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"My Camping Adventure”
was created especially for
Garrett Cole Powers
at the age of 5
With Love From,
Aunt Lisa & Uncle Roy
December 25, 2001
It was "Old Teddy Bear," the hermit, who told Dad the story of the mountain's treasure. Now Dad would pass the story along to Garrett. "It's over that ridge," Dad told Garrett. "We'll have to camp overnight."
"We better check our supplies, Garrett. We wouldn't want to forget anything," said Dad. Garrett's friends, Paw Paw, Tevin, and Ty, were there to help load the van. Everyone was very curious about the treasure.
There was so much camping gear that Garrett, Paw Paw, Tevin, and Ty had to get behind Dad 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, Tevin studied the map with Garrett. "Look, Garrett, we'll go this way."
That night, Garrett 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 Dad 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 Dad.
"Here is some paper," said Ty, while ripping it up and stuffing it into the trash bag. Garrett 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 Dad. "Garrett, stay close to Paw Paw, Tevin and Ty."
"Don't worry, Dad. You can count on me," said Garrett. Dad was glad to have Garrett with them.
Up the mountain, the trail became narrow and winding. Garrett was amazed at the beautiful plant life surrounding them. Finally, everyone stopped for lunch.
"Who has the map?" asked Dad.
"Not me," said Garrett.
"Not me," said Tevin.
"Not me," said Ty.
"It's gone!" exclaimed Garrett. "How will we ever find the treasure?"
"Hmmm... " said Dad. "Perhaps I can remember the way."
Dad seemed confident about the way to the treasure. This made Garrett feel better about the lost map. "Let's catch some fish for lunch!" Dad said. Garrett, Paw Paw, Tevin and Ty cast their lines into the clear mountain stream. Garrett immediately hooked a big fish... big enough for everyone to eat.
While everyone helped prepare dinner, Dad spoke to Garrett, Paw Paw, Tevin and Ty. "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.
"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. Garrett smelled the fresh, clean air as they paddled away in their canoe. Garrett reminded everyone to put on a life jacket.
Paw Paw leaned over to get a life jacket and fell head first into the cold mountain stream. "Help!" Paw Paw cried. Everyone was alarmed. Garrett quickly grabbed a life jacket and threw it out to help Paw Paw swim ashore.
Garrett helped Paw Paw out of the stream and onto the grassy bank. Dad put an arm around Garrett. "That was quick thinking, Garrett," said Dad. "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, Dad told everyone to gather around. "How much farther, Dad?" asked Garrett.
"We are here," Dad remarked, to everyone's surprise.
"But where's the treasure?" asked Garrett.
"Don't you see?" said Dad. "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, Garrett, Paw Paw, Tevin and Ty were puzzled. Then, Garrett realized what Dad meant! He envisioned the old hermit telling Dad that only the wisest of the bears could find the real treasure of the mountain... and he was right!
Garrett would always remember this special camping adventure, and would tell all of his friends in San Angelo, Texas about his discovery of the real treasures of the mountain.
From that day forward, Garrett always remembered to respect the beauty and wonder that nature has to offer...and so should everyone.