"The Tweenage Rugrats Camp Out"

By Birch Griesse & Dwayne Anderson

It was a bright sunny Tuesday in June. The Rugrats and their parents were packing for a three-week campout. They were going to fly from California to Colorado to camp at a national park up in the Rocky Montains.

"I don't want to go camping in the Rockies," Angelica complained, "Do you have any idea how cold it is up there!? Besides, how am I going to be able to survive three weeks without television? I'll be missing THREE whole episiodes of Teen Rage!"

"Now, Angelica," said Charlotte, Angelica's mother, " We won't be camping very high up in the Rocky Montains, and it won't be very cold since it's summer. As for television, if the rest of us can go three weeks without it, so can you."

Angelica groaned and continued to pack. She hated it when her mother lectured her like that. It was so embarrassing.

Everybody soon finished packing, and they all piled into Stu's big van and drove off.

"You kids will love this place," Stu told the rugrats. "We'll roast hot dogs and marshmallows, tell ghost stories and sing songs around the campfire, swim in mountain springs and much, much more."

"Sounds like fun," said Tommy.

The rest of the rugrats (all but Angelica) had to agree. They reached the airport in a few hours. Everyone piled out of the car and walked inside. Stu sent their luggage to the luggage compartment, then they all boarded the plane. The plane ride lasted very long (for the kids at least) but at last they reached Colorado. They got off the plane and Stu went to go rent a car for them so they could drive up to the Rockies. The rest of the adults took the kids to a restaurant in the airport for some lunch and Stu soon joined them.

After lunch the rugrats and their parents drove to their campsight in the rented car. When they arrived they unpacked and set up two large tents (it took two for all of them to fit). Angelica soon found that her mother had been right. It wasn't that cold.

"I can't show it though," Angelica thought, "If I do mom and dad will just say, ' I told you you'd like it here'. I won't let that happen! I've got my of pride! I'll pretend I'm miserable and make them miserable, and they'll wish they never took me on this stupid camping trip. That'll show them to make me miss Teen Rage! They will regret this!"

With that in mind Angelica began thinking of ways to make the rest the campers miserable. Unable to think of anything good right then, Angelica did something simple. She wrapped her arms around herself and starting shivering.

She walked up to her mother and father and said, "I thought you said it wouldn't be cold up her mom! I'm freezing! Let's just leave!"

Kimi, who was standing nearby said, "It's not cold up here Angelica! You're just faking it because you want to watch your stupid tv show."

"You are entitled to your opinion, Kimi," Charlotte said. "However, it may be cold up here for Angelica."

Angelica gave Kimi a, "nanny-nanny boo-boo" smile.

Directing her attention to Anglica, Charlotte suggested, "If you're cold, Angelica, why don't you put on you heavy jacket."

Drew looked at Angelica's short, little skirt. " Maybe some long pants, as well," he added.

Angelica's plan had been foiled! Kimi gave her a, "what are you going to do now" smile.

Angelica cringed.

"No, I'm ok," Angelica told her parents, knowing that if she changed into warmer clothing, she would become overheated, " I don't feel so cold anymore. In fact, I'd like to go swimming soon!"

"Alright then, go change into your bathing suit," Charlotte instructed. "I'll see if any of the other kids want to come, and then I'll show you way to the creek."

All of the other children wanted to go. So, they changed into their bathing suits and Charlotte took them to the creek.

"Do you think you can find your way back?" asked Charlotte.

"Of course we can," said Phil.

"We'll just follow the trail," Lil added.

"Ok. Be back by 6:00, it starts getting dark after that," Charlotte reminded them.

"Yeah, yeah, we know," said Dil impatiently. "We'll be fine. Can we just swim?"

"Ok, have fun," Charlotte called as she walked back down the path.

