that he was heading to Spain with his Mum for a week in the sun. Lucy’s Mum had told her that they had a surprise holiday booked, but wouldn’t tell her where, and had even forbidden her from telling Jack that they were going anywhere at all. She had wanted to surprise them both, but typical Lucy was all ears and had heard her making some arrangements over the phone. The destination itself though was kept under close wraps.
Becky and Em were both in the Girl Guides, and they’d be going away for a weeks summer camp once the holidays started. They’d tried countless times to get Lucy to join, but she was adamant that it wasn’t for her. Getting muddy in the great outdoors didn’t go with her attempts to be glamorous and look like an older, mature teenager, she thought. It didn’t stop the other two girls trying again though.
“Come on Luce, if you come along for the next couple of weeks then I’m sure the leaders will let you come to camp! It’s the best thing EVER. This year we are going to be climbing up a mountain, which we’ve never done before. And we play so many fun games, manhunt in the sand dunes is amazing. Please, at least say you’ll think about it.” Becky looked imploringly at her friend, knowing it was probably in vain, but determined to try all the same.
“You know it’s not for me Becks. It’s all so…muddy and grubby, haha. And the idea of using a bucket in a tent for a toilet, no thanks! Hopefully Mum has booked somewhere nice for us, I hope it’s got a spa! What do you say Dan, hotels are better than tents any day, aren’t they?”
Dan was a bit conflicted. On the one hand, Lucy could do no wrong in his eyes at that very moment, but on the flip side he’d always really wanted to be able to join the scouts and camp out with them on adventures but it had never been possible.
“Oh I dunno Luce, posh hotels are nice, but I do like the great outdoors too. I’d have loved to join the scouts and go camping, but with my, y’know, problem it’s never been an option for me.” Screwing his face up a little at the mention of his nighttime issues, Dan coloured immediately and looked away.
“You should give it a go Dan! Honestly, if you can sleepover with us then you can definitely go to camp. If the scout leaders are anything like ours at guides, they’re amazing and will do anything they can to help you. And, do you know what, even if you did have an accident, you probably wouldn’t be the only one. It happens, we’ve all seen the odd sleeping bag getting washed during the week, but nobody says anything, we’re all too busy having fun!” Em had been involved with guiding/scouting since she was 5 when she joined the Rainbows, and had tried to get all of her friends to join at one time or another, and she never passed up the opportunity to try and pull in new recruits. Becky had finally given it a go a couple of years ago as a Brownie, and now she was almost as hooked as her friend.
“Hmm, well, it’s something to think about I guess.” Dan had no intention of ever camping with friends until he knew there was zero chance of waking up to a wet sleeping bag, but by saying he’d think about it he knew he’d get Em off his back again for a while, until the next time at least.
By now the 4 friends had reached the park, and were sat in a huddle under the slide, passing the bottle of Coke around and sharing each others sweets. Considering it was such a beautiful day, there were only a handful of younger kids there with parents, playing in the toddler area. The main park was empty, meaning they had the run of it, and having had their fill of pop and sugar, Becky and Em decided to try to reach the top of the climbing frame, leaving Dan and Lucy to swing together.4
Audio Version of Chapter