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My Camping Adventure 

My Camping Adventure

This book was created especially for
Devin Kelly
at the age of 8

With love from
Daddy
Summer 2002

It was "Old Teddy Bear" the hermit who told Daddy the story of the mountain's treasure. Now Daddy would pass the story along to Devin. "It's over the ridge," Daddy told Devin. "We'll have to camp overnight."

"We better check our supplies, Devin. We wouldn't want to forget anything," said Daddy. His friends were there to help load the van. Everyone was very curious about the treasure.

There was so much camping gear that Devin and his friends had to get behind Daddy and push to make it all fit. Finally, the van was packed. Everyone squeezed in, and off they went. The adventure had begun!

It was a long day of traveling, and the children were tired. The setting sun stirred the natural sounds of the forest. After everyone made camp, one of his friends studied the map with Devin. "Look, Devin, we'll go this way."

That night, Devin could hear an owl hooting in the distance. He found it very difficult to sleep. Everyone was so excited about the treasure! The snoring coming from Daddy didn't help matters either.

Finally, morning came, and everyone was up early and ready to go. "We want to be sure not to leave any trash behind, so let's clean up our campsite," ordered Daddy.

"Here is some paper," said his friend, while ripping it up and stuffing it into the trash bag. Devin thought the paper looked a lot like the map. No... it couldn't be.

"It's a rough trail, and we'll have to go by horseback," said Daddy. "Devin, stay close to your friends."

"Don't worry, Daddy, You can count on me," said Devin. Daddy was glad to have Devin with them.

Up the mountain, the trail became narrow and winding. Devin was amazed with the 
beautiful plant life surrounding them. Finally, everyone stopped for lunch.

"Who has the map? asked Daddy. "Not me," said Devin. "Not me," said one friend. 
"Not me," said another friend.

"It's gone!" exclaimed Devin. "How will we ever find the treasure?" "Hmmm...." said 
Daddy. "Perhaps I can remember the way."

Daddy seemed confident about the way to the treasure. This made Devin feel better 
about the lost map. "Let's catch some fish for lunch!" Daddy said. Devin and his friends cast their lines into the clear mountain stream. Devin immediately hooked a big fish... big enough for everyone to eat.

While everyone helped prepare dinner, Daddy spoke to Devin and his friends. "When I was a young cub like you, I met Old Teddy Bear the hermit, out here in these very woods. I'll tell you his story tonight after dinner." The food was served and everyone ate until they could eat no more.

That night, Devin and his friends gathered around the campfire with Daddy. Speaking very softly, Daddy began to tell the story...

"The old hermit told me of the mountain's great treasures many years ago. He said only the wisest of bears would discover the treasure's true value. Tomorrow, we will travel down the mountain stream."

The next morning brought dew and beautiful singing birds. Devin smelled the fresh, 
clean air as they paddled away in their canoe. Devin reminded everyone to put on a life jacket.

One of Devin's friends leaned over to get a life jacket and fell headfirst into the cold 
mountain stream. "Help!" his friend cried. Everyone was alarmed. Devin quickly grabbed a life jacket and threw it out to help his friend swim ashore.

Devin helped his friend out of the stream and on to the grassy bank. Daddy put his arm around Devin. "That was quick thinking, Devin," said Daddy. "I'm very proud of you. Next time we'll all remember to put on our life jackets before we get in the canoe."

Later that day, Daddy told everyone to gather around. "How much farther, Daddy?" 
asked Devin.

"We are here," Daddy remarked, to everyone's surprise.

"But where's the treasure?" asked Devin.

"Don't you see?" said Daddy. "It's all around us, and it's been here all along. It's the 
natural sounds of the forest. It's in the green trees, the fresh air and clean water. 
These things are the real treasures of the mountain."

At first, Devin and his friends were puzzled. Then, Devin realized what Daddy meant! 
He envisioned the old hermit telling Daddy that only the wisest of the bears could find 
the real treasure of the mountain.... and he was right!

Devin would always remember this special camping adventure, and would tell all of his friends in Pensacola about his discovery of the real treasures of the mountain.

From that day forward, Devin always remembered to respect the beauty and wonder that nature has to offer...and so should everyone.

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