Not long after Charlotte was gone, two young teenage boys came running down to the creek from a completely different direction from the path the rugrats had taken just a few minutes ago. One looked Japanese and was about Kimi's age. The other was Caucasian and looked about Angelica's age. The Japanese looking boy ran dived gracefully into the water, landed with hardly a splash, and swam over to Kimi. The other boy, who was a bit heavyset, did a running cannon-ball, showering everyone with a HUGE splash, and kicked over to Angelica.

"Hello," said the Japanese looking boy to Kimi. "My name is Ken Oakura ( Oh-a-kor-a). I come from Japan. I have only been living here for only two years. You are very beautiful. I think I am in love with you. What is your name?"

Kimi smiled. Ken had shiny black hair, soft brown eyes, and a smile that could melt chocolate. Right then, Kimi was an ice cube. All she had on was a bikini and it was a little embarrassing.

"My name is Kimi Finster," Kimi said sheepishly. "I'm originally from Japan as well."

Ken's face lit up.

Suddenly the boy who had been with him called out, "Your doing it all wrong! Watch the expert!"

He turned to Angelica, who had been staring at him dreamily for the whole time.

"Hey, babe," he said in his most charming voice, "My name's Andy."

"Hi, Andy, I... I...I'm...m... A... An...An... Angelica," said Angelica softly.

She batted her eyelashes. Kimi and Ken ignored them and began a conversation in Japanese. Chuckie, who had been watching Angelica and Andy flirt, was turning green. "EEEEEW!" Chuckie blurted out. Neither Angelica nor Andy seemed to even notice this. It was as if they were lost in another dimension.

"I think I like Ken's methods better," whispered Tommy.

He closed one eye and and stuck out his tongue as Andy lightly kissed Angelica on the cheek. Phil and Lil were pretending to barf into the water.

"I , Blaaaaaahch, agree," Phil said.

The kids continued playing in the creek. They swam, splashed, and, in Angelica and Kimi's case, flirted. Then, they got together a game of Marco  Polo and some other games. Kimi and Angelica became very close to Ken and Andy and the rest of the rugrats became very good friends with them. Angelica was enjoying herself so much, she forgot to be angry. They were having such a good time, they lost track of time. It was Dil who first remembered their curfew. He was trying to catch a frog when he noticed it was dark out. Remembering what Charlotte had told them, he called out to Lil, asking,

"What time is it Lil?" Lil looked at her pink waterproof watch and gasped.

"What is it?" asked Tommy. Lil looked worried.

"It's 9:00!!" she exclaimed. All of the rest of the rugrats stopped what they were doing and ran up to Lil.

Back at the campsight the grownups were very worried. They had called the park rangers and were talking to them right at the time Dil was chasing the frog.

"They're teenaged," Charlotte explained, "I thought we could trust them to watch out for themselves."

"How many are there?" asked a thin, suntaned female ranger with brown hair put up in a ponytail. She wore a green shirt and shorts, both with many pockets.

"There are seven of them," Didi informed her. The female ranger, Marissa, looked at her partner, Ben.

Ben was a muscular man, with thick curly blonde hair. He spoke with a slightly Swedish accent.

"Vere ar za?" Ben asked.

"That's what we want to know!" Betty shouted. Marissa sighed.

"I think what Ben means is where were they last," Marissa told them. Ben nodded, and then both rangers looked at the worried parents.

"They went down to the creek," Howard said. The rangers headed off to the creek.

Back at the creek, the babies were heading back to the campsight. About halfway down the path, the rugrats saw the shadows of the of the rangers. Chuckie became frightened of them.

"What if they arrest us for loitering?!" he worried.The kids rushed into a grove of trees and hid in the thick brush.

"I uold ave svorn I saw somvon ear," Ben said. He took out his flashlight and shone it into the forest. The rugrats held their breath as they crouched lower down in their hiding places.

"There's no one here," Marissa said, "Let's go."

Ben and Marissa headed farther down the path tol the creek. The rugrats sighed with relief.

"That was close," Chuckie sighed.

