Jenny's Books
Into the Woods

I looked at the packing list that my science teacher had sent home with me the day before. The list seemed to be a mile long. I couldn't imagine how I was going to get all that stuff into my little suitcase. But I was going to have to figure it out. After all, I was going to be spending five days at Camp Einstein. I didn't want to get stuck there without enough underwear, socks, and bug spray. Especially the bug spray! There's nothing like a couple of huge mosquito bites to ruin a school trip.

That's what the visit to Camp Einstein was going to be. A five-day school field trip! All of the sixth and seventh graders at Joyce Kilmer Middle School were going to science camp together. (The eighth graders were going on a trip to Washington, D.C., later in the year.) I was really excited about the idea of spending a week at camp. So were all my friends. In fact, the science trip was pretty much all any of us had been talking about for the past week.

The seventh graders had already been on their first science camp trip last year, and they couldn't wait to tell the rest of us just how much fun it was. My friend Marc, who is a seventh grader, explained that science camp is just like regular camp, except you have to take notes and keep a journal. There are cabins to sleep in, a huge mess hall to eat in, and fun activities like hiking, pioneering, and toasting marshmallows over a campfire.

Some of my sixth grade friends were a little weirded out by the idea of spending a whole week away from home because they'd never done that before. They also weren't too crazy about the idea of sleeping in cabins in the woods, where there might be some wild animals lurking around. But I wasn't worried about anything. I'd already spent a whole summer at sleepaway camp. Five days was nothing to me. And as for sleeping on a cot in a cabin, I'd already done that, too. At Camp Kendale, I'd even slept in the woods in just a sleeping bag—no cabin, no cot, no tent. Just me, my sleeping bag, and the dirt. Actually it had been kind of comfortable and fun. Especially in the morning when we'd made French toast over a campfire. That was the best breakfast I'd had all summer.