"Maybe we should stay just in the woods," Tommy suggested.

Slowly, carefully, the kids crept through the forest just outside the path. After awhile, they were able to see a faint campfire light. They were nearing camp. Soon they came to the end of the path. This was where the path opened into the campsight that they were staying at. They all ran out of the forest.

"We're back!" called Angelica.

"Sorry we're late!" cried Kimi.

"We totally lost track of time!" Lil exclaimed. The surprised parents whirled around.

"Tommy?!" Stu cried, "Dil?!"

"Chuckie?! Kimi!?" Kira exclaimed.

"Phil," called Howard,"and Lil?!"

"Angelica?!" shouted Drew.

"All of you! Come here right now!" Charlotte yelled. Slowly, heads hung low, the kids walked toward the adults.

"I demand an explanation." Drew commanded.

"Where in the world have you been?" Howard asked.

"We were worried sick," Kira said. All of the adults looked at the kids angrily.

"Ahem," Drew reminded them they had some explaining to do. The kids looked at their feet. Angelica stepped forward. All eyes were on her now. Angelica gulped.

"Um, you see, uh, we were playing in the creek, and, well, two cute guys came along, well, one of them was cute, the other was just stupid (Kimi glared at Angelica) any ways, we were playing with them, and, uh, well, we just, uh, kinda lost track of time. Dil noticed it was getting dark and remembered what you said about it being dark after 6:00 (Dil nodded) so he asked Lil what time it was. When Lil looked at her watch, it was already 9:00."

Angelica took a deep breath and sighed. The adults looked quite angry. Just then Ben and Marissa walked into the camp area.

"Ve ar very sorry Mees. Peekal," said Ben.

"We didn't find your chil....." Marissa began. Both rangers were very surprised at seeing the missing children standing right in the campsight staring at them. Ben's face turned red, half with embarrassment, half with anger.

"You lide to uz Mees. unt Meesdor. Peekal. You say yar sheeldreen ar meezing unt you ave seeme ride here!"

"They came out of the forest when you are gone!" Betty shouted.

"Impossible!" Ben cried. "Ve vould ov seed seeme!"

"Actually, I think we may have passed you," Kimi informed the rangers.

"Why didn't you ask us for help?" Marissa wanted to know.

"Well, we thought you might, uh, arrest us for loitering," Chuckie explained. Everyboby laughed hysterically. The rangers left and the adults turned back to their children.

"You should have been paying more attention to the time," Betty scolded.

"Though I hate to say it, we will need to think of some of some consequences for you all," Kira said sternly.

"That's it," said Charlotte. "None of you can go to the creek for the rest of the week."

"I agree," Didi replied. "That will give you time to think about this."

"Darn!" said Angelica. "Now what are we supposed to do for the rest of the week?"

"You'll just have to stay closer to camp" said Stu.

"No fair!" said Angelica as she kicked a nearby stool.

Unfortunately, Angelica wasn't wearing her shoes when she kicked the stool.

"Yeow!" she screamed as she clutched her foot and hopped around.

"Now I know why it's called a footstool!" said Dil. (rimshot)

"It's getting late kids" said Charlotte. "Better get to bed soon."

"Yes Aunt Charlotte" said Tommy.

The tweenage rugrats went back into the tent, took off their swim suits and dressed into their pajamas. They soon fell asleep after their parents joined them.

The next morning, everyone woke up at 8:30. The sky was clear and grey with the sun shining dimly.

Everyone dressed in their regular clothes and ate a big breakfast of flapjacks with butter and syrup. After breakfast, Chas went into the tent. He came out several minutes later wearing a loin cloth.

Everyone looked at him with puzzled looks.

"Chas what are you doing?" asked Drew.

"I'm going out" said Chas. "I'm going to assert my dominance and become one with the animals."

"You tried finding your inner warrior once" said Stu. "Didn't have much luck."

"This is different" said Chas. "I'll be back later."

"When?" asked Kira.

"Soon" said Chas. "Or tonight, or tomorrow, or soon!"

He went into the forest and disappeared into the distance.

"I got an idea!" said Charlotte. "Why don't we go on a hike through the forest?"

"Yes, lets!" said Stu.

"Besides" said Drew, "we got nothing better to do. So we can either sit here and complain, or go out and enjoy ourselves."

"I'm going to sit here and complain" said Angelica who was still upset about missing "Teen Rage".

"Suit yourself" said Tommy.

Just then, two boys came out of the forest.

"Hi" said one of them. "We heard you were going to go on a hike through the forest."

"That's right" said Stu.

"What a coincidence!" said the other boy. "We're going on a hike too!"

"Why don't you join us?" asked Stu.

"Great!" said the first boy.

"Ken!" exclaimed an excited Kimi.

"Andy?" asked Angelica.

"What a coincidence to see you both again!" said Ken.

"Wait a minute" said Didi. "Kimi, Angelica, you know those boys?"

"Of course" said Angelica. "They're the boys we told you about last night."

"Oh" said Charlotte.

"Angelica said you were dumb Ken" said Kimi.

"That's ok" said Ken. "Where I used to live, I've experienced worse."

"On second thought" said Angelica, "I'll go on the hike too!"

Everyone went into the forest and began their hike.

Meanwhile, sometime later, in another part of the forest, Chas had come across a pack of wolves. At first the wolves seemed startled by his presence, but they quickly accepted him.

The pack were now walking through the forest as if they were hunting.

"I must act like a wolf, think like a wolf, I must in essence become a wolf" thought Chas. "I can best assure my acceptance if I prove myself a worthy food provider."

He took some berries off a nearby bush and ate them. Several wolves seemed to take interest but continued their hunt.

One of the wolves began to mark his territory on a nearby tree just like Spike did back home.

"I've been traveling with the pack for almost an hour now. It's almost as if I have become one of them" thought Chas.

Some time later, the other group continued their hike through the forest. They had seen several animals throughout the forest. They had come across some elk, a moose, a bear, and some racoons and squirrels that the kids had taken turns feeding with nuts.

They had also come across several spectacular sites including a fast flowing river, a small waterfall, a spiderweb that sparkled in the sunlight, complete with a small spider and several insects that it had caught.

"That was a beautiful web" said Kimi.

"It certainly was" said Ken. "But you're a lot more beautiful than that."

Kimi blushed. Ken lightly kissed her on the cheek.

Kimi blushed even more.

Then she noticed that everyone else was staring at her and Ken with puzzled looks on their faces. Some were smiling slyly.

"What are you staring at?" asked Ken.

"Kimi and Ken, sitting in a tree!" chanted Dil. "K-I-S-S-I-N-G!"

"A little early for romance?" asked Kira.

"I can see a great future for you two" said Charlotte.

Ken and Kimi looked puzzled.

"One day, you two will be married!" said Charlotte excitedly.

"I can't marry him" said Kimi. "I just met him yesterday."

"That's right" said Ken. "Besides, so far, we're just friends. Same with my friend Andy and Angelica."

That's when Ken noticed Andy kissing Angelica.

"I suppose those two will be married too? Or they're just friends?" asked Kimi.

"Hey look!" said Chuckie. "There's dad!"

Everyone looked through the forest where Chuckie was pointing. In a clearing with bushes, was Chas, sitting in a tree.

Everyone ran out into the clearing.

"Dad, what are you doing up there?" asked Kimi.

"Surveying the landscape" said Chas as he stood up. "I've been traveling with the wolf pack for almost two hours."

"Two hours?" asked Kira.

"I already feel powerful instincts awakening within me! I feel I already be more animal than man!" said Chas. He jumped down onto the ground below.

"So what should I do now?" he asked.

"Well for starters..." started Kira.

"For starters" interupted Kimi, "put some clothes on would you? You're not the one to look clothed tight, trust me on this dad."

Chas looked at his loin cloth. "But animals don't wear anything at all."

"Yeah but they look good" said Kimi. "You, on the other hand, not so much. You see where I'm coming from?"

"I guess so" said Chas. "But wolves don't wear anything, except for their fur."

"What do they eat anyway?" asked Betty. "Are you eating the same things they do?"

"I think they hunt their food. Although I only pick berries" said Chas. "If only I could hunt some real food."

"How about fish?" asked Howard. "We could all go fishing!"

"Yes, lets!" said Charlotte. "Let's go rent a boat and go fishing in the lake."

"I brought the life jackets" said Drew. "I got enough for everyone."

"And we can rent some boats too" said Stu.

"Let's go back to the camp and get prepared" said Stu. "But first, we should have some lunch. And then, we'll find Mr. Animal himself here some clothes!"

"You can say that again" said Chas as he looked at his loin cloth, noticing several places where the cloth was torn.

"Let's go back to the camp site" said Charlotte.

So, the Rugrats and their parents rented a fishing boat, got on their lifejackets, and went out to the middle of Emerald Lake, which was the lake near their campsite. At first no one caught anything, but after awhile, Kimi got a bite. She began reeling the fish in. Well, the fish must have swam away with Kimi's bait because when her hook emerged from the water, she saw neither on it. She stood up and walked to the other side of the boat to get another worm. While she was selecting a juicy one, Angelica, still angry about missing Teen Rage, extended her leg into Kimi's path, smirking. On her way back to the other side of the boat, Kimi tripped over Angelica's out stretched leg and fell--splash--right into the lake. Their boat had obviously drifted closer to shore (which may have been why they hadn't been getting many bites) because the water Kimi landed in was chest deep.

"Maybe now they'll consider leaving!" Angelica thought. She smiled evilly and laughed to herself.

"Man overboard!" cried Howard. He belly flopped into the lake, dove down, hit his head on the muddy bottom, and came up, hair full of muck.

"Even better!" Angelica exclaimed silently.

Then Howard started to laugh. Kimi then started to laugh, as well. Soon the whole boat was an explosion of laughter. Angelica was the only one who had not joined in. This hadn't gone the way she'd hoped it would.

Not long after, the kids and their parents were sitting around a camp fire. They were roasting hot dogs for supper.

Later they would roast marshmallows, sing songs, and tell spooky stories. Angelica sat complaining. She managed to turn every conversation into something about going home early. She was so busy being miserable, she didn't notice her hot dog swelling rapidly. Before long it had exploded and Angelica was covered with what was left of it.

"Now will you take me home?!" Angelica fumed. It seemed to the rest of the campers the hot dog was not the only thing that had exploded.

"I might, just maybe, THINK about considering it," Charlotte said, quickly as she whisked Angelica away to the showers.

The rest of supper passed uneventfully. No more hot dogs exploded, and all of the rest of them were eaten. Later that night, while roasting marshmallows, Angelica complained more than ever. in fact, she managed to catch all of her marshmallows on fire.

During a scary story that Dil was telling, Andy and Ken arrived at the campsite. the story was paused While they explained that their mothers (who were close friends) had said they could visit. They ended up staying the night.

The next morning Angelica was torn between staying with Andy and going home to see Teen Rage.

Angelica finally resorted to asking Andy where he lived, so that if he live close to where she did she could decide on leaving. As it was, Andy happened to live half an hours drive from Angelica. Naturally, Angelica decided to leave.

Everyone else wanted to stay, so Charlotte and Drew took Angelica home alone.

Angelica was ecstatic that not only she'll still be able to see Andy regularly, but she'll get to watch Teen Rage.

But, on the way home, Charlotte said to an overly excited Angelica, "I am surprised at the way you behaved back there young lady! No TV for a week!"

Angelica gambled, and lost.

The End